4 Awesome Autumn-Inspired Dishes You'll Love

By Sirena Bernal

It's Fall y'all!  The temps are dropping, the leaves are changing, and the holidays are right around the corner. Whether you are missing the sunny days of Summer, or Fall is your favorite season, it's hard to deny that with this change in season comes some pretty awesome Autumn-inspired dishes.

For me fall means boots and sweaters. But not only does the change of season bring a change in wardrobe, autumn also brings with it colorful and flavorful fruits and vegetables to make seasonal dishes. In honor of the change of season, here are four healthy and super-simple (and gluten-free) autumn recipes to bring to your next tailgate or fall get-together.

Ultimate Beef Chili

Beef chili

Hearty, delicious, and high in protein. Doesn't get much better!


  • 1 lb. ground beef (or buffalo, chicken, turkey, venison, etc.)
  • 1 cup dry black beans soaked over night
  • 1 cup dry red beans soaked over night
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 serrano chiles
  • 1/2 of a habanero pepper (CAUTION: If you like a milder chili, exclude this pepper)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon Celtic Sea Salt
  • 16 oz. can of organic tomato puree
  • A few stalks of green onion for topping


  1. Brown the ground beef in a cast iron skillet. You may want to use a little coconut oil to prevent it from sticking. Spice up the ground beef with all of the seasonings listed above. Be sure not to over cook the meat as you’ll be putting it in the crockpot for a few more hours.
  2. Put the browned ground beef in the crockpot.
  3. Dice all of the vegetables and add to the crockpot with the beans and all of the seasoning and the 16 oz can of tomato puree.
  4. Turn the crockpot on low and allow to cook for 4-6 hours. It’s a good idea to stir the chili every hour or so to mix the flavors around. Check the flavor of the chili too and add any more spices if you like.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Beet Salad

beet salad

A lovely accompaniment to any meal.


  • 2 raw organic beets
  • 2 organic oranges
  • 1/2 organic lemon
  • Fresh organic mint
  • Fresh organic parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt


  1. Grate the beets in a big mixing bowl.
  2. Squeeze the juice of just 1 of the oranges into the beets.
  3. Save the other orange to add in the actual salad. Peel and cut up the orange in small triangular shapes like the picture above shows.
  4. Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  5. Remove the mint and parsley leaves from their respective stems and chiffonade the leaves. Throw into the mixture.
    (Pssst...Chiffonade is just fancy lingo for cutting herbs into long strips. Chiffonade baby! Chiffonade!)
  6. Add the sea salt and stir until everything gets mixed together all nice.
  7. Top off with some extra mint and parsley, and a few orange slices so it looks pretty.

Quinoa Stuffed Apple

A delicious and unexpected treat!

A delicious and unexpected treat!


  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup of quinoa (red or tricolor, because it looks pretty against the green apple)
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • ¼ cup crushed pecans
  • ¼ cup of dried cranberries
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh sage
  • Fresh thyme
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable/chicken stock for the quinoa


  1. Lay out 3-4 pieces of bacon on a cookie sheet and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until crispy. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate. Set to the side but keep the oven on.
  2. Boil 2 cups of water (you can use chicken or vegetable stock instead), then add 1 cup of quinoa, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for about 20 minutes, or until the kernels open up and the mixture becomes fluffy.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, cut the apples in half down the stem and scoop out the seeds, leaving ¼ inch of the apple along the edges. Set to the side.
  4. Remove the thyme and sage from the twigs, and choppity chop into small pieces. Really small pieces. Add these and the cranberries and pecans to the quinoa when it is done.
  5. Crumble the bacon and mix into the quinoa mixture (by now you should have the quinoa mixed with the thyme, sage, cranberries, pecans and bacon together)
  6. Scoop the quinoa mixture into the apples, and place face up on a cookie sheet, and bake in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes.

Butternut Squash Soup

This delicious comfort food is chock-full of nutrition!

This delicious comfort food is chock-full of nutrition!


  • 1 medium organic butternut squash
  • 1 can organic coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 tbs. organic maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cap-full of organic vanilla extract
  • A pinch of Sea Salt
  • Slivered almonds


  1. Cut the butternut squash in half length-wise and place on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven, skin side down.
  2. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the squash is forkready (when it feels soft when you poke it with a fork).
  3. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes. When the squash is warm to the touch, peel away the skin and place the meaty flesh in a food processor.
  4. Add the can of coconut milk, 2 tbs. of maple syrup, 1/4 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice, and 1 cap=full of vanilla extract in the food processor and blend until smooth. (**You may add up to 1/2 cup of water to thin the consistency**)
  5. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and warm-up to your desired temperature, taste testing along the way. Add a pinch of Sea Salt.
  6. Serve with slivered almonds and drizzled maple syrup.

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About the author:  Sirena Bernal

Sirena Bernal has a unique approach to the fitness industry combining her years in athletics and nutrition coaching with a deep passion for energy healing. She believes that anything is possible in life when we are strong in our mind, in our body and in our spirit. She is also a Reiki Master Trainer, and can be found on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. You can visit her website at SirenaBernal.com.

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