Our Favorite Recipes for Fall

Along with a great Winter 2011 issue, check out what YES! is cooking up this fall.

Photo from Shutterstock.

In honor of fall, YES! staff and contributors have compiled their favorite seasonal and local recipes. We hope you enjoy our soul-warming picks.

Sesame Chard

David Korten, Board Chair and Co-Founder


10 stalks of chard
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sweetener [agave juice or brown sugar work well]
Toasted sesame seeds


  1. Cut chard into large pieces. Cut off and throw away the thick tough portion of the stems.
  2. Pour olive oil in a large frying pan. Over high heat, place the chard in the pan. Sprinkle sesame oil on the chard.  Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.
  3. Stir for several minutes.  When the volume of the chard has been substantially reduced, add balsamic vinegar.  Continue stirring until chard is almost fully cooked.  Then add rice vinegar and sweetener.
  4. Cook on medium heat, stirring well, until the vinegar is reduced to a syrupy consistency.
  5. Add toasted sesame seeds, and serve hot.

It looks like a lot of chard when you start out, but it cooks down to serve as the vegetable dish for two people.

Leg of goat

Vicki Robin, 10-Mile Diet Blogger

To support my September 10-mile diet experiment, Rhonda Salerno offered me the leg of a goat she and her family raised. The goat was milk-fed and well-loved and compassionately slaughtered and butchered. I prepared it and ate it with equal love. I have never been so aware of the preciousness of life giving itself to life.

1 goat leg
1 garlic clove


  1. Pierce the leg in many places and put a sliver of garlic in each opening (My mother did that with beef roasts when I was a child). The garlic came from my friend Terra who had a surplus and lives in my 10 miles.

  2. Rub and sprinkle with rosemary, basil, and oregano.

  3. Salt (one of the foods from afar I permitted myself.)

  4. Slow roast at 200 degrees until a meat thermometer reads at least 145 degrees (I like it at 160 degrees, so that it's not blood rare in the center.)

  5. Eat with "Tricia salad": Local cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, apples, and potatoes. 

  6. Savor.

Green Tomato Curry

Madeline Ostrander, Senior Editor

In the Northwest, I always have a pile of garden tomatoes at the end of the season that don’t get a chance to ripen on the vine. Green tomatoes are, obviously, firmer than red tomatoes. They also have an apple-like taste. So I substituted them in a recipe that called for apples and, over time, made the recipe my own. This is based on an African fruit and vegetable curry recipe. 

As with all homemade recipes, the amounts of seasonings are estimates, and the directions are approximations. Adjust to your taste and liking. I always fiddle with the spices at the end and add more of one or the other seasoning.


2 large onions
3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons freshly minced ginger
vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander [I like to grind the cumin and coriander myself. I’ve discovered it makes the recipe far more flavorful.]
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup water
2 medium-sized green tomatoes
Mix of vegetables [Some tasty possibilities include 1 cup of green beans; 1 to 2 zucchini; 1/2 to 1 cup of peeled, cubed winter squash; and 1 green or red pepper.]
Honey, lemon, salt, & pepper to taste
Brown rice


  1. Saute onions, garlic, and ginger in vegetable oil until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, cardamom, and cloves. Saute the garlic and onions with the spices for about 1 minute to roast the spices and bring out the flavor.
  3. Add water,  green tomatoes, and a mix of vegetables.
  4. Cover the pan and simmer for 30-40 minutes. The water should start to evaporate and the juices from the veggies will turn it into a starchy curry sauce. The zucchini may fall apart a little. That’s okay. Keep an eye on the pan and add a little more water when necessary. If all the water boils off, the vegetables will burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add honey and lemon juice to taste to bring out the tartness. Add salt and black pepper, also to taste. If you want, you can also add peanuts or cashews and raisins, currants, or chopped, dried apricots.
  6. Serve over brown rice.

Feijoada Fong-Hoonan (A Brazilian beans and rice dish with a multi-ethnic twist)

Jing Fong, Education Outreach Manager


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 lb. turkey kielbasa or chorizo
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 cup long grain white rice or brown rice


  1. Cook rice in 2 cups of water in a covered pan for 15 minutes or in rice cooker while sausage and beans are cooking.
  2. Cut sausage into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, sausage, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until onion is tender.
  3. Add cumin and sauté 1 minute. Add beans, water, pepper and bay leaf. Mix and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Serve over cooked rice. Serves 4.

