Not-Recipe: Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts + Red Onions


“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” — L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

We’re off and running into the last week of October, unbelievably. I made this delightful snack last night, while the blazing sun dipped towards the horizon before the 7 o’clock hour. It’s been a brilliant autumn, and I’m thankful for weekends spent in community, around fires, sharing stories and laughter. I love butternut squash soup on the stove, chocolate-cinnamon torte in the oven and applesauce simmering in the crockpot, while one child runs around with a friend and the other peels off dirt-covered socks from another soccer game.

This isn’t a recipe as much as it’s a suggestion. Better than chips, for sure, and better for you.

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Easy Slow-Cooker Applesauce

Rose, Penelope - Darling - Autumn Recipe roundup - 4 apples in bowl.jpg

It’s in my crockpot right now, and in a few minutes your house could smell amazing, too. This is the easiest way to make applesauce, with just a few ingredients and some peeling and chopping while you sip on tea. I love cooking year-round, but particularly when rain taps at the house, skies are moody and candles are lit throughout the house.

Anyone, and I mean anyone, can make amazing applesauce with a slow-cooker. You can delegate this entirely to a fairly responsible kid, if you’d like.

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Brilliant Butternut Squash Soup with Apple-Nut-Chive Relish


Oh September, how I love you. It’s still bike to the beach weather, but a bowl of steaming soup on the deck afterwards sounds equally amazing. Though I look forward to summer each year, it’s the crisp days of early fall that really have my heart. There are stray leaves in crimson and gold that crunch underfoot when we go for a walk, but not so many yet that weekends are spent raking. As those of you who have been reading Kitchen Beet for awhile know, I’m smitten with soup season, and all food that makes our home smell inviting. I’ve made this soup countless times over the years, tweaking here and there to get to this healthy, delicious version.

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Farewell to Summer: Roasted Tomato-Corn-Kale Quinoa Salad with Shallot-Buttermilk Dressing


I picked up my first basket of Honeycrisp apples and butternut squash from the market earlier this week. They were looking less plentiful than weeks before, but tomatoes and corn were definitely still present. Before they turn in to a farmer’s market endangered species, this salad is a worthy farewell to what has been a memorable summer. I’ve already made tomato sauce, tomato-corn salsa and frozen fresh corn for winter months. I’m now in the moments of just enjoying this summer produce in our daily meals.

This recipe is adapted from Sara Forte’s excellent Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon. Occasionally you find a cookbook author whose tastes and flavor preferences align so closely with your own, it’s like the recipes were written just for you. I love Sara’s work, and her husband Hugh takes beautiful photographs of her creations. I’m admittedly envious, as I’d love to have someone follow me around in the kitchen and capture images of it all. As it stands, I call everyone for dinner, then pause and turn off the lamps so we only have natural light. “Wait just a minute! I need a few photos!”

I’ve changed several ingredient amounts, swapped a couple of ingredients, added shallots to the dressing and taken a slightly different approach for roasting the tomatoes. I’ve made this multiple times this summer, and it’s a crowd pleaser – the buttermilk dressing and feta have it feeling slightly indulgent, but quinoa and veggies leave you feeling good. It’s excellent next to a piece of wild-caught fish.
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Kale-Quinoa Greek Salad

TKB - Kale-Quinoa Salad

The older I get, the more certain things change. Specifically, the food I have packed for the day makes a huge difference in the way I feel by the end of it, the presence or absence of sunshine can have a remarkable effect on my disposition, and I place an increasing value on experience, versus material anything. I’m not exactly ready to move to a studio apartment with my family of four, but if I had to pick between a trip versus a new couch, the exploration will prevail almost every time.

I’m not sure if the shift in eating relating so directly to the way I feel is a result of getting older, or if I’m more aware, or if my body has just acclimated to getting nutritious food the majority of the time and revolts when fed crap. Maybe all three. After all, I fondly remember several years of high school in which nachos were pretty frequent in my lunch rotation. Those round, yellow chips and the “cheese” I’m not so sure was really such a thing somehow got me through track practice. At any rate, I’d really pay for such a food choice these days. I’m always trying to hit the sweet spot of delicious and nourishing. Bonus points for something that keeps a couple of days and packs well for lunch. This salad gets bonus points.

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