a week of fall cooking

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I don’t know about you, but we are so happy to be welcoming back fall.  The crisp mornings, the gorgeous oranges and reds, a whole new season of foods.  I thought it would be nice to share a seasonal, vegan week full of nourishing foods.  Seasonal foods are amazing because they align perfectly with what your body needs at this time- grounding and nourishing foods in fall, deep greens and denser fare in winter, detoxing light foods in spring, hydrating and cooling foods in summer.  Also they are cheaper, fresher, and more environmentally friendly when they’re local and not shipped from halfway around the world.

Just coming into season here in Northern California, we have: apples, pears, pomegranates, beets, cauliflower, winter squash of all types, carrots, dates, almonds, grapes, mushrooms and more.  The best way to find what’s seasonal to your area is to visit your nearest farmer’s market.

Here’s what I’m hoping to cook up this week (with links to recipe where applicable):

  1. Red lentil soup with spinach and lemon (recipe)  + a flexible fall salad
  2. Falafel feast: herby falafels + green tahini sauce + pomegranate cabbage slaw and pita or tabbouleh to round it out.
  3. PIZZA with butternut puree as a sauce.  YES PLZ. Here’s the recipe.  Serve with a nice kale or arugula salad.
  4. Dhal- is there anything more comforting than this?  There’s so many versions out there and I need to write down my own, but this is a good recipe to start except I like to add onion, and fresh shredded coconut on top.  Serve with a saffron rice (i like to add orange zest and sub the pine nuts for pistachios) and simple salad or sauteed greens.
  5. Mushroom dumpling stew.  This post includes the recipe and its an absolute obsession in our house, I’ve made it so many times (even a few times in summer!!!!) plus theres two other great recipes for easy vegan dinners in that post.  It’s so so easy, comforting and meaty (even though I leave out the faux meat).  I’ve swapped out the all purpose flour with GF all purpose with success before too.  Also, you should definitely follow Rhian (@wifelife) if you don’t already for vegan and cruelty free makeup and recipes.
  6. Pumpkin Turmeric Granola : I never made this before, but it looks so good and I love Amy Chaplin’s recipes.  It will be nice to keep around for a quick school morning breakfast for the kids with some fruit and almond milk.
  7. Beet hummus: I make Ottolenghi’s hummus recipe (my all time favorite) and then add in some roasted or steamed peeled beet (maybe 1/2 a large or 1 whole small) plus extra lemon.  So good to dollop on salads, grain bowls, dip veggies in and more.  Plus it has a gorgeous electric pink color (or neon yellow if you use yellow beets!).
  8. Simple roasted veggies.  I’ve been loving the combo of delicata squash (no need to peel!  So nice), red bell pepper, beets, cauliflower or carrots.  Toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary and roast at 400 for 30-45 minutes.  I make a nice big batch and keep the leftovers in the fridge for easy lunchbox crafting.

I hope some of these ideas have inspired you to try something new this week at the market or in your kitchen!  Have a lovely week and tag me on instagram @mamaeatsplants with your favorite fall foods 🙂

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