7 Fall Recipes to Try

 

Germany has decided that there’s no need to transition from summer to fall slowly. We woke up one morning and Mother Nature just decided to be fall. No warning. No transition from the 90 degree weather to 75 degrees for a while. Nope, it went from 90 to 61 overnight. The air has been crisp, the mornings have been chilly and all I want to do is stay home, snuggled under a blanket, reading a book or watching TV, which is what I did all weekend.

I also spent a lot of this weekend on Pinterest (do you follow me?) searching for some new fall dinner recipes. I’ve been in a cooking rut lately and with the change in the seasons, it’s time to up my game. I want all the hearty meals, like macaroni and cheese, meatballs, mashed potatoes and lasagna. Basically, I want anything warm and not good for me.

Luckily, I found some great recipes to make this fall. I thought I’d share a roundup of the top 7 that are on my list. I’d love to know what are some of your favorite fall recipes or go-to websites when you want to make something delicious.

Cheesy Taco Pasta, Dinner Then Dessert 

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In our house, taco Tuesday happens every single week. And sometimes taco Sunday. And taco Friday. We love tacos. The Mexican restaurants in our area are not up to par, so we’ve really started to make more Mexican at home. This recipe from Dinner Then Dessert (don’t you love that blog name?!) looks like an amazing twist on taco night.

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls, Cooking Classy 

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The start of September makes me crave everything pumpkin. Except for pumpkin spice lattes, sorry, I don’t get the hype and it hurts the roof of my mouth for some reason. But these pumpkin dinner rolls from Cooking Classy look absolutely divine. They seem like a lot of work but worth it in the end. Maybe for this year’s Friendsgiving?

Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo, Chef Savvy

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How good does this look?! I love fettuccine, especially how creamy it is. This version from Chef Savvy seems to call for the similar ingredients as the fattier version but uses milk and chicken broth instead of cream. I’d love to give this a try and see how it compares.

Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups, The Kitchn 

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Is there anything more hearty than lasagna? My mom makes the most amazing lasagna every year for Christmas, two in fact. Nothing comes close to a lasagna your Italian mom makes, but I really want to give this version a try. It’s a spinach roll-up version from The Kitchn that looks quite delicious. But shhh, don’t tell Vinn there’s spinach in there!

Broccoli and Cheddar Twiced-Baked Potatoes, Baker by Nature

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Cheddar cheese always makes it on my grocery list, as we must have it always on hand for my Wisconsin-born husband. I think this recipe from Baker by Nature will be right up his alley. Look at that cheesy-goodness. My stomach is growling just looking at this picture!

Oktoberfest Sheet Pan Brats with Roasted Veggies, Grab a Plate

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Brats are a staple in the German diet and my office cafeteria serves a brat three times a week. With Oktoberfest coming, this brat recipe with veggies from Grab a Plate is a great way to have some German food at home.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells, Tastes Better From Scratch

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Clearly I am on a pasta kick. I never really cook with shells, though. I’m not sure why but for some reason I gravitate towards spaghetti or penne noodles. When I found this chicken and broccoli alfredo stuffed shell recipe from Tastes Better from Scratch, I knew I wanted to buy some shells on my next trip to the grocery store! Hey, at least it has broccoli in it!

Well, that will do it, 7 fall recipes I want to try. I think I will be spending some time at the gym and eating salads for lunch to combat these recipes, but hey, you only live once!

What are your favorite fall recipes? Where do you go for recipe inspiration?

7 Delicious Recipes to Try This Fall

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Why I Went Gluten-Free

 

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about anything other than travel, which is amazing and means that I’ve been seeing a lot of amazing places. That’s very true, actually. It’s been two weeks since our trip to Croatia and I am finally feeling back into the groove and routine, like a normal, working person again.

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Part of my routine is attempting to eat rather healthily. I definitely love pasta, pizza, and gelato, hello. And I won’t turn down a glass of wine and am obsessed with chocolate. But, I do like to live a  “balanced” life and like to work out and eat an apple more than I eat Reese’s Cups.

Over the past few months, I’ve started to notice changes in my body when it comes to digesting gluten. In fact, during our trip to Reims, France, I ate gluten for every. single. meal for the majority of our weekend there. Like I had a croissant for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and then pasta for dinner.While it was absolutely delicious, it was not at all nutritious and I woke up the day after with the worst stomach ache and cramps ever. I even had to leave lunch once because I was in so much pain and in need of a bathroom.

