Date Night: Autumn Themed (NOVEMBER)

I wanted this date night to reflect the gorgeous colors and flavors of AUTUMN!


To begin this board you will want to want to start by roasting 4 sweet potatoes and 1 acorn squash.

  • To prepare the sweet potatoes, wash them and puncture the skin with a fork all over the potatoes.

  • To prepare the acorn squash, cut both ends off, cut it down the center, and then scrape out seeds and insides, leaving just the acorn squash to roast.

  • Drizzle olive oil all over the vegetables and then sprinkle salt and pepper over JUST the squash. Roast in a 400 degree oven.

  • Remove ONE sweet potato half way through baking (it will be still slightly firm)


Harvest Hummus: Roasted Acorn Squash & Red Pepper Hummus

This is easily my new favorite hummus! My husband ate almost the entire thing himself. The combo of flavors makes this the perfect autumn snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) (DRAINED)

  • 1/3 cup of jarred roasted red peppers (no liquid)

  • 1/3 cup of roasted and mashed acorn squash

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

  • 2 tsp onion powder

  • 2 tbsp plain greek nonfat yogurt (DF option: SILK plain almond milk yogurt)

  • Roughly 3 tbsp olive oil (pulse in while you have the food processor running)

  • 1 tbsp of red pepper flakes (use much less if you don't want it to be spicy)

  • Generously season with salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Open a can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and drain the liquid.

  2. Add the chickpeas, jarred roasted red peppers, mashed acorn squash, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, yogurt, salt and pepper to a food processor.

  3. Start pulsing the ingredients together.

  4. While you are pulsing, add the olive oil slowly in the top.

  5. Pulse all the ingredients together until nice and smooth.

  6. Top with red pepper flakes and more olive oil before serving.


Turkey Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Fries

YUM! It's a combination of sweet and savory and absolutely delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato (slightly roasted, skinned and cut into fries)

  • Roughly 10 pieces of turkey bacon

  • 4 tbsp of butter (DF option: earth balance)

  • 1 tbsp of granulated white sugar

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • Cinnamon and salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Start by roasting a whole sweet potato in the oven at 400 degrees until half way done. You will want the potato semi firm but soft enough to peel and cut easily. Once it's cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool.

  2. Cut the top and bottom of the sweet potato off and peel it. This should be super easy now that it's slightly roasted.

  3. Then cut the sweet potato horizontally to create long fry shapes.

  4. Add the 4 tbsp of butter to a shallow pan and cook on LOW heat until melted.

  5. On a cutting board, slice your turkey bacon twice (horizontally) creating 3 even strips of bacon.

  6. Twist the smaller piece of bacon around the sweet potato fries and place it in the melted butter. Continue this method until you've finished all of your wrapped sweet potato fries.

  7. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of sugar over the top of these wrapped sweet potatoes and continue to cook on low (flipping occasionally). Cooking these on low will ensure they don't burn and that the sweet potatoes and bacon cook through fully.

  8. When they are cooked, place them on a serving platter and drizzle the maple syrup over top!

  9. Season with cinnamon and salt.

**NOTE: If you use real bacon for this recipe, cook these in only 2 tbsps of butter.



Caramel Apple Pecans

What a perfect autumn snack! They are such a crowd pleaser and they seem super "fancy" but they are really just ridiculously easy to make. I'M FOR IT!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of pecans

  • 1/4 cup of apple juice

  • 3 tbsp of granulated white sugar

  • 2 tbsp of caramel sauce

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Add the apple juice, sugar, caramel sauce, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla to a pot and simmer on med-low heat until the ingredients are combined.

  2. Once the ingredients are combined, add the pecans to the mixture and simmer until the sauce is thickened (it will be slightly runnier than maple syrup)

  3. Spoon the mixture over parchment paper to cool.

  4. THAT'S IT!! ENJOY THESE DELICIOUS TREATS!


Fluffy Sweet Potato Bars

I'm DROOLING just thinking about these. They are an easy snack/ dessert and they just scream autumn!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes (Approximately 3 large sweet potatoes roasted until soft and mashed)

  • 1 stick of butter (melted and cooled)

  • 1/4 cup of vegetable or canola oil

  • 1 unpacked cup of brown sugar

  • 1/2 of a cup of granulated white sugar

  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 cups of flour

  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Start by mixing together the melted butter, oil, brown sugar and white sugar in a mixer. You can also mix these by hand using a whisk.

  3. Then add the vanilla and eggs and mix until these are well combined.

  4. Next, add the 3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes and mix until smooth.

  5. Once this is finished, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well.

  6. Add the flour 1 cup at a time until you have a nice thick mixture.

  7. Fold in the chocolate chips and transfer this batter to a buttered 9x13 glass dish. (use what you have)

  8. Bake until the bars are a LIGHT golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

  9. Turn your broiler on high, add the marshmallows to the top of the bars and bake until the marshmallows turn a soft golden brown (THIS WILL NOT TAKE LONG SO DO NOT WALK AWAY OR YOU WILL HAVE BURNT MARSHMALLOWS! LOL)

  10. Cool before cutting and serving. (The bars will look very fluffy at first but while they cool they will condense down.)


Savory Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds

There are so many flavor combinations you can do with these, but I decided to give them a savory kick!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup acorn squash seeds

  • 2 tsp paprika

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp ginger

  • 1/2 tsp oregano

  • 1/2 tbsp of olive oil

  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the squash seeds on a baking sheet, add the seasonings and 1/2 a tbsp of olive oil. Mix them well.

  2. Bake at 400 degrees until the seeds are golden brown. Half way through baking you will want to flip/move the seeds around.


Sparkling Pumpkin Juice

Any Harry Potter lovers here? Well, I feel like Harry Potter is an autumn essential movie, so what better drink to use for this autumn date night than a SPARKLING PUMPKIN JUICE!

Ingredients:

* SERVES THREE

  • 2 cups of apple juice

  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 can of ginger ale

If you want to spice it up and make it an "adult beverage" for a party, just add champagne or vodka!


Directions:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a pot and heat over low-medium heat until they are combined well.

  2. Serve cold or warm, you decide!


Add everything to your charcuterie board and you're ready for your date night!

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