Healthy Fall Recipes

healthy foods for fall including mushrooms, berries, and carrots

When there’s a chill in the air, nothing beats cozying up with a meal that warms us from the inside out,” says Jordan Kowalczewski, an Outpatient Registered Dietitian at Jersey City Medical Center. Fortunately, the fall season is a great time to find locally grown root vegetables like butternut squash, sweet potatoes and beets. "These items are easy to prepare, can be prepared in a number of different ways-mashed, roasted, made into soup-are high in B vitamins, vitamins A and C, and potassium, and are cheapest at this time of year,” Kowalczewski says. Try these three recipes, for your holiday table or at any time.

Butternut Squash and Grain Salad

butternut squash grain saladThis salad is light enough to be served as a side dish, or can easily be made into a meal with the addition of protein, such as roasted chicken or salmon.


  • 1 whole butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small red onion
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups farro (a nutty grain that is related to wheat) or brown rice
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • Baby spinach (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 450 F. Line baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Toss butternut squash with 2 tablespoons canola oil to coat, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place squash on tray. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until fork-tender, tossing halfway through baking time.
  • While the squash is cooking, dice onion into 1-inch pieces. Toss lightly with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place on baking sheet halfway through squash cooking time. When squash pieces are fork- tender, remove from oven and let cool slightly on tray.
  • While squash and onion are roasting, prepare farro or brown rice according to package instructions. When done, drain and let cool.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, remaining olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to create vinaigrette.
  • In a large bowl, combine farro/rice, roasted onion, squash and desired cheese. Toss with balsamic vinaigrette to coat.
  • Serve as is, or serve over baby spinach. Salad can be served either cold or warm.

Roasted Beet Hummus

roasted beet hummusHummus can last 7–10 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.


  • 2 medium-large beets
  • 1 19-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 450 F. Line baking sheet with foil. Wash beets thoroughly and trim root/stem if needed.
  • Add beets to foil-lined pan, cover tightly with more foil. Roast for 40–45 minutes, or until beets are fork-tender. Remove from oven and let cool for 5–10 minutes.
  • In a blender or food processor, add chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper. Blend on high; slowly drizzle in olive oil until hummus is smooth and creamy, usually about 2–3 minutes.
  • Once beets are cooled, peel and cut into medium-sized cubes (you may want to wear gloves as the beet color may stain your hands). Add beet chunks to blender and continue blending until smooth.
  • Put beet hummus in a bowl and top with a small drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy with whole-grain crackers, fresh veggies or whole-wheat pita bread.

Sweet Potato Waffles

These waffles can be made ahead of time, frozen and popped in the toaster when you’re ready to eat.


  • 4 cups shredded sweet potato (use the largest holes in a box grater)
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray


  • In a bowl, mix grated sweet potato with eggs and salt.
  • Preheat waffle iron. Once preheated, spray iron with nonstick spray or coat with olive oil. Fill waffle iron (be careful not to overfill) and cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions until crispy.
  • For sweet waffles: Top with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, or a dash of cinnamon and fresh berries.
  • For savory waffles: Top with an egg (either scrambled or sunny-side up), sliced tomato and sliced avocado.

To contact a registered dietitian at Jersey City Medical Center, call 201.885.3700 or 201.984.1270.