Sautéed Green Beans with Mushrooms and Caramelized Leeks

It’s hard to think about much else these days, while visions of a Thanksgiving menu swirl around in my head. This year we have a pretty big “Friendsgiving” planned, could be as many as 10 people for dinner. All of our other California transplant friends are coming to our place and I am making a huge feast. Oh and before you ask, I am working on a follow-up to last year’s 99 Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes, so stay tuned for that and in the meantime, check out last year’s post and keep an eye out for other fun recipes!

Sautéed Green Beans with Mushrooms and Caramelized Leeks

Anyhow, back my Thanksgiving menu obsession. I woke up the other morning, bright and early before the sun, as usual, and I sat up in bed thinking about food (a fairly usual occurrence for me), but not just any food, I was thinking about the Thanksgiving side dishes that I would be serving our guests.

Sautéed Green Beans with Mushrooms and Caramelized Leeks

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Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

by Beth @ Tasty Yummies

Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

Despite the 80 degree whether we have had this past week, with the onset of November and the clock’s changing back, I start to crave comfort food something crazy this time of year. Soups, stews, crock pot meals, all of it! This homemade Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup) is something I find myself craving very often, this time of year. Even with several authentic vietnamese restaurants in the area, I find my homemade pho has been perfected to where it is the best I can find! (Horn tooted)

Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

I make a mean Beef pho, which tends to be a bit more traditional, but I also really love making it with chicken, especially when we get one of the beautiful whole pasture-raised chickens from our farmer. Besides being hot and comforting, like any bowl of chicken noodle soup should be, the incredible warming spices in traditional pho not only warms the body, but I truly believe they have some sort of magical powers to warm the soul. To me, this is as close as you’ll ever be to getting a hug from your food.

Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

Though it seems like there are many steps to homemade pho, it really is quite easy and once you’ve done the prep work, you can let the soup simmer all day and by the time dinner rolls around, it is done, ready and waiting for you to enjoy it!

Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

The best thing about a traditional dish like pho are the subtle nuances to the recipe, that bring the most incredible unique flavors. Charring the onions and ginger is just one of them. A simple and quick step that provides a depth of flavor so vital to this dish! Plus, it leaves the kitchen has the most beautifully pungent aroma, too!

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Mexican Spaghetti Squash Bake

by Beth @ Tasty Yummies

Mexican Spaghetti Squash Bake

I feel like I say this every year, but although there is far more produce available in the summer months, I am much more excited about cooking with the late summer, fall and winter produce. There is something so comforting and hearty about the foods in season right now, these are the vegetables you can create an entire meal around.

I am especially fanatical about it all this year, as I am very consciously trying to consume less grains and starches as I work towards learning to eat smarter for my body, given a recent diagnosis (more on that another time). I have been looking at food in new and different ways and trying to get creative with foods I have cooked with time and time again over the years.

Mexican Spaghetti Squash Bake

In the summer months, I live on zucchini and yellow squash noodles, as an alternative to pasta, so I have been having fun coming up with the fall/winter equivalents. Sweet potatoes work great but all of the many squashes available come to the rescue time and time again. I’ve been enjoying butternut squash noodles, but most especially spaghetti squash, since no special tools are required.

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Autumn Harvest Salad

This healthy, fall-inspired Autumn Harvest Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette, is the perfect way to enjoy all of the many amazing flavors of the season in one flavor-packed healthy salad. It is light enough to not leave you heavy and weighed down, but also hearty enough to be a meal on it’s own. This makes 2 large meal sized servings or 4 side salad-sized servings. I like to make this salad and dress the servings individually so I can enjoy the leftovers later. This was the perfect lunch during a long day of yoga teacher training, a few weeks back.

Autumn Harvest Salad

Lately, this is one of my most favorite ways to enjoy raw kale and I find even those not super crazy about the superfood green, absolutely love it in salad like this. The key is to massage the kale to get rid of the toughness and the bitterness. Yup, I said “massage”! No, you don’t have to whisper sweet nothings to it or buy it dinner first, just a good ‘ol fashioned no-strings-attached massage.

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