Fall Flavors The Whole Family Will Love | Rocky Mountain Health Plans Blog



Easy Recipes For a Cozy Fall

Grab the family and head to the kitchen to make one of these wonderfully curated nutritious, yet hearty fall recipes sourcing local, in-season Colorado items. From soups to sides, and even healthy desserts, these recipes are perfect for a cozy fall meal. Don’t forget to get the freshest, locally grown fall staples for your recipes at places like Rettig or McLean Farms – get the full list of local Grand Junction farms here.

Quinoa and Mushroom-Stuffed Butternut Squash


Butternut squash is a versatile gourd, and this is one fall-inspired recipe that your dinner guests haven’t tried before. You can serve this stuffed squash as a hearty side, but it could easily be the star of the show, too. Recipe and photo courtesy of 12 Tomatoes.


  • 4 lbs. butternut squash; 2 regular-sized squashes
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 cup chanterelle mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • water
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 450º Fahrenheit. Cut squashes in half, and remove seeds. Cut side up, in two 11×7 inch baking dishes. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil with no more than one tablespoon per squash, and add 1/4 inch of water to each baking dish then cover with foil and bake for around 40 minutes. Once tender, reduce oven temperature to 375º Fahrenheit and remove squash baking dishes from oven to cool.

In a small pot, boil 4 cups of water and then add quinoa. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all water then remove from heat.

In a pan, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat and sauté mushrooms and onions. Add in the garlic after a few minutes and cook until fragrant.

After the squash has cooled, scoop out the insides, leaving approximately 1/4 inch of inside flesh. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, the scooped out butternut squash, mushrooms, onions and garlic, and parmesan cheese. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.

Finally, spoon mixture back into the hollow butternut squashes and return them to the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees, or until top is golden brown.

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon


This recipe just might become your new favorite side dish. It’s super easy to prepare, and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Plus, your kids may be asking for more vegetables (yes they are this good). Recipe and photo courtesy of A Family Feast.


  • 1.5 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 bacon slices, cut into 1 inch pieces


Preheat your oven to 400° Fahrenheit. While the oven heats up, clean and trim the Brussels sprouts and cut any large sprouts in half. Add the Brussels sprouts to a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and toss to evenly coat.

Place the Brussels sprouts onto a large sheet pan in a single layer, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Next, add the bacon pieces over the Brussels sprouts. Roast the bacon and sprouts for 20 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. When everything is golden and lightly caramelized, it’s time to remove them from the oven.

Cauliflower Stuffing


We love using cauliflower in creative new ways, even as a replacement for bread in stuffing. This healthier, low-carb stuffing can be enjoyed guilt-free, and it’s very easy to prepare. Thanks to delish for this wonderfully hearty and healthy recipe.


  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 c. chopped mushrooms
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp. ground sage)
  • 1/2 c. vegetable or chicken broth


In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft about 7 to 8 minutes. Add cauliflower and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Add parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir until combined, then pour over vegetable broth and cover with a lid. Cover until totally tender and liquid is absorbed, 15 minutes.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream Frosting

This recipe is described as “Thanksgiving in a cupcake,” and we can’t think of a better title. Photo and recipe courtesy of Chocolate Covered Katie. If you love the slightly burnt marshmallow flavor in traditional sweet potato casserole, try lightly broiling mini marshmallows or toasting them with a crème brûlée torch.


  • 1/2 cup Skim or low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
  • 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 tbsp. melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup spelt flour or almond flour (for more protein)
  • 1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar, or xylitol
  • pinch pure stevia extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake tray with liners and set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, sweet potato puree, vanilla, coconut oil, and vinegar. In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir very well. Pour wet ingredients into the dry (large bowl), and stir until just evenly mixed. Pour evenly into cupcake tray. Make sure the batter fills only a little over half of each cupcake tin, as it will rise considerably as it cooks. Bake 19-20 minutes, or until cupcakes have risen and are lightly golden. Let cool 15 minutes before removing from the cupcake tins.

Marshmallow Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream
  • pinch pure stevia, or 2-3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp marshmallow extract

Open the coconut milk (try not to shake it before opening), and if it’s not already super-thick, leave the can in the fridge overnight as you want it very thick. Once thick, transfer only the creamy coconut cream to a bowl and whip in your sweetener and extract with a fork or using electric beaters. Frost the cupcakes immediately before serving or refrigerate until ready to use as the whipped cream is perishable.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Pumpkin flavored ice cream can be purchased from the grocery store nowadays, but we prefer this semi-homemade version that uses canned pumpkin and animal crackers.


  • 1/2 cup animal crackers
  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 Tablespoons frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed


Crush the animal crackers, then add them to a large bowl. Using a potato masher, gently mix the ice cream, canned pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger until just combined. The recipe makes 6 half-cup servings; top each with a tablespoon of whipped topping.