Festival of Foods: Fall Edition

Fall is here. When the leaves are falling in shades of red, orange and yellow in seemingly every other place than California, you know it is time to curl up with some apple cider and pop the signature Pillsbury Halloween cookies in the oven while enjoying a cute fall flick. Especially down in Southern California where the sun never ceases to shine and the seasons… and well.. what seasons? Let’s just say that fall does not stand out from summer. Walking to Trader Joes from the CLU campus under the 80 degree sunshine does not necessarily scream “fall is here!” However, once you set foot in Trader Joes, there is no way you’ll be mistaken. Pumpkin spice and everything nice is absolutely the vibe you will get as you stroll through the aisles gazing up at all the pumpkin-flavored baked goods and the butternut squash version of your favorite dishes. Who needs those leaves to fall when you can FALL in love with seasonal specialties that can spice up your meals? This fall, I have been missing the times where I could jump in a giant pile of leaves and carve pumpkins with my family so instead, I decided to do something new: I decided to choose several trader joes fall products to try. With my newfound love for cooking, I found that it was a really exciting way to put my childhood nostalgia past me and do something else I love to do (make food and eat it). Here are some of the Trader Joes Fall foods I tried and my reviews:

Pumpkin ravioli with goat cheese, honey, and walnuts

Something I have been trying in the past few months was mixing savory and sweet together… well, Trader Joe's pumpkin ravioli let me do just that. This dish is both sweet and savory at the same time. The pumpkin and cheese fillings blend these two elements of taste beautifully. It tasted like heaven with Chèvre et miel, a specialty from southern France that combines goat cheese and honey. I know, that sounds disgusting, but it is actually incredible and blends deliciously with pumpkin ravioli. To top it all off, sprinkling it with walnuts gives it a little crunch and completes the taste. Also pictured is the lovely Trader Joes spiced Apple cider which is delicious cold and hot!

Pumpkin bread with pumpkin butter on top

Can it get more pumpkiny? I think not. Trader Joes pumpkin butter is sweet and delicious and melts perfectly on top of a slice of their warm pumpkin bread. All you have to do to make this is buy the mix at the store and the pumpkin butter and ta-da! A match made in pumpkin heaven.

Acorn squash pasta sauce with pumpkin-shaped pasta

Trader Joes sells squashes and pumpkin shaped pasta, so why not make those two into an iconic fall duo? I have recently been experimenting with new recipes online and I decided to try to make acorn squash pasta sauce. Basically, all you do is take acorn squash and add olive oil, some cheese, onions, milk and spices and there you have it… Although it is pictured here with pumpkin-shaped pasta, it tastes much better in my opinion with ravioli!

Fall quinoa with tomatoes, zucchini, spinach and lettuce with corn chips

Harvest time is here! This means it is peak season for some of our favorite grains! Adding zucchini squash, tomatoes, and spinach to quinoa with corn chip dippers (sold at Trader Joes)! In fact, all these ingredients are available at trader joes and make for a perfectly healthy fall salad! Yum!

Pumpkin pancakes with apples, brown sugar and almonds

Why not take our favorite American classic and make it all Fall-ish? Nothing screams Fall more than pumpkins and Apples, am I right? The perfect way to start any Autumn day!  

Rice pilaf with pumpkin bisque, tomatoes, mushrooms, and some cheese grated on top

Something no one may know… Rice pilaf tastes delicious with some Trader Joes pumpkin bisque on top and mixed in with your favorite vegetables! It’s a great makeshift fall casserole that is cheap and delicious!

Butternut squash mac and cheese

Don’t feel much like cooking? Just pop one of Trader Joes butternut squash macaroni and cheese meals into the microwave: it’s quick and easy to enjoy the season and enjoy your meal!


Hopefully these fall recipes have inspired you to try some of own fall cooking this season!


All Photos Courtesy of the Author