Fall is in the air, which means football and fun holiday season preparation. Before you know it, those family gatherings will be here. Whether it’s tailgating snacks or dinner family favorites, there’s always a way to make your meal choice a hearty and healthy one that will make everyone happy. Savor the season and enjoy all your favorite fall flavors while maintaining a nutritious and balanced lifestyle. From a low-carb cauliflower stuffing to soul-satisfying apple cider glazed chicken, these fit finds will be the stars of your celebration.
Apple Cider Glazed Chicken
A cup of hot apple cider and a warm fire is all you need for the perfect fall night. This apple cider glazed chicken is a healthy take on a beloved fall classic.
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 apples, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed
2/3 cups apple cider
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon butter
3 rosemary sprigs, for skillet
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a medium bowl, add sweet potato, apples and chopped rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss until combined.
- In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, warm remaining olive oil. Add chicken and sear, skin side down, until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove chicken from the heat while you make the glaze.
- To the same skillet, add apple cider, honey and grainy mustard. Bring mixture to a rapid simmer and cook until mixture has reduced slightly then whisk in the butter. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up, and scatter the sweet potato mixture and rosemary sprigs around the chicken. Turn off the heat and transfer the entire skillet to the oven.
- Bake until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked completely, approximately 20 minutes. (If the potatoes need longer to cook, transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest and continue cooking the potatoes until tender.)
- Serve the chicken and potatoes with pan drippings.
This recipe serves 6 people and takes 35 minutes from fridge to table.
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Boats
Veggie lovers unite! What’s better than enjoying a steaming hot pizza while watching some fall football? Eating a healthy and guilt-free pizza while watching football! These spaghetti squash pizza boats will be your new tailgate go-to.
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 to 2 cups vegetables (see below)
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
1 medium spaghetti squash (6 to 8 inches long)
Crushed red pepper flakes for topping, if desired
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
1/8 teaspoon salt, extra if desired
10 slices of pepperoni
Fresh basil for topping, if desired
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Slice the spaghetti squash in half vertically, and scoop out the seeds.
- If you're having trouble cutting the squash, put each squash in the microwave to soften. Pierce the squash a few times with a knife, (to help vent so it doesn't burst) and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Smaller squash will need approximately 3 minutes while larger ones will be good after 4 minutes.
- Next, grab a lipped baking sheet or a baking dish. Rub the cut side of the squash with olive oil and place on your baking sheet or dish. Roast face-down for approximately 35 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your squash. Larger squash will need to roast longer to tenderize. Once ready, the exterior of the squash will be visibly softened with a tender interior.
- While the squash roasts, chop the veggies and prepare the toppings and sauce.
- Heat a pan or skillet to medium-high heat, and sauté your veggies in a drizzle of olive oil, adding garlic toward the end to prevent burning. Once softened, pat dry with a paper towel and season with Italian seasoning blend, salt and pepper. (Use raw veggies in your squash if you prefer the crunch, but you can also lightly sauté them.)
- When the squash is done roasting, allow it to cool until easily handled or use an oven mitt. Separate and fluff the strands of spaghetti squash with a fork.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of sauce, 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and several servings of vegetables to each squash boat.
- Top with remaining vegetables and toppings, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and finish with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a kick.
- Place squash back on your baking sheet or dish, and broil on high heat until hot and bubbly, approximately 4 minutes.
Pro Tip: To make this dish vegan or vegetarian, simply skip the pepperoni or opt for a vegan variety. There are a few good ones made with tempeh or tofu. If needed, replace the cheese with your favorite dairy-free shreds.
This recipe makes 2 pizza boats and takes 40 minutes to make.
Cauliflower Rice Stuffing
Go low-carb this year at your Thanksgiving feast with this cauliflower rice stuffing recipe (plus more wholesome sides from The Healthy Maven). Quick, easy and, most importantly, healthy AND delicious, this dish will be the talk of the table.
2 medium heads of cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 stalks of celery, sliced thinly
3 cups of mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until it has a rice-like consistency.
- Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add onions, garlic and celery, and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Mix in cauliflower, and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until fully cooked.
- Add mushrooms and continue cooking until they’ve begun to sweat (approximately another 5 minutes).
- Top with pecans, spices and vinegar and cook for 1 minute.
- Serve warm or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
This recipe serves 8 people and takes 30 minutes total.
Try these health-conscious dishes this year, and you never know, they might just become one of your new seasonal staples.
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