Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Perfectly-Satisfying Vegetarian Meals for Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Courtesy of Farima Alavi

Happy Thanksgiving Friends,

You don't have to resort to imitation turkey. If you're a vegetarian, Thanksgiving dinner may be a bit underwhelming. You can't exactly fill up on your aunt's cranberry dressing. So we've rounded up our favorite protein- and flavor-packed recipes for the vegetarians in your family. Our first receipe is Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash. This vegetarian side dish is a tasty addition to your Thanksgiving table. Fiber-rich and packed with vitamins, health-conscious guests will dig right in.

This is a great vegetarian option for holiday meals. It's packed with flavor and makes for a gorgeous presentation. Acorn squash is readily available in the cooler months, and so rich and healthy that it's a perfect addition to your holiday table.

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe
Compliments of Gaby Dalkin

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 scallions, sliced thinly on a bias
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded firm goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Slice the acorn squash in half, from the tip to the bottom. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the two pieces of squash on a baking sheet.
  3. Divide the butter in half and place each pat of butter in the center of the squash. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the baking dish to ensure that the bottom of the squash doesn't burn.
  5. Place the squash in the oven and let it roast for 60-70 minutes until the insides of the squash are fork tender.
  6. In a large skillet, add the olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Add the scallions and stir together. Remove the skillet from heat.
  7. Season the onion mixture with salt and pepper and add the cooked quinoa, shredded Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Toss together and adjust seasoning as needed.
  8. Place half of the quinoa mixture in each of the squash cavities. Sprinkle the shredded hard goat cheese on top.
  9. Place the squash back into the oven for about 5 minutes, just until the goat cheese slightly melts.
  10. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Mild and savory, this herbal stuffing pairs well with turkey, ham or even roast beef or pork; or serve this meat-free recipe alongside roasted portobello mushrooms, baked squash or lentils to vegetarian friends and family.

Thyme and Parsley Stuffing

Compliments of DK Books - Greener

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick butter, plus more as needed
  • 3 packed cups fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp. lemon thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sweat the onion gently in the butter in a saucepan on low to medium heat until soft.
  3. Mix the breadcrumbs, herbs and lemon zest in a bowl, then add the sweated onions. Season well and stir in enough milk to bind the mixture together.
  4. Place in an ovenproof dish, dot with a little extra butter and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch.
Warm up your fall guests with this creamy and oh so satisfying soup. Great as a first course or as a healthy, light meal when served with rustic bread and artisanal cheeses.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh-peeled ginger
  • 2 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh sage leaves, stems removed

Yield: Serves 12

Melt butter in a stockpot over medium heat. Sauté onion about 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and sauté for 30 seconds, then add butternut squash and curry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in 8 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until squash is tender.

Transfer half of soup to a blender and let cool down for a few minutes before blending so the heat doesn't get trapped and cause too much pressure in the blender. Purée soup, then stir in half of the juice and a teaspoon of salt. Repeat with remaining soup, then re-warm in stockpot if necessary.

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add as many sage leaves as will comfortably fit in one layer, fry for 10 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining sage leaves, then sprinkle them all with a pinch of salt.

Serve soup in bowls or a large tureen. Before serving, top with freshly ground pepper and fried sage leaves.

These bite-sized balls of smoked, cheesy, herby goodness are the perfect appetizer for a dinner party. Just be careful ? they’re so addictive that it’s impossible to eat just one or two (or three)!

Smoked Gouda and Herb Puffs

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 ounces smoked Gouda, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Place water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Once the mixture has come to a boil, add flour and quickly stir with a wooden spoon until a ball of dough forms, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer dough into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix over medium speed, allowing steam to escape.
  5. Once steam disappears, 2 to 4 minutes, begin adding eggs one by one, scraping down sides of bowl for even mixing.
  6. Remove mixture from the stand mixer and gently fold in remaining ingredients.
  7. Scoop heaping tablespoons of mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 1 inch apart, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Creamy Pumpkin Lasagna Rolls

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Photo By: Eddy Chen

Total: 1 hr 25 min
Active: 1 hr 5 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Easy

  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups milk, at room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 12 ounces bacon, diced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (1 small orange)
  • 12 lasagna noodles, such as De Cecco
  • 12 fried sage leaves (see Cook's Note)

Heat a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add the butter to melt. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Slowly add the milk, about 1 cup at a time, whisking between additions until smooth. Add the garlic and reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, the nutmeg and 2 teaspoons salt. Remove about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce to a bowl and set aside. Whisk in the pumpkin puree to the first batch of sauce and set aside to cool slightly.

