Fall is my absolute favorite season—from pumpkin spice lattes to NFL Sundays to walking through crunchy leaves, there’s really nothing better than this time of year! Here are 5 of my fall favorites for you to snuggle up with this fall:
FAVORITE DINNER: Chicken Couscous Soup
Perfect for a cool fall day, this chicken soup is stacked with protein, vegetables, carbs, and fats. Soup is a great way to stay hydrated and full. Plus, they can help boost your immune system which is perfect during a pandemic!
o 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
o 6 cloves of garlic (minced)
o 1 yellow onion (diced)
o 2 large carrots (sliced)
o 3 celery stalks (chopped)
o 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
o 1 tsp ground turmeric
o 6 cups (low sodium) chicken broth
o 1 lb. boneless chicken breast
o 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
o 1.5 cups Israeli couscous, brown rice, or orzo (if you’re not planning on eating this right away, I’d recommend rice instead of couscous, as it doesn’t absorb the liquid as much)
o Dash of salt
o Dash of ground pepper
Place a pot over medium-high heat and pour in olive oil.
Once the oil is hot, stir in the chopped celery, yellow onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent.
Add in grated ginger and ground turmeric. Sauté for about 30 seconds to let the spices cook in.
Add in the chicken broth and chicken breast (I just cut up and used Trader Joe’s organic chicken strips).
Add in rosemary, salt, pepper, and thyme.
Bring soup to a boil (I covered with the lid), then stir in couscous or rice.
Reduce heat to medium-low and let it sit for 20-30 minutes uncovered (to let the chicken cook).
*Optional: take chicken out of the soup at the end and cut it up more.
LINK TO RECIPE: https://www.murphy-brennan.com/chicken-soup
FAVORITE DESSERT: Chocolate Protein Peanut Butter Cups
I swear by the fact that peanut butter and chocolate is the best combination on this planet besides Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon… and that says a LOT! Plus, top that with a serving of protein, the antioxidants of dark chocolate, and fats from the coconut oil, this recipe covers all the bases and is so yummy on a fall day.
o 1 bag of chocolate chips (I use the Simply Balanced Organic Dark Chocolate Chips)
o 1 tsp coconut oil
o ½ cup peanut (or almond) butter
o 1 tbsp honey
o 2 tbsp protein powder—preferably chocolate-flavored! (I use Nuzest’s Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder—use my promo code “CUTTHECRAP” for 25% off!)
o + 1 scoop of collagen if you want!
Put the chocolate chips and coconut oil into a medium bowl and microwave in 30-second increments—stirring in between increments—until melted.
Line muffin tray with mini muffin liners. Fill with about 1 tsp of melted chocolate and gently push/spread some up the sides of the liner (you’ll use the rest of the chocolate later!).
Place in the fridge for 10 minutes, or until cool/hardened.
While the chocolate is cooling, prepare the peanut butter, honey, chocolate protein powder, and collagen powder (if you have it) by combining in a separate bowl. It will be a little drier than regular peanut butter so that you’re able to pick it up and roll it into small balls.
Take the chocolate out of the fridge and place a small ball of peanut butter into each mini muffin liner/chocolate. Cover with melted chocolate.
Place in the fridge (or freezer) until completely hardened.
LINK TO RECIPE: https://www.murphy-brennan.com/about-1
FAVORITE DRINK: Chai Tea
Chai tea can come in many forms, whether as loose leaf tea or chai tea concentrate to put in chai lattes. Whatever it is, chai tea is sure to make you feel warm and autumn-y! Here’s a tip, though: watch out for the seriously high amount of sugar in a lot of chai concentrates. I get enough of my chai tea fix from the “Spiced Chai” tea bags from Trader Joes, which is just tea leaves and water!
Photo from: http://breweddaily.com/2014/02/trader-joes-spiced-chai-tea-reviewed/
FAVORITE SNACK: Kale Chips (with nutritional yeast)
Even if you don’t love kale, I’m sure you’ll love these kale chips! Eat them as a side dish, appetizer, or snack (just store them in an air-tight container!). What the heck is ‘nutritional yeast’? you may ask. Well, nutritional yeast has a cheesy umami flavor, and it contains protein, Vitamin B-12, folate, all 9 essential amino acids, and many other vitamins and minerals! It’s a perfect healthy vegan substitute for cheese; I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but it’s sold at most grocery stores. Not only is kale one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there, but topped with nutritional yeast, this recipe covers all the bases!
o 1 bunch of kale (or about 6 cups of pre-chopped kale)
o 1 tbsp olive oil
o a pinch of garlic powder
o a pinch of salt
o + 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Massage kale with olive oil for a minute or two.
Spread out kale onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with garlic, salt, and nutritional yeast.
Bake for 12 minutes (or until crispy).
LINK TO RECIPE: https://www.murphy-brennan.com/about
FAVORITE EXERCISE: Hike (Crowder’s Mountain)
Just 40 minutes outside of Charlotte, Crowder’s Mountain is a perfect 2-mile hike for beginner to advanced hikers. Such a lovely hike, especially this time of year when the air is crisp and the leaves are changing. Not only is hiking a great way to get outside, but it’s also a great way to kick up your cardio and work several major muscle groups.
Photo from: https://www.ourstate.com/how-a-group-of-students-saved-crowders-mountain/