Labor Day is here. Can you believe it is already the unofficial end of summer?! I know I can't!
While you may be having one last cookout with summer flavors, fall produce and seasonal dishes are right around the corner!
So what's in season in fall? Some of my favorite fruits and veggies that are coming into season this month (and into the fall) include:
Apple (you can even go apple picking as a fun social activity to get some fresh ones!)
Zucchini and other Squash
Need some recipe ideas that will help you fuel into the school year while also incorporating fall themes and produce? Here's some inspiration!
Apple Pie Blended Baked Oats
This recipe incorporates one of everyone's favorite fall specialties - apples! It's also a great make-ahead breakfast - Make a batch of blended baked oats over the weekend, and it can be used for multiple breakfasts throughout the week, plus it's easy to take on the go!
¼ cup milk
1 large egg
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup rolled oats
½ teaspoon apple or pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½–1 tablespoon maple syrup or 1 pitted Medjool date (sweeten to your taste)
1 tablespoon peanut, almond, or sun butter
½ an apple, finely chopped
1 tablespoon raisins, plus more for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease 2 8-oz ramekins or 2 8-oz round glass baking dishes with butter or oil.
Place all ingredients except the chopped apple and raisins in a blender and blend until extremely smooth. Stir in the chopped apple and raisins.
Divide between the two ramekins and sprinkle the tops with a few more raisins, if desired.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Let sit until cool enough to handle and then enjoy warm, topped with more nut butter, yogurt, apple, walnuts, etc.
Recipe from Up Beet Kitchen!
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkins and fall are pretty much synonymous, and luckily for gymnasts, pumpkin seeds can also serve as a great addition to a meal or a snack, plus they're great to take on the go! If you carve pumpkins this year, don't throw away the seeds! Instead, roast them for a tasty and nutritious snack! This recipe can also be used for store-bought raw pumpkin seeds.
¾ cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon paprika, optional
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F (177ºC).
Wash pumpkin seeds in a colander to remove the pulp and fibers. Thoroughly dry with a towel.
In a small bowl combine pumpkin seeds, olive oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika (if using), and black pepper.
Lightly grease a sheet pan with olive oil. Evenly spread the seasoned pumpkin seeds on the sheet pan.
Bake until the seeds are toasted and crunchy, about 12 to 15 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes for even toasting, and check for doneness with each stir by tasting a seed for crunchiness.
Transfer the roasted pumpkin seeds to a bowl to cool down.
Recipe from Jessica Gavin!
Green Goddess Summer Quinoa Salad
This light and refreshing meal is filled with late summer produce and packed with protein, carbs, and fats. Perfect for a school lunch or post-workout meal!
2 cups cooked quinoa (you can cook using bone broth for extra flavor and protein)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups spinach leaves
1/2 cup Avocado Cilantro Dressing
Make it your own by adding
fresh cheese, like mozzarella or feta
a few handfuls of crunch, like crushed almonds, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds
grilled veggies like eggplant or zucchini
grilled chicken or other protein
Cook the quinoa (in advance if you can so it's had time to cool)
Toss all ingredients together to combine and enjoy!
Recipe from Pinch of Yum!
Sheet Pan Chicken with Rainbow Veggies
This recipe is another great meal prep option - cook a batch at the beginning of the week to use for multiple meals. While the veggies require a little bit of time to cut and prepare, overall this recipe is pretty simple and minimal effort once the cooking begins! This recipe could be used on its own for a meal, although a gymnast will likely need more energy (and therefore more food) than the recipe can provide. To meet this goal, pair with pasta, rice, or quinoa or make it into a salad with a bed of lettuce, some nuts and seeds, cheese, and your favorite dressing!
1 medium sweet potato, diced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (about 2 medium breasts)
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets (about 2 cups florets)
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick half moons
1 yellow squash, halved lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick half moons
Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
2 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. For easy cleanup, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly coat the foil with nonstick spray.
Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat and then spread into a single layer on the baking sheet. Keep the bowl handy. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are just beginning to soften on the outsides but are still too firm to eat.
Meanwhile, in the bowl that you used previously for the sweet potatoes, place the chicken, broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the lemon zest and juice, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat.
Transfer the chicken and vegetable mixture to the sheet pan with the sweet potatoes, using a spatula to spread everything into an fairly even layer and stirring it a bit if needed.
Return to the sheet pan to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 additional minutes, stirring once halfway through, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle and the vegetables are tender but not mushy. (They won’t be browned and caramelized but will be delicious to eat.) Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve hot.
Recipe from Well Plated!
Parmesan Zucchini and Sweet Corn
Nothing screams late summer produce quite like sweet corn and summer squash! This colorful side dish would be a great addition to any grilled or roasted protein
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 zucchinis, diced
2 ears of corn (or 1 cup corn kernels, frozen or canned)
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (or other fresh herb like parsley or basil)
1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan
If using fresh corn, cook in boiling water for 5-7 minutes. Cut off cob
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in zucchini, corn, basil, oregano and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in lime juice and cilantro.
Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan.
Recipe from Damn Delicious!
Sweet and Spicy Summer Salsa
If you're not quite ready to leave summer behind, here's a reminiscent summer recipe that's simple to make and packs in protein and color!
1 large tomato, diced
1 large ear corn, boiled and cut off the cob
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 medium peach, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno pepper (remove seeds and ribs f
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
optional- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or other fresh herb
Prepare all ingredients as directed. Mix all ingredients together in medium bowl.
Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
Combine this versatile salsa with rice, a protein source, cheese, lettuce, and guacamole to make a taco, burrito bowl, or salad to round out a meal!
Cheese and Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers
If you're wondering what to do with all those late summer peppers, why not stuff them! This super simple dish is a perfect for a Performance Plate and they are great to freeze and reheat on another busy night.
6-8 green, red, orange and/or yellow bell peppers, tops removed and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1lb ground turkey, chicken, beef, or Italian sausage
1/2 yellow or red onion, diced
1 cup diced bell peppers
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
2 cups cooked wild rice (cooked according to package directions)
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place peppers cut-side up in a baking dish. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake peppers 30 minutes until soft, but not falling apart.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add diced onion, bell peppers and ground meat. Cook until meat is just about cooked through, stirring often, until onions are soft. Add in the mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown.
Add diced zucchini, yellow squash, garlic, cooked wild rice, and diced tomatoes. Cook another 10 minutes until all vegetables are tender. Stir in tomato paste, dried tarragon and salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat. Stir in baby spinach and 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Spoon vegetable mixture evenly into peppers. Top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese. Pour tomato sauce in bottom of baking dish.
Bake peppers another 15 minutes until warmed through and cheese is melted.
Recipe from Girl vs Dough!
Easy Apple Pie Bites
Really get into the fall spirit with this delicious apple pie dessert! Fun foods like these apple pie bites can fit in a gymnast's fueling plan, and even though they're not the most nutrient dense option, they do offer some nutrients like carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals (as well as satisfaction and deliciousness components, which are important as well)!
1/2C brown sugar
2T butter, melted
1/3C walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 Granny Smith Apple, washed, cored, and sliced into 8 1/2in slices
8oz pre-made crescent or biscuit dough
Heat oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Separate the crescent dough into triangles.
Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Evenly spread the melted butter onto each triangle.
Sprinkle each triangle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Then sprinkle with the chopped nuts and place an apple slice on each triangle of dough (on a wider side)
Roll up the dough into a croissant.
Arrange crescent roll croissant bites on a cookie sheet.
Spread the remaining butter on each crescent roll croissant and sprinkle with additional sugar and cinnamon.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe from Cake's Cottage!
Head into the fall with these delicious (mostly) fall-inspired that are great to meal prep in order to make fueling during the week just a little bit easier!