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During the colder months, we tend to trade in the fresh fruits and vegetables we associate with summer for the rich, hearty meals of winter. Soups laden with browned meats and plump beans are a true staple of our winter diets. Even though summer has come and gone, there are still plenty of fresh vegetables available, some still growing and thriving in the garden despite the cold temperatures. These fruits and vegetables are rich with vitamins and nutrients to keep us healthy through the winter, so why not dish out the nutrients with a vitamin rich side dish using our winter recipe roundup?
To make adding a vitamin packed side dish to your meal a cinch, we’ve gathered some of our favorite, simple fall vegetable, side dish recipes for you to try.
Leafy Greens & Brassicas
Many sturdier greens thrive in the garden through Pacific Northwest winters. Kale, swiss chard, and collard greens are among the sturdy greens that keep growing right on through the winter and are available fresh in our markets.
Kale is rich in vitamins A, C, K, B vitamins, calcium, manganese, potassium, and magnesium. It’s no wonder kale makes the short list for power packed veggies. It is also loaded with antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effects.
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Swiss Chard is packed with vitamins A and K. Just one cup fulfills your daily recommended intake of both vitamins.
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Brussel Sprouts are especially high in vitamins C and K. They are also one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
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The bright color of red cabbage comes from pigments called anthocyanins, which, in simple terms, translates to loads of antioxidants that promote a healthy immune system. Red cabbage is easy to add to a meal. Slice and use in the place of lettuce on your tacos, add to a green salad for extra color and nutrients, or mix it up in this delicious and fresh winter slaw.
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Pumpkins are not just for jack-o-lanterns, though we do love a skillfully carved toothy grin. Loaded with beta carotene, vitamin C and E, iron and folate, pumpkins and other winter squashes offer support for vision and promote immune health.
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High in fiber and in vitamins C and A, as well as potassium, root vegetables are an easy choice to add to your winter diet. Many root vegetables are excellent for longer storage, so you can stock up and be sure to have them on hand, when you get the craving.
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If you need even more inspiration to add a little vitamin goodness to your winter menus using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, check out our Guide to Local Seasonal Eating or ask one of our amazing produce specialists what seasonal fruits and vegetables they particularly enjoy.
Although the good times of sitting on patios for Sunday brunch are limited these days, that shouldn’t stop you from hosting the ultimate fall brunch at home! Every season is brunch season, right?! Brunch seems to be an activity everyone looks forward to. Whether it’s sippin’ on the bottomless mimosas or bloody mary’s in addition to the amazing food, it’s a great opportunity to bring people and families together. That’s why Tacoma Boys has put together this guide for how to host the perfect fall brunch!
Fall Brunch Beverages
There are many different fall brunch beverages that help make a good brunch lineup. Cocktails, mocktails, coffee, and juices are some of the most popular choices when it comes to brunch. Lucky for you, Tacoma Boys has everything you need to fulfill all of your fall brunch beverage needs!
Mimosas are arguably one of the most popular brunch beverages, and putting a fall spin on the classic orange juice/champagne combo will take your fall brunch to the next level. Head to the juice section of your local Tacoma Boys and choose a fall flavor that suits your taste. Tacoma Boys recommends any of the following R.W. Knudsen juices:
- Apple Ginger
- 100% Apple
After choosing your juice, it’s time to pick out the bubbles. Tacoma Boys carries a large selection of sparkling wines and champagne. Some of the current favorites include:
- Riojana Argentina Sparkling Wine
- Tarantas Cava Brut
- Vega Medien Cava Brut
- Tarantas Sparkling White Wine
- Saracco Moscato D’Asti
If you’re looking to take the fall theme up a notch, throw in a cinnamon stick, fresh apple slices, and fresh cranberries to garnish your mimosa when serving. To make these mimosas family-friendly, simply top the juice with non alcoholic sparkling apple cider instead of champagne. If you’re not a mimosa fan, check out these fall-inspired beverages for more ideas!
If you’re hosting your fall brunch before noon, you most likely will need to have some sort of caffeine option depending on your guests! Tacoma Boys suggests keeping the coffee simple and offering 2-3 fall-inspired creamer and sweetener options if desired. If you’re looking for iced coffee options, Califia Cold Brew Concentrate is highly recommended. You can read more here about our coffee selections, but some of the current favorites include:
- Ranch Roast
- Cutters Point
- Poverty Bay Coffee Co.
