Crock Pot Cozy Comfort Food Ideas

The days are getting shorter as we enjoy all our fall activities. At the end of the month we celebrate Halloween, and then we shift gears for November. Today let’s think of all the warm and cozy food we enjoy as the weather is colder and darkness lengthens. There’s something so comforting about a hearty, warm meal when you get home. Nothing makes a meal easier than a slow cooker or crock pot. I want to share some of my favorite crock pot comfort food ideas that will fill your home with delicious aromas and warm your heart.

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Kale, Apple & Feta Salad

Autumn is the perfect time for a green salad with fruit and cheese.  Today I’m using kale. You cut around the tough stem and thinly slice kale ribbons.  Kale ribbons work well for salads and soups. Chop in one direction to make small pieces. Rotate to other side and repeat for all the kale leaves.  Discard the large stems. Then you should place the kale in a large bowl, sprinkle it with salt, and massage with your fingers. It does make a big difference in taste.  If you are someone who really hates kale, I suggest you look for baby kale.  Add chopped apples, pine nuts, dried cranberries or raisins, and feta cheese. Optional addition would be a garnish of walnut or pecan pieces instead of pine nuts. I like using an apple cider vinaigrette, but you could use a vinaigrette of your choice.

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Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup

As the seasons change, cooler weather moves in, and I crave comforting soup.  Today’s recipe is a blend of black beans and pumpkin with tomatoes and spices.  This healthy recipe is packed with protein from the beans and with vitamins from the pumpkin.  You can make it vegan with vegetable broth or add the flavor of beef broth.  Top it off with a dollop of low fat Greek yogurt with chopped green onions, herbs, or grated cheese.  If you prefer a non-dairy dish,  garnish with diced fresh vegetables like tomatoes and/or avocado.

 

 

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Sweet Potato Lentil Soup with Carrots & Apple

 

Fall is the perfect time of year to make a hearty pot of soup that includes all my favorite vegetables.  I’ve shared a basic lentil soup with greens before, but today the recipe is a sweet potato-lentil soup with carrots and apple. That one apple with a little cumin and chili pepper adds a special flavor to the soup, and your family will ask for more. Read More

Savory Pumpkin Hummus For Fall

Fall always makes me think of golden leaves, apples, cider, and pumpkins.  Usually I make pumpkin bread and enjoy a glass of cider, but today I’m sharing a not-so-common savory dish, pumpkin hummus.  If you’ve read my blog before, you may have noticed I eat hummus quite often. I have some in the refrigerator almost all the time.  This year I’m trying a new version with pumpkin.  I love that it’s so easy to make in minutes using a food processor.  Pumpkin is high in beta-carotene. Your body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, which is great for your eyes and skin. It is also rich in riboflavin and folate to boost your immune health.  As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, add color to your diet for taste and your immune system.  Pumpkin hummus is perfect on toast for a fall breakfast.  I love a small scoop to use as a dressing my lunch salad plate with bread.

 

 

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Traditional Caramel Apples

When I was a kid, I’d go to the fair in September over in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Most of the time, they just had the red candied apples which wasn’t my favorite.  I prefer the taste of lush caramel plus when I bit into the red candied apple, the red coating often fell off. I’d be so happy when I saw caramel dipped fresh apples served on a stick.  Today I’m sharing a super easy traditional recipe for caramel apples for fall and Halloween.  It’s not really much of a recipe and only requires 3 ingredients plus what I call popsicle sticks.  Super easy and fast, caramel apples bring back the joy of childhood for me.

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