Posted by: Hil | September 2, 2008

Keep It Simple Fall Dinner


Tonight was a comforting fall dinner for a busy night:  squash soup, Herbs de Provence chicken, roasted brussel sprouts and fresh fruit.  Trust me.  This is easy.  The squash soup was a new invention that I plan to make frequent use of:  a container of pureed frozen squash heated up in a saucepan with some Imagine vegetable broth and seasonings.  Salt, pepper and nutmeg are all you really need, but I got creative and added some cardamom and lemon juice, as well.  It’s done in minutes and it makes a delicious, nutritious first course.  No blending, no heavy cream, no hassle.  For all the talking I do about the virtues of low-calorie vegetable soup as an appetizer, I really don’t have very many no-brainer, lightning fast soups in my repertoire.  I’m doing my best to remedy that situation, and this squash soup is a great start. 



While I prepped dinner, I munched on way too many green grapes.  I love grapes, but once I start eating them, I can’t stop!  Obviously fruit is a pretty good snack food as snack foods go, but I don’t like eating anything mindlessly just because it is there.  I’ve been eating quickly all day…I think it must be the stress of being back in school and doing job interviews after a nice relaxing three-day weekend.


Next came the roasted brussel sprouts, which could not possibly be any simpler:  halve them, place them in a baking dish or on a foil lined cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and then roast to your liking.  This is enough for two people, if that.  No, really.  The brussel sprouts shrink a bit and everyone will be inhaling them once they get a taste.


Done.  These were a bit on the well done side because I accidentally nudged the temperature on the oven up 15 degrees.  But the crispy brown was only on the outer leaves–the inner leaves were mellow, melt-in-your-mouth and delicious.  And the Lemonator likes the crispy leaves best of all.


For our entree, we went with a rotisserie chicken coated in herbs de provence.  Yes, roasting your own is cheaper.  But rotisserie chickens are fast, flavorful and relatively healthy.  When you can’t bear the thought of cooking, these are a great option.  And rotisserie chickens are inevitably so much juicier because of their slow cooking.


My plate.  I pulled the skin off of my chicken after taking the photo.  I love crispy, hot chicken skin straight out of the oven, but skin on leftover or rotisserie chicken is too fatty and tough…not worth it at all.  The chicken was delicious, but, as usual, the roasted brussel sprouts stole the show.




  1. I stumbled upon your site through KathEats and I really like it!!!! The descriptions/recipes are great and I already have several that I’d like to try. I’ll be back! 🙂

  2. love the chicken and b sprouts!! totally agree on the skin….. I love it…but I’m not going to waste calories on something soggy and meh!

  3. Can’t go wrong with squash soup, brussels sprouts (my favorite!), and grapes!! 🙂

  4. I just wanted to compliment you on your blog! I have enjoyed reading it for a few weeks now, and have appreciated your recipes and ideas (pouring soup over spinich to wilt = genius!). Also, I’m a lawyer (practicing 3 yrs. now), so I can relate/remember whenever you talk about law school…and I know how busy you are as a law student, so the fact that you take time to blog is really to be commended. Thanks again, and best of luck with your interviews – I know this can be a stressful time. 😉

  5. Those roasted brussel sprouts looks so good I will def have to try them.. but they dont always agree with my stomach haha

  6. I love your brussel sprouts!! I recently tried them for the first time. The first day I made them in the same pan you did, but I found it to be a pain to clean (especially because I don’t have a dishwasher). I found out that they came out pretty comparably on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil…and no clean up!!!

  7. Rachel–Welcome! I hope to see you again soon. 🙂

    Patty M.–I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog. I love it when attorneys read and comment here…it gives me hope to see that there are people in my chosen profession who value things like health and homecooked meals!

    Christie–You should definitely try the roasted version before giving up on brussel sprouts. I know what you mean about brussel sprouts being a little bit rough on the stomach, but I find the roasted ones much more stomach-friendly. Let me know how it goes!

  8. JerseyGirl–great idea…I’ll have to try that next time!

  9. What an easy way to make such a great soup.

    I am never patient enough to roast my veggies that much, but I, like the Lemonator prefer crispy.


  10. Your brussel sprouts look so delicious! Makes me wish I had picked up the bundle I just had in my hands at TJs but put back. Next trip, I suppose!

    Your soup looks wonderful, too. I’m going to have to give that a try!

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