Place the bacon in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Cook the bacon, stirring often, until golden brown and crispy, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bacon to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, then stir in the mozzarella, ricotta, the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, the red pepper flakes, orange zest and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Preheat the broiler to high. Place one oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and another in the top third.

Ladle 1 1/2 cups of the pumpkin sauce on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and reserve the remaining for a later use.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the pasta sheets according to the par-cook method of package instructions, about 4 minutes. Remove the pasta from the water using tongs and lay out on a baking sheet to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, start assembling the rolls. Working with a pasta sheet vertical to you, place a small amount of the ricotta mixture on the end of a pasta sheet closest to you. Using a small spoon, spread the mixture evenly about halfway down the noodle. Roll the pasta around the filling, finishing with the end farthest from you. Lay the roll in the prepared pan, seam-side down. Repeat for the remaining filling and pasta. You should end up with two rows of 6 rolls. Use the two sauces to make stripes on the pasta. Ladle one-third of the pumpkin sauce along the side of the pan covering about half of a row of rolls. Right next to it, ladle half of the white sauce, covering another half of a row of rolls. Repeat with the remaining pumpkin and white sauces, finishing with pumpkin (5 rows of sauce altogether).

Place the pan in the lower third of the oven and broil to warm through, 15 minutes. Move the pan to the top third of the oven and broil until the top begins to brown and the sauce is bubbling, 4 minutes. Garnish each roll with a fried sage leaf to serve.

Cook's Note
To fry sage leaves, fill a small saucepan set over medium-high heat with 1-inch of oil. When the oil is hot, add the sage leaves, 4 at a time, and fry, flipping often until the bubbles around the leaves subside, about 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with a pinch of salt.

Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

Recipe courtesy of Giada at Home

Total: 1 hr 40 min
Active: 1 hr 15 min
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

  • One 14.5-ounce can vegetable broth (about 2 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups whole-grain quinoa, preferably organic
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • One 1 1/4-pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large Honey Crisp or Golden Delicious apple, unpeeled,cored, quartered
  • 3/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted, or 1/3 cup roasted saltedsunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 large bunch watercress

For the vinaigrette: Toast the seeds over medium heat in a heavy medium skillet, stirring occasionally, until the seeds darken in color and become fragrant, 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. Place the seeds on a plate; cool for 1 minute. Grind the seeds finely in a small food mill or grinder.

Whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and the toasted seeds until thick and blended in a small bowl. Stir in the shallots. Set the vinaigrette aside.

For the salad: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat in a heavy medium saucepan. Mix in the quinoa. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa stand, covered, 5 to 10 minutes. Cool and fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, spray a large rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Toss the eggplant with 3 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper on the sheet. Roast until tender and browned, stirring once, about 30 minutes.

Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl; fluff with a fork. Add the vinaigrette, eggplant, apples, walnuts and cranberries. Toss to blend.

Cover the bottom of a shallow platter with the watercress. Spoon the salad on top and serve.

Pumpkin gets a shot at savory with this easy to make dish. This autumn dinner recipe pairs loads of freshness from the garden with pasta and cheese to create a surprisingly satisfying meal. The pumpkin adds body to the sauce and permeates the entire dish with fall flavor. Fresh mint and hazelnuts round out the dish with flavor and texture. This savory dish puts pumpkin to use as something other than pie. The fall flavors are enhanced with just a bit of heat.

Spicy Pumpkin Pasta

Compliments of Sam Henderson

The ingredients:
  • 1 medium pie pumpkin
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup hazelnuts
  • 12 ounces shell pasta or other small dried pasta
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint, cut or torn into small pieces
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste

The method:
Preheat oven to 425° degrees.

Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds. Remove the peel from the pumpkin and cut pumpkin flesh into small pieces about ½” thick. Place pumpkin on low rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add a sprinkling of coarse salt and toss. Spread pumpkin out evenly in single layer and roast for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and slightly tender.

While pumpkin is roasting, toast hazelnuts in a non-stick skillet until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Roughly chop hazelnuts.

Prepare pasta according to directions to an al dente state. Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 2 cups of roasted pumpkin. Saute for about 2 minutes or until pieces are browned. Add garlic and half of the pepper flakes. Continue cooking until garlic is lightly browned. Immediately add about ½ cup of the pasta water to prevent garlic from browning any further.

Reduce heat to low and begin adding butter gradually, swirl pan or stir gently to create a sauce. Add more pasta water as necessary. Add pasta to pumpkin mixture and toss gently to coat. Add lemon juice, remaining pepper flakes, half of the mint and Parmesan cheese. Stir gently to incorporate all of the ingredients. Add coarse salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the pasta hot topped with hazelnuts, remaining mint and more grated Parmesan (if desired).

This spicy, vegetarian carrot-ginger soup can be served hot or at room temperature. Spoon single servings into shot glasses for the perfect party-sized portion.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Compliments of Manvi Drona-Hidalgo

Serves 6 as an entree or 12 as an appetizer

  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 1-1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, for serving
  • Plain yogurt, for serving

Grind coriander and mustard seeds in spice mill or mortar and pestle to fine powder. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground seeds and curry powder; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ginger; cook for 1 minute more.

Add onions, carrots and lime zest. Season with salt and pepper and saute until onions begin to soften. Add 5-1/2 cups broth to pot bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.

Let cool slightly, then pour mix into blender. Holding down the lid of the blender with a dish towel, puree until smooth. Return soup to pot. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth if the soup is too thick. Stir in lime juice.

Serve immediately, or make one day ahead of your party and rewarm before serving.

To serve, ladle soup into shot glasses and garnish with a spoonful of yogurt and 2 mint leaves. Soup can also be served at room temperature.

Green Bean Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
Photo by Kana Okada Prop Stylist: Marina

Total: 1 hr 25 min
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 55 min
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 medium shallots, sliced into rings (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 pounds thin fresh string beans or haricots verts, trimmed
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 cups low-fat (1 percent) milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1/4 cup shallots and cook, stirring, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining shallots, cooking 1/4 cup at a time. Reserve the oil in the skillet.

Place the green beans in a steamer basket fitted over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam until bright green and still crisp, about 3 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved shallot oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushroom liquid is evaporated and they begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl. Whisk together the milk and flour until the flour is dissolved. Add the mixture to the skillet and, whisking constantly, bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the green beans, mushroom mixture, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, the parsley, nutmeg, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon the green bean mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle the top with the crispy shallots and the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake until golden on top and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Warm drop biscuits are a specialty. Serve them with holiday meals to soak up any extra gravy or dip in creamy mashed potatoes. The salty Parmesan and sharp Cheddar paired with the fresh chives are welcome additions to any holiday table. Fresh chives and both Cheddar and Parmesan cheese give these soft, flaky biscuits a savory bite your guests will love.

Parmesan Cheddar Chive Biscuits

Compliments of Gaby Dalkin

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled (plus more if needed)

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and black pepper and stir.
  4. Add the cubed butter into the dry ingredients and, using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles a crumbly texture.
  5. Add the cheddar, parmesan and chives and stir together.
  6. Add the buttermilk to the bowl and gently stir until the dough comes together. If the dough isn't coming together, add another tablespoon of buttermilk.
  7. Using your hands, tear off about 1/4 cup of dough at a time. Form it into drop biscuits and set it onto
  8. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until the tops of the biscuits are golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve while still warm.
Serve these tasty bites as a warm appetizer that both vegetarians and meat lovers will enjoy.

Tofu Edamame Falafel

Courtesy Lee Anne Wong, 2012 CookingChannelTV.com

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Easy


  • 1 teaspoon toasted coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • one 14-ounce block super-firm tofu, pressed and drained, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 cup roughly chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chiffonade
  • tofu tahini, recipe follows
  • pickled shallots, recipe follows
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and garlic into the bowl of a food processor. Blend on high speed until the spices and garlic are finely ground.

