Delicious Comfort Dishes for Fall – But Hold the Cream Please!!

Fall has arrived!  It’s starting to cool down outside.  Aside from wrapping a scarf around my neck and pulling out my fall jacket, I find myself wanting some heavier but delicious comfort foods. A fresh green summer salad just doesn’t have the same appeal on a crisp cool day.  But it’s not grease that I’m wanting, not lots of fat, just hearty meals that won’t inhibit my runs or dial me too far back in my healthfulness.  Try these delicious recipes below!

I have to thank one of the K5 girls, my cousin Suja Maheswaran for this idea.  One thanksgiving she had prepared a delicious spaghetti squash baked dish.  Today I was craving it and found ingredients in my cupboard to mimic it but make it a little more healthier.

Spaghetti Squash and Mushroom Bake Casserole

I spaghetti squash

1 tbsp. of olive oil

1/2 onion diced

Container of fresh mushrooms

3 garlic cloves minced

One can of mushroom soup

1c of milk

Shredded cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsp of melted butter

1.  To prepare the spaghetti squash, cut it in half and gut the seeds with a spoon (like a pumpkin).  Place them on a baking pan with this cut side up.  Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on both halves, sprinkle some pepper on them and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 40 minutes

1b.  After spaghetti squash has cooked, in a casserole dish, and using a fork, comb the spaghetti out of the shell into the casserole dish and spread evenly once complete.

2.  In a frying pan, heat tablespoon of oil, add the diced onions and minced garlic and let soften.  Add the mushrooms and sauté.

3.  In a separate bowl add mushroom soup, milk and melted butter and stir to get an even consistency.  Add the wet mix to the frying pan.

4.  Pour the mushroom mix over the spaghetti squash, using spoon mix all together.  Sprinkle fresh ground pepper on top, cover lightly with cheese then bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees

I bet shredded chicken in the casserole, or shake and bake chicken would go great with this dish!

Chicken Chili

Unfortunately this second recipe comes from a torn magazine page that I’ve had for years.  It’s a classic recipe that never fails.  Leftover portions can be freezed in single servings for quick meal options.  This is delicious and healthy!

3 tbsp olive oil

1 package of lean ground chicken

1 onion finely chopped

3 garlic cloves minced

1 small eggplant

1 med zucchini

2 carrots chopped

1 can of stems and pieces mushrooms

¼ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes

1 can of kidney beans rinsed and drained

26oz can of chopped tomatoes with juice

2tsp salt

1tsp dried oregano

1 box of low salt chicken stock

Fresh ground pepper

Hot sauce and shredded cheese (optional)

1.  Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the ground chicken until cooked through and put aside

2.  In a large deep pot, add a little more oil and sauté the onions and garlic until soft

3.  Add the chopped zucchini, eggplant, drained mushrooms, carrots and red pepper flakes.  Add some chicken stock so the veggies don’t burn.  Cook on medium heat (add more chicken stock if preferred) for 20 minutes until vegetables soften

4.  Add beans, tomatoes (with juice), salt, cumin, oregano and ground cooked chicken.  Add enough stock to submerge everything under the liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil.  Once it begins to boil, lightly cover and reduce the heat to medium and let cook for another 15-20 minutes, stirring every so often.

5.  I like serving bowls of chili with a bit of hot sauce and topped with some shredded cheese

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