ThePrep: Easy 30-Minute Fall Dinners I'm Cozying Up to This Stick Season
Give me ALL the soup and cheesy pasta to get through stick season.
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We're coming up on what we call "stick season" here in Vermont—when the majority of leaves are on the ground rather than in the trees. It's the time between the beautiful fall foliage and the white winter snow, with the kind of drab, gray weather that just makes you want to put on an extra layer, cozy up under a blanket and eat nothing but soup.
I embrace this time of year, when I don't feel so pressured to be outside soaking up the last of the nice fall weather and before the holiday craziness ensues. So this week, you'll find me snuggled up with these easy recipes that deliver the comfort I'm craving in a quick 30 minutes, and with my puppy/personal heater, Mookie, by my side.
Your Meal Plan
Creamy soup, cheesy pasta and spicy curries are the dishes that immediately make me feel good and satisfy my need for all things cozy, even on the dreariest nights. New England clam chowder is one of my favorites, but I never think to make it at home—it's one of those dishes I only ever get when I'm out to eat. But I'm changing that this week and making it for the first time with the easy Clam Chowder with Broccoli Stems & Corn recipe. (If you're not as into it as I am, choose a different 30-minute soup!)
Healthy frozen, canned and packaged foods keep these dinners at 30 minutes or less, so there's not much prep that needs to be done in advance. Use the time you've saved to make a meal-prep lunch or snack for the week (see below for what I'm making), or just relax.
Monday: Clam Chowder with Broccoli Stems & Corn (Bump up the serving to 2 cups for a more filling dinner. Save the broccoli florets for Wednesday's dinner.)
Tuesday: Dijon Salmon with Green Bean Pilaf
Thursday: Thai Yellow Chicken Thigh Curry
Friday: Mexican Cabbage Soup (Makes enough leftovers for lunch over the weekend!)
We're making shopping easier with a list of all the ingredients you need to make this week's meals. You can print it out, or just keep it on your phone when you hit the store. Get the shopping list here.
Big-Batch Snack Idea
This batch of cinnamon apple muffins will make for a tasty snack or a yummy addition to my breakfast this week. I always pop my muffins in the microwave for 15 seconds to warm them up and make them seem as if they were freshly baked.
Get the Recipe: Apple-Cinnamon Muffins
I panic every Halloween that we won't have enough candy for our trick-or-treaters, and every year I'm wrong. This year was no different from the rest. In an attempt to tame my sweet tooth and wean myself off all the chocolaty goodness I've been enjoying, I'm whipping up this no-sugar-added Piña Colada Nice Cream to have as my evening treat. It gets its sweetness naturally from frozen pineapple chunks.
Get the recipe: Piña Colada Nice Cream
Love this column, have a meal-prep tip you're dying to share or a question you need answering? Email me at ThePrep@eatingwell.com