I started doing a lot of research about gluten and how it can affect your mood, gut and overall health and I found that there is absolutely a connection between the way I was feeling and what I was eating, go figure! I should also point out that I recently found out that my thyroid is under active and that gluten is the worst thing you can eat when it comes to thyroid health. I read this article and it pretty much scared me from eating a gluten-based diet.

In case you aren’t sure, gluten is the general name for proteins found in wheat and serves as the glue that helps food maintain their shape, according to the Celiac Foundation. Gluten is also found in barley, which is a big ingredient in beer. So long steins, hello, wine glass! < — the easiest part about going gluten-free! Gluten is found in pasta, pastries, processed foods, bread, pancakes, granola bars, flour tortillas and candy to name a few. I put a note in my phone with the list so I can easily access if what I’m about to eat has gluten in it.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been eating much less gluten, pretty much going completely gluten-free. I read somewhere that you can’t be sorta gluten-free, it’s like being sorta pregnant. I haven’t taken this philosophy to heart, exactly, but I have drastically decreased my gluten intake and started to sub gluten-free products when I would normally eat white or wheat grains.

Not so shockingly, I feel so much better. Since I started doing this, I haven’t had any sort of stomach aches or cramps and I do not feel deprived or unsatisfied. The main reason I did this was for my health and so I could enjoy my days and not spend them bloated and uncomfortable.

What do I eat? Well, that’s a very good question. I’ve started cooking with Barilla gluten-free pasta, which is husband approved (says a lot about the taste!) and eating whole foods. A typical day is: Greek yogurt for breakfast, salad or rice with veggies for lunch, a Granny Smith apple with Gruyere cheese as a snack, and then a gluten-free pasta with chicken or taco salad for dinner. Thanks to Pinterest, there are lots of recipes and resources available online so I can quickly throw something together that is sans-gluten. I also love red lentil pasta and have found some decent gluten-free bread at the grocery store.

Over the course of the next few months, I want to really do some experimenting with some new recipes and staying on the healthy track. I’m eyeing this cookbook for help and have started a new work out routine, as well.

So far, I have noticed that my stomach doesn’t get as bloated after a meal as it used to, I get fewer headaches and stomach aches and I am more conscious of the food I am eating. Gluten can hide in some salad dressings and condiments, so I am reading a lot more labels, too. I’m determined to make this year my healthiest year and I feel like I’ve taken one giant step towards this goal. If you’re interested in follow-ups on my gluten-free journey or even some of my favorite recipes, please leave a comment below!

Why I Went Gluten Free

What do you do to feel your best? Where do you find cooking inspiration? 

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My Favorite Wines

Over the weekend, Vinn and I went to our city’s wine festival. In German, it’s called Weinlaube, which literally translates to Wine Pergola. We walked around, drank some delicious rose and white wine and tried to teach Copley not to bark at children. It was super fun!

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Pic from Instagram @jmwhoward!

Walking around the little wine festival really got me thinking about my favorite wines. I will exclude my ultimate favorite, prosecco/champagne, from the mix because that just wouldn’t be fair.

Anything Tuscan 

In 2012, my family and I spent two weeks exploring Europe, including the Tuscan region of Italy. We went on an all-day wine tour in the Chianti region, where we sipped on Chianti Classicos, Super Tuscans and several reserve labels. It was divine. I also love a Montepuciano di Abruzzo, which we can fin aplenty here in Germany. There’s something about the deep red color and the bold flavors that just make my soul sing. And, let’s face it, anything from Tuscany is absolutely delicious.

Malbec

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Along with the bold red theme, Malbec is another personal favorite. It’s the perfect combination of dry and sweet. Vinn loves this, as well, and I can remember very clearly drinking this the night the new Pope, who is from Argentina, gave his first speech. The Alamos brand is actually my favorite, too.

Rose 

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There is nothing better than a glass of crisp, semi-dry rose on a hot summer day. And if you add bubbles to it, I’m in heaven!

Duckhorn Vineyards 

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My parents visited this vineyard on one of their trips to Napa and they gave us a bottle once. The cabernet sauvignon is absolutely delicious. To me, it’s quite smooth for a drier kind of wine. It pairs perfectly with a filet mignon and mashed potatoes. Ooh, that sounds delicious!

Pinot Grigio 

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Like rose, something about a hot day makes me want a nice, cold glass of pinot grigio. Although, unlike Ramona Singer, I don’t need Pinot Grigio at all times. It’s certainly not a drink I order often, but dining al fresco with a nice sunset and some fish, sheer perfection!

