Come fall, we start to crave roasty, spicy, stick-to-your ribs comfort food. You don't need tons of cash or time to slave over a hot stove to enjoy some homecooked goodness. These recipes are the busy girl's answer to staying healthy and satisfied this fall. Eating fresh and seasonal is the way to go – and fall food is tops for flavour.
Roasted root vegetable salad
This may be the ultimate comfort-food salad. Think hearty potato salad with a cold-weather spin. Serve over a bed of lettuce, wrap it in a tortilla, or just eat by itself.
Chop up 2 beets, a bag of baby carrots, 1 red onion, 2 parsnips, and a pound of purple fingerling potatoes, season and drizzle with olive oil in a baking dish and roast until tender. Stir occasionally. After cooled, transfer to a mixing bowl and toss with balsamic vinaigrette and season. Top with pine nuts and feta cheese. Makes 4 – 6 servings.
Spicy Lentil Dahl
This spicy dahl will warm your bones and clear your sinuses. Notoriously cheap and easy to make, dahl is a staple in Indian cuisine. Your apartment will smell better with every minute it simmers.
In a large pot, saute a chopped onion in 1/4 cup oil. Add 2 Tablespoons of minced garlic, and 1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger. When fragrant, add 1 cup of dried red lentils (rinse them first!) and 1 Teaspoon curry powder, half a teaspoon each of cardamom, and cinnamon and cayenne. Gradually add 4 cups of vegetable broth. Let simmer for about 20 minutes until lentils are tender. Stir in 2 Tablespoons tomato paste until combined. Serve with plain yogurt and roti bread. Makes 6 servings.
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Heard about the new Kraft Dinner Smart, made with 1/2 serving of caulifower in each bowl for added fibre? This melty, gooey recipe is just like that, but even smarter.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add one 14.5 oz box of elbow macaroni and 1/2 head chopped cauliflower. Cook until al dente. In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup breadcrumbs with 1 Tablespoon parmesan cheese. Set aside. Place 8 oz. grated cheddar, 4 oz cream cheese, 3 Tablsepoons of parmesan and 1/2 milk in the heated pot with the macaroni and cauliflower. Stir till melted. Add more milk if the mixture is dry. Transfer to a 9X13 in ch baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumb mixture and bake 18 – 20 mins till bubbling. Makes 8 servings.
Chickpea and coconut curry
Creamy coconut milk and versatile, protein-packed chickpeas pair up in this simple 4-ingredient curry that packs a flavourful punch.
Saute one chopped shallot in oil until translucent. Add 2 Tablespoons curry powder and gradually add one can of chickpeas and one can of full fat coconut milk. Wilt in some spinach for some added colour and veggies. Serve with rice or nan bread. Makes 4 – 6 servings.
Nacho topped chilli pot
For those frigid nights when you just want nachos and beer, this recipe has both, and a lot more nutrients. A tex mex pleaser to make even a carnivore happy.
In a big soup pot, saute 3 cloves of garlic, one chopped onion and a seeded red pepper in olive oil. Add two 26 ounce cans of undrained diced tomatoes, one bottle of stout beer, one cup of water and one 8 ounce can tomato sauce, 3 Tablespoons chilli powder and, if you like, a dash of hot sauce. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in 3 cans of black beans, white beans, and red kidney beans, and 2 cups corn kernels. Simmer, uncovered for 15 more minutes. Serve topped with grated cheese and crushed nacho chips. Makes 8 servings.
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