FIT Friday–Easy Fall Fav Meals



I am super excited to do some fun fall activities this weekend! What are you planning to do? images

I was thinking maybe hike outdoors at the Bear Mountain State Park. Has anyone tried to do that? If so, leave me a comment below!

It’s going to be a great weekend to be activities so plan a hike, bike, walk, or run with family and friends! I am encouraging you not to go to the gym (unless you want to) but take advantage of the great cool crisp fall weather!!!

Let’s make it a FIT Friday with a jump start on meal prep for next week!  I know I do not want to be wasting time indoors cooking for my upcoming week. So let me simplify it for you:

  1. Set yourself up with a plan for your week–Sometime today or tonight (with a nice glass of wine or hot cup of tea) sit down and plan for your week. What does your week look like? DO you have an early night on Monday? Do you have appoints late on Wednesday so you need to have dinner already prepped? Make a plan.
  2. Next find the recipes. Let’s look at some fall fav easy dinners for this week. I created a pintrest board called fall fav recipesFind the recipes and create your grocery list! Check out some of my favs below….
  3. Head out to the grocery store early Saturday or Sunday morning! Try not to look for recipes, make your list, and go shopping all in the same day—unless that is your thing!
  4. Prep your meals. OK this is the hour or two you may take to actually cut, cook, and consume or save for later!


I am going to try these recipes this week:

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quinoa Bake
Serves: 6 Servings
    • 4 cups sweet potatoes (1/2-inch cubes)
    • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
    • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
    • 2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 2 tsp. cumin
    • 1 tsp. garlic salt
    • ½ tsp. dried thyme
    • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine all ingredients, except for the green onions, in a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray and bake, covered with tin foil, for 45 minutes.
  3. Remove tin foil and continue baking for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until liquid is mostly absorbed and the potatoes are tender.
  4. Remove from oven and let the casserole sit for 5 minutes so that any remaining liquid can be fully absorbed and sprinkle with green onions. Serve and enjoy!
  5. NOTE: If it looks like there is still some liquid in the casserole after baking for an hour, it’s okay! I was initially worried when I pulled out the casserole that it still seemed a bit “liquidy,” but that instantly went away and absorbed perfectly after sitting out for a few minutes right before serving!
Serving Size: 1¼ cup • Calories: 273 • Fat: 2.5 g • Saturated Fat: 0.1 g • Carbs: 55.8 g • Fiber: 10 g • Protein: 11 g • Sugars: 6.6 g • WW Freestyle Points: 8
**Since this makes 6 servings, I will make it for dinner and save some for small containers to bring to lunch for a couple days next week. 🙂


These Maple Pumpkin Breakfast bars will save a lot of time during the week and maybe a kid-fav! Maple-Pumpkin-Oatmeal-Breakfast-Bars-iowagirleats-02.jpg

Maple Pumpkin Breakfast Bar: 

  • 2-1/2 cups gluten-free old fashioned oats, divided
  • 1 cup milk, any kind (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees then spray an 8×8″ baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Add 1 cup old fashioned oats to a food processor or blender then process until oats have turned into flour. Set aside. (Alternatively you could use a scant cup oat flour.)
  3. Add milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut oil, egg, and vanilla to a large bowl then whisk to combine. Add remaining 1-1/2 cups oats, oat flour, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt then stir to combine. Fold in chopped pecans then pour batter into prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the center has set. Check on the bars at the 25 minute mark – if the edges are browning too quickly, place a piece of foil on top of the baking pan. Cool before slicing into bars then store in the refrigerator, or individually wrap bars in saran wrap and freeze.

I LOVE CHIA SEEDS—They are rich in omega-3- fatty acids, antioxidants, and provide fiber, iron, and calcium. I have also heard they keep you full so they aid in weight loss. SCORE! And since they are a good source of omega-3-fatty acid, you better know they will protect you against heart attacks and strokes! So I highly advise you to start adding them to your smoothies, juices, salads, and baking! (They are in the maple pumpkin breakfast bars as shown above.)

My grocery list this week—(using the above recipes.)

For the sweet potato quinoa bake: 

  • sweet potatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans I buy organic
  • quinoa
  • organic frozen corn
  • vegetable broth
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • garlic salt
  •  dried thyme
  •  green onions

For the Pumpkin Breakfast Bar: 

  • gluten-free old fashioned oats or Quaker Oats 🙂
  • unsweetened almond milk (my milk of choice)
  • pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
  • coconut oil, melted
  • eggs
  • vanilla
  •  chia seeds
  • pumpkin pie spice
  •  baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • pecan halves or walnuts

TIP: So I like to choose recipes where I already have most of the ingredients at home! This shouldn’t be an expensive run to the grocery store for you! Take an inventory of what you already have in the pantry/ fridge and And choose ingredients that you like. If you don’t like pecans and like walnuts instead, go for the walnuts!


If you are not into cooking or maybe you are but still need a healthy snack or meal replacements, I use Shakeology protein. There are a few different flavors but I just purchased the pumpkin spice and I am LOVING it! Pumpkin spice latte without the calories or guilt!

Go have yourself a weekend!!!

Published by Couture Fitness

My journey to finding a healthy lifestyle has given me insight into the many challenges you may encounter. With extensive training and experience, I want to offer the world a better understanding of raw nutrition, lifestyle tips, and fitness. We only have one body to live in---so let's give it the best home possible!

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