Break out your cable knits and turtlenecks — sweater weather is officially here! As the temperature drops, it’s hard not to think about staying warm and cozy with a big bowl of steaming soup or mug of heaping plate of pot roast. Why not spice things up this fall with warm weather meals inspired by international travels? Indulge your wanderlust without having to leave the kitchen with these incredible, healthy fall dishes from around the world. The best part? They’re healthy too!
Let’s look to our friends south of the border for food that are sure to warm us up. For a great autumn soup, try whipping up a big batch of posole, a popular Mexican soup dish often served with tortillas on the side to soak up all that soupy goodness. Thanks to red pepper flakes, paprika, and chili powder, this soup’s got quite a kick. It stays healthy, though, by featuring a light broth base and chicken breast that’s packed with protein. Plus, posole is traditionally served with shredded cabbage, chopped onion, and diced avocado on the side for use as toppings, so you’ll get a healthy dose of vegetables, too. For a traditional take on posole, try this slow-cooked version. If you’re in a hurry, look to this 30-minute posole recipe to get dinner on the table in no time. And if you want to amp up the fall flavors in this soup, try this delectable version that incorporates an autumn staple: scrumptious butternut squash.
Stir-Fried Bok Choy
The start of fall means that the cool weather leafy vegetables will be popping up in gardens soon — and one of our favorites is bok choy. Also known as “Chinese cabbage” (bok choy has been cultivated in China for over 5,000 years), this versatile vegetable is often used in Asian-style stir-fry dishes. Bok choy also packs a big nutritional punch; the leafy green has high levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin C — in fact, just one cop of bok choy provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin A. For a simple, healthy fall side dish full of Asian flavor, try this stir-fried bok choy recipe that also incorporates traditional Asian flavor elements like ginger and garlic. You can also try pairing bok choy with another fall favorite — mushrooms — like in this yummy-looking recipe, for a slightly different take.
The Germans are well known the world over for fantastic cold-weather cooking — after all, they have to know how to feed a cold and hungry crowd during Oktoberfest! While the Germans are especially famous for their bratwurst and beer, try something different by baking traditional German pancakes. These pancakes are actually easier to whip together than the fluffy American versions; rather than cooking each pancake individually, you pour all the batter for a German pancake into a cast-iron skillet and bake it all at once in the oven. German pancakes are the perfect autumn breakfast food since you can so easily incorporate classic fall spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, directly into the batter. Fall fruit makes a great addition to the pancake, too! For a healthier take on the German pancake, bake up this whole wheat version that also features fresh pears. For an extra autumn-y twist, try this version that incorporates pumpkin puree. The pumpkin addition also means you’ll be getting solid amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and fiber. Talk about a great, healthy way to start an autumn morning!
French Apple Galette
When it comes to pastries, take a cue from the French — this delectable galette is the perfect post-dinner indulgence during the fall. Yes, the flaky layers of pastry are indulgent, but as far as desserts go, you can’t get much healthier than a tart where the apple is so clearly the star. After all, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! If you’ve got a bounty of apples after spending a beautiful fall day apple picking, then use them up in this classic recipe from famed French chef Jacques Pepin. If you’re looking for an even healthier version of this French favorite, try this unique recipe, which swaps out some of the butter with nonfat yogurt. Trust us, after a bite of this savory dessert, you’ll feel as if you were transported to the French countryside on a crisp Autumn day.
Do you have any go-to healthy fall dishes inspired by the cuisine of another culture? Share it with us in the comments below!