Autumn Recipes

One of the best ways to stay healthy is to buy only real-food ingredients that you can pronounce and prepare at home in your kitchen. The recipes below utilize garden-grown produce (wherever possible) and all-natural ingredients.


Epic Better Farm Breakfast Stack


One large potato

1/3 c. squash or carrot from the garden

1/4 onion, diced

4 slices of zucchini bread

4 farm-fresh eggs


  • Shred the potato, squash and carrot.
  • Mix with diced onion and scoop two patties into oiled skillet.
  • Flip after 3-5 minutes, cooking until both sides of patties are golden-brown.
  • Set potato pancakes aside.
  • Toast your bread. While in toaster, crack four eggs in an oiled pan over low heat.
  • Flip eggs after 1.5 minutes.
  • Wait 30 seconds and turn off heat.
  • On a plate, stack two pieces of toast, one potato pancake, and one two over-easy eggs.

Serves 2.

German Pancakes


Real Simple

preparation: 10 minutes

cooking: 25 minutes 


3 large eggs

1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2c. milk, preferably whole (or soy milk)

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp.vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (optional)

1/2 c. fruit jam (optional)

2 Tbsp. confectioners' sugar 


  • Heat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs to combine. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, salt, and vanilla and mix until incorporated; set aside.
  • Add the butter to a large cast-iron skillet and transfer to oven until the butter melts. Remove from oven and quickly pour the batter into the hot skillet. Return to oven and bake until the pancake is puffed and golden, about 15 minutes.
  • Drizzle the lemon juice (if using) over the pancake. Spread the jam (if using) evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar.

Serves 4


Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Butter

Pumpkin Gnocchi

From Mother Earth News


1 1/2 cups russet potatoes, peeled, then boiled until tender

1 cup pumpkin or squash purée (

Pumpkin Purée Recipe


1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 egg

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Few twists freshly ground pepper

1/2 to 1 tsp salt

1 1/2 to 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

About 12 fresh sage leaves, minced

Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste


In a large bowl, mash or rice the potatoes and allow them to cool. With a fork, gently mix in the remaining ingredients except flour, butter and sage. Add flour a little at a time until you have a smooth, sticky dough. Briefly knead the dough in the bowl just until the last bits of flour have been incorporated.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil while you divide the dough into 6 pieces. On a floured surface, roll each piece into a long rope, one-half inch in diameter. Cut the rope into half-inch pieces. Roll each piece of gnocchi down the back of the tines of a floured fork to make sauce-holding shallow grooves. Set the pumpkin gnocchi on a floured baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining dough. Immediately begin boiling small batches of gnocchi. They should rise to the surface after a couple of minutes. Once they rise, boil for 2 to 3 minutes more. Test a piece from the first batch to make sure it is cooked through and not gummy, and adjust cooking time accordingly. Remove the pieces with a slotted spoon and add them to a lightly buttered bowl. Keep covered.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet to medium-high and add the butter. Let it cook without stirring until the edges begin to brown. Stir in the sage and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the butter over the gnocchi and stir to coat. Ladle into bowls.

Serves 6 to 8.

Zucchini Meatballs


Circle B Kitchens

These little "meatballs" just explode with flavor.  They'd be perfect for a party appetizer if you chopped the zucchini a little smaller and then formed them into little bite-size morsels.  If you want a more "sauce-y tomato condiment, you can pulse the tomatoes a couple of times in the food processor to create more of a sauce.  I tried that and it was just wonderful. I also substituted asiago cheese for the scamorza and it was fantastic, and substituted panko breadcrumbs in the coating, which made them even crispier.

Serves 6


3 medium zucchini, chopped

1 cup/250 ml smoked scamorza, cubed (I used grated Asiago)

1 cup/250 ml Pecorino cheese (I used a combination of grated pecorino and parmesan)

Small bunch fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (about 2-3 tablespoons)

2 eggs

1 cup/250 ml bread crumbs

1 1/2 cups/375 ml extra-virgin olive oil, for frying

2 cups panko breadcrumbs for coating

Tomato Salad

20 cherry tomatoes, halved (I used salad tomatoes)

4 fresh basil leaves, torn


1/4 cup/50 ml extra-virgin olive oil


For the meatballs: 

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the chopped zucchini, bring back to a boil and cook for 4 minutes. Drain the excess water from the zucchini. Transfer the zucchini to a sheet pan and allow to cool. Squeeze out the excess water from the boiled zucchini.

In a mixing bowl, add the zucchini, scamorza cheese, Pecorino cheese, fresh mint leaves, eggs, and bread crumbs. Mix well until the ingredients are evenly distributed. With your hands, shape the meatballs into the size of golf balls. Coat the meatballs in panko bread crumbs.

Heat olive oil in a deep frying pan. Gently place the meatballs into the hot oil and let fry until golden and crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with an absorbent paper towel to drain the excess oil. Serve with the tomato salad.

To make the tomato salad: Add the cherry tomatoes, basil, and salt to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and mix together.

