3 Fall Dinner Recipes: Easy Enough for Just You or a Whole Family


Who would have thought that we would still be social distancing and wearing masks this autumn? Although this fall may be very different from falls past, what remains the same is our desire for more warming, comforting, earthy foods.

If you are extra busy, like many people now, working remotely and/or caring for others from home, carving out a lot of time to cook may not be in the cards for you. Fortunately, the following recipes require ingredients that can be purchased at your local supermarket or readily online (you may even have most of them in your kitchen already), and they also require very little prep time. The change of season may also inspire you to try something new, like breakfast for dinner, quinoa in a savory pie, or a dish to replicate the green curry you used to enjoy out at your favorite Thai restaurant. 

Nourishing yourself and others with nutritious homemade food as the weather turns cooler will hopefully make dining in a bit easier. Happy cooking!

Pumpkin Coconut Vegetable Curry

Ever wonder how Thai restaurants make those dishes so delicious? Well, wonder no more! You can make your own Thai curry with just a few simple ingredients. Canned pumpkin is a time-saver and contains fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, which all support heart health. Feel free to make use of any vegetables you have in the house to customize the curry.

• 2 tablespoons green curry paste

• 1 15-ounce can coconut milk

• 3/4 cup canned pumpkin purée

• 1/2 cup water

• 1 large sweet potato

• 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, plus more to taste

• 2 small zucchini

• 2 bell peppers, preferably red and yellow for color

• 1 portobello mushroom

• 2 cups collard greens, chopped

• Juice of 2 limes

• 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped 


• 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted

• 1 cup cilantro, washed and chopped finely

• 3/4 cup whole peanuts, chopped finely


Place the curry paste in a large pot over medium heat and stir until it becomes fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, the pumpkin purée, and the water and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and cut into 1/2-inch chunks.

Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the sweet potato and brown sugar and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash and trim the zucchini and peppers and slice into 1-by-1-inch pieces. 

Chop the mushroom into 1-by-½-inch pieces.

After the potatoes have simmered for 15 minutes, add the rest of the vegetables and simmer another 20 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. 

Add the lime juice and basil, stir, and let simmer another 5 minutes.

Adjust seasonings and ladle the curry into bowls, topping each serving with a sprinkle of coconut, cilantro, and peanuts.

Yield: 6–8 servings

Swiss Chard Quinoa Pie With Parmesan

I’m always looking for a new use for protein-packed, leftover quinoa, which is how I created this “pie.” It’s also filled with nutrient-dense, leafy green Swiss chard, which contains magnesium, iron, and calcium. What I like most about this recipe is that it can be a quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner and, since it contains protein, fat, and complex carbs, it’s a one-dish meal. Make in advance, cut a slice, and dinner (or breakfast!) is served.

• 1 cup quinoa

• 1 bunch Swiss chard

• 1 large onion, peeled and chopped finely

• 2 teaspoons neutral oil, like canola or avocado 

• 2 large eggs

• 1 cup whole milk

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

• 1 teaspoon kosher salt

• 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium uncovered sauce pan, bring the quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil and continue boiling until the water is fully absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa and let cool.

While the quinoa is cooking, stem and wash the Swiss chard and pulse in a food 

processor until fully minced.

In a medium size frying pan over low heat, sauté the onion in the oil until translucent.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then add the milk, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add the Swiss chard, the quinoa, the sautéed onion, and cheese and stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into a pie pan and place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1/2 hour or until a knife comes out clean from the center of the pie.

Yield: 8 slices

Quick Avocado Toast Dinner

Who says eggs are for breakfast only? Not me! Eggs are one of my favorite ingredients, as they are so quick to make and so protein packed. Combining them with the fat of the avocado and the fiber from the greens and the bread makes this savory and simple meal filling as well as delicious.

• 1/2 avocado

• 1/2 clove garlic, peeled and minced

• Salt and pepper to taste

• Butter for frying

• 2 large eggs

• 2 slices multigrain bread 

• 3 tablespoons prepared hummus

• Small handful arugula or other leafy green, such as Swiss chard

• Hot sauce to drizzle


In a small bowl, mash together the avocado, garlic, salt, and pepper. Adjust to taste. Set aside.

Heat the butter in a small pan and fry the eggs.

While the eggs are frying, toast the bread.

Spread each piece of toast evenly with the avocado mash and top with hummus.

Place a few leaves of greens over the hummus, top with an egg, and drizzle with hot sauce. 

Yield: Serves 1

Photography: Andrea Killam

About the Teacher

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Alma Schneider
Alma is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Cooking Coach and Food Blogger. She is the founder of Take... Read more