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Fall-Inspired Recipes

Amal Zeidan
Staff Writer

Just admit it; most students think about food rather often throughout the day. Towards the end of class, on our way to our next class, even driving away from school or walking to the dorms, the thought of what to eat is right there with us. I think it’s safe to say we put a lot of emphasis on what we give our bodies as fuel to get us through our school days. “Fall is all about change! Changing leaves, changing weather, so why not use it as a time to change your eating habits,” says Shelbi Thurau, Nutrition Club President, “These recipes sneak in healthy ingredients like vegetables, fruits and whole grains while still providing a delicious taste.” So what are the best foods to get in our systems this fall?

As the brown, orange and green leaves fall ever so lightly off the branches of the trees, I’m thinkingwe should feel as light as they do, without sacrificing the ‘good stuff.’ The Nutrition Club at LIU Post held its Fall Student Open House on Tuesday, October 2 in the Nutrition Department of Pell Hall. The members of the club prepared some fall foods that I’m starting to crave.

One of the nine dishes was roasted local butternut squash with cranberries that had me going back for more. Mandy Li, a nutrition major, has given The Pioneer the recipe.

2 butternut squashes (peeled and diced)
1 large red onion (julienned)
½ cup of dried cranberries
¼ cup of chopped parsley
4 tablespoons of olive oil or canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss butternut squash, 3 table¬spoons of oil, salt and pepper together and spread onto a rimmed sheet pan. Roast for 30-45 minutes, until squash is caramelized and fork tender. While that’s happening, sauté onions with the rest of the oil, when the squash is ready, toss onions, cranberries and parsley together in a bowl and dig in. Thanks Mandy!

Butternut squash is one of those foods that you can do a lot with: a soup, a salad, or even a side dish. My personal favorite is creamy butternut squash soup with a piece of whole wheat toast. It also provides great nutrients. Each cup of cubed butternut squash gives us almost 300 percent of our daily intake of vitamin A, which is great for our skin eye pigment and teeth; 50 percent of vitamin C, for our immune system and overall health; 7 percent calcium, for strong bones; and a whopping 3 grams of fiber and 16 grams of carbohydrates! So grab one, try this recipe or make up your own. But that wasn’t the only dish that tasted like fall.

Shelbi prepared a mushroom and asparagus quinoa salad that rocked a party for my taste buds.
Ingredients: For the Salad
1 small red onion
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
1 cup of white button mush¬room(sliced)
1 cup of red bell pepper
8 asparagus spears (cut into ½ inchpieces)
½ cup of pecorino Romano cheese
1 cup of dry quinoa
½ teaspoon of fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon of ground pep¬per
2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
For the Dressing:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Sauté the onions in olive oil until tender then add the garlic for another minute. Add the sliced mushrooms, asparagus and peppers, cook until soft. Add the quinoa, thyme and pepper and cook for two minutes. Add the chicken stock, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the quinoa is al dente. For the dressing, combine and toss with the warm salad and enjoy.

There are so many different salads that are suitable for the fall that just give you a warm feeling and are surprisingly good for you. Quinoa is a whole grain that is a great source of complex carbohydrates, a powerhouse for protein with8 grams in one cooked cup, 5 grams of fiber and 39 grams of energy packed carbohydrates. It’s low in cholesterol, has a nutty taste and chewy texture. A cup of cooked quinoa also offers 15 percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of iron, which helps to deliver oxygen to the blood, boosting energy and brain power. Quinoa’s vitamin B content can help keep our minds sharp, maintain our brain volume and stabilize our mood. That sounds like a good choice for students. Now how about something for that sweet tooth?

Energy bites are exactly what they sound like, a bite full of energy and whole lot of goodness. Carolyn Leonard, a senior nutrition major, gives us this peanut butter and chocolate chip recipe for you to enjoy:

1 cup of oatmeal
½ cup of peanut butter
1/3 cup of honey
1 cup of coconut flakes
½ cup of mini chocolate chips
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Mix everything in a large bowl. Then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. After it’s chilled, roll into circular globes of your desired size. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, let them set into their ball shape and then pop those bad boys on the go.

Oatmeal is another one of those super foods that fill you up and has lots of benefits. One cup of cooked oatmeal gives us 11 grams of protein, 56 grams of complex carbohydrates and 8 grams of fiber. Oatmeal is definitely something I always have around the house. It’s a great way to start any school day and get amped for a long day of classes.

If you’re looking for a quick pump me up bite or a warm bowl of fall, these recipes go a long way. The Nutrition Club has many more great fall recipes. Visit them on the third floor of Pell Hall or email them at

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