Fall Foodie Favorites: Oldies and Newsies!

Fall is just starting to pick up speed and I love when our food matches the season. For me, it makes the season that much more fun and interesting.

I thought I would share my all-time favorite fall dinners,  breakfast, breads, and desserts with you, in case you’ve been looking for some fall in your foods. Some are oldies that I found in previous falls, and some are newsies from this year. I hope you enjoy!

Fall Favorites

This newsie is White Chicken Chili Soup. It is delicious. But the simplicity of the recipe is actually why it sold me. So many White Chicken Chili Soups seem to have lots and lots of ingredients, but this one keeps it simple, while still tasting elaborate. That is a win in my book. I did make a few alterations, by mostly adding in a couple vegetables, but doing so did not make it a “vegetable chili” in any way.

Also, I did find that serving this chili over brown rice was really delicious. Not only does it make it more economical, by the spreading the chili further, it also enhanced the flavor. Here is the full recipe, with my alterations, but feel free to follow the link above and see the original. (Sidenote: I half the recipe for our little family, but here is the full recipe).

Delicious-White-Chicken-Chili-Recipe-on-lilluna.com-chili-soup

photo courtesy of Lil’ Luna.

Ingredients:

(Italics and a (*) indicate my alterations to the recipe)

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 (15.5 oz) cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-4 chicken breasts (approx. 2 cups shredded chicken)
  • 1 small can diced green chilies
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • *1/2 tsp. chili pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • *1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • *1 bell pepper, diced
  • *1/2-1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2-1 cup sour cream OR 2-4 oz. cream cheese (feel free to use neufchatel)
  • Optional: Shredded cheese to top
  • Optional: serve over brown rice.

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, add broth, beans, chicken, green chilis, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, chili pepper, pepper, diced onion, diced bell pepper, and corn. Simmer on low-medium heat for 20-30 minutes, or until it is heated through. (I turn up the heat to medium high and just bring it to a boil until my chicken is cooked through.)
  2. Take out chicken and shred with a fork, then add back to the pot.
  3. Right before serving, stir in sour cream. Add cheese on top if desired.

Hooray for a relatively fast, healthy, and very delicious soup!

——————————————————————————————

The next is a favorite oldie that I have on my Gale Family Recipes site–Butternut Squash Chicken Stew. I haven’t made it yet this season, but last season, I loved it! This soup packs a punch of flavor, and I love that the base of the soup is vegetables. Anyway, so much goodness going on in this stew. And isn’t it pretty?

Photo courtesy of Cookin' Canuck.

Photo courtesy of Cookin’ Canuck.

————————————————————————————

This oldie–Golden Sweet Cornbread is a hit, always has been. As soon as my husband and I tried it, we were obsessed. I’ve tried multiple recipes that crumble like crazy, feel slightly dry in my mouth, or just lack flavor. This one trumps all. It’s moist, doesn’t crumble, and has a sweet, but not too sweet, flavor. I do make a couple alterations that improve flavor and help the cornbread stay together, so look for those alterations in the link above.

Photo courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Photo courtesy of Allrecipes.com

—————————————————————————–

Now this newsie, is a great find and I’m so thrilled to have found it. This Zucchini Bread recipe is to die for. Really. Okay, not really, but it is at least good enough to make it multiple times, crave it, and then feel comfortable taking to neighbors.

photo courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe

photo courtesy of Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

I had a lot of zucchini this summer and I tried multiple recipes and this one took the cake, by far. This might not be the recipe for you, but for me I look for something delicious–not too healthy, but also not too sugary or oily. This one fit the bill for me. It also has good spices and has a good balance between feeling too heavy or light. I make no alterations to the recipe, except that I usually double it. 🙂

————————————————————————————

Another oldie that’s on my list to make again this year is Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes & Spinach. This recipe is the epitome of health and yum getting married. Everything about it is healthy, but it also is fast and delicious. It also is vegetarian, which while I’m not a vegetarian, I love finding recipes that don’t take meat and use other sources for protein, to ensure I’m getting a wide range of nutrients. I did make two slight alterations, which you’ll see on my site. I’m looking forward to trying it again this year!

Photo courtesy of Two Peas and Their Pod

Photo courtesy of Two Peas and Their Pod

————————————————————————————————–

This recipe breaks the mold– it’s my favorite fall breakfast! Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal is divine. Before trying baked oatmeal I was rather apprehensive. In my family, oatmeal was always a bland meal that you made if you didn’t have taste buds, or you just ignored them. But after trying this, I was changed.

