Fall is arriving and with it my excitement for the seasonal flavors. The humidity in Florida is finally subsiding and the light cool breeze is blowing. As the seasons change, we also need to change the way we eat to offer variety and diversity to meals but also to minimize our carbon foot print, support our local agriculture and farmers, and fuel our bodies with food highest in nutrients.
Here are 5 Foods to Fill Up on this Fall!
- Spices: ginger, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, turmeric & cumin can jazz up any Fall recipe.
- Hang this ultimate-guide-spices in the kitchen to help make your meal pop with flavor!
- Lentils: red, green, and brown, and black…all offer benefit and ability to unleash your creativity this Season.
- Use this comprehensive guide for those new to lentils and looking for delicious recipes!
- Winter Squash: butternut, pumpkin, acorn, spagetti, buttercup, red kuri, sweet dumpling…oh so many!
- Here is the “scoop” on all 12 varieties and recipes!
- Seasonal Fruits & Veggies: Check out what is in season each month and be sure to visit your local farmers markets!
- Sweet potatoes: Comes in several delicious varieties, is versatile in cooking, and offers a powerhouse of nutrients. Grab for this comfort food vs. the plate of pasta!
Last Saturday morning was met with the longing to check out the Sarasota Farmers Market! I was on a mission for anything locally grown and will tingle my seasonal Fall palate. One of my favorite local farms, Worden Farms, was my prized stop. Local lettuce, amazing basil, kale, zucchini, and my best find of all… the smallest, loveliest, and most tender butternut squash. Perfect for this kick-off recipe to welcome Fall.
ps. You know it is perfect when you find yourself savoring every delicious bite and then…licking the bowl at the end! (I am not joking!)
Happy Fall Cooking Everyone!
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1" chunks (I love using the tricolor carrots)
- 1 smal butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1" chunks
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1- 1"piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 1Tbsp. curry powder
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- 4 cups veggie stock/broth
- 1-3 cups filtered water (*depending on your preferred consistency)
- 1Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1½ cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- *freshly chopped parsley, cilantro, and toasted sliced almonds to taste - optional
- In a large fry pan, heat oil and add onion and sauté 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté 1-2 minutes.
- Add carrots, squash, cauliflower and ginger, stir to combine and saute 3-5 minutes. Then add turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and curry powder, and cayenne (if desired). Continue to sauté until fragrant about 3 minutes.
- Stir in stock, water, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and add lentils. Stir. Recue heat to low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until lentils are cooked and veggies are tender.
- Taste and season with salt, pepper, and freshly chopped parley, cilantro or sliced almonds. Serve with side of sautéed spinach, salad, or serve over rice.
- You can trade out veggies if you prefer to use a different type of winter squash or use sweet potato.. Veggie combination should yield about 4 cups.
- I used very small butternut squash. There were so tender that I could use my carrot peeler to peel the outer skin and then used a large knife to slice it and cut into chunks after removing the seeds.
- Don't let the word "curry" intimidate you into thinking it is going to be overpowering. I am not a huge curry fan but I couldn't stop licking the bowl (not kidding) with this recipe.