healthy cooking

Harvest Dinner of Champions

Nothing says fall like some harvest dinner goodness.

Like cheddar cheese and crackers and some squash and apple soup? And don't forget the kale, of course.

Get a feeling of groundedness from the squash (it grows in the ground, get it?) and the sweetness of the roasted butternut plus the apple will totally satisfy your sweet tooth. Choose locally-made cheddar if possible. Making this meal definitely made me miss living in Vermont where I was this time last year but I'm grateful for all the good memories.

Here's a fall-tastic meal that's easy, convenient and delicious. What more can you ask for?

Harvest Dinner of Champions

Harvest Dinner of Champions Dillan DiGiovanni

Roasted butternut squash and apple soup:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 medium apple (like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady), chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Use parchment paper to line a baking dish or cookie sheet.

3) Add butternut squash cut lengthwise into quarters. Remove seeds and rub exposed squash flesh with extra virgin olive oil (oh my!)

4) Bake in the oven for 35-50 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork. Cut into cubes and keep the skin on.

5) In a large pot, melt 1 TBSP butter over low heat and brown onion.

6) Add chopped apple and cook 2 mins. Add 1 cup water. Add cubed squash.

7) Add 1/2 cup more water if needed and cook contents down until soft. Add small pinch of salt. USe hand blender to combine all ingredients until smooth. Serve warm in a bowl.


Sauteed kale with sliced garlic:

  • 3-4 big kale leaves, trimmed off stem and chopped fine
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced very thin
  • 1 TBSP coconut or olive oil

1) Warm oil in a frying pan over medium heat

2) Add garlic and cook 3 minutes until it begins to brown

3) Add chopped kale and cook down until soft

4) Serve hot and sprinkle with pinch of sea salt


Cheese and crackers

Buy good quality cheese and crackers to complement this meal. I enjoy CABOT Cheddar and Carr's Crackers.


I'd love to hear comments if you make this! What is your favorite part? I can't choose, I love every aspect. That's why I posted it as a package deal.



Creamy Tahini and Broccoli Pasta

YES! I made something new and different! It's no secret, dearies. Whilst I love real food, I am NOT a creative culinary genius. Nope. Not my strong suit. My skills lie elsewhere in the intuitive, cheerleader, get-off-your-ass-and-change-your-damn-situation realm.

With less damn and more "you can do it! Rah Rah!"

Back to the recipe.

I do enjoy cooking whole, real food. And sometimes I need help doing it. I took this from Whole Foods and pretty much made it to the T the first time (whoops! Totally forgot to add the apple cider vinegar. oh well!). Next time, there will be some changes. Oh yes! Yes, there will. Namely, more veggies. It's a good rule to apply to each and every day and each and every meal.

So, here you go. Enjoy!




1 can garbanzo beans (we've talked about Eden brand beans and why you want them, right? Good.)

1/4 cup Bragg's Liquid Aminos (soy-based 'sauce')

1/2 tahini (sesame puree)

1 whole wee lime, for juicing

4 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp Maine Coast Sea Seasonings Kelp Granules (low-sodium salt alternative)

1 (16-ounce) package gluten-free pasta of your choice

1 small onion, diced

however much broccoli you want. Chopped. Stems included.

**I added in sun-dried tomatoes**


1) In a food processor or (*ahem* VITAMIX) blend together the first 7 listed ingredients. Blend until smooth. I totally forgot the apple cider vinegar and LOVED this sauce anyway. Just goes to show ya, screwing up is all about how you look at it.

Set the sauce aside.

2) Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and prepare pasta according to package directions.

3) In a saute pan, add onion and stir until browned. Add broccoli, cover, reduce heat to med-low and cook until bright green and somewhat soft (about 2 minutes).

4) In a large bowl, combine ~1 cup broccoli/onion mixture and 1/2 cup pasta. Drizzle over about 1/3-1/2 sauce. It's totally bean and seed based so why the heck not?! Toss and serve hot.


You know how you go out to eat and they never give you enough broccoli or sun-dried tomatoes? You cooked. You call the shots, now.

Heck yes.