Comfort Foods for Fall - Kalev Fitness Solution

Comfort Foods for Fall

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in Blog, Healthy Recipes | No Comments

Borscht with Meat

As the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler we tend to crave more hearty heavier foods.  With the dampness in the air, the warmth of stews, soups and spicy flavours add comfort.  Here are some of our go to favorites.

Borscht with Beef


1 lb Beef: sirloin, stew meat, or whatever kind of beef you like, really
1 Tbsp salt + more to taste
2 large or 3 medium beets, washed, peeled and grated
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp tomato sauce, or paste (or 3 Tbsp ketchup)
1 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 carrots, grated
2 large or 3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
1/2 head of small cabbage, sliced
2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley + more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Garnish: Sour cream and fresh sprigs of parsley or dill.

How To Make Borscht with Meat:

  1. Wash meat in cold water, cut into 1″ pieces and and place in a large soup pot with 14 cups cold water and 1 Tbsp salt. Bring it to a boil and remove the foam crud as soon as it boils (if you wait, it will be hard to get rid of the crud as it integrates into the broth and you’d have to strain it). Lower the heat, partially cover and cook at a low boil 45 minutes – 1 hr, periodically skimming off any crud that rises to the top.
  2. Grate beets on the large grater holes. Place them in a large heavy-bottom skillet with 4 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp vinegar and saute for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to med/low and add 1 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp tomato sauce. Mix thoroughly and saute until starting to soften, stirring occasionally (about 10 min). Remove from pan and set aside.In the same skillet (no need to wash it), Saute onion in 1 Tbsp butter for 2 min. Add grated carrot and sautee another 5 min or until softened, adding more oil if it seems too dry.
  3. Once the meat has been cooking at least 45 min, place sliced potatoes into the soup pot and cook 10 min, then add cabbage, sauteed beets, onion & carrot, and chopped tomatoes. Cook another 10 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
  4. Add 2 bay leaves, 1/4 tsp pepper, and more salt to taste (I added another 1/2 tsp salt).
  5. Chop parsley and pressed garlic then stir them into the soup pot, immediately cover and remove from heat. Let the pot rest covered for 20 minutes for the flavors to meld.

Caramelized Butternut Squash with Hazelnut-Sage Pesto

Ingredients for Hazelnut-Sage Pesto
1/4 cup sage, chopped
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/3 cup hazelnuts
1/4 cup feta cheese

Ingredients for Butternut Squash
1 large (or two small) butternut squashes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon raw cane sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne, depending on taste

Cooking directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and place a rack in the lowest slot in the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the butternut squash in the oven as it heats for about 10 minutes. Not too long, but just long enough to soften it slightly and make cutting it easier. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Then cut the squash into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, sugar, salt and cayenne. Add the sliced squash to the oil mixture and toss so that each slice is coated.
  4. Place the slices in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast for 10-15 minutes or until they begin to caramelize. Remove the sheet, flip the slices over, and bake them for another 10-15 minutes, or until caramelized. They should have a nice golden edge to both sides.
  5. While the squash is roasting, make the pesto. In a small sauce pan on low heat, gently warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sage, and garlic. Heat until the oil just begins to bubble, then pour it in a small bowl while separating out the garlic. Reserve the oil in another small bowl. Return the sauce pan to the stove without washing out the residual oil. Add the hazelnuts and toast them on a low temperature until fragrant. In mini food processor, add the hazelnuts and garlic and pulse until they form a fine crumble. Place the crumble in a large mixing bowl. Add the feta cheese plus the reserved olive oil and stir until combined.
  6. Once the squash is roasted, plate it and sprinkle the pesto over the top.

Late Harvest Pozole

3 cups white hominy
12 cups salt-free vegetable stock
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 parsnip, cubed
3 cups Hatch green chile
3 tablespoons New Mexico red chile powder
4 dried New Mexico red chile pods, shredded
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tomatoes, whole
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
2 tablespoons miso
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
Salt to taste

Cooking directions

Toss all of the ingredients into a large stockpot–except the sweet potatoes–and let it simmer on a medium-low heat for about an hour. Then add the sweet potatoes, and cook for an additional 30 minutes.  Garnish the pozole with cilantro and jack cheese. If you are enjoying it for breakfast, try a poached egg.


Mushroom Lentil Bourguignon


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups button, brown or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown lentils
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and saute them until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add the butter, garlic, thyme and mushrooms and cook the mixture until the mushrooms soften and begin to brown.
  2. Add the lentils and cook for about 2 minutes, then add the wine. Continue to cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the wine has almost cooked off.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to evenly blend it in. Add in the vegetable stock and tomato paste.
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is thick and dark and the mushrooms are tender. You can adjust the thickness of the sauce by adding in stock to thin it.
  5. While the mixture is simmering, drizzle a small skillet with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. Add in the pearl onions and saute them until they are soft and begin to brown. Add them into the mushroom mixture, give everything a stir, and taste to adjust salt and pepper seasoning.
  6. Serve the bourguignon hot with creamy mashed potatoes, or over roasted vegetables. Enjoy!

Apple Pie Chia Seed Jam Parfait

For the jam (makes 1-1.5 cups)

3 large apples, peeled and diced
3/4 cup 100% pure apple juice
2 tablespoons chia seeds
3/4-1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
pinch of fine grain sea salt (optional)

For the parfait:

1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 + 1/4 cups homemade or store-bought almond milk
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
sweetener, to taste (optional)
Apple Pie Jam (from above)
Chopped toasted walnuts (optional)


  1. For the jam: Add all jam ingredients into a medium pot and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. When the apples are fork tender, remove from heat and mash 50% of the mixture to thicken. Set aside to cool.
  2. For the vegan overnight oats: Combine the oats, chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Place in the fridge overnight, or for at least 1-2 hours to thicken. Once the oats are softened and the liquid is mostly absorbed, it’s ready. You can thin it out with more milk if needed or thicken it with more chia seeds.
  3. To make each parfait: Layer the vegan overnight oats with the apple pie jam, a few spoonfuls of each per layer. Add toasted chopped walnuts on top of each layer if desired.
  4. Store leftover jam in an air-tight container or jar in the fridge. Should last for at least 1-2 weeks.