Obviously, I favor red wines, but I’m willing to try anything once. And one of my favorite activities on vacation is to go wine tasting.

What are your favorite wines?

A Day of Healthy Eats

I try really hard to eat healthy…most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate, pasta, wine and more pasta, but I try to limit those so I can really enjoy them.

Disclaimer: I am not a dietician, nutritionist, personal trainer, anything. This is just what I ate one day. 

On Sunday, I decided to eat as healthy as possible because we have a bunch of events coming up and I want to look my best. I’ve been feeling really great lately and want to keep the healthy train plugging along. So, without further ado, here are my healthy eats over the weekend.

HealthyEats

Breakfast 

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A personal favorite of mine: an apple with Jif creamy peanut butter. I think I eat this every single day. I had this with some fruit juice and coffee. Coffee is a must in the morning. Am I right?

Workout

Oh man. I was definitely in the mood for a tough workout. I did 30 minute intervals on the elliptical and then a TRX workout, with a side of Pilates. Man, t was really hard! But it felt great.

Post-Workout Snack

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After I was done with my workout, I needed some fuel! I made a smoothie with raspberries, chocolate protein powder and soy milk. Oh man, it was delicious.

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Yes, I took this picture on the floor. I had to cut out Copley getting a nice sniff.

I also had a few crackers while I made dinner.

Dinner 

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This dinner was amazing and it came together really quickly. I had roasted broccoli, chicken and quinoa, with a side of rose cava. I had two helpings of broccoli. And that cava was pretty darn amazing. It’s a great summer drink because it’s light, refreshing and the perfect amount of bubbles.

Dessert

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No day is complete without a little bit of chocolate. And this night I had (probably too many) pieces of peppermint dark chocolate. I ate so much that my stomach hurt. Oops.

Overall, I’d give myself a B+ in terms of health. I could have had more fruits and veggies, of course, and probably a few less pieces of chocolate. But, overall, I thought this day was great. This is an example of a pretty typical day for me. I’m always trying to better myself, find new recipes and challenge myself in the kitchen.

What do you normally eat in a day? Any go-to healthy recipes?

 

A Day in Eats

Hi ya’ll. Happy Thursday. I wish it was Friday because I’m so ready to spend a nice, long weekend with my family at a lake house in Atlanta.

But, first, I thought I’d share what a “normal” day of eats looks like for me. I’ve seen some similar posts on Tina’s blog and I really enjoy reading post like these.

I’ve been trying to eat super healthily the past month and I can honestly say that I notice a difference in my mood based on what I’m eating and in how I feel. I have been trying to limit my carbs and sugar – I even stopped putting sugar in my coffee. That was a really hard habit to break, but I’m pleased that I was able to do it. I do still put a little bit of milk in there, though!

Here’s what I ate on Monday:

Workout: 2 mile run on the treadmill and a Tone It Up work out.

Breakfast

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I made scrambled eggs with Laughing Cow swiss cheese, orange juice and some coffee (not pictured). Included for your viewing pleasure, a Copley photo bomb.

Morning Snack

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I made some date balls and I could inhale 37 of these in one sitting. To make, I just take un-pitted dates and about 1/2 cup of sweetened, shredded coconut into a food processor. Once it’s all chopped together, I make ball shapes. They are delicious and so easy to make. They make for the perfect grab and go snack. I ate two of these around 10:30.

Lunch

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Lunch was eaten at my desk and it was a leftover salad from pizza on Sunday. It had romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, turkey and ham with Ranch dressing.

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And a side of Starbucks. Actually….this was supposed to be a tall skinny vanilla latte…well, I got back to my desk to enjoy my afternoon treat, and it was a chai tea latte. I tried to drink it, but i just couldn’t! Note to self, always read the label when going through the drive thru.

Afternoon Snack

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Nut thins and more cheese! Also, 2 fun size pieces of 3 Musketeers (not pictured).

Afternoon Snack 2

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When I got home, I was starving! So I munched on some grapes, everything pretzel crisps and some pre-made spinach dip from the grocery store. It was so delicious. I put the dip into a mini ramekan because otherwise I would have eaten the entire container. This was the perfect size for me!

Dinner

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Yummy!! I had zucchini noodles, chicken, mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. It was delicious. I wish I had gotten the “noodles” a little warm before I ate them. I think that would have made them taste better. But the rose made up for it!!

Well, there you have it! Clearly, I love cheese! I consider this a pretty normal day and fairly healthy. I could definitely stand to eat more fruits and veggies, but who can’t. It’s on my to-do list!

What do you normally eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks?