3 Fall Family Favorite Recipes

With colder months ahead, it’s time to start building up a repertoire of wholesome, hearty, and healthy meals to keep the family fed and happy through the fall and winter seasons.

With the spring and summer growing seasons out of the way, we often assume there will be a shortage of local produce to work with, but in fact, many fruits and vegetables such as apples, sweet potato and pumpkins flourish in the fall. So there are bountiful ingredients to work with and plenty of delicious flavor combinations to explore.

Here are three tasty fall recipes which are all easily adaptable for many dietary needs. These are great for using up any excess home grown produce, emptying the veggies from the freezer, or simply using up whatever canned goods you have available in your pantry that day.

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Fall vegetable soup

When thinking of the transition into the fall season and deciding which recipes to try, the one that immediately springs to mind is a warm bowl of rich and nutritious vegetable soup – and for good reason! Vegetable soup is versatile, delicious, healthy and affordable, making it a great recipe to feed the family without breaking the bank.

Although a vegetable soup can be made from practically any vegetables, this time of year it’s great to try and use seasonal ingredients such as carrots, squash, potatoes, and kale- then spice these up with comforting fall favorites such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and garlic.

Soup is very forgiving so don’t be afraid to try new vegetables and flavor combinations if you have certain ingredients that need using up. To make the soup more hearty or to replace the addition of bread, try adding some baby potatoes, lentils, or butter beans for some bulk.

Here’s a quick recipe for a healthy fall vegetable soup that will serve a family of four as a main course and can even be made ahead and reheated later for convenience. If you like your soup chunky then leave your veg pieces larger, if you like it smooth then chop them more finely or blitz them with a blender after cooking and before serving.

For the soup you will need:

  • 2 tbsp of butter or coconut oil, whichever your preference
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, washed and roughly chopped, no need to peel them
  • 2 cups of diced squash or pumpkin
  • 2 cups of fresh greens (kale or cabbage works great, as does spinach)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (or use fresh if you like, simply chop)
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
  • 1tsp of ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of chilli powder, (or more if you like it a little spicier)
  • A sprig of fresh thyme or 1tsp of dried thyme
  • 4-5 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you will be making it for a vegetarian)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • (I double this recipe for our family)


  1. Add the butter or oil, whichever you are using, to a heavy based saucepan that is large enough to fit in all of the soup ingredients.
  2. Once the butter is melted, cook the onions and carrots until they start to soften and brown, this will take a couple of minutes.
  3. Next add the squash or pumpkin to the pot alongside the crushed garlic and stir for a few minutes until fragrant.
  4. Then add the grated ginger, thyme, and spices. stir to combine, before adding in the chicken or vegetable broth, and your tomatoes.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Next add the canned chickpeas and your greens and simmer for a further 10 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked. This may take longer for very chunky soups and may take less time if you have diced everything finely.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with a slice of chunky bread to sop up all the juices.

This recipe is tremendously versatile, healthy. You can add a scoop of collagen peptides to any soup or meal to make it even more beneficial to skin, hair, and nails! Classic Pumpkin Risotto

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As the days get colder and the nights draw in, we are naturally drawn to more comforting food options that make us feel full and warm from the inside out. A family favorite, and great alternative to traditional pasta dishes, is the classic risotto. Delicious creamy rice served hot and packed full of seasonal vegetables is a winner with the whole family. Once again it can be made in advance and easily reheated.

This recipe will also serve a family of four as a main course or six as a starter.

Fall Family Risotto


  • 1tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • A handful of sliced mushrooms, approximately a cup
  • 1.5 cups of risotto rice such as Arborio
  • 1 cup of diced pumpkin
  • 3-4 cups of stock (veg or chicken)
  • ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley to garnish


  1. Add the butter and oil to a heavy based saucepan and melt together, then cook the onion and garlic until fragrant. Keep the heat low to avoid too much browning, or the garlic will become bitter
  2. Add the raw rice to the onion and garlic mix and stir to coat in the fragrant butter and oil mixture and cook for about one minute until the rice begins to go slightly translucent at the edges.
  3. Now add the mushrooms and pumpkin and cook for another 30 seconds so that they start to soften.
  4. Next add in 1 cup of your chosen broth and stir often until the liquid is almost absorbed.
  5. Continue stirring and adding stock a little at a time until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked through and tender. No need to stir continuously, you just want to stop the rice from burning to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Finally stir through the parmesan cheese (or a little goat cheese if you can’t do cow dairy) and season with salt and pepper to taste, remember that the stock and parmesan are both quite salty, so check the risotto before adding any additional salt to the recipe.
  7. If using, garnish with fresh parsley and serve straight away.

This risotto dish is fantastically easy and can be customized with different vegetables and seasoning to suit your palate. Why not try making it with other seasonal ingredients  such as kale, sweet potato, beetroot or using different cheeses to add a subtle difference to the flavor.

Cinnamon spiced oatmeal cookies

Fall isn’t just a fantastic time of year for savory dishes but for sweet treats too. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to ordinary cookies, then give these cinnamon spiced oatmeal cookies a try – they’re gooey and soft, and great served straight from the oven.

This recipe produces between 12-18 cookies depending how big you make them. If you’re not a fan of fruit in your cookies then you can always substitute in chocolate chips (yum!), chopped nuts or even leave them plain.

Image credit: Pexels, Free to Use Licence


  • ½ cup all purpose flour (or gluten free flour)
  • ½ cup of wholemeal flour (if not using then add an additional ½ cup of plain all purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ⅓ cup of vegetable or coconut oil
  • ⅔ cup of dark brown sugar or coocnut sugar
  • 1tsp of vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup of dried fruit such as cranberries, sultanas or raisins
  • ½ cup of rolled oats
  • 1 large egg


This recipe really does have a ‘throw it all in the bowl’ method and is a great one to try with your kids. Before you start have all your ingredients weighed out, this will make things easier or alternatively weigh them directly into the bowl.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line two baking trays with parchment
  2. In a bowl mix together all of your dry ingredients
  3. In another bowl mix together you wet ingredients (you may need to melt the coconut oil)
  4. Combine the two mixtures to create your cookie dough
  5. Roll the cookie dough into balls and place on the trays leaving ample space for them to spread a little as they cook
  6. Bake until browned which will take roughly 15 minutes
  7. Allow to cool on the baking tray and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely or alternatively eat them whilst they’re still warm and gooey!

Fall is such a magical time of year, the trees begin to change color from green to gold, the temperature drops, and the days get shorter. It’s the perfect time to be creative in the kitchen and use up delicious seasonal produce.

Which one of these recipes will you try?


Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Easy Dairy Free Quinoa Breakfast Mash

Easy Dairy Free Quinoa Breakfast Mash

We have been in a breakfast rut for a few months now. We have tried so many breakfast recipes for oats and quinoa, and my kids haven’t liked any of them.  Today I mashed together a few different ideas and came up with something they did like.  Well- my daughters liked … my son still prefers oatmeal and an egg sandwich.  *sigh*

The struggle of feeding 4 children real, nutritious food is real, y’all.

This makes about 4+ servings, depending on how much your children eat.  This would last us about 2 days in our house, with 2 of 4 kids eating a bowl.

Quinoa Breakfast Mash

20 minutes

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Quinoa Breakfast Mash


  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 4-8 TB of Pure Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • your choice of topping- dried coconut, craisins, raisins, sliced banana, etc


  1. Add all ingredients (exclude toppings) to a pot
  2. Bring to a boil
  3. partially cover and turn down to a simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes
  4. Serve with dried coconut sprinkled on top

This recipe is prepared dairy free, but I imagine it would be even more delicious with a pat of butter on top. =)

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Menu Monday: October 26, 2015

Menu Monday with www.QuietInTheChaos.com


Menu Monday Week of October 26th:

    • Sunday:  Roast, potatoes, salad, cow peas with bacon
    • Monday: Roast sandwiches, cow peas, homemade bread, roasted broccoli
    • Tuesday: fried chicken, roasted broccoli
    • Wednesday: breakfast- eggs, toast, baked oatmeal
    • Thursday: burgers, baked potato chips, salad
    • Friday: leftovers
    • Saturday: ribs, baked beans, salad

Breakfasts will be fried egg sandwiches and oatmeal/quinoa for the Mister, fried eggs and oatmeal/quinoa for Ila, and oatmeal or quinoa for Lexie (since she doesn’t like eggs).  Max and Ila both like a second course after their eggs.  =)

Just FYI: the salad we eat almost every night of the week is romaine lettuce with garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, with cherry tomatoes.  The kids devour it and it is a good way to get dark green.  Sometimes I add baby kale.

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday {August 3, 2015}

Menu Monday with www.QuietInTheChaos.com

This week for lunches we will have leftovers (I am cooking in double batches) and sandwiches with ripe tomatoes from the garden.  Breakfast will be quinoa, oatmeal, and egg sandwiches.

Monday: spaghetti with salad

Tuesday: Turkey and dressing from the freezer

Wednesday: turkey sandwiches, squash with hummus, cantaloupe (picnic at the farm)

Thursday: BBQ meatballs, fresh green beans, sliced tomato

Friday: BLTs

Saturday: BBQ drumsticks on the grill, grilled squash, sliced tomato, sautéed nappa cabbage

What’s on your Menu this week?

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Monday {July 19, 2015}

Menu Monday with www.QuietInTheChaos.com

The past few weeks have been HOT!  So for a while we are cooling it down in the kitchen with sandwiches and light sides.  My mom is here this week visiting, and we are taking it easy.  =)

  • Sunday: steaks, sauteed squash, roasted potatoes
  • Monday: taco salad, guacamole
  • Tuesday: grilled hot dogs, homemade kraut, salad
  • Wednesday: dinner out, mom’s last night with us
  • Thursday: Italian sausage, peppers and onion, salad, potatoes
  • Friday: Homemade pizzas
  • Saturday: BLTs, salad, green beans

It is going to be a super simple week!  Next week will probably look just like this, with tuna fish sandwiches and chicken salad sandwiches on the menu.  =)

What’s for dinner at your house?