Photo courtesy of Kath Eats Real Food

Photo courtesy of Kath Eats Real Food

Baked oatmeal is so versatile, yummy, and yes, healthy. I would bake up a pan of baked oatmeal, cut them into squares and then put them in tupperwares. Then, in the morning, I would either eat it cold with yogurt or milk (similar to granola) or warm it up, cut it in half, and put some butter on it. I also just snacked on it plain, because it was that flavorful. I also love that it is something you can make ahead and then enjoy throughout the week.

After eating it for a while, I came up with another flavor and it turned out to be my favorite– Baked Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal. {**This link is probably the most comprehensive recipe. So follow this link if you want to know exactly how I make it.**} I don’t have a picture of this one, but it looks exactly the same as above.

——————————————————————

Lastly, here are two of my favorite bread recipes. I feel like it’s nice to have a go-to homemade bread recipe and here are two options–one is whole wheat and the other white. Both are absolutely delicious and relatively fast when it comes to rising time, and ease of making–both of which are necessities for me.

The White Homemade Bread recipe is my newsie for this year. It’s delectable. If you are looking for a crowd pleaser and not concerned about your carbs, then go for the gold, or white in this case, and give it a go. I can promise it won’t go wrong. It also makes a whopping 4 (9×5) loaves!

Photo courtesy of Just Another Day in Paradise

Photo courtesy of Just Another Day in Paradise

This No-Fail Whole Wheat Bread recipe is my oldie that I want to try again this year. I seriously loved this recipe. It had the awesome full taste of whole wheat, but lacked the typical cons of wheat bread (being overly dense or dry). Also, just like the recipe above, this recipe is speedy. Mmm, just remembering this recipe is making me crave it. Really, if you have never liked whole wheat bread, but want to try a recipe, try this one. Most likely you’ll enjoy it and then feel good about all the fiber and complex carbohydrates it packs.

Whole Wheat Bread

Photo courtesy of Progressive Pioneer

Well, I think that will be it for today! I love baking and cooking so stick around if you want more recipes. Or better yet, hop over to my actual recipe blog–Gale Family Recipes–where I share our family favorites. My style is summed up like this: things that are supposed to be delicious- I try to keep delicious. But foods that can be easily made more healthy, I try to make healthier. After being on a no-sugar diet for over a year, I know how to be healthy, but also enjoy the taste of all foods, so hop on over for some healthy and some purely delicious family faves 🙂

Advertisements

Our First Bumpdate- 28 weeks

Well, I’ve always said “better late than never”, and I think this scenario really takes the cake. I’ve never done a bumpdate questionnaire for either Parker or our little girl, and here we are 3rd trimester through this second pregnancy and I just up and decided, why not? So, here ya go.

Funny, I always like reading the bumpdates of other’s I know, but for some reason thought if I did one for myself, people would be so bored they’d scroll through or pick their nose. Why?? I don’t know. Well, today I’m just ignoring my fear of boring people and am going out on a limb that maybe one of you, besides myself will enjoy this. So let the questions begin…

How far along? 28 weeks- 3rd trimester, baby!
Baby is: 2.25 lbs & 14.8 in. (approx)
Total weight gain/loss? +15 lbs. {sidenote: I’m actually really proud of myself for this… my 1st pregnancy I was weighing myself all the time. I was so caught up on being a certain size that I was monitoring myself all the time. This pregnancy, I’ve loosened up & it has been so much better!!! I just weighed myself this morning, but I hadn’t in a couple weeks. Anyway, hooray for focusing more on how I feel and less on stressing about weight gain. This is progress for a girl like me who has obsessed too much about being skinny, for too much of my life.} and now I move on….
Maternity clothes? Yes. Oh, and my husband’s t-shirts.Gah! Why is it so hard for me to buy t-shirts that fit me? Or just maternity clothes in general??

I haven't even been taking pictures of myself, so I snapped these, but sorry I'm wearing lazy, around the house clothes. Real life.

I haven’t even been taking pictures of myself, so I snapped these, but sorry I’m wearing lazy, around the house clothes. Real life.

