The air is crisp and leaves are covering the ground, which means it is time to retreat to the kitchen and prepare some fall comfort foods. The work and time associated with cooking may shy college students away from trying recipes, but these four meals are simple and take no more than 30 minutes each to prepare. Read on for a dessert, appetizer, breakfast and dinner recipe perfect to warm up your soul this season.
PUMPKIN MUG CAKE
Not in the mood for store-bought pumpkin pie but not really equipped to make your own? Say no more — this pumpkin mug cake is simple, delicious and requires very little prep time. Pour all of the ingredients into a mug and mix. Microwave for two minutes. When it’s cooled, top with whipped cream and voila — a delicious fall treat!
Pumpkin Mug Cake:
•1/4 cup pumpkin puree
•1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
•1/4 teaspoon baking powder
•1 teaspoon sweetener of your choice
•2 1/2 tablespoon milk or water
Pour all of the ingredients into a mug and mix.
Microwave for two minutes.
When it’s cooled, top with whipped cream and voila — a delicious fall treat!
SPAGHETTI SQUASH PASTA AND SAUSAGE
This recipe takes only 30 minutes to prepare, and is a low carb alternative to regular spaghetti noodles. Spaghetti squash contains 10 grams of carbohydrates per cup compared to 45 grams of carbohydrates in regular spaghetti, making it a healthier fall dinner option.
Spaghetti Squash Pasta and Sausage:
•1 medium spaghetti squash
•1 tablespoon olive oil
•1 package cooked smoked sausage
•1 cup pico de gallo
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/8 teaspoon pepper
Begin by cutting the squash lengthwise and discarding the seeds.
Place the halves on plates cut side down and microwave 15–20 minutes until tender.
In a large skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add the sausage and cook 4–5 minutes until browned.
Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to separate strands.
Add the squash strands, pico de gallo, salt and pepper to the sausage.
Stir to combine and allow to heat through. Serve and enjoy.
CREAM CHEESE STUFFED MUSHROOMS
Packed with garlic, parmesan cheese and a pinch of cayenne pepper, these mushrooms make easy hors-d’oeuvres for any fall event. Whether you need something to prepare for a “Friendsgiving” dinner or are just wanting to try out a new appetizer, these stuffed mushrooms are sure to do the trick.
Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms:
•12 whole mushrooms
•1 tablespoon vegetable oil
•1 tablespoon minced garlic
•1 8-ounce package cream cheese
•1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
•1/4 teaspoon black pepper
•1/4 teaspoon onion powder
•1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees, then spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and wash the mushrooms.
Carefully break the stems off of the mushrooms and then chop the stems extremely fine.
Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the minced garlic and chopped mushroom stems once it comes to temperature. Fry until all the moisture disappears — but be careful not to burn the garlic.
Set aside to cool.
When the garlic and stem mixture is no longer hot, transfer it to a mixing bowl and add the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. The mixture should be thick and well combined.
Using a spoon, fill each mushroom head generously with the mixture and arrange on baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, allow to cool and enjoy.
MAPLE SWEET POTATO OATMEAL
Because it only takes seven minutes, this is a festive breakfast that everyone has time to make and enjoy. This maple syrup and sweet potato morning combo is perfect for cold fall mornings — and is easily modifiable to meet your dietary needs and tastes.
Maple Sweet Potato Oatmeal:
•1 1/2 cup milk
•1/2 cup quick oats
•1 sweet potato, cooked and mashed
•1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
•2 teaspoons maple syrup
•Pinch of salt
Bring milk of your choice to a boil in a saucepan.
Once it reaches a boil, add the oats and reduce the heat to medium.
After the milk is mostly absorbed by the oats, add the sweet potato, vanilla extract, cinnamon, maple syrup and salt.
Stir to combine and add more milk if needed until you are pleased with the consistency.
Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with maple syrup and any other toppings you heart desires like chopped nuts or shredded coconut.
Alex is studying sustainable urban development. She loves going to events around Tacoma and telling people about them. Her goal is to use her degree to make cities more sustainable.