Easy Fall recipes for cold weather

By Grace Geiger

Winter approaches. You can’t deny it. It will come. Yet, one way to fight the cold is by making delicious warm foods to share with friends. I realize not everyone has a top-notch kitchen, or any kitchen at all, but this recipe is easy, fast, and a perfect way to “eat your vegetables” without saying “yuck”. This brussel sprouts recipe, which I believe has Martha Stewart origins, is a perfect side for any Thanksgiving dinner. Brussels sprouts are the new broccoli. Ingredients:
Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, or butter
1/2 pound Brussel sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons golden raisins
3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper

Heat oil or butter in skillet. Add sprouts and carrots and sauté over low heat for 7-10 minutes or until the veggies carmelize. Add raisins and broth and simmer until tender (test one!). Add more liquid if needed.

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Another great recipe is my mom (Cynthia Lair)’s minestrone recipe which can be found in her book “Feeding the Young Athlete.” Served with crusty white bread and some honey butter, this is a great fall dinner.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium potato, diced
1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes (Muir Glen fire roasted is the best)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 cup green beans cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
1 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
black pepper
1/2 cup chopped basil
Parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot over medium heat add olive oil, butter, garlic and onion. Sauté until onion is soft. Add carrots, celery, potato and sauté about 5 minutes more. Add tomatoes, oregano, salt, and chicken broth. Bring heat up to simmer. Cover and cook 1/2 hour. Add corn, green beans and kidney beans and simmer for another 5 minutes until green beans are tender. Stir in fresh basil and black pepper to taste. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan on top.

For more recipes, check out Grace’s food blog at http://budgeteats.wordpress.com.