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Ask the Expert Archive


Now that we’re entering the fall season, I like to spend more time in the kitchen.  Growing up, my mother made it a tradition to have big Sunday dinners from late September through mid-May–this timing coincided with our time home from the beach.  Sunday dinners were different than any other night.  We’d eat in the dining room and mom made something extra special.  I tried to carry that tradition on (minus the eating in the dining room–I save that for the big events) and prepare a special meal on Sundays during the cooler weather months.  One problem with some traditional Sunday dinner menus is that they tend to be high in calories and fat.  I’ve got some great recipes that are healthy, while retaining all the flavor you love.


Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa is a hearty fall dish that’s filled with good things like winter squash, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, onion, quinoa, and lots of herbs and spices.  This recipes calls for chicken thighs, although you can use white meat chicken if you prefer.

Courtesy of Cookin Canuk


Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Chunk Apple Saute with Pork Tenderloin is a recipe from Fruits & Veggies–More Matters.  You’ll make this dish in one pan, combining shredded Brussels sprouts, chopped apples, chopped onion, seasoned pork tenderloin, raisins, honey, and cider vinegar.

Courtesy of Fruits & Veggies–More Matters


Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Potatoes, and Chicken from Fruits & Veggies–More Matters is definitely a comfort dish.  Chicken breasts, Brussels sprouts, red potatoes, onion, and garlic are covered in a sauce made from ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and non-fat milk.  The chicken and veggie mixture is baked (covered) about 45 minutes until chicken is done.

Courtesy of Fruits & Veggies–More Matters


I hope you’ll try some of these recipes next Sunday at your own table.  I’ll return next week with a few healthy ideas for fall baking.


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Now that everyone is back to school, I know you have extra hungry children running through the door in the afternoon.  I’m not sure if it’s all the studying or activities during the school day, but something about getting off the bus makes kids want to clean out your refrigerator.  I know mine would always come home telling me they were starving.  The key is giving them something that will take the edge off their hunger, provide them with some energy and nutrition, while not spoiling their appetite for dinner.


I’ve pulled together some fun and flavorful snacks your kids will love and you’ll feel good about serving them. To start, Fruits & Veggies–More Matters has this great recipe for Bookworm Apple Bark, which combines a Granny Smith Apple, peanut butter, raisins, and dried cranberries.

Courtesy of Fruits & Veggies–More Matters


Banana Split Bites are a healthier version of the old fashioned ice cream favorite.  This recipe calls for freezing pieces of banana, strawberry, and pineapple.  Then you’ll dip them into chocolate and nuts and serve.

Courtesy of Life Love Liz


Cucumber Sandwiches are a savory snack and these bite-sized munchies are also gluten-free.  Thinly sliced cucumber takes the place of bread.  You’ll also layer on tomato, turkey, and cheese.  Feel free to add other veggies like onion or avocado if you choose.

Courtesy of Family Focus Blog


Symphony of Fruit Pizza is another terrific recipe from Fruits & Veggies–More Matters.  You’ll use an English muffin as your base and top with fat-free strawberry cream cheese.  Pile on sliced strawberries, grapes, and Mandarin oranges for a sweet treat.

Courtesy of Fruits & Veggies–More Matters


These snacks are so good you’ll be tempted to try them yourself!  I’ll be back next Monday with some great recipes for fall Sunday dinners.


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September is National Mushroom Month.  Mushrooms are versatile and their delicate flavor makes them a wonderful addition to many dishes.  They are also good for you–fat free, cholesterol free, low in calories, high in Riboflavin, a good source of niacin, and a good source of copper.  You can usually find them as part of a stir fry, added to salads, or grilled on skewers.  However, mushrooms can be prepared in many creative ways and with a variety of other ingredients.


Stuffed mushrooms are a popular dish, but these Mini Quinoa and Rice Stuffed Mushrooms are protein and fiber packed without all the fat and calories of the usual recipe.  Vidalia onion, grated carrot, quinoa, wild rice, sesame seeds, hummus, chives, and flax seeds make up the flavorful stuffing.

Courtesy of Food Network


Spinach Mushroom Tart is perfect for brunch or a meatless dinner.  You’ll combine onions, garlic, and mushrooms in butter and saute.  In a bowl, mix together ricotta cheese and one egg.  Squeeze water out of thawed, frozen spinach and add it to the cheese mixture.  Add the mushroom mix, parmesan cheese, Swiss cheese, and salt/pepper to taste.  This is what will create the filling of your tart.  Use puff pastry as your base and roll it out on a 9 x 12 pan.  Spread the filling out, leaving an edge and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Courtesy of The Shabby Creek Cottage


Kaleidoscope Mushroom Salad is as beautiful as it is tasty.  You’ll marinate the mushrooms in a basil vinaigrette for 30 minutes before assembling this salad.  Then you’ll add snow peas, corn, watercress, red onion, and pimientos.  Make a cup with radicchio leaves.  Alternately place endive and radicchio leaves stemming from the cup and fill the cup with the vegetable mixture.  Top the salad with blue cheese and garnish with any reserved mushrooms you have.

Courtesy of The Mushroom Council


I’ll return next week with some healthy and fun after school snacks your kids will love.


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