- Raven’s Brew
Fall Creamer Options
- Nutpods Peppermint Mocha – dairy-free
- Califia Pecan Caramel Creamer – dairy-free
- Organic Valley Eggnog
- Smith Brothers Plain Half & Half
Fall Sweetener Options
- Runamok Maple Cinnamon Vanilla Infused Maple Syrup
- Coombs Family Farms Organic Maple Syrup
- Wholesome Organic Dark Brown Sugar
- Wholesome Organic Pure Cane Sugar
The Best Brunch Food for Hosting
There are numerous options when it comes to brunch foods. However, when you’re hosting it’s best to keep it simple so you can enjoy the brunch yourself and not have to worry about being in the kitchen the entire time. Choose an egg dish, protein, and something sweet. This way you are able to have a range of foods while keeping it simple!
Being that eggs are one of the most common brunch foods, it only makes sense to have some sort of egg dish in the lineup. Head on over to the refrigerator section where the eggs are and choose between options like Stiebrs Farms Organic Free Range Brown Eggs or Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Eggs. If you want to keep it extra simple we recommend scrambling the eggs with some Green Valley Lactose-Free Grass-Fed Butter and a little sea salt. Other egg dish options include:
- Apple, Sweet Potato, and Sausage Breakfast Casserole by Raising Generation Nourished
- Eggs Benedict Breakfast Bake by Foodtastic Mom
- Fluffy & Delicious Scrambled Eggs by Savory Experiments
Everyone loves a good side of bacon or breakfast sausage! Check out the deli section at your local Tacoma Boys and choose between the thick-cut bacon options: Hickory Smoked, Applewood Smoked, and Cherrywood Smoked. You can also find Jolly Posh Foods Back Bacon and Tender Belly Uncured Breakfast Sausage in the freezer section. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, there are many meat-free options you can find in the freezer section as well!
Offering a sweet food option at brunch is a must. Whether that’s pancakes, french toast, or cinnamon rolls, there are many different ways to offer something sweet when hosting brunch at home. From quick box mixes to frozen waffles, to homemade recipes, Tacoma Boys has your sweet brunch needs covered.
- Stonewall Kitchen Traditional Crepe Mix
- Birch Benders Pumpkin Spice Pancake Mix – gluten free
- Annie’s Pancake & Waffle Mix
- Pamela’s Pancake & Baking Mix – gluten free
- Van’s Gluten Free Original Waffles
- Katz Gluten Free French Toast
- Kodiak Cakes Protein Packed Power Waffles
Fall Sweet Brunch Ideas
- Pumpkin French Toast Casserole by Just So Tasty
- Apple Pie Crepes by Tidy Mom
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes by Sally’s Baking Addiction
Hosting Brunch with Tacoma Boys
Whether you’re hosting brunch for a small group or just for your family at home, Tacoma Boys has all the food and drink you need to create the perfect fall brunch. Hosting doesn’t have to be a big glamorous event! Keep it simple so you’re able to spend quality time with loved ones! Pop on over to your local Tacoma Boys and take a stroll through the store to find all of your fall brunch needs. If you need guidance on any choices, don’t hesitate to ask one of the Tacoma Boys helpers for advice and direction!
It’s that time again! Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it’s time to plan out the most important part of the menu: Thanksgiving pie. Although the rest of the menu matters as well, your Thanksgiving pie decision is the grand finale when hosting! Whether you plan to whip up the pie crust and pie filling from scratch, or purchase a pre-made pie, this Tacoma Boys guide has everything you’ll need to get geared up for this year’s Thanksgiving pie.
Choosing the Right Crust for Thanksgiving Pie
Pie crust may be one of the most daunting aspects of baking a pie, especially if it’s your Thanksgiving pie. Depending on the recipe it can be incredibly easy to make, or sparingly difficult. Tacoma Boys loves to find recipes that require minimal ingredients and explains each step throughout the process. This easy pie crust recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen is a great example! Using a high quality all purpose flour like Bob’s Red Mills will help with creating an outstanding final product for the ultimate Thanksgiving pie. You can find Bob’s Red Mills and other flour options in Tacoma Boys’ wide assortment of baking essentials.
If you’re wanting to make a Thanksgiving pie this year but are looking to avoid the pie crust process, have no fear! Tacoma Boys has a variety of premade pie crusts and pie crust mixes to make your pie baking experience a lot easier.
Frozen Pie Crusts
- Wholly Wholesome Organic Traditional 9” Pie Shells
- Wholly Wholesome Gluten Free 9” Pie Shells
Gluten Free Pie Crust Mixes
- Kinnikinnick Graham Cracker Style Crumbs (for graham cracker crust)
- Glutino Perfect Pie Crust
Thanksgiving Baking with Your Favorite Pie Fillings
Pumpkin pie may be among the most popular pies when it comes to Thanksgiving baking. What is it about pumpkin pie that embodies all of fall’s favorite flavors? This classic pumpkin pie recipe by Jo Cooks is a great recipe that is simple to follow and allows you to use a premade pie crust if desired! Most pumpkin pie recipes call for canned pumpkin, but if you’re looking to be a little more adventurous, you can make your own pumpkin puree using sugar pumpkins. You can find these pumpkins at your local Tacoma Boys. They’re smaller, less fibrous, and sweeter, making them perfect for baking. Follow the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for homemade pumpkin puree. It’s a lot easier than you’d think!
