Chilly evenings, orange leaves, spiced lattes,brown grass…what could be better than fall? Staying in on a cold night, and sharing a warm potluck meal with a few friends sounds like a blessing after the year we’ve been through.
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Don’t mourn the juicy mangoes, beefy tomatoes, and fresh herbs that summer brought us. Instead, relish in the squash, apples, pears, and dark, leafy greens that fall brings us. Here are a few soul-warming winter potluck ideas that you should try this season!
Apple Walnut Slaw
Apples and walnuts are a great way to dress up a slaw. This recipe is foolproof and hassle-free. If you’re too tired from working, or just want to enjoy a chill evening—this is one of our favorites!
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (see note)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- pinch of salt
- 6 cups mixed greens
- 1 medium granny smith apple, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup feta, crumbled (optional)
Use a whisk to mix the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and honey. Fill a large bowl with mixed greens topped with apple, onions, wants, and feta. Drizzle dressing generously over the salad, and toss well.
Sweet Potato Mac ‘n’ Cheese
This may be the best mac ‘n’ cheese you’ll ever make. Be prepared for your taste buds to be blown away with this simple dish! The ingredients in this dish are what makes it stand out, rather than the technique. You’ll need:
- 1 pound sweet potatoes
- 10 ounces (approximately 2 cups) pennette or other small short pasta
- 4 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 cups full-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon English mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika, plus 1/4 teaspoon to sprinkle on top
- 3 ounces (approximately 3/4 cup crumbled) feta cheese
- 1 1/4 mature Cheddar, grated, plus 1/4 to sprinkle on top
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
Peel and boil potatoes in saltwater until they’re soft, and mash them with a fork. Melt butter in a saucepan, add whisked flour. Take the pan off heat, slowly whisk in milk, and put it back on heat when it’s all combined smoothly. Stir gently until the mixture thickens; add mustard, and 1/4th teaspoon of paprika.
Cook the pennette in the salty water you boiled potatoes in, drain, and then add it to the sweet potatoes. Fold in to combine, and add some feta cheese to the mixture. Make sure to crumble it, add the white sauce, 1 ¼ cups of grated cheddar, and some of the leftover pasta water.
Season to taste, and then spoon the mac n cheese into 4 dishes, sprinkle the remaining cheddar over, add ¼ teaspoon more of paprika and shred sage leaves on top. Put the dish into a baking tray, and bake for 20 minutes.
Spicy Meat Chili
It’s hard to go wrong with a classic chili. You can use either turkey or beef, served with avocado or sour cream! You’ll need:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or 1 teaspoon pureed chipotle in adobo
- 1 pound ground turkey or beef
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or water, plus more as needed
- One 12-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- One 15-ounce can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Heat the oil in a large pot on medium, and sauté onions with ½ teaspoon of salt until translucent. Add garlic, and saute for another minute. Then, add chili powder, cumin, cayenne, paprika, red pepper flakes, coriander, and New Mexico and Chipotle chili powders.
Sauté and stir for 2 minutes to mix the flavors. Next, add meat seasoned with 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp black pepper. Break the meat with a wooden spoon, and cook evenly until brown for 15 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes, beans, oregano, and sugar. Bring the pot to boil on medium heat, and stir occasionally for 30 minutes until thick. Add more seasoning to taste.
- 1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted and peeled
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 lime, juiced
Place avocado in a bowl, add salt and lime juice, mash with a fork.
To serve: put chili in bowls, garnish with cheddar cheese, cilantro, diced white onion, sliced serrano chilis, and mashed avocado.
There you have it! 3 quick and easy recipes for your next potluck! Visit our blog if you want to learn more easy food recipes, check out our Ratatouille casserole recipe and asparagus goat cheese tart recipe!