Autumn's warm colors soon will meld into winter's icy tones, but until they do, the season's golden hues remind us of home and hearth and time spent folded up snugly in front of the fireplace.
Let your food palette include the warm golds of late fall, too, adding yet another color to your plate this year.
That means centering meals around hearty foods such as golden loaves of crusty, whole-grain bread. A drizzle of honey in the morning will make this already healthful food even sweeter.
A crusty loaf also is a commendable companion to a bowl of homemade vegetable soup or the oh-so-practical bean dish included with these recipes.
Grains and beans provide the fiber the body needs to stay healthy. Nuts and seeds often found in whole-grain breads also add fatty and phenolic acids, which contribute to the body's ability to resist certain cancers. They also provide B vitamins, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Ideally, a healthy American adult should eat six to 11 servings of grains each day.
Add protein-rich beans along with vitamin-packed, yellow tomatoes and winter squashes to your fall preparations, and you're sure to start the new year with a healthier outlook.
Legumes such as peas, beans and lentils are low in saturated fat and sodium while also being cholesterol-free. And because they are a complex carbohydrate, it takes your body longer to digest them. That keeps you fuller longer.
Combine what you know about grains, nuts and natural sweeteners such as honey to make cookies chock-full of oatmeal, nuts and yummy items such as dried cranberries or golden raisins.
OTHER GOLD FOODS
Many varieties of grain
PEAR WALDORF SALAD
Makes 6 servings
- 1/4 cup nonfat yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 fresh ripe pears, diced (best if still slightly crunchy, not too soft)
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 package (10 ounces) pre-washed hearts of romaine
- 1/4 cup crunchy cereal such as granola
- 1/2 cup raisins
In salad bowl, combine yogurt and lemon juice; mix until smooth. Add pears, celery and romaine.
Sprinkle crunchy cereal and raisins on top.
CURRIED TUNA AND RAISIN SALAD
Makes 6 servings
- 1 pound yellowfin tuna
- 2 cups fish/chicken stock
- 2 cups raisins
For the curry-flavored mayonnaise:
- 1 cup prepared mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
- 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the salad:
- 4 cauliflower florets
- 4 broccoli florets
- 1 cup celery, minced
- Banana leaf, optional
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 4 sprigs cilantro, chopped coarsely
Place tuna in a pot; cover with stock. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes or until done. Remove tuna from stock, and cool in refrigerator for 45 minutes. Cut into medium dice.
Immerse raisins in warm water, and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain, and refrigerate.
To make curry-flavored mayonnaise, add all ingredients to prepared mayonnaise, and incorporate gently.
For salad, in a large mixing bowl, combine tuna, curried mayonnaise, cauliflower, broccoli, celery and half the raisins.
Toss well, and place on banana leaf or a lettuce leaf. Sprinkle salad with lemon juice, cilantro and remaining raisins.
IRON-RICH BEAN DISH
Makes 4 servings
- 1 onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 carrot
- 2 zucchini
- 2 bell peppers
- 2 potatoes
- 4 ripe tomatoes (can use yellow and red or just a single color)
- 14-ounce can white beans
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Black pepper
Slice onion, crush garlic cloves, and chop carrot and zucchini finely. Deseed the bell peppers, and chop finely.
Heat a small amount of olive oil in large pan, add prepared vegetables, and cook over medium heat until soft, about five minutes.
Peel potatoes, unless they are young potatoes, which don't need to be peeled. Cut into half-inch cubes, and quarter tomatoes. Add potatoes and tomatoes to pan, along with 4 ounces water. Cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
Drain and rinse beans, and add to vegetables in pan. Cook for another 5 minutes, until beans are very hot.
Add basil, and season with black pepper, stirring gently to combine.
Serve hot in warmed bowls. Drizzle with olive oil, and garnish with chopped fresh basil. Serve with crusty, whole-grain bread.
HONEY CRANBERRY OAT COOKIES
Makes 20 servings, or about 60 cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup liquid honey
- 2 eggs
- 1.5 cups quick oats
- 1.5 cups dried cranberries
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
On a sheet of waxed paper or in a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, honey and eggs until smooth and creamy, about three minutes. On low speed, add flour mixture gradually, beating until blended. With a wooden spoon, stir in oats, cranberries, almonds and sunflower seeds.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls about two inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden. Cool for five minutes on sheet, then transfer to a rack, and cool completely.
Note: You also can add 1 tablespoon orange zest with honey for a different variation. Also, cookies made with honey tend to be denser, moist and chewy in texture.