5 warm comfort foods featuring apples
BPT: As the leaves change and the nighttime
air takes on a chill, our thoughts naturally
turn to warm, delicious foods that offer an
element of comfort on a chilly autumn night.
Some comfort foods are hugely rooted in
nostalgia. Others are just so enjoyably crispy,
crunchy, chewy, sweet or savory, they bring
a smile as soon as we tuck in.
This time of year, the ultimate comfort food
is any warm dish featuring the flavorful,
crunchy apples that are among the best parts
of autumn. Pick up a bushel of your favorite
variety at stores this fall, then slice ¡®em and
dice ¡®em to create one of these tasty (yet
easy) autumn favorites:
* Apple and cheddar pasta bake: For a
main-entr¨¦e version of apple pie with ched-
dar, create a sauce by saut¨¦ing two cups of
chopped, peeled, tart cooking apples with
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion and 3 table-
spoons butter. Stir in 3 tablespoons flour, 3
teaspoons thyme, salt and pepper, 1/2 cup
apple cider, and 2 cups of whole milk, melt-
ing in one 23-ounce package of softened
cream cheese and 1/2 cup of shredded white
cheddar. Add the melted sauce to 12 oz. of
your favorite cooked pasta, sprinkle with
panko crumbs saut¨¦ed in butter and bake at
350 degrees for 40 minutes.
* Apple, brie and ham paninis: For a
scrumptious balance of sweet and savory
flavors, fill olive oil-brushed sourdough bread
slices with thin layers of sliced ham, brie,
medium-tart apples and whole cranberry
sauce. Grill for 2 minutes on each side using
a panini press or skillet until brie is melted
and the bread is golden brown.
* Slow-cooked apple pork chops: In your
crockpot, place three to four boneless center-
cut pork chops of one-inch thickness. Dice in
three red delicious apples and a small yellow
onion. Mix up then add in 1/4 cup apple
cider vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 3 tablespoons
brown sugar and cinnamon, salt and pepper
to taste. Cook on low for four to five hours,
serving with crispy French bread that can
mop up the drippings.
* Slow-cooked spicy apples: Peel and slice
six Granny Smith apples into your crockpot.
Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2
tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons cornstarch
and cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to taste.
Cook on high for two hours and serve warm,
adding to ice cream if you choose.
* Nearly instant apple dumplings: Peel
and slice a large, tart apple. Unroll a tube of
crescent-roll dough, roll up each piece with
an apple slice and place them in a baking
dish. Brush them with a caramel made of 1/2
cup melted butter, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 tea-
spoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon,
then pour a half-can of lemon-lime flavored
pop over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40
to 45 minutes.
Don¡¯t miss the glories of apple season this
year. Instead, celebrate autumn by treating
yourself and your family to a range of warm
and delicious dishes featuring the classic and
versatile fruit. Find more ideas for serving up
tasty comfort foods at: Meijer.com
Food & Dining
Pg 9 - The Sunshine Express
5 reasons to snack on strawberries
BPT: The perfect snack needs to check off
three boxes: It should be filling enough to get
you to your next meal, provide nutrition that
fits into your balanced diet, and satisfy crav-
ings, whether sweet or savory.
Not an easy task, but juicy California strawber-
ries are up for the challenge.
¡°Strawberries are an ideal snack because not
only do they taste great, they¡¯re also heart-
healthy and an anti-inflammatory food,¡± says
Manuel Villacorta, registered dietitian and
author of Flat Belly 365.
¡°I love to pair strawberries with yogurt, pea-
nut butter on rice crackers, or cottage cheese.
Strawberry smoothies are also a favorite.¡±
Naturally sweet, yet low in sugar
Many people get the urge to graze around that
3 o¡¯clock slump.
By reaching for something that has natural
sweetness, you can fulfill that craving without
excess calories and sugar. In fact, one serving
of eight strawberries has only 50 calories and
eight grams of sugar.
Bursting with nutrients
Another reason to love strawberries? ¡°The
combination of flavonoids, antioxidants and
fiber can help reduce cholesterol levels,¡± Vil-
lacorta says. ¡°Plus, strawberries are full of
potassium, which can help manage blood pres-
sure and prevent strokes.¡± Strawberries don¡¯t
stop there; a single serving has more vitamin
C than an orange.
