Hearty Autumn Stew

It can be confusing making sense of foods labeled “all natural”, “100 percent natural”, “organic” – the list goes on. What does make sense is that most of us know we feel better when we eat well. We also know foods that are free from preservatives, additives, chemicals, hormones, etc., are better for us. So it’s best not to get hung up on the terminology. Instead, look at the ingredients list and stick with whole, naturally grown foods.

Roasted vegetables give lighter flavor to Thanksgiving

Looking for something a little different, and perhaps a little healthier, to serve your Thanksgiving and holiday guests as a side dish? Look no further than this roasted vegetable recipe that is high in potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. It can be made ahead of time and reheated but is also excellent straight out of the oven. With just 7 grams of unsaturated fat, this is a lighter, fresher option to that tired, heavy green bean casserole.

Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic-Lemon Vinaigrette

Serves 10

Chili: A healthy meal with endless varieties

Everyone has a favorite chili recipe. Traditional Texas chili is filled with beef and a variety of peppers and spices — the hotter the better! Did you know that in the 1880s, a San Antonio, Texas, market set up stands to sell chili or “bowls o’red,” and the women who sold it were called “chili queens”? A bowl o’red cost 10 cents and included bread and a glass of water. These stands became a major tourist attraction, and San Antonio chili was featured at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.

Pumpkin stone soup to soothe your soul

My college roommate, Julie, used to gauge my feelings by what I was whipping up in the kitchen.

Tuna noodle casserole was a quick and thrifty dish signifying broke but determined. Blueberry coffee cake signaled adventurous, yet grounded. Soup, however, was a loaded proposition.

Soup made her ask: “What happened?” or “Who broke up with whom?” or “So your term paper’s due tomorrow?”

Pumpkin Chowder

It’s that time of year — we’re carving pumpkins for our Halloween festivities. Did you know Irish immigrants brought the pumpkin-carving tradition to America? Using pumpkins as lanterns is based on an ancient Celtic custom.

So once you’ve carved your pumpkin, what do you do with the stuff inside? The seeds can be roasted for a snack, and the “meat” can be used to make soups, pies and breads. Pumpkin is highly nutritious. It’s low in calories, fat and sodium; high in fiber; and a good source of vitamins A and B, potassium, protein and iron.

Egg muffin recipe

Power up your mornings with power muffins
Preparing your breakfast ahead of time makes it easy to eat right all week

Eating a balanced breakfast is an important part of a healthy diet. When you start your day by eating right, you are giving your body the fuel it needs to power up. You are also kick-starting your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories throughout your day.

Applesauce all grown up

Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious and Braeburn all have something in common besides being apples. They’re also great for making applesauce.*

Applesauce is more than baby food. It can serve as a great snack or a healthy sweet treat. Plus it’s high in fiber, which can keep your digestive system on track. One cup of unsweetened applesauce has only 100 calories, making it a filling, fat-free, healthy option.

Add some additional flavors and you have an even more grownup version!

Fun food, PB&J-style

If you leave breakfast up to the kids, chances are they’ll dream up something with peanut butter and jelly.

After all, it’s yummy, messy and fun!

Here’s a way to contain that idea into something that can be grab-and-go quick with minimum mess.

These waffles can be whipped up and eaten on the spot, but you also can stack them, with waxed paper in between, and freeze them in a plastic bag or freezer container until the next time you need a speedy PB & J waffle fix. Simply pop them in the toaster like those frozen waffles from the grocery store, and you’re set!

Apple Salad Recipe

Have you ever used apples in a vegetable salad? Lots of recipes mix apples with vegetables to make a slightly sweet, refreshing salad. When pairing them with vegetables, consider using a variety that isn’t too sweet or too tart. Braeburn and Fuji apples are sweeter than the tart Granny Smiths many people use in pies, but they’re not quite as sweet as red and golden delicious or Honeycrisp. However, with about 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States, there are plenty of different colors, textures and flavors to choose from. By the way, did you know that only the crabapple is native to North America?