Another Thanksgiving classic is pecan pie. It’s sweet, salty, and has a rich filling with a caramel-like flavor, and finished with pecans for added crunch. Pecan pie can be a hit or miss, but it is definitely worth the try when you can make it with quality ingredients. The Tacoma Boys’ baking section has a wide variety of ingredients to choose from depending on the recipe you use. However, for pecan pie we suggest using Northwest Delights pecans – they’re some of the best!
Of course, apple pie is in the top three for Thanksgiving pies! It’s quite simple to make the filling and put together when using a premade pie crust. This recipe by Food Network is great for a classic apple pie. Tacoma Boys suggests using Granny Smith apples because their tart flavor profile balances out the sweetness of the filling, but you can find a wide assortment of fall’s favorite fruit throughout your local Tacoma Boys! If you’re short on time, check out the freezer section to spot the two-pound bag of Remlinger Farms Hand-Picked Granny Smith Apples that are pre-sliced – we’d say that’s a win!
If you’re hosting for Thanksgiving, but baking a pie from scratch just isn’t your jam, Tacoma Boys has you covered. Simply take a stroll through the freezer section and select a premade pie that suits your holiday pie needs!
- Remlinger Farms Cosmic Crisp Apple Pie
- Cyrus O’leary’s
- Pumpkin Pie
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Pecan Pie
- Apple Pie
- Custard Pie
Favorite Thanksgiving Pie Toppings
Although the pie itself is the most important part, you can’t forget about a little whipped cream topping! Finishing your favorite Thanksgiving pie with a dollop of whipped cream is the ultimate cherry on top. You can find premade whipped cream in the dairy section at Tacoma Boys and choose an option such as Dairy Star whipped topping! If you want to take your pie topping to the next level, pick up Smith Brothers heavy cream and make your homemade whipped cream at home. We love making our homemade whipped cream with pure maple syrup for the ultimate fall flavor boost.
Homemade Maple Whipped Cream
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whip using a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. About 3-5 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
All of Your Pie Needs Covered!
Whether you’re looking for a quick Thanksgiving pie fix or a full-blown pie baking session, pop into your local Tacoma boys to find everything you’ll need. If pie isn’t your thing, there’s a wide selection of fall treats that are perfect for the holidays. If you have any questions, ask one of the Tacoma Boys’ helpers for advice and they’ll be sure to steer you in the right direction.
One Pan Chicken
For some recipes, the cleanup can be worse than the cooking itself. Watching those dishes pile up is no fun! Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about a huge cooking mess when it comes to this simple, one pan, chicken recipe.
At your local Tacoma Boys and H & L Produce we have all the fixings for this meal. From our year round supply of fresh vegetables, to our well sourced fresh and frozen chicken.
Just place your Tacoma Boys vegetables of choice on one side of the pan, thickly diced chicken breast in the middle, and diced potatoes on the other side. Then, bake at 425 for 45 minutes.
You can have fun with a one pan chicken recipe by switching up your veggies and seasonings. Here are some of our favorite ways to add a little flavor:
- Use Italian dressing on the chicken
- Season veggies with some garlic powder and olive oil
- Add some olive oil and pepper on your potatoes.
Gluten Free – Butter Chicken With Cauliflower Rice
A tasty crowd-pleaser. This gluten free Chicken Recipe is even dairy-free. Try this tasty recipe tonight! (more…)
SHEET PANNED ITALIAN CHICKEN
In a sealable plastic bag add 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Then add some salt, olive oil and a quick pour of balsamic vinegar (⅓ cup). Add some Italian seasoning, pepper and garlic powder to your preference. (Some folks cheat and use a bottle of Italian dressing, but we think this version is much fresher). If you can refrigerate for 1 hour, that is ideal, but not necessary. (more…)
BRUSCHETTA-TOPPED CHICKEN AND SPAGHETTI
Have a craving for Italian food? Going out to eat at a restaurant is nice for a special occasion. But, with help from Tacoma Boys, you can make a quality Italian meal right at home! From artisan pastas and cheeses to the best quality meat, we have everything you need to turn your favorite Italian dishes into easy weeknight dinners. And, this delicious recipe is ready within 30 minutes!