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5 Southwestern Colorado Recipes For Fall

Get Ready For Autumn With These Tasty Treats

As the days start getting shorter and cooler, the sunlight stretches longer and the leaves in the trees start turning into warm golden, red and brown tones, you might start to get cravings for the tasty comfort food that autumn brings.

When you are cooking this fall, consider using ingredients that are grown locally in Colorado so that you can support local farmers and producers. Head to your local Farmers Market and you will find lots of great fruits, vegetables, meats and much more. Plus, when you shop locally it will often be a lot fresher and tastier than anything that you buy in the supermarket. So what delicious Colorado recipes can you look forward to making this fall? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Bars

Pumpkin is a quintessential fall comfort food, evoking Halloween jack-o-lanterns and Thanksgiving pie. You can make a healthy pumpkin snack that is great for those mornings when you want to grab a quick breakfast on the go. Bake these Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Bars the night before so you can take one out the door with you in the morning.

Directions & Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats {not instant oats}
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. Add in oats and brown sugar and stir until combined. In a separate smaller bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, beaten egg, vanilla and molasses. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and mix completely. Fold in cinnamon chips.

Use aluminum foil and line an 8x8" pan. Spray the foil with non-stick spray. Spoon batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until done. Cool completely.

Cut into 16 squares. Store in refrigerator and warm before serving.

Butternut Squash, Arugala & Bacon Quiche

This tasty egg quiche makes for a great fall lunch and it’s very convenient for packing in your bag with you when you go to work. It uses butternut squash, one of those healthy and delicious autumn vegetables. If you want to make it even healthier you can use turkey bacon instead of the usual type of bacon.

Directions & Ingredients
  • 1 pie crust
  • 3 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 eggs, whisked
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 handfuls fresh arugula, whole or roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola, blue or feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lay prepared pie crust in an ungreased pie plate. Bake for 5 minutes, then set aside.

Cook bacon in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving grease in pan. Add butternut squash and onion and saute for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the squash is tender. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute. Remove from heat.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, baking powder, milk, salt, and black pepper. Stir in the sauteed vegetables, arugula, cheese, and cooked bacon, and stir until well combined.

Transfer the quiche filling into crust, and use a spoon to smooth the surface. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Quiche will rise while baking, but should settle back down once you remove it from the oven. Remove from the oven and allow the quiche to rest for at least 5 minutes. Slice and serve warm.

Crispy Colorado Trout

Colorado has some of the best trout fishing destinations in the world and the trout that are caught here are flavourful, flaky and fantastic. This Crispy Colorado Trout recipe sautés the trout with panko crumbs and an egg wash and serves it with a caper aioli sauce and chevre orzo. Yum!

Directions & Ingredients
  • 1 (8-ounce) fresh Colorado trout, cleaned and separated into fillets
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Olive oil, for sauteing trout

Caper Aioli Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 whole scallions, cleaned and chopped
  • Chevre Orzo, recipe follows

Chevre Orzo

  • 1 pound orzo
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound chevre
  • 1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes
  • 8 to 10 basil leaves cut into a chiffonade
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly on the bias

Preparing Trout: After de-boning, finning, cleaning, and filleting fish, rinse and pat dry. Combine egg and milk in a shallow dish to make an egg wash. Dredge trout in seasoned flour shaking off excess. Dip into egg wash mixture, and then into panko crumbs, turning to coat both sides and patting lightly. Remove fillets and place separately onto platter. Use waxed paper to keep fish from touching.

Preparing Aioli Sauce: Place all ingredients into blender except for olive oil, and puree. Add a little water to loosen, if needed. Once you have reached the puree stage, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. This will cause the ingredients to emulsify. Set aside.

Cooking Trout: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a heavy saute pan, coat bottom with 1/8-inch of oil. Heat pan and oil to medium heat. Add fillet skin side up and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn fillet over and cook until golden brown on the other side. Remove from heat and place on paper towels in baking dish. Place fillets in preheated oven for 6 to 7 minutes. Arrange on plates and drizzle with sauce making thin ribbons across the fillets. Serve with Chevre Orzo.

Chevre Orzo: Cook orzo in salted boiling water to just under done. Drain and keep warm. Heat the cream, add remaining ingredients, and toss with the pasta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Baked Polenta With Sausage & Tomato Pepper Sauce

When you are looking for a simple and filling comfort food dinner as the weather starts to get a little bit colder, this is the perfect option. It is absolutely delicious when served with a fresh green salad and a loaf of Italian bread and it will keep you warm inside on a cold fall night.

Directions & Ingredients
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise, then cut into thin wedges
  • 1 medium yellow, red, or orange bell pepper, cut lengthwise into thin slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, freshly ground black pepper, and red chile flakes
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, sweet or spicy (or 1 lb. Italian sausage links removed from their casings)
  • 2 tubes (16 oz. each) prepared polenta, sliced into 1/2-in.-thick rounds
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, drained and sliced into 1/4-in.-thick rounds

Preheat broiler to high. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 2- to 3-qt. saucepan set over medium heat, then add tomatoes and oregano and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, and chile flakes, and stir to combine. Cover pan, lower heat to medium, and cook until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, stirring and breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it firms up, about 5 minutes. Cover pan and cook until vegetables are tender and sausage is cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes more. Add tomato sauce and simmer 10 minutes.

While sauce is cooking, pour remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. oil into a 9- by 13-in. baking pan and tilt to coat bottom. Add polenta slices to pan and turn to coat with oil, then arrange slices lengthwise in 3 slightly overlapping rows. Broil polenta about 4 in. from heating element until golden brown and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes.

Pour sauce over broiled polenta, then arrange mozzarella slices over the top. Broil until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Moroccan Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Soup

It’s hard not to start drooling just from reading the name of this tasty fall recipe. It is a very simple soup to make but the creaminess and the flavour is irresistible. It is quick, easy to make and it uses really healthy seasonal ingredients. It’s a wonderful treat for a lunch on a fall day and you could also serve it with pieces of toasted naan bread to soak up all of the creamy, soupy flavor.

Directions & Ingredients
  • 1 head garlic, for roasting (or sub 2 cloves garlic, not roasted)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled + cubed
  • 1 teaspoon spicy curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk (I used full fat, but lite will work too)
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened + more for topping
  • roughly chopped cilantro + pistachios, for topping
  • arils from one pomegranate, for topping
  • naan, for serving
  • Coconut Ginger Cream
  • 1/2 cup cooled canned coconut milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh ginger

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin off the bulb of garlic. Pour about one teaspoon of olive oil on top of the garlic cloves and cover with foil. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool five minutes. Squeeze garlic out of the paper skin into a small bowl, mash well with a fork and set aside.

Meanwhile, add the coconut oil to a large soup pot set over medium heat. Once hot, add the red pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add the cubed butternut squash, spicy curry powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes then pour in the coconut milk and veggie broth. Bring the soup to boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the butternut squash is fork tender.

While the soup is cooking, make the ginger cream. Add the cold coconut milk and 1 tablespoon ginger to a small bowl. Taste and add more ginger if needed. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Once the butternut squash is tender, add the roasted garlic and the crumbled goat cheese to the soup. Remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool slightly, then puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Return the soup back to the stove and heat through.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowl. Drizzle the coconut ginger cream over the soup and swirl with a spoon. Garnish with chopped cilantro, chopped pistachios and crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle with pomegranate arils. Serve aside a hot piece of naan.

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