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Monday {July 5, 2015} the one with the cast iron skillet

Menu Monday with www.QuietInTheChaos.com

This week I will be using the cast iron skillet almost every night for either the meat or veggie portion of our dinner, and some nights for both!

Here is our menu this week:

Menu Monday Week of July 5

  • Sunday:  cast iron skillet pork chops, sautéed squash and onions, salad
  • Monday: baked chicken, green beans, diced potatoes in cast iron skillet
  • Tuesday: spaghetti, salad, homemade bread
  • Wednesday: fried minute steak, sautéed zucchini and onion, roasted potatoes
  • Thursday: dinner out
  • Friday: Homemade whole wheat pizza
  • Saturday: beef and rice bake, salad, sliced tomatoes, pineapple

Snacks will be fruits like bananas, apple with peanut butter, and homemade granola if I get around to it.  Breakfast will again, be rotated eggs, oatmeal, and peanut butter toast for my non-egg eater (who used to LVOE eggs, btw).

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Monday {June 28} the one with garden veggies!

Menu Monday with www.QuietInTheChaos.com

This week we are eating a lot of meat, but I will be able to cook double portions of most things for leftovers (thankfully).  Since Ila is eating all our foods now, and my 4.75yo eats as much as I do, leftovers have been slim lately!

Here is our menu this week:

Menu Monday Week of June 28

  • Sunday:  breakfast- country ham, eggs, toast with peanut butter
  • Monday: spaghetti with salad, bananas
  • Tuesday: hamburger skillet (I will have a post for this soon!  The kids loved it)
  • Wednesday: grilled all beef hot dogs, homemade kraut, salad, watermelon
  • Thursday: dinner out (this will soon end when we live in the boone docks!)
  • Friday: chicken and rice bake (but not baked … because my baking dish is still packed), salad, mango
  • Saturday:  steaks, grilled squash, grilled corn, sliced tomato

We have started getting lots of fresh veggies from the garden, so we will be grilling (and hopefully freezing) lots of them for meals!

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Monday {June 21, 2015} The one with meatballs ..

Menu Monday with www.QuietInTheChaos.com

So, I used to do Menu Monday- it was just food and kitchen tips or recipes.  But this is actually Menu PLAN Monday.  As mentioned in my first post, menu planning is my challenge area, so hopefully this hold me accountable.

For the week of June 21, 2015:

  • Sunday- Beef and Rice bake
  • Monday- Breakfast
  • Tuesday- BBQ meatballs, corn, salad,
  • Wednesday- Chicken fried rice, salad
  • Thursday- Pork loin or chops, potatoes, green beans
  • Friday- Dinner out
  • Saturday- Burgers and steaks on the grill, salad, veggies kabobs

So, this one is titled, “the one with meatballs” but chances are, every week you will see meatballs on the menu.  =)  When we lived in York, Lexie’s violin lessons were in the evening about the same time I would be preparing dinner.  So we made every Tuesday meatball night- the kids could help/watch me make bbq meatballs, we would put them in the oven, make a salad, and come home from violin to our favorite meal!  And I just couldn’t bring myself to put anything else on Tuesday’s menu this week…

For breakfast, we will rotate egg sandwiches (the little Mister’s favorite), banana oatmeal, peanut butter toast, and I owe the hubby some pancakes (once I find my flour canister) so I guess blueberry pancakes.  =)

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Monday {the first .. I think}

Menu Monday with www.QuietInTheChaos.com

I am the world’s worst about menu planning for several weeks at a time, and then going weeks without planning ahead much at all.  So I am joining many, many bloggers out there for a weekly Menu Monday post.

It will hold me accountable, and help my readers as well!  I hope y’all will leave comments helping me with menu ideas-  I get so stuck with breakfast, especially.  For right now, my menus will consist of just dinner.  Then I will expand into daily menus as I get better with it.  This category is something I really need to work on, so I thought holding myself accountable here will be good!

Here we go:

Week of June 14, 2015

  • Sunday: spaghetti from freezer with family-recipe Italian (romaine lettuce) salad, fruit
  • Monday: minute steak and gravy, oven roasted vegetables, and green beans
  • Tuesday: roasted chicken, sautéed asparagus, cinnamon glazed carrots
  • Wednesday: (my house will be completely packed up for our move the following day, so probably Fried Chicken from the best restaurant in town: Chances R.
  • Thursday: hamburgers, all beef hot dogs on the grill, homemade baked chips, salad
  • Friday: breakfast- eggs, pork sausage, whole wheat biscuits or pancakes, fruit
  • Saturday: beef fajitas, homemade tortillas, avocado, fruit

So… those are my dinner menu plans for the week!  i hope these weekly posts will help me stretch my horizons and stay out of menu ruts.  These are some of my basic, go-to recipes.

What are your go-to dinners?

Menu Plan Monday

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