Here's where the twist comes in: The original recipe says to add 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar and 1/2 tsp. hot sauce after you remove the bay leaf. I skip this because my kids never liked these flavors. They like their Feijoada with white rice and soy sauce. It's their favorite comfort food for dinner. My husband and I like this with brown rice, and guacamole and salsa on the side. 

Autumn French Lentils with Rosemary Brown Basmati

Jessica Lind-Diamond, Development Manager


3 tablespoons oil or butter [coconut oil adds great flavor]
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons each of cumin and turmeric
2 teaspoons coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup French (green) lentils
1 1/2 cups dark beer [Stout or porter. This is a good way to use up beer that's gone flat!]
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried rosemary
1 yam cubed, not skinned
1 cup diced zucchini
Salt & pepper to taste


  1. In mid-sized pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil or butter over medium heat. Saute the red onion until it begins to soften.
  2. Add spices and salt and pepper. Stir for two minutes. Add lentils and toast for a few more minutes. Add dark beer and 1 1/2 cups of water. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. While the lentils simmer, melt 1 tablespoon of oil or butter and toast 1 1/2 cup of brown basmati rice over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in rosemary and salt to taste. Cover with 3 cups of water and simmer over low heat, covered, until the water is completely absorbed.
  4. While your rice and lentils simmer away, chop a yam (with the skin on) into 1-inch cubes. Place them on top of the lentils (don't stir them in!) Cover and continue to simmer.
  5. Ten minutes later, add 1 cup finely diced zucchini, and stir it all together. It should ready to serve (with the rice) in 10-15 minutes, or when lentils and veggies are soft but not mushy. I like to serve it with homemade quince chutney.

Potato Leek Soup

Paula Murphy, Fulfillment Manager

This soup is the perfect comfort food, especially when it starts to get cold outside. I make it for our interns and they love it! The secret is the butter and crusty bread.


5 tablespoons butter
3 leeks, thinly sliced
1 medium or large onion, chopped
6-8 russet potatoes, thinly sliced
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth) or enough to barely cover potatoes
1 cup cream
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat, then add onions and leeks. Cook, stirring, until onions are limp and just slightly brown
  2. Add sliced potatoes to pan then pour in enough broth to just barely cover the potatoes.  Continue cooking over medium heat until potatoes are just tender. Using a potato masher, mash and stir potatoes until desired consistency is reached. As you mash the potatoes and the soup thickens, turn down heat and stir frequently with a large spoon to prevent scorching on the bottom
  3. Add one cup of cream and salt and black pepper to taste. Add 2 tablespoons butter and cook 15 minutes more over low heat, stirring frequently, then remove from heat and serve with crusty bread.

Crispy Kale

Alex Abdallah, Online Intern

When you crave a salty crunch, crispy kale makes a perfect healthy snack.


1/2 pound kale
2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Move oven rack to highest position and pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Tear kale leaves into chip-sized pieces and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Lightly drizzle kale with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Cook kale for 4-5 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn't burn.
  5. Eat them while they're hot!

Pumpkin Muffins

Brooke Jarvis, Web Editor

You can also bake these in a bread pan—just increase the cooking time by about 20 minutes. Be sure to save the pumpkin seeds (they're great roasted in the oven with butter, salt, and cayenne).


2 cups of pumpkin [You'll get more than enough from a small sugar pie pumpkin. Cut it into pieces and bake it in the oven or steam it on the stovetop until soft; scoop the flesh off the skin with a spoon.]
3 1/2 cups flour [I use 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat and one of white.]
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar or substitute
4 tablespoons ground flax [or 4 eggs]
1 cup applesauce [or 1 cup vegetable oil]
1 and 1/2 tsp. salt; 2 tsp. each of cinnamon and nutmeg; 1/2 tsp. allspice
1 cup chopped walnuts [optional]
1/2 to 1 cup raisins, currants, or other dried fruit
1/2 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  2. Stir all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the pumpkin, apple sauce, and water; stir until well-blended. Add the raisins and nuts if desired.
  4. Pour into lightly greased and floured muffin tins.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes at 350 F. Muffins are done when a fork comes out clean.

Makes 24 muffins.

What are your favorite fall recipes? Tell us in the comments section below.