A couple weeks ago, I talked about some of my favorite fall pumpkin recipes. While I do love my pumpkin, there are still plenty of other fall foods to take advantage of. HoneyCrisp apples, squash, warm soups & chili and hot apple cider are among some of my favorites.
While browsing through my Vegetarian Times magazine, I found some inspiring fall recipes that I can’t wait to try. One that really caught my eye is not gluten-free as written, but can easily be modified to be gluten-free. The recipe is kid-friendly & perfect for Halloween – Frankenpeppers. Basically the recipe is peanut butter noodles stuffed inside of red or green bell peppers and then decorated with scary or fun faces. What a great idea, huh?
*recipe courtesy of Vegetarian Times, modified to be gluten-free
6 small red or green bell peppers
8 oz gluten-free spaghetti noodles (see this post from Tiffany Janes for the top 5 gluten-free pastas)
4 Tbs. creamy peanut butter, plus more for assembly
2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce (La Choy is gluten-free and has a low-sodium version)
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. agave nectar or honey
1 cup finely diced cucumber, optional
2 finely diced Roma tomatoes (1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 1/2-inch thick slices white cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese
3 1/4-inch thick slices of white cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese
1 nori sheet, for decoration
1 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds, optional
1. Slice tops off bell peppers, and scoop out seeds & veins. Chop tops & set aside to add to cooked pasta, if desired.
2. Cook spaghetti in a large pot according to package directions. Drain & reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Rinse spaghetti & drain again.
3. Place peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar and agave nectar in large bowl. Whisk in reserved 1/2 pasta water until smooth. Stir in spaghetti until coated with sauce. Fold in cucumber, tomatoes, green onions & pepper flakes (add chopped bell pepper if desired).
4. Cut 6 mouth shapes from 1/2-inch thick cheese slices with a small knife. Cut 12 small dots (for eyes) from 1/4-inch thick cheese slices with a plastic straw.
5. Adhere mouths & eyes to side of pepper bowls with dabs of peanut butter. Cut nori into pupils & eyebrows and adhere with peanut butter. Fill each pepper with spaghetti mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
There are many fun things to do with squash. If your kids don’t like bell peppers, try using a roasted acorn squash as a bowl to hold the pasta from the recipe above. Try filling squash bowls with soup & then roasting for 60 – 90 minutes for a nice warm treat on a crisp & cool fall day. I can’t get enough squash. One of my favorite dishes I made last fall was this creamy pumpkin brown rice stuffed into an acorn squash. I may try subbing kasha (buckwheat groats), millet or quinoa for the brown rice next time.
Have you ever tried a HoneyCrisp apple? If not, you are truly missing out. I love the eat them plain. I love to chop them up and toss with cinnamon and then microwave until soft and pour on top of my waffles or ice cream. This year I want to make baked stuffed apples with the HoneyCrisp – I can only imagine that would be divine!
Last, but not least, warm drinks for cool days. Hot apple cider is always a hit. I found a fun new wine called Witches Brew last week while grocery shopping. I emailed the company to verify the gluten-free status and was thrilled when it was confirmed.
It is our secret wine blend enhanced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other natural spices that makes this a crowd pleaser and favorite of Leelanau Cellars’ fans. Perfect for entertaining, this wine will explode with intense flavor when served warm but can also be served chilled as an ingredient in sangria. Witches Brew is perfect for campfires, tailgating, or any gathering (large or small) on a chilly evening.
I was told to gently warm the wine in a crockpot & serve or to warm in the microwave, but be careful to make sure that it does not boil. This wine was a wonderful fall treat! Talk about perfect for chilly days! The price is right, too, at $5.99/bottle. I was able to find this wine in our Meijer grocery stores.
So, on this extremely warm first day of fall, enjoy brainstorming about what wonderful fall treats you will make this year. I had intended to sit back with a glass of Witches Brew, but I think that an ice cold Redbridge may have to suffice. Perhaps October will have some more appropriate fall weather.