Stretch marks? Not any new ones that I’ve noticed. But, I have noticed that as I get bigger, the ones from Parker’s pregnancy are deepening in color once again. But just like weight gain, I’ve been paying a lot less attention this time around, so I’m not quite sure.
Sleep? Sleep is good. I fall asleep when I turn off the light and then wake up, what feels like a second later. {Can I say weird dreams though, anyone???!} Pregnancy always makes my dreams crazy.
Best moment this week? Well this is the hardest question! I have no idea, I feel like it is all the sweet things Parker is saying to me and how much love is in his heart. He’s constantly telling us how much he loves things and how cute people are. I cannot begin to explain how blessed we feel to have him as our little boy.
Miss Anything? My pre-pregnancy clothes. I miss being able to get dressed more easily. Now I feel like I try something on and it looks weird, I try something else on–it looks weird too. And then 10 minutes later I’m settling on something that looks the least weird. {Clothing is the bane of my existence right now.}
Movement? A ton. She is one wiggly girl who seems like she can never get comfortable.
Food cravings? Not really strong ones.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Not really.
Have you started to show yet? Yes.
Gender? IT’S A GIRL!
Labor Signs? Umm not real labor, but Braxton Hicks contractions have been almost getting out of control. Two days ago, I got about 20 sets of them in the space of just 2 hours. But, oh well, apparently that can happen, and apparently drinking more water can help them not be so strong.
Belly Button in or out? Half out, but almost completely out.  It depends on if I’m breathing in or out.
Wedding rings on or off? On. It’s actually really lose right now, probably because the colder weather.
Happy or Moody most of the time? Happy!!! 🙂

Well, there it you have it. I’m feeling just really blessed right now to have some time to get ready for this little girl. I’m starting to realize that although this is my second, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m prepared. I just realized last week that we have no changing table for her or a place to put her clothes (even though her clothing is practically non-existent). Anyway, it’s just interesting how there is still much to do. I’m feeling less apprehension for labor and for her arrival, but I’m busying myself with getting ready and dreaming of life with our little girl.

Healthy & Fit Pregnancy- Group info inside!

Well, the second trimester is lovely. I’m 16 weeks along and I feel like I’m mostly back to the old me, aside from the occasional headaches, stretching pains, and back aches. But, I’ll take it and I’m happy!

With this new found energy, as well as lack of nauseousness, I find myself eating allll the time and wanting to cook things. I felt like my body was just yearning from the inside out.. “feeeeed meeeee!!!” So, that is just what I did. I think I am back up to my pre-pregnancy weight, which is good. Now, the trick is for me to get out of that mindset of stuffing my face with food. I’m trying to re-train my brain that I don’t need to eat a lot of whatever sounds good. It may have worked when only one or two things sounded good during a day, but now that 50 things sound good… no bueno. It’s back to balance and remembering that I need to stop when I feel full, and to choose good foods to eat.

It’s tough though. It is hard to re-train a brain and harder to actually act on it.

But that is my goal.

My goal is an active pregnancy. My goal is to eat well and be active, in hopes that life will never be like the swinging of a pendulum, going back and forth from a “I don’t care about my health, I just want to eat what I want to eat” attitude to “I’m counting my calories, exercising all the time” mentality. Nor do I want to sign off on healthy eating and exercise simply because life is just hard right now. Life never stops being hard, and in fact when I eat worse, life gets exponentially harder. I feel guilty, I feel gross, I lose confidence, and I just feel lethargic. It’s not worth it.

SO… after all that. I guess what I’m implying is that I’m going to strive to be active and healthy this pregnancy. I’m not going to overdue it, because that isn’t balanced, but I am going to try to exercise–do at least some form of exercise each day. Something.

I want to give myself a variety and do aerobic activities and strength training. And in general, I’m going to try to watch my portions and try to opt for more whole, nutrient dense, foods. Of course I’ll give into cravings, that is life, and I don’t pretend to be able to not eat sweets. I love sweets and they will always be a part of my life. Guaranteed. But, I’m going to try not to eat them alll the time as the main course or side dish to breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

So, my question is: do you know anyone who is pregnant and feels like-minded? Or do you know someone who is hoping to be pregnant soon and preparing their body for the transition? If so, please send them to THIS Facebook group. It’s totally free and just for encouragement, ideas, and sharing our life.

Pregnancy Facebook Group Cover FinalI want to be accountable for myself and I often find I do SO much better when I see others around me striving to do the same. And I don’t think I’m alone in this. I’d love to motivate others around me too. Because why have to work so hard postpartum to “get our bodies back”, when we could have a better pregnancy, labor, and postpartum if we focused on health during the journey of pregnancy? Anyway, now I’m rambling. Here’s to a healthy life!

When it’s okay to rest

For the last week and a half I’ve been sick; sick with the scratchy sore throat, stuffy head, runny nose, and getting all my calories from cough drops, sort of sick.

It was frustrating, just as it is whenever sickness comes. But this time I was more disappointed, simply because I was finally getting some great habits in my life. I had worked out a schedule with friends to exercise a couple times a week and was pumped to get into a routine.

But when I got sick, I knew workouts were out for me until I was totally better. I’ve done sports enough growing up to know this about my body. I’ve worked out too many times when I was almost better, to know working out too soon only prolongs and worsens my sickness. So this time, even though I practically wanted to jump out of my skin and workout, I waited it out. I let myself rest. I slowed down.

