As the temperature drops and the nights grow darker, the cravings start for warm, hearty, comfort food. Vegetables like squash and pumpkins are in season, and you get to make use of your oven and slow cooker to create delicious family meals to see your family through the cold nights.
And it’s all the better if you’re a keen gardener, and you get to include the fruits of your labour in your recipes. Here are some autumn recipes, straight from your vegetable garden.
Garden Veg Slow-Cooker Soup
Use some of your home-grown veg in this delicious soup. You can add spinach or kale to pack in even more nutrients, or you can use chives instead of the onion. Add pasta or rice if you want to bulk it out. This recipe makes approximately 6 servings.
1 pound ground beef
1½ cup low-salt vegetable juice
1 pint vegetable broth
1½ cup chopped peppers (green, red, yellow)
½ cup chopped onion
4 large carrots, chopped
3 small or 2 large potatoes, chopped
1 cup sweetcorn
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
How to make it:
Brown the ground beef in a large pan over medium heat. Drain the fat, then put the rest of the ingredients in a slow-cooker. Cook on high for an hour, then turn the heat down to low, and cook for around 4 hours, until the carrots and potatoes are tender.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 12-ounce jar tomato salsa
8 ounces fresh Baby Portobello mushrooms
8 ounces cauliflower
How to make it:
Add oil to a medium-sized saucepan, and simmer over medium heat. Place each chicken thigh in the pan and brown them for 3 minutes. Turn them over and brown the other side for 3 minutes. Add the salsa, then the mushrooms and cauliflower. Cover the pan, reduce the heat, and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove the pan lid and remove each chicken from the pan, put it on a chopping board and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Put the chicken back into the pan and simmer until it’s thoroughly cooked.
Butternut Coconut Cauliflower
This is a delicious and satisfying meal, and what’s even better, the chickpea mixture can be eaten as a delicious gluten-free snack. After baking the chickpeas, toss them in some salt, cumin, and ground pepper. Put the mixture in a sealed container and it will keep for 3 days.
1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup frozen green peas
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup cubed and peeled butternut squash
1 cup fresh cauliflower florets
1 cup diced red potatoes
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light coconut milk
How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Place the chickpeas on a baking sheet, add a tablespoon of oil and toss them to coat.
Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a baking tray, and bake them at 450°F for 30 minutes. Add the green peas to the tray, bake at 450°F until the chickpeas and green peas are crisp.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, then add the onion and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the flour and curry powder, and cook until the flour starts to brown. Stir in the butternut squash, cauliflower, and potatoes, then add the vegetable stock, pepper, and salt and bring everything to a boil over medium to high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
Take the pan off the heat, and stir in the coconut milk. Put 1 ½ cups of the vegetable mixture in bowls, then top each serving with the chickpea mixture. Serve with the lime wedges.