Autumn is a wonderful time of the year where the weather becomes more pleasant, the rains become minimal and nature begins to prepare for the approach of winter. There are many foods that are typically in season around this time as fall months are when a lot of summer crops are harvested. These seasonal foods can be best enjoyed when prepared as comfort foods, which are recipes that usually invoke a feeling of comfort and nostalgia.
Here are some healthy comfort food recipes that are the perfect meal for a cool, autumn day.
Mediterranean Red Lentil Soup
Soup is the perfect warm and soothing fall meal. Any dish with lentils is an efficient way to get your protein requirement for the day. This soup is a healthy recipe that makes a hot and comforting dish to be enjoyed on a cool day.
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 2 carrots, peeled and diced
• 1 stalk celery, diced
• 1 onion, diced
• 1 ¾ tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
• ½ tsp chili flakes
• 9 cups water
• 1 ½ cup Masoor Dal
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp minced parsley, optional for garnish
• In a large soup pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and 1 tsp pink salt. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the vegetables begin to soften.
• Add in the garlic, tomato paste, cumin seeds, and chili flakes. Sauté the mixture for another 2 minutes, until the tomato paste begins to caramelize and the spices are fragrant.
• Add in the water, masoor dal and green gram, bay leaves, and remaining salt to the pot. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Remove the bay leaves, stir in lemon juice and the remaining olive oil. Serve with parsley sprinkled on top!
Hearty Grain Salad
A lot of grains such as quinoa and farro can make for some wonderful comfort food recipes. This hearty grain salad is a good source of fiber and the organic apple cider vinegar adds a delicious sour and sweet flavor. This is one of the best comfort food recipes for fall.
• ½ cup whole-grain farro
• ½ cup Quinoa
• 2 cups vegetable broth
• 1 ½ tsp. Black Salt
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
• ⅓ cup olive oil
• 3 tbsp. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
• 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
• 2 tsp. Raw Honey
• ½ tsp. black pepper
• 2 cups arugula
• 1 green apple, chopped
• ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
• ¼ cup freshly chopped basil
• ⅛ cup freshly chopped parsley
• ¼ cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
• In a medium saucepan, combine the farro, quinoa, vegetable broth, salt, and bay leaf. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and let cook until the grains are tender and no broth remains. Then transfer to a large bowl to cool.
• In a small saucepan, combine the oil and shallots over medium heat. When the shallots are cooking, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the shallots are golden and crisp. Remove shallots and place them on a paper-towel-lined plate and season with salt. Let the oil cool.
• In a medium bowl, combine the cooled olive oil with the apple cider vinegar, mustard, and honey and season with salt and pepper as needed.
• Now combine the cooked grains, the shallots, arugula, apple, parmesan, basil, parsley, and pecans. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Enjoy!
Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin is one of the best seasonal ingredients during the autumn season. This recipe is one of the best ways to enjoy seasonal produce along with the goodness of coconut. This is one of the best recipes for fall.
• 2 tbsp Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
• 2 tsp curry powder
• 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp nutmeg
• ½ tsp cloves
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 3 cups pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
• ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
• 4 cups vegetable stock
• 1 can coconut milk
• Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, for garnish
• Cilantro leaves for garnish
• Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant. Stir in the curry powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and season with salt and pepper.
• Stir in the pumpkin puree and sugar, then whisk in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cook for 3 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
• Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro, and serve hot!
Autumn is a delightful time of the year when the weather is cooler and the season’s ingredients are at their freshest. Comfort foods are hearty and can be extremely healthy when prepared with natural and nutritious ingredients. These recipes demonstrate how to use seasonal ingredients in preparing healthy foods that can be warm and soothing during the cool weather of autumn. Try them at home today!