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Now that we are into fall, many different fruits and vegetables are in season. Pumpkins, cabbage, apples, squash and grapes to name a few are available at good prices.

I recently bought two heads of cabbage at a farmer’s market. My son Chris was home from college for the weekend, so I started looking for healthy recipes to make. I got my idea from a recipe for Autumn Chicken Stew from eatingwell.com.

On Saturday, a much cooler day, I decided to use the crock pot. I made my version of cabbage and chicken and added some different ingredients. We decided to invite my Mother-in-law, Pat, and Chris’ friends, Cody and Jeff, for supper. Everyone liked the final outcome. It was hearty, healthy and tasty, according to my family and guests. I served fresh green beans as a side and hot whole wheat rolls.

On Sunday, an even colder day, I started to make chili. As I was browning the lean hamburger, Chris gave me some ideas to make a pasta dish with a taco hamburger sauce. So as he gave me the suggestions for the ingredients, we made Chris’ Taco Pasta for lunch. A salad was served as a side dish. Cody also joined us for lunch.

Both meals were good comfort foods for the colder weather.

After lunch, Bill, Chris, Cody and I went on a hike to Swatara State Park to tour the Bordner Cabin with Jo Ellen Litz. We had dessert at the cabin. In a future column, I will share the recipes for the great peanut butter bars and cookies made by June Blouch. The cabin is really worth seeing. Jo Ellen and Swatara Water Shed Association are doing an amazing job restoring Armar Bordner’s log cabin.

Slow cooker cabbage and chicken

3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes

4 cups cabbage shredded

1 chopped onion

3 tablespoons chicken base or 3 chicken bouillon cubes

1 cup water

4 or 5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks. I used yams and yellow gold potatoes

2 or 3 small apples, cored and sliced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon grated ginger

Salt and Pepper to taste

Garnish with chopped chives

Place shredded cabbage in bottom of slow cooker.  Add onion, apple , and chicken and season with salt and pepper. Place potatoes on top of chicken.  Mix chicken base with water, soy sauce and ginger. Pour into slow cooker.  Cook 7 hours on low.  Add water if needed.

Chris’ Chili Pasta

1 pound hamburger meat

1 can diced tomatoes

4 tablespoons tomato paste

1/3 cup taco seasoning

1 can red kidney beans, drained

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 clove garlic

Sriracha sauce to taste

1/2 pound noodles of your choice

Brown hamburger meat and drain. Add diced tomatoes, paste, beans, garlic and seasonings. Cook on low heat for about 1 hour. Cook pasta and drain. Add cherry tomatoes to sauce. Divide pasta into 4 dishes and top with sauce.

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