05 March 2016
Seasonal Autumn Fare
So it’s March already! Just like that, summer is over and the first hints of autumn begin to waft in on the breeze. I’ve already had my first head cold for the year and it hit on the very first day of autumn, like seasonal clockwork. The night breeze that crept through my bedroom door, left open out of summer habit, said “hey, the season’s changed; try out this new bug I’ve been working on!”
Now I probably can’t just blame the weather. Somewhere along the line, no exercise, late nights with a new business and a new baby, and forgetting to feed myself, was all bound to catch up with me. Perhaps it is time to put some effort into taking care of this body, which – let’s be honest – puts up with an awful lot of mistreatment. If I subjected my kids to the same degree of neglect as I do my own body, family services would most certainly be involved, and I know I’m not alone in my martyrdom! Yes mums, you know you do it too!
Thankfully, the change of season brings more than just a new selection of germs; it brings a range of gorgeous seasonal vegetables that are comforting, immune-boosting, and healing. Buying what’s in season not only means that you’re going to get fresh, local produce with more of the good stuff like vitamins and flavour, but you’re also likely to pay less for it. It’s a no-brainer; which is great because since baby #2 my brain has been pretty touch-and-go.
Corn, cucumber, potato, chestnuts and pecans are just some of the delicious seasonal offerings of autumn.
All we need now is some quick and easy recipes that make the most of what’s in season now. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I’ve got you covered!
Maggie Beer’s chicken recipe below is braised with figs, which are not only in season, but are high in fibre, which is great to help maintain a healthy weight.
As the weather starts to cool, I love nothing more than to make up big batches of delicious and nutritious soups and this one from Delicious.com.au is a tried and tested favourite, even with my two-year-old. Capsicum can be pretty expensive throughout the year, particularly the red ones, so buy them in autumn when they’re in season, and make a big batch of soup so you can freeze some for winter when you really can’t be bothered cooking! The goat’s cheese in this recipe probably makes it a little less than budget conscious, but there are some things in life that are just worth splurging on, and goat’s cheese is definitely one of them. Oh what I wouldn’t do for goat’s cheese!
Nothing gets much easier to put together than a salad and this Warm Autumn Salad by howseeteats.com would even keep for lunch the next day. The vegetables in this recipe are roasted, which I know some people think is time consuming, but I love a roast, because you chop, season, and throw it all in the oven and go and do something else for an hour. This one is on next week’s menu at my place, but I’ll be swapping out that feta for some goat’s cheese.
Hearty root vegetables probably spring to mind first for most people when they think of autumn produce, but Asian greens and even Chinese red cabbage are also in season at this time of year, and they’re so versatile for quick and nutritious salads, stir-fries, soups and noodle dishes. This very simple stir-fry from the New York times would make a great side dish if you’re looking for something a little more interesting that your usual steamed vegies.
If you’re entertaining, or if, like me, you just don’t consider a meal quite complete until there’s chocolate on top of the goat’s cheese, then desert is a must. I know, I was going on about health at the beginning of this post, but pears are a seasonal fruit and you know you should have at least two serves of fruit per day. Plus there’s quite a bit of chocolate in this recipe, and in case you weren’t aware, chocolate is derived from the cocoa bean, and beans are in season in autumn too! So boost your fruit and vegetable intake, (just go with me on this) with this glamorous, but simple number from Gourmet Traveller.
Image credit: Ben Dearnle for Gourtmet Traveller Magazine March 2012
Do you have any favourite autumn recipes? We’d love for you to share them with us!
Louise (a.k.a. “Mrs Made It”)
Wordsmith, art & craft enthusiast, and grand-visionary.