Eating By the Season: Fall

FallJessica

During the summer, we shared some of our favorite fruit and vegetables of the season along with ways to enjoy them cooked or raw. Now that fall is here, the produce offerings are a little different, and that means your salad fixings, side dishes, and mid-afternoon snacks are going to change too. You may still see some of those summer favorites in the fresh produce aisle, but you’ll likely pay a lot for them and they won’t be as flavorful as they were a few months ago – a result of being shipped long distances and picked before their prime. And while most fruit and vegetables are available all year round in the canned goods aisle and the freezer section, there are lots of benefits of eating fresh produce, one of which is keeping farmers in business. To help you get a handle on produce that will take you from fall into winter and how to prepare it, here are five favorites of the season.

Apples:

  • Perfect on their own or with a handful of raw nuts or a spread of nut butter
  • Braise with red cabbage and cider vinegar
  • Bake with cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup for a warming dessert

Butternut Squash:

  • Cube, roast and add to a salad (goes great with kale) or serve as a side dish
  • Bake and puree into soup
  • Ravioli filling topped with sage butter sauce

Brussels Sprouts:

  • Roast with olive oil and drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar
  • Shaved Brussels sprout salad
  • Add to a veggie and bean chili

Grapes:

  • Add to a spinach salad with blue cheese and toasted pecans
  • Roast and toss with a whole grain like farro, barley, or wild rice
  • Make grape jam

Fennel:

  • Combine raw with baby spinach, orange slices, and avocado
  • Roast with carrots as a side to poultry or fish
  • Add to soups and stews

Find all of our Salad Swap recipes online or via our app: Salad Swap.

By Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN for Fresh Express

Advertisements

Cauliflower: Trendy & Versatile

caulipower

Cauliflower is HOT! Food trend predictions for 2014 included cauliflower as the new kale and those predictions became a reality. As consumers are following a more vegetarian-inclined diet, the versatility of vegetables has become more apparent. Cauliflower isn’t one of the most talked about vegetables, and the perception of it is rather bland. For one thing, it’s most commonly known in it’s white variety and when you repeatedly hear the recommendation to have a rainbow of fruits and vegetables in your diet, cauliflower probably isn’t the first veggie to cross your mind (although it does come in purple, orange, and green). Add to that the image of the soggy steamed trio of cauliflower, broccoli, and crinkle-cut carrots served in your school cafeteria as a kid, and you most likely wince when you even think about those cruciferous florets. Fortunately the not-so-appealing perception of cauliflower is being changed as chefs, food bloggers, and supermarkets are recognizing the versatility of this nutritious and delicious vegetable.

And versatility is what makes vegetables trendy! On the simpler side, toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes and you have a mouth-watering side dish. You may even want to call it cauliflower popcorn! Mash boiled cauliflower the way you would potatoes for a lower-calorie side to your turkey and gravy on Thanksgiving. Start to get more creative and take it to the next level when you cut a head of cauliflower into thick slices and broil or grill it to make cauliflower steak. Or grate this stellar veggie to make gluten-free pizza dough! And don’t forget about using cauliflower to make soup and the endless salad possibilities when you start with a base of Shredded Broccoli & Cauliflower – add some dried fruit, nuts, and a lightened up creamy dressing and you have a restaurant-quality appetizer. The possibilities are endless, so join the trend and eat some cauliflower before 2014 ends!

Fresh Express Shredded Broccoli and Cauliflower

Find out where you can purchase Shredded Broccoli and Cauliflower by using our Store Locator Tool.

By Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN for Fresh Express

Game Day Tailgating Tips

Tailgating Tips

Fall is here, and that means it’s time for apple picking, a hayride in the pumpkin patch, and Sunday Night Football. And nothing goes better with football than some good eats like foot-long subs, burgers, beer, and chips and dip. But before you set out the traditional tailgating fan-fare, check out the following tips to keep game time nutritious and delicious.

  • Warm up. Before you fill your plate, take a lap around the room to see what’s being offered. Studies have shown that the more variety you put on your plate, the more likely you are to overeat. So pick three or four items from different food groups and save room for a sweet treat.
  • Sub in better-for-you ingredients. Instead of the traditional plate of nachos or chips with French onion dip, serve fresh veggie sticks with hummus, guacamole or a low-fat Greek yogurt dip. And save hundreds of calories by making Salad Swaps in place of traditional tailgating dishes. For example, the Sante Fe Style Chili Salad is more than 300 calories less per serving than traditional beef chili, and the Italian Antipasto Salad will satisfy your craving for salty, savory meats and cheese for 220 calories – a 400+ calorie savings from an Italian sub sandwich.
  • Stay hydrated. It’s easy to fill up on caloric drinks like beer and soda, so choose your drinks wisely. Go for light beer, diet soda, or unsweetened iced tea to keep the calories in check. And remember to have plenty of water to wash down the salty party food.
  • Make the most out of halftime. Break away from the food and head outside for your own game of two-hand touch football or some halftime stretches. Remember, you want to balance those calories in with expending some calories, and what better way than to be active on a cool, crisp autumn day.

By Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN for Fresh Express

Learn more about the Fresh Express Salad Swap.