All the Leaves Around: Fall Eats, Full Belly

What is it about this time of year that everything just tastes better?

This is the season for hearty, warm, filling savory dishes and indulgent sweet treats. It's easy to over-do especially with the abundance of holiday parties and pot-lucks happening throughout the season. I find that I can create a schedule and routine with some low-cal go-to's to leave space for the indulgences of autumn. So, keep in mind that the below list contains some of my favorite places to go to enjoy those indulgent treats or recipes to savor at home.


A Day with CurvesWithKicks' Fall Must Eats

Here is a list of my top cravings during the fall and where to find them or how to make them at home...

BRUNCH

Shrimp, Grits & Scrambled Eggs at Tree's

Every fall I tend to crave rich, warm, savory and filling flavors. A local dining experience here in Sherwood, Oregon is Tree's Restaurant & Catering. The overall menu is a delectable fusion of Italian and Creole cooking. The executive chef Shannon Johnson studied at the Culinary Art Institute of Baton Rouge and then worked for a world-famous Italian chef which influenced her as she pursued starting her own restaurant here in the Pacific NW. The restaurant is very laid back, family-friendly and casual. Even you can write or draw on your table to entertain yourself. But the food isn't laid back at all. Every ingredient and combination is carefully crafted. Don't forget to save some room for their classic beignets with powdered sugar!


My absolute favorite pairing here are the Shrimp & Grits and a side of soft-scrambled eggs for brunch. Their portions and cost is very reasonable here, so I opt for the small S&G unless I want left overs. The grits are creamy and cheesy, covered with scallions and Creole-spiced grilled shrimp. Add some eggs and the creamy perfection is a gift that keeps on giving.


LUNCH

Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Baja Shrimp Tacos at The Matador

The Matador is known for the Tequila Tuesdays and their Mexican inspired menu with a NW flare. Aside from their delicious guac and crunchy tortilla chips, I have fallen in love with two of their dishes that are my MUST ORDERS every time I go. I particularly crave these during the fall as they have warm flavors and spices.


Crispy Brussel Sprouts

These delicious crispy brussel sprouts are roasted to perfection. Topped with salty and crumbly cotija cheese and covered in a very lightly sweet balsamic sauce, this dish is salivating and perfect to start any course at The Matador.



Baja Shrimp Tacos

Oy vey! These lightly battered crunchy Baja shrimp tacos are garnished with a slightly spicy crema sauce, Aji slaw, radishes and avocado. The combo is just flawless. Paired with mild refried beans and Mexican rice, this is just the ideal combo to follow those already perfect brussel sprouts.


SNACK

Apple Cider Slushies

The weekend after going to Oregon Heritage Farms, we were left craving another round of apple cider slushies. So we had to go back yet again. Check out my other post on the beauty of OHF and many other of my favorite places to go during the fall.

DINNER

Recipe for Home

Portobello Mushroom & Caramelized Onion French Dip with Veggie

'Au Jus' Dipping Sauce (Vegan/Vegetarian friendly!)


I haven't eaten red meat since before I went vegan for a year. Since then, I slowly added fish, poultry and some pork but continue to stay away from red meat. During my time as a vegan, I spend that full year exploring all new ways of cooking with a crash course into new ingredients and tricks to replace much of my animal-based diet.


Imagine a meaty, juicy and savory french dip dunked into a hot bowl of homemade "au jus" sauce... salivating?


Now imagine it happens to be VEGAN!? That's right. Want yummy melted cheese on top, go ahead and add your favorite while still being vegetarian friendly.


I am going on record and stating that I have always disliked portobello mushrooms. This vegan-friendly portobello french dip that is to die for. The trick is to slice them thin like strip steak, cook on a high heat in some oil to get them crispy and season generously. Paired with caramelized onions and a rich garlicky veggie au jus and you have a perfect combination for a satisfying and sin-less hearty sandwich. A great way to sub out meat but still get that meaty texture and have the benefit of adding more veggies to your diet.


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Makes 2 Sandwiches.

Ingredients:

2 Portobello Mushrooms Thinly Sliced

1 Onion  Thinly Sliced

2 Cloves Garlic Minced

1C Vegetable Broth

1Tb Soy Sauce

1TB Worcestershire Sauce (there are vegan options out there, otherwise standard sauce has some anchovies in it)

1/4 Liquid Smoke

Salt & Pepper


Clean portobello by removing black ribs and stem from mushroom cap. Slice thinly. 

Thinly slice onions and place into a large skillet on medium-low heat with 1Tb olive oil.

Cook until onions are caramelized adding minced garlic cloves half way through cooking. Remove from skillet onto a plate or bowl and set aside.


In skillet, add 1Tb olive oil and lay mushrooms in single layer. Cook on each side for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. We had to do two shifts of this in order not to overlap all mushroom slices.

Place onions and garlic back into the skillet with mushrooms and then add vegetable broth, soy sauce, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Add 1/2 tsp salt and sprinkle evenly with black pepper. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.


Toast roll and spread with vegan-friendly margarine and/or some horseradish & mustard if you like the kick. Stuff sandwich with filling and then transfer liquid from skillet into a dipping bowl.


Dip your sandwich as you eat. Even if you are not a vegan/vegetarian, I promise that you will LOVE this sandwich... and will most likely crave it from time to time. So next time you are at the Farmer's Market and see a some beautiful Portobello mushrooms, don't shy away from them! Pick up a couple and give this a try. You won't regret it. Enjoy!

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