As the autumn leaves gently begin to float down from the trees around you and—if you’re lucky—the smell of delicious old-fashioned apple pie breezes through the windows, it’s time to tune into that desire for warming, restoring, and comforting foods.
Dishes that acknowledge your hard day’s work and feel like a hug for your insides are what is needed at the end of a fall day. These are foods that enhance that nourished feeling and keep summer smiles glowing all year long.
Fall is also a wonderful time of year for friends and gathering. It’s a time to heat up your purring stove with delicious meals that take advantage of in-season produce to soothe the soul and warm the insides.
Slow-cooked meals in particular scream nesting weather. Typically made in large batches, they have the ability to bring pleasure to the whole table. Not only are slow-cooked meals delicious, they can be ready when you walk in the door, happy to be home after such a long, cold day.
Here are some of my favorite dishes that are sure to delight your family and friends: simmering soups, mouth-watering casseroles and aromatic curries full of love and spices!
Seasonal foods are bursting with flavor and have a higher nutrient value compared to those that have been stored for longer periods of time or are grown in an artificial environment. Once produce is picked, the quality and nutrient value begins to decline. So the best way to eat food is when it’s just-picked and in season.
Fall brings with it an abundance of cruciferous vegetables, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may even lower your risk of developing cancer. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. They are all high in magnesium, a mineral that helps to boost your energy and relax your muscles. Adding your favorite spices, such as trusty turmeric, to your meals will provide additional
anti-inflammatory benefits and
delight your eye with a richly deep color palette.
Fall also heralds the emergence of root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, leeks and beets, that are a nutritious and colorful addition to soups and stews.
Keeping a handy list of seasonal fruit and vegetables can really help with your weekly menu planning and shopping. Here’s one that you can take shopping with you or stick on the fridge!
EGGPLANT AND GREEN BEAN CURRY
I’m sharing one of my recipes from my book, Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian, which is perfect for fall. Eggplant is actually a fruit and is very versatile. The skin of an eggplant contains essential phytonutrients which can improve blood circulation and nourish the brain. Eggplant is also high in fiber, vitamin K and bioflavonoids which can strengthen the capillaries and prevent blood clots. This gorgeous curry is a richly layered, warming dish packed with melding flavors and is suitable for the whole family.
– Place all the curry paste ingredients in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of filtered water and whizz together for a few seconds.
– Heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat and fry the eggplants until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside on paper towel to drain.
– Heat the remaining coconut oil in the pan and cook the curry paste ingredients for 3 minutes. Add the eggplant and stir so it is well covered in the paste. Add the tomato puree and coconut milk and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Add the green beans and cook for 6 minutes.
– Season with salt and pepper, top with almonds, coriander and lime juice; serve with the lime halves on the side.