Meal solutions for a flavorful fall

(BPT) - Fall marks the beginning of back to busy — back to school and the office, back to sports and other activities, and back to a season of social occasions with family and friends. Healthy, portable snacks such as fresh California grapes play a key role in providing energy and hydration to help power the day’s activities.

Make-ahead dinners are ideal when everyone eats dinner at a different time due to different schedules. Chipotle Chicken and Grape Tacos calls for rotisserie chicken — leftover chicken works well too — heated in a quick-blended chipotle sauce and then finished with California grapes and other toppings for make-your-own tacos.

A quintessential fall dessert can be the showstopper for weekend meals or special occasions. Grape Apple Sheet Pan Pie pairs two fall fruits, apples and fresh black California grapes, in a flavorful and richly colored filling nestled in a buttery crust. Using fresh black grapes delivers a depth of flavor and lovely color to this dessert. This sheet pan pie makes enough for a large crowd or for extras to keep for another meal.

California grapes multitask beautifully as a snack, an ingredient and a refreshing dessert, so keep the refrigerator well-stocked!

For more ideas, visit grapesfromcalifornia.com.

Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Grapes

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

Chipotle Sauce

-1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped

-1 clove garlic

-1 teaspoon ground cumin

-1 tablespoon honey

-2 tablespoons adobo sauce

-1 tablespoon lime juice

-3/4 cup chicken broth

3 cups pulled rotisserie chicken

8 corn tortillas

1 cup halved California grapes

1 avocado, cut into eighths

2 radishes, sliced

2 ounces queso blanco, crumbled

Cilantro for garnish

Directions

In a blender, combine the onion, garlic, cumin, honey, adobo sauce, lime juice and chicken broth; blend until smooth. In a medium saucepan, combine the blended sauce with the chicken. Cover and simmer on medium-low, stirring often, for 6-8 minutes, to thicken the sauce and re-heat the chicken. To serve, place the tortillas on a serving platter and top each with chicken, grapes, avocado, radishes, queso blanco and cilantro.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 490; Protein 34 g; Carbohydrate 42 g; Fat 21 g (39% Calories from Fat); Saturated Fat 5 g (9% Calories from Saturated Fat); Cholesterol 90 mg; Sodium 360 mg; Fiber 7 g.

Grape and Apple Sheet Pan Pie

Yield: Serves 16

Ingredients

Dough

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup ice water plus additional if needed

Filling

3 pounds Granny Smith or other tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced (about 9 cups)

4 cups black California grapes

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pinch of salt

1 egg

Demerara sugar for garnish

Directions

To make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and toss with flour. Smash each cube of butter flat with hands then stir in the cold water with a fork. Knead lightly until dough comes together in a ball. Transfer to a floured work surface and roll into a 10 x 15-inch sheet with a well-floured rolling pin. Fold each short side into the middle and close like a book. Fold it once more to make a thick block and cut in half. Wrap each piece in plastic and chill at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

For the filling: In a large bowl, combine apples, grapes, sugar, flour, lemon juice and pinch of salt; set aside.

To assemble the pie: Heat the oven to 375 F. Roll one half of the dough out to an 18 x 13-inch rectangle. Transfer to a 10 x 15-inch heavy baking sheet; place in refrigerator to chill while rolling out the top sheet. Roll out the remaining dough to another 18 x 13-inch rectangle and cut with a pastry cutter into 1 1/2-inch wide strips. Transfer the filling into the pastry and spread evenly. Lay the dough strips on top of the filling in a lattice pattern and crimp the sides together. Mix the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the top of the pie. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar and bake until filling is bubbling and crust is nicely browned, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool, then slice and serve.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 560; Protein 6 g; Carbohydrate 74 g; Fat 28 g (45% Calories from Fat); Saturated Fat 17 g (27% Calories from Saturated Fat); Cholesterol 85 mg; Sodium 220 mg; Fiber 5 g.

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