5 Fall Recipe Favorites for a Healthy Season
By Murphy Brennan
Fall is my absolute favorite season: From pumpkin spice lattes to NFL Sundays to walking through crunchy leaves, there’s really nothing better than this time of year! But as we enter the cooler season and start getting ready for the holidays ahead, it can be difficult to adhere to the nutritional goals we’ve set for ourselves. To help you stay healthy and happy this season, I’ve put together a list of five of my fall favorites for you to snuggle up with while staying on-track with your wellness goals.
FAVORITE DINNER: Chicken Couscous Soup
Perfect for a cool fall day, this chicken soup is packed with protein, vegetables, carbs, and healthy fats. Soup is a great way to stay hydrated and full. Plus, it can help boost your immune system, which is perfect during a pandemic!
1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
6 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 yellow onion (diced)
2 large carrots (sliced)
3 celery stalks (chopped)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
6 cups (low sodium) chicken broth
1 lb. boneless chicken breast
1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
1.5 cups Israeli couscous, brown rice, or orzo (if you’re not planning on eating this right away, I recommend rice instead of couscous, as it doesn’t absorb the liquid as much)
Dash of salt
Dash of ground pepper
Place a pot over medium-high heat and pour in olive oil.
Once the oil is hot, stir in the chopped celery, yellow onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent.
Add in grated ginger and ground turmeric. Sauté for about 30 seconds to let the spices cook in.
Add in the chicken broth and chicken breast (I just cut up and use Trader Joe’s organic chicken strips).
Add in rosemary, salt, pepper, and thyme.
Bring soup to a boil (I cover with the lid), then stir in couscous or rice.
Reduce heat to medium-low and let it sit for 20-30 minutes uncovered to let the chicken cook.
*Optional: take chicken out of the soup at the end and cut it up more.
LINK TO RECIPE: https://www.murphy-brennan.com/chicken-soup
FAVORITE DESSERT: Chocolate Protein Peanut Butter Cups
1 bag of chocolate chips (I use the Simply Balanced Organic Dark Chocolate Chips)
1 tsp coconut oil
½ cup peanut (or almond) butter
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp protein powder — preferably chocolate-flavored (I use Nuzest’s Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder)
+ 1 scoop of collagen (if you want)
Put the chocolate chips and coconut oil into a medium bowl and microwave in 30-second increments — stirring in between increments — until melted.
Line muffin tray with mini muffin liners. Fill with about 1 tsp of melted chocolate and gently push/spread some up the sides of the liner (you’ll use the rest of the chocolate later).
Place in the fridge for 10 minutes, or until cool/hardened.
While the chocolate is cooling, prepare the peanut butter, honey, chocolate protein powder, and collagen powder (if you have it) by combining in a separate bowl. It will be a little drier than regular peanut butter so that you’re able to pick it up and roll it into small balls.
Take the chocolate out of the fridge and place a small ball of peanut butter into each mini muffin liner/chocolate. Cover with melted chocolate.
Place in the fridge (or freezer) until completely hardened.
LINK TO RECIPE: https://www.murphy-brennan.com/about-1
FAVORITE DRINK: Chai Tea
Chai tea can come in many forms, whether as loose leaf tea or chai tea concentrate to put in chai lattes. Whatever it is, chai tea is sure to make you feel warm and autumnal. Here’s a tip, though: watch out for the seriously high amount of sugar in a lot of chai concentrates. I get enough of my chai tea fix from the “Spiced Chai” tea bags from Trader Joes, which is just tea leaves and water.
FAVORITE SNACK: Kale Chips (with nutritional yeast)
Even if you don’t love kale, I’m sure you’ll love these kale chips. Eat them as a side dish, appetizer, or snack (just store them in an air-tight container). What the heck is ‘nutritional yeast’? you may ask. Well, nutritional yeast has a cheesy umami flavor, and it contains protein, Vitamin B-12, folate, all nine essential amino acids, and many other vitamins and minerals! It’s a perfect healthy vegan substitute for cheese; I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but it’s sold at most grocery stores. Not only is kale one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there, but topped with nutritional yeast, this recipe takes healthy to a whole new level.
1 bunch of kale (or about 6 cups of pre-chopped kale)
1 tbsp olive oil
a pinch of garlic powder
a pinch of salt
+ 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Massage kale with olive oil for a minute or two.
Spread out kale onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with garlic, salt, and nutritional yeast.
Bake for 12 minutes (or until crispy).
LINK TO RECIPE: https://www.murphy-brennan.com/about
FAVORITE EXERCISE: Hike (Crowder’s Mountain)
Just 40 minutes outside of Charlotte, Crowder’s Mountain is a perfect 2-mile hike for beginner to advanced hikers. It’s such a lovely hike, especially this time of year when the air is crisp and the leaves are changing. Not only is hiking a great way to get outside, but it’s also a great way to kick up your cardio and work several major muscle groups.