Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Best No-Cook Recipes for Fall


Pretty soon the weather will start making its transformation into the season George Eliot fondly referred to as “delicious autumn.” Already, in some parts of the country the crisp air is fragrant from apple and pumpkin harvests and the smell of fall leaves burning.

It’s also the time to try out new seasonal recipes – especially yummy ones that require minimal preparation and absolutely no cooking! Whether you are cooking-challenged or simply don’t have time to hassle with the stove, you can step up to the plate with these easy-to-prepare recipes:

AUTUMN SALAD WITH WALNUTS
Serves 4-6 people

Dressing:
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 tsp. whole grain mustard
1/4 cup hazelnut oil
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Salad:
2 pears, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced (include some of the green part)
1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Salad greens of choice

In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing. Add the pears, grapes, celery, and green onions and toss until thoroughly coated. Spoon over your favorite salad greens, top it off with some crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, and serve.


FALL FESTIVAL BEAN SLAW
Serves 4-6 people.

(This makes a colorful and tasty side dish that can be refrigerated up to three days.)

3 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
2 medium carrots, grated
2 large sweet red peppers, diced
4 large scallions, chopped
2-3 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh sweet basil, chopped
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can whole sweet corn, drained and rinsed
2 cups sour cream OR
2 cups yogurt OR
1 cup sour cream and 1 cup yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl, combine the two shredded cabbages, grated carrots, diced red peppers, chopped scallions, sun-dried tomatoes and basil, along with the black beans and corn. Gently toss with the sour cream and/or yogurt until all ingredients are well blended. You can serve immediately or chill overnight.


CHOCOLATE RUM ACORNS

3 cups vanilla wafers, crushed
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup walnuts, chopped
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup rum

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the crushed vanilla wafers, confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, and walnuts. Add the corn syrup and rum and blend together well. Using a fruit or melon baller, scoop up the mixture and roll into balls. Then push down on each ball with the melon baller until some of it squishes over the sides, forming an acorn shape. Roll the acorns in confectioner’s sugar and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.


EASY NO-COOK PUMPKIN PIE

(This is an old favorite that has been around for a long time)

2 (16 oz.) cans pumpkin
1 cup sugar
3 small packages instant vanilla pudding
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 (16 oz.) carton Cool Whip
2 graham cracker crusts

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, vanilla pudding, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until thoroughly blended. Then carefully fold in the Cool Whip and pour the pumpkin pie filling into the graham cracker pie crusts. Refrigerate until set. Note: these pies also freeze well.


APPLE-PEANUT BUTTER WRAPS
Serves 1

(This is a quick and easy snack that my family enjoys.)

1 soft flour tortilla
1 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tsp. raisins
Dash cinnamon
1/2 small apple, chopped

Spread the peanut butter on tortilla and sprinkle the raisins and apples on top. Add a dash of cinnamon, roll, and enjoy!

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