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6 Simple Autumn Dinners

Days get shorter and schedules get hectic. Who has time to plan long, labor-intensive meals every day? Hearty meals that require minimal effort but pack a significant nutritional punch are the perfect antidote to busy weekdays. Check out our list of quick, easy, and healthy meals perfectly suited for fall.

Gourmet Grilled CheeseSo simple yet so, so satisfying. All you need is a few slices of good bread (skip the plain white and go for something thick and hearty), some high quality cheese (Gruyere and brie are both excellent options), and some pesto. Warm up a frying pan, give each slice of bread a generous coating of butter, add pesto and cheese, and then you’re ready to go. Grill the sandwiches until they’re golden and the cheese has melted. Serve with a simple salad and enjoy.

Crustless Quiche
Take the crust out of the equation and you’ve got yourself a delicious, low-fuss dinner that is guaranteed to impress.

7-8 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 large zucchini, sliced
Mozzarella cheese, sliced
Pecorino cheese, sliced
Olive oil
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. When it’s nice and hot, toss in the sliced zucchini, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the red pepper flakes if you like things spicy. Saute until just cooked (you just want to soften it up a bit).

In a pie dish, layer tomatoes on the bottom, then add cooked zucchini. Top with layers of both mozzarella and pecorino cheeses.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour on top of vegetable and cheese mixture. Bake at 350 for approximately 50 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

Perfect Roast ChickenWe would tell you how to do this but honestly, Jamie Oliver has pretty much nailed the art of roasting a chicken and has made it so easy that even the most reluctant chef can succeed. Check out his recipe here and thank us later.

Bacon Brussels Sprouts (adapted from Rachael Ray)
These aren’t the Brussels Sprouts from your childhood. Rather, they’re hearty, satisfying, and oh-so-bacony bites of goodness that can be eaten as a meal (topped with cheese) or served as a side dish (roast chicken, anyone?)

1 pound Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 slices of good quality bacon, chopped
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 shallot, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a skillet, brown bacon and then set aside. Add in some olive oil, toss in shallots and pepper flakes and sauté for a few minutes. When things start to get fragrant, add in the Brussels sprouts (make sure that they’re coated with oil) and sauté them until they start to get nice and soft. Add the broth, reduce heat, and cover for approximately 10 minutes. In a serving dish, combine cooked sprouts and bacon. Mix well and enjoy eating your greens.

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Quinoa
A ridiculously easy and insanely tasty quick one-pot meal that is best made in large quantities because you’ll definitely be going back for seconds.

1 cup quinoa
1-2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
Large chorizo, casing removed, meat crumbled (soy chorizo works just as well, if not better)
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
Olive Oil
Cilantro, chopped (optional)

Rinse quinoa and add to 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to boil and reduce heat, covering and allowing to simmer for 10 minutes. Once the water has been absorbed, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside.

In a Dutch or French oven, heat oil. Add onion and garlic, sauté until the onions are translucent (careful not to burn the garlic). Add sweet potatoes and sauté until they begin to soften. Add chorizo and continue to stir until cooked. Finally, add cooked quinoa and mix ingredients thoroughly. Cover and cook on low heat to allow flavors to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Easy Autumn Pizza
What better way to use up all those harvest vegetables than on a delicious pizza? Head to your local pizzeria and ask to buy dough or, if you’re feeling adventurous, make your own.

Pizza dough (store bought or home made, both are delicious)
Good quality olive oil
Fresh fall vegetables (kale, zucchini, tomatoes, and beets are all excellent choices), sliced
Mozzarella cheese

Prepare pizza crust as directed. Brush with olive oil and layer sliced vegetables to cove the surface of the crust. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake on a pizza stone at high heat (500 is ideal) until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Easy, healthy, and super flavorful. You absolutely can’t go wrong.

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