Autumn Mushroom Stroganoff


Mind Body Green

Time: 15 - 30 minutes

Serves 4-6

Vegan, Gluten-free options (see cook’s notes below) Nut-free, Soy-free (see cook’s notes below)


  • 8 ounces uncooked ribbon noodles (230g)
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance buttery spread (15g)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped (140g)
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour, divided (20g)
  • 2 cups beefless beef broth or veggie broth (.5 liters)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (15ml)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (5ml)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste (6g)
  • 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (half portobello and half button mushrooms), cut into large 2-inch chunks (740g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (3g)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (15ml)
  • 1/4 cup vegan sour cream - optional (55g)
  • 10 turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced (6g)


Cook the noodles per the direction on the package. Under cook them a bit because they will be cooked again once incorporated into the sauce. Drain, and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the Earth Balance and saute the onions for three minutes on medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Gradually add the broth, soy sauce, lemon juice and tomato paste, while stirring at the same time. Stir until mixture becomes thick and bubbly, about a minute.

Add the mushrooms, thyme, sage and salt. Stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until mushrooms have shrunk in size.

Add the vinegar and simmer for 4 more minutes.

Add the noodles, sour cream, 1 tablespoon of flour, black pepper and parsley and cook on low for an additional 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

Cook’s Notes:

You can make this dish gluten free if you use gluten-free pasta, gluten free soy sauce and substitute the whole wheat flour with rice flour. If you want a soy-free version, swap out the soy sauce with sea salt to taste.


The Most Perfect Apple Pie

Apple Pie

I found this gem over at the

Williams-Sonoma website

. Boy, does this pie come out amazing. The butter can easily be swapped out for a vegan variety. I also left out the egg-white wash.


For the dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. ice water

For the filling:

  • 2 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/4 inch
  •   thick
  • 2 lb. Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tsp. water
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar


To make the dough, in a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and granulated sugar together until combined, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 pulses. Add 3 Tbs. of the ice water and pulse 2 or 3 times. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 tsp. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half of the dough into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Fold the dough in half and then into quarters and transfer it to a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish. Unfold and gently press the dough into the bottom and sides of the dish. Trim the edges flush with the rim of the dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a large sheet of lightly floured parchment paper, roll out the remaining dough disk into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Using leaf pie cutters, make rows of cutouts in the dough, spacing them 1/2 inch apart and leaving a 1-inch border along the edges, to create a lattice appearance. Reserve the cutouts for decorating. Reroll the dough scraps to make more cutouts. Refrigerate the lattice top and cutouts for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling: In a large Dutch oven, stir together the apples, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cornstarch. Set over medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Uncover and cook until the liquid has thickened and become glossy, 5 to 7 minutes more. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven, place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Let the pie shell, lattice top and leaf cutouts stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Transfer the apple filling to the pie shell, scatter the butter pieces on top, and gently invert the lattice top over the pie. Trim the edges flush with the rim of the dish and press the top and bottom crusts together to seal. Brush the underside of the leaf cutouts with egg wash and gently press them onto the edges of the piecrust, overlapping the leaves slightly. Decorate as desired with the remaining leaves. Brush the entire top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.

Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden brown, about 1 hour, covering the edges with aluminum foil if they become too dark. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours before serving. Serves 8.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

1 ripe avocado

1/4 c. cocoa powder

1/4 cup raw agave nectar

1/4 c. almond milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Puree ingredients until smooth. Serve chilled.

Raw Chocolate


Food Matters


  • 1 cup raw cacao 
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw honey 
  • 1 cup cacao butter (or swap for coconut oil) 


Combine all your ingredients. If you are in a cooler climate and your coconut oil is hard, you may have to slightly melt it in a double boiler. Pour into chocolate molds or a lined baking tray (to keep it super simple) and allow to set in the fridge!

Get creative and add your favorites to really treat your taste buds. A dash of vanilla, a pinch of sea salt, a little nut butter, goji berries or raspberries... The choices are endless!

Suggested Combinations

  • Coconut & Raspberries (Pictured) 
  • Vanilla & Flaked Almonds 
  • Pinch Of Sea Salt 
  • Nut Butter 
  • Goji Berries 
  • Puffed Quinoa 

Healthy Cookies


3 mashed bananas (ripe)

1/3 cup apple sauce

2 cups oats

1/4 cup almond milk

1/4 cup raisins or nuts

1 cup good chocolate chunks

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon


preheat oven to 350 degrees

bake for 15-20 minutes

Cool and Enjoy!

DIY Spiced Cinnamon Whiskey




  • 1 (750 ml) bottle inexpensive whiskey
  • 8 Cinnamon sticks
  • 3 oz Simple syrup
  • 6 Whole dried red chile peppers (optional)


Empty the bottle of whiskey into a large container with a lid. Add the cinnamon sticks and simple syrup and seal. Shake the container and let stand for five days, shaking daily.

After five days, add the dried chile peppers to the container, if desired, and shake. Let stand for three to four more days, tasting after the first day to test the flavor intensity. When the flavor reaches the desired intensity, strain and rebottle.


Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.