It's been a beautiful fall here on the East Coast. The color of the leaves are dramatic and full of visual depth. The fall flavors match these colors and while the weather changes, these warm flavors are the perfect accompaniment. Enjoy these recipes as fall meals, Thanksgiving dishes, or just add them to your regular repertoire.

Warm Butternut Squash Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Pistachios

Photo by attheimmugrantstable.com

Serves 4

I love this colorful warm and seasonal salad. It’s packed with hearty vegetables and is so delicious on a crisp fall day. This is a great weeknight side dish or even a light main dish if you add roasted or grilled chicken or fish. I also serve it on Friday nights freshly prepared.

  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 purple onions, chopped in chunks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios
  • Parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

On a lined baking sheet place butternut squash and purple onion. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with spices. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until lightly golden brown. When ready to serve, place arugula in a bowl or on a platter, top with squash and onions and top with pomegranate seeds and pistachios. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Brussel Sprout Pastrami Hash

Photo by oldfarmersalmanac.com

Serves 4

Brussel sprouts are in season in the fall but available all year round. I buy them frozen because they are easier to check for bugs. You can use facon or turkey bacon in this recipe. I make this on thanksgiving, it’s festive, seasonal and a classic combination.

  • 1 bag frozen brussel sprouts, cut in half, thawed
  • 1 package pastrami cut in chunks (or Facon or turkey bacon)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat oil. Once oil is hot sauté brussel sprouts until they begin to char. Add pastrami and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, garlic and maple syrup. Cook for about 2 more minutes. Serve warm with pan drippings.

Slow Cooked Beef Stew (Crock Pot or Overnight Oven Friendly)

Photo by cookingformysoul.com

Serves 6

This is a new weekday favorite recipe in our family. It is so easy to prepare and is placed in the oven for most of the day. Sometimes I put it in late at night and I wake up in the morning and the whole house smells delicious. I serve it over rice.

  • 2-½ pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 12 ounces baby carrots
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 turnips, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 4 small onions, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 ½ cups seasoned tomato juice or bloody mary mix
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 ½ tablespoons tapioca

Preheat the oven to 275°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine beef with carrots, potatoes, turnips, and onions. Add garlic, celery seeds, thyme, salt and pepper and mix well.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato juice, wine, mustard, brown sugar and tapioca, making sure to dissolve the sugar and tapioca. Add this mixture to the meat and vegetables. Stir well to blend.

Transfer everything to a Dutch oven or an oven safe dish. Cover and cook for 5 - 6 hours undisturbed (don’t open the cover). This can be done in a slow cooker too.

Wild Rice with Roasted Grapes, Pecans and Sage

Serves 4

Nice hearty side dish with both crunch and a hint of sweetness to offset the earthy flavors of wild rice. It’s both sweet and savory and a great accompaniment to roasted chicken dishes and turkey.

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups seedless grapes, preferably a mix of colors
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze or vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan. Add the rice and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, turn the heat down to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the grains are tender but not split open, 45 to 55 minutes. Drain excess liquid in a colander.

Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

In an 8×8-inch baking dish, toss the grapes with the balsamic glaze/vinegar and spread in a single layer. Roast until soft but still hold their shape, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oil in the saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pecans and maple syrup and cook until the syrup is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the sage. Add the rice, grapes, lemon juice, and pepper; stir gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and serve garnish with remaining sage.

Bourbon Pecan Pie

Recipe and image adapted from gourmetkoshercooking.com

Serves 10

Yes, this pie has a slightly drunken flavor but it's not overwhelming and adds a richness and delicious taste to an already scrumptious pie. It’s a great alternative to traditional pecan pie.

Dough

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold margarine/butter, cut into small cubes and chilled

Filling

  • 5 ounces sugar
  • 2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 8.5 ounces dark corn syrup
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) margarine/butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • ⅓ cup of chocolate chips, melted and cooled to room temperature (but not hardened)
  • 1 cup pecans

Egg wash

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Splash of soymilk

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the pie dough:

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and mix. Add the margarine/butter cubes and process until the largest pieces are the size of peas and the smallest are the size of a grain of rice (or use a pastry cutter). Transfer to a bowl and slowly pour in 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water, a few drops at a time, mixing vigorously with your hands in between pours; the margarine/butter and flour mixture should just come together.

Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape into discs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let rest, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour. Roll one piece of dough into a circle just larger than the pie pan you will be using. Fit the dough into the pan, fold the edges under and crimp as you like. Put this pastry shell in the freezer while you make the pie filling.

For the filling:

Whisk together the sugar and whole eggs and yolks in a medium bowl until fully incorporated. Add the dark corn syrup, melted margarine/butter and bourbon and mix to combine. (The mixture should be completely smooth. The margarine/butter will rise to the top rather rapidly if you let the mixture sit, but you can whisk it back together in a few seconds.) Brush the frozen pastry shell with the melted chocolate using a pastry brush, spreading it evenly over the bottom and sides. Scatter the pecans over the bottom of the pastry shell and pour the sugar and egg mixture over the pecans.

For the egg wash: Mix the beaten egg with a splash of soy milk. Brush the sides of the pastry crust with the egg wash. Bake until the filling has puffed up and cracked and the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes. All home ovens are different, so if the pecans start to burn, turn the oven down to 325°F to finish baking, or tent some aluminum foil over the pie to prevent more unwanted darkening. You also may need to rotate the pie mid-bake, if one side is browning more rapidly than the other. Let cool for at least 2 hours before eating.