Add in the tofu, edamame, onions, parsley, cilantro, flour and soy sauce. Season generously with salt and pepper. Process until the mixture forms a rough paste.

Heat several inches of vegetable oil in a deep, wide pot to 375 degrees F.

Roll the falafel into 2-inch balls. Fry the balls in small batches until golden brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and lightly season with salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, honey and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the arugula and romaine lettuce. Season lightly with more salt and pepper.

Tofu Tahini:

  • 1 cup roasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, strained
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • one 14-ounce block soft tofu, such as House Foods
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the sesame seeds, yogurt, lemon juice, soy milk, lemon zest and tofu in a blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and add water if necessary for consistency. Keep refrigerated until needed. Can be served warm or cold.

In a small pot, combine the rice vinegar, 1 cup water, sugar, mustard seeds, chile, star anise and salt.

Bring to a boil over high heat, and then remove from the heat.

Pickled Shallots:

  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 dried red chile, crushed
  • 1 star anise
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup shallots, sliced thinly and separated into rings

Place the shallots in a deep bowl set over another bowl of ice. Pour the hot brine over the shallots and submerge the shallots, gently stirring with a spoon. Place a paper towel over the shallots to completely submerge them. Allow to cool to room temperature. Keep refrigerated in the brine until needed.

To Serve:
Divide the salad greens among four plates. Divide the falafel among the plates, placing on top of the salad. Spoon the Tofu Tahini over the falafel. Garnish with some Pickled Shallots and sesame seeds. Serve immediately. Can also be served in a pita bread as a sandwich, or on toothpicks as an hors d'oeuvre/appetizer.

A combination of three tasty cheeses; white Cheddar, gruyere and Swiss; make this mac 'n' cheese a creamy comfort food that's sure to please even the pickiest palate. What's better on a chilly fall day than comforting homemade creamy mac 'n' cheese with three different cheeses? The white Cheddar, gruyère and Swiss cheese mixture in this dish makes it a total crowd-pleaser.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Compliments of Gaby Dalkin

  • 5 cups 2 percent milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Spray a large casserole dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat.
  4. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Once the butter has melted and starts to slightly brown and bubble, add the flour and whisk until the flour is fully incorporated.
  5. Continue to whisk and add the hot milk slowly. Whisk for about 10 minutes until the milk and flour mixture has thickened.
  6. Remove from heat and add the salt, nutmeg, pepper, cayenne, white Cheddar, gruyère and Swiss cheeses. Stir to combine until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  7. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil.
  8. Cook the pasta 1 minute short according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and then rinse with cold water. Stir the pasta into the cheese mixture, then pour the pasta into the prepared casserole dish.
  9. Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs and bake for about 25-30 minutes until the edges just begin to brown. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving.
Roasted root vegetables are a hearty seasonal staple of many tables in the fall. Seasoned with olive oil, thyme and citrus, this fresh take is sure to become one of your family's favorite dishes.

Thyme-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

  • 8 parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise
  • 14 carrots, peeled, greens trimmed but not removed
  • 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Serves 8

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place parsnips and carrots in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, then toss with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle with honey and orange zest; toss gently.
  4. Bake until bottoms of vegetables begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
  5. Flip vegetables, return to oven, and bake until all sides are well browned, about 25 minutes more. Serve immediately.
Savory and flavorful, butternut squash tops the list of favorite fall side dishes. As a tasty twist, top this healthy comfort food with toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Roasted Butternut Squash With Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • 2 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cover two large baking sheets with foil or parchment paper, then divide squash evenly between pans. Divide the olive oil, maple syrup and fresh sage between the two pans, season squash with salt and pepper, and toss well. Distribute the squash evenly in one layer on each pan.

Roast squash for 20 minutes, then turn with metal spatula and rotate pans in oven. Roast for an additional 20 minutes until the squash is tender and beginning to turn golden-brown on the edges. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve.

Serves 8

We didn't forget our vegetarians and pescatarians this year - Bon Appétit...

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