Healthy fall recipes for cool weather, warm kitchens
Fort Wayne, Indiana (September 16, 2009) — Fall’s cool winds are starting to blow in, but it’s not too late to enjoy end-of-summer fresh fruits – blueberries and peaches. A hallmark of warm weather, these healthy and delicious foods ripen in September and they’re fresh for the picking! Sweet, juicy and bursting with vitamins and antioxidants, these delicious treats star in our dessert crisp.
The meal begins with a warm, comforting Tuscan bean soup (also brimming with nutrients), followed by an Italian style bread-based salad and ends in a tasty treat. What a delicious way to welcome fall!
About our featured chef: Nan Yablong has embraced the Vera Bradley Foundation as her special cause because she lost her mother to cancer 22 years ago. She has enthusiastically served on almost every committee in her eleven years as a Classic volunteer. As a graduate of LaRivage French Cooking School in Dartmouth, MA, with a passion for both cooking and baking, she was the perfect choice to help us develop healthy and delicious cancer-fighting recipes.
Tuscan Pasta and Cannellini Bean Soup (Serves 6)
- ½ lb thin spaghetti, broken into roughly two inch lengths
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1 16-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- In large saucepan, add four cups of water with bouillon cube and teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
- Drain and add chicken broth to pan with beans, spaghetti, butter and parsley, bring to a boil and simmer until completely heated through. Season to taste with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Stir Parmesan cheese into soup just prior to serving.
- Serve in soup bowls with additional Parmesan cheese and garnish with sprig of parsley.
Peasant Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette (Serves 6)
- 1 loaf Sundried Tomato and Rosemary Bread
- Italian style, cubed to make 8 cups of cubes
- 2 Tablespoons Italian style seasoning blend
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup green pepper, chopped
- 1 cup yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 cup red onion, chopped
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 6 - 8 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup fresh oregano
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- ¼ cup fresh basil br>
- 5 ounces mixed baby greens (Note: Reserve a pinch of the fresh herbs to add to the vinaigrette)
Red Wine Vinaigrette
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Pinch minced fresh parsley, oregano and basil
- In a large mixing bowl place bread cubes, sprinkle Italian style seasoning blend and mix well, drizzle olive oil and toss to coat evenly.
- Spread onto a sheet pan and place in 375° oven for about fifteen minutes, toss around once and continue until lightly browned, about five more minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- In an extra large bowl, place bread cubes and add remaining ingredients, tossing completely to distribute evenly.
- Whisk ingredients together for vinaigrette until well blended.
- Just prior to serving, drizzle vinaigrette over salad, toss well and arrange on decorative platter.
Blueberry Peach Crisp (Serves 6)
- 1 ½ cups quick oats
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 6 cups sliced, peeled ripe peaches
- 3 cups blueberries
- Combine oats, flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork.
- Melt butter in microwave and add to mixture, blend with fork until mixtures crumbles.
- Divide peaches and blueberries evenly among six individual baking dishes, 2 cup capacity.
- Spread crumble evenly over the top of each baking dish.
- Bake in 350° oven for 30 minutes or until peaches and berries are bubbling and soft.
Serving suggestion: Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Blueberry Fizzle (Serves 6)
- 1 cup blueberries, washed and frozen ahead of time
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 quart lemon lime flavored soda
- Fresh mint for garnish
- Pulse fresh blueberries in blender until pureed, add soda and mix.
- glass with a splash of grenadine.
- Add frozen blueberries to each glass, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Look for winter recipes featuring comforting dishes!