It's been a beautiful fall here on the East Coast. The color of the leaves are dramatic and full of visual depth. The fall flavors match these colors and while the weather changes, these warm flavors are the perfect accompaniment. Enjoy these recipes as fall meals, Thanksgiving dishes, or just add them to your regular repertoire.

Warm Butternut Squash Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Pistachios

Photo by attheimmugrantstable.com

Serves 4

I love this colorful warm and seasonal salad. It’s packed with hearty vegetables and is so delicious on a crisp fall day. This is a great weeknight side dish or even a light main dish if you add roasted or grilled chicken or fish. I also serve it on Friday nights freshly prepared.

  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 purple onions, chopped in chunks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios
  • Parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

On a lined baking sheet place butternut squash and purple onion. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with spices. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until lightly golden brown. When ready to serve, place arugula in a bowl or on a platter, top with squash and onions and top with pomegranate seeds and pistachios. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Brussel Sprout Pastrami Hash

Photo by oldfarmersalmanac.com

Serves 4

Brussel sprouts are in season in the fall but available all year round. I buy them frozen because they are easier to check for bugs. You can use facon or turkey bacon in this recipe. I make this on thanksgiving, it’s festive, seasonal and a classic combination.

  • 1 bag frozen brussel sprouts, cut in half, thawed
  • 1 package pastrami cut in chunks (or Facon or turkey bacon)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat oil. Once oil is hot sauté brussel sprouts until they begin to char. Add pastrami and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, garlic and maple syrup. Cook for about 2 more minutes. Serve warm with pan drippings.

Slow Cooked Beef Stew (Crock Pot or Overnight Oven Friendly)

Photo by cookingformysoul.com

Serves 6

This is a new weekday favorite recipe in our family. It is so easy to prepare and is placed in the oven for most of the day. Sometimes I put it in late at night and I wake up in the morning and the whole house smells delicious. I serve it over rice.

  • 2-½ pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 12 ounces baby carrots
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 turnips, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 4 small onions, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 ½ cups seasoned tomato juice or bloody mary mix
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 ½ tablespoons tapioca

Preheat the oven to 275°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine beef with carrots, potatoes, turnips, and onions. Add garlic, celery seeds, thyme, salt and pepper and mix well.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato juice, wine, mustard, brown sugar and tapioca, making sure to dissolve the sugar and tapioca. Add this mixture to the meat and vegetables. Stir well to blend.

Transfer everything to a Dutch oven or an oven safe dish. Cover and cook for 5 - 6 hours undisturbed (don’t open the cover). This can be done in a slow cooker too.

Wild Rice with Roasted Grapes, Pecans and Sage

Serves 4

Nice hearty side dish with both crunch and a hint of sweetness to offset the earthy flavors of wild rice. It’s both sweet and savory and a great accompaniment to roasted chicken dishes and turkey.

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups seedless grapes, preferably a mix of colors
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze or vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan. Add the rice and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, turn the heat down to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the grains are tender but not split open, 45 to 55 minutes. Drain excess liquid in a colander.

Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

In an 8×8-inch baking dish, toss the grapes with the balsamic glaze/vinegar and spread in a single layer. Roast until soft but still hold their shape, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oil in the saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pecans and maple syrup and cook until the syrup is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the sage. Add the rice, grapes, lemon juice, and pepper; stir gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and serve garnish with remaining sage.

Bourbon Pecan Pie

Recipe and image adapted from gourmetkoshercooking.com

Serves 10

Yes, this pie has a slightly drunken flavor but it's not overwhelming and adds a richness and delicious taste to an already scrumptious pie. It’s a great alternative to traditional pecan pie.

Dough

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold margarine/butter, cut into small cubes and chilled

Filling

  • 5 ounces sugar
  • 2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 8.5 ounces dark corn syrup
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) margarine/butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • ⅓ cup of chocolate chips, melted and cooled to room temperature (but not hardened)
  • 1 cup pecans

Egg wash

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Splash of soymilk

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the pie dough:

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and mix. Add the margarine/butter cubes and process until the largest pieces are the size of peas and the smallest are the size of a grain of rice (or use a pastry cutter). Transfer to a bowl and slowly pour in 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water, a few drops at a time, mixing vigorously with your hands in between pours; the margarine/butter and flour mixture should just come together.

Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape into discs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let rest, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour. Roll one piece of dough into a circle just larger than the pie pan you will be using. Fit the dough into the pan, fold the edges under and crimp as you like. Put this pastry shell in the freezer while you make the pie filling.

For the filling:

Whisk together the sugar and whole eggs and yolks in a medium bowl until fully incorporated. Add the dark corn syrup, melted margarine/butter and bourbon and mix to combine. (The mixture should be completely smooth. The margarine/butter will rise to the top rather rapidly if you let the mixture sit, but you can whisk it back together in a few seconds.) Brush the frozen pastry shell with the melted chocolate using a pastry brush, spreading it evenly over the bottom and sides. Scatter the pecans over the bottom of the pastry shell and pour the sugar and egg mixture over the pecans.

For the egg wash: Mix the beaten egg with a splash of soy milk. Brush the sides of the pastry crust with the egg wash. Bake until the filling has puffed up and cracked and the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes. All home ovens are different, so if the pecans start to burn, turn the oven down to 325°F to finish baking, or tent some aluminum foil over the pie to prevent more unwanted darkening. You also may need to rotate the pie mid-bake, if one side is browning more rapidly than the other. Let cool for at least 2 hours before eating.