Slowing down was what I needed.okay to restIsn’t it interesting how when life gets overwhelming, we often think the solution is to pick up speed, to power through, to sprint to the end, or to toughen up? We ignore our body or our hearts and believe if we just give it all we got it will work out. Nah, we don’t need to let something fall out of our life. Yes, we can continue doing everything, even if our condition is worsening. In fact, we almost wear it as a badge of honor that even with this activity, and this responsibility, and this life change, and this commitment, we still came through it while doing it all.

At least I know I’ve tried to wear that badge–the “Juggled it All” badge or the “Kept all the Plates Spinning” badge.

But, are we better off inside ourselves for pushing through the harsh conditions?

Sometimes we have no choice. Sometimes the time for decision has past and we have to power through. But more often than not, we could decide to say no; we could decide to slow down and re-coop enough to rejuvenate and calm our troubled waters.

“It is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.”- Dieter Uchtdorf

Life really isn’t a race. There will be no badge for the one who powered through life until they reached the point of utter exhaustion. There will be no grand prize for the ones who juggled the most responsibilities. But, I’m pretty sure there will be happiness and peace for those who simplified, gave their life grace, and slowed down to rest.

How do you remember to re-evaluate your life when you feel overwhelmed? How do you give yourself grace and love even when you feel your life isn’t as exciting or fast-paced as others? I would love to hear your thoughts!

If you enjoyed this post, then I would so appreciate your vote! Thanks!

150x200_top_mommy_blogs2

My curvy paintbrush

My Curvy Paintbrush 2*This post was originally published on Aug. 26th, 2014. As the cold and winter sets in and my ability to exercise outside is limited, this post came to the forefront of my mind. I’m seeking to find peace and balance in health and in my body this wintry season.

Recently I read an article, Your Body Is Not Your Masterpiece, and my perception of body image was changed. This was a big deal for me, considering I have read article after article about body image. I have written papers on body image and scoured the internet looking for research on the topic. Yet for me, this article gave the perfect metaphor for my body and what its purpose truly is.

“Your body is not your masterpiece — your life is.

It is suggested to us a million times a day that our BODIES are PROJECTS. They aren’t. Our lives are. Our spirituality is. Our relationships are. Our work is.

Stop spending all day obsessing, cursing, perfecting your body like it’s all you’ve got to offer the world. Your body is not your art, it’s your paintbrush. Whether your paintbrush is a tall paintbrush or a thin paintbrush or a stocky paintbrush or a scratched up paintbrush is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is that YOU HAVE A PAINTBRUSH which can be used to transfer your insides onto the canvas of your life — where others can see it and be inspired and comforted by it.” (Melton)

oilpaintingdance

So often I spend time worrying about my paintbrush, when I could be painting my dreams, personality, and love for others all over my canvas.

Wow, right? Her metaphor hit me like none other, because it is true. So often I spend time worrying about my paintbrush, when I could be painting my dreams, personality, and love for others all over my canvas. In fact, I could be traveling the world hoping to add my own personal paint color and beauty to other people’s canvas of life.

Of course we shouldn’t spend all day worrying about our paintbrush, but there is something important about our paintbrush–that it works. I think it’s important we take enough care of our paintbrushes so they don’t slow us down or hinder us from expressing our vibrant souls.

We could go on and on about what is the right way to take care of our bodies. I reach a nice balance when I combine this paintbrush metaphor with THIS address, by Jeffrey Holland, it is perhaps the most encouraging talk I read as a teenager. It was 2005 and I was in the midst of teenage anxiety, worrying about what puberty had done to my hips. I listened to this talk multiple times over the years to re-center and re-focus myself on what mattered most. The entire talk is full of gems, but this excerpt gets across what I feel is often lost in the world’s extremes:

We should all be as fit as we can be… That means eating right and exercising and helping our bodies function at their optimum strength. We could probably all do better in that regard. But I speak here of optimum health; there is no universal optimum size. (emphasis added)

For some reason, the world preaches from its social pulpit that there is a universal optimum size. That if you are doing all the right things: exercising, eating well, sleeping, drinking water, etc… you will have the slender, toned, masterpiece of a body you are looking for. But that is simply not true. As much as I have tried, my body likes curves. It is just that way. Others’ bodies are taller or more slender. In the end, it is important to realize the goal is not a target size or weight, it is health.

So what am I trying to go for now? A healthy paintbrush. My own healthy, curvy paintbrush. A paintbrush I love, because it helps me spread joy. A paintbrush I clean, because I want people to see my true colors. A paintbrush I care for so I can skip around the world spreading my unique and beautiful creations.

How are you learning to be at peace with your body?

like my blog top mommy blog banner

Did you like this post? Click the banner to vote for me!