Boost your brain
According to a study in the Annals of Neurolo-
gy, eating strawberries at least twice per week
may delay cognitive aging by two and a half
years, which includes improvement in memory
and motor function.
Add in a daily sudoku or crossword puzzle and
you¡¯re on your way to a sharper mind!
Great for diabetes management
Nutrient-packed strawberries are a great op-
tion for those with diabetes. In fact, the Ameri-
can Diabetes Association lists strawberries as a
top superfood for diabetic meal plans.
¡°The anthocyanins found in strawberries may
help improve insulin resistance, which means
you can regulate blood glucose better,¡± accord-
ing to Villacorta.
Snacks anyone will love
Both kids and adults love a good strawberry
snack. Try a strawberry oat bar, peanut butter
yogurt dipped strawberries, strawberry almond
butter snackwich or even strawberry turkey
pinwheels to switch things up in your afternoon
From quick and kid-friendly to fancy appetiz-
ers, visit CaliforniaStrawberries.com for snacks
perfect for all ages and occasions.
Snacking can be fun for the whole family with
bright colors, simple recipe ideas, unexpected
flavor combinations and a little creativity.
And if your snacks are full of vital nutrients and
health benefits, even better!
What are you waiting for? Pick up some straw-
berries and get snacking today.
Crunchy, Crispy, Juicy
Sweet Vital Nutrients
Halloween Candy Buy Back;
Hosted by All Kids Dental
Glenwood Springs, CO: Have fun collecting your
Halloween candy and then get paid for it while
helping our troops.
Bring in your Halloween Candy on Thursday,
November 1st to All Kids Dental in Glenwood Springs
or Rifle between 3:30p and 5:30p and get $1 for
every pound of candy. All collected candy will be
shipped to the troops overseas.
Plus you can enter to win a $50 gift card if you bring
in new items for our troops, including Socks (black,
brown, green or tan), Energy Bars, Beef Jerky, in-
dividually packaged Razors, Hand or Foot Warmers,
Beverage Powder Packets and Knit Hats & Scarves or
to see more item options visit:
Have fun making a card for a solider to be sent with
your candy. There will be prizes, free goodie bags
and toothbrushes. Shipping is supplied by UPS.
All Kids Dental in Glenwood Springs is located up-
stairs in the ANB Bank Building at 2624 Grand Ave.
The Rifle location is 900 Airport Road.
All Kids Dental can be reached at 970.928.9500.
Watch for the Grand Opening of our new Eagle Ranch
practice location coming later this year.
Try this Chile recipe from Chef Jason K. Morse,
C.E.C., 5280 Culinary, LLC & Ace Hardware Grill Ex-
pert: Baked Green Chile Mac and Cheese
24 oz. Penne Pasta, partially cooked
1 Stick Salted Butter, cubed
1 Cup Chicken Stock
4 Cups Half & Half
1 14.5 oz. Jar Alfredo Sauce
6 oz. Quesadilla Cheese, shredded
6 oz. Cheddar Blend Cheese, shredded
4 oz. Parmesan Cheese, shredded
1 1/2 Cups Green Chiles, roasted and chopped
3 Tbsp. BBQ Rub Seasoning Blend
Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Spray 8¡± x 11¡±
aluminum disposable pan with non-stick cooking
spray. Add pasta to the pan, then add cubed butter,
chicken stock, half & half and alfredo sauce, then
mix. Mix in green chiles & seasoning. Top with shred-
ded cheeses, cover with aluminum foil. Bake covered
40 minutes. Open cover and stir well, if pasta is soft,
fully remove the foil and brown. If pasta is not soft,
re-cover and cook in 10 min. increments until done.
Enjoy with a glass of Colorado wine such as Metate
Blanc from Guy Drew Vineyards in Cortez, Colorado.
For a complete list of recipes visit:
Cash & Prizes For Sharing
Fire Up Your Favorite Dishes
With Chile Peppers
SE Colorado¡¯s hot dry summer days, rich soil
and pure water provide the perfect environ-
ment for growing chile peppers.
Pueblo chile pungency ranges between 5,000
and 20,000 Scoville Heat Units and are compa-
rable to moderate jalapeno peppers.
Look for Colorado chiles at your local grocer.
Warm Up With Colorado Chiles