Autumnal Recipe Roundup – The Ultimate Comfort Food

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By Ilse de Graaf

The shift from one season to the next can be a challenging time as you find yourself adjusting to new routines, weather conditions and daylight hours. Why make your life harder by struggling for seasonal recipe ideas, that’s why I’ve rounded up my favorite fall recipes for you to enjoy at home. You’re welcome!

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Five Bean and Lentil Morrocan Spiced Stew
Fall is most definitely the time to ‘spice up your life’ and what better way to do that than with my Morrocan spiced stew. This protein packed meal will keep you feeling energized and sustained throughout the chilly fall days to come.

This stew is definitely one of my go-to recipes, it’s warm, nourishing and packed with my favorite Morrocan inspired spice blends and it just so happens to be plant-based. This dish reminds me of what a wonderful time we had travelling as a family to Morocco, such a colorful place full of the most amazing spices. Not only does this dish look, smell and taste great, lentils a great source of plant-based protein and fiber, they are also an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

Like most of my recipes, this is a great dish to batch cook and freeze. Sometimes a heavily spiced meal tastes better after a few days or when it has been frozen and thawed. The spices have time to mature and the flavor intensifies.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
1 can mixed beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup green lentils, soaked overnight / rinsed well
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Garnishes: Fresh juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Method
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the garlic and onions and cook until golden, add the spices and cook for 30 seconds or until the spices are fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients (excluding the lemon juice and cilantro), let simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are fully cooked. Garnish with lemon juice and cilantro.

Seasonal Squash, Turmeric and Coconut Curry
My favorite squash and coconut curry is another plant-based recipe but feel free to add meat, fish or tofu, this wonderful fall recipe is easily adapted to suit your dietary needs and to be perfectly honest, whatever tickles your fancy. Sometimes during the fall months we need a little more of what makes us feel comforted and that’s exactly what this post is about. So dive in, add the veggie goodness you desire and enjoy this silky, creamy and nourishing curry.

Sometimes when I don’t want to eat rice, I add extra vegetables such as leafy greens or sweet potato or even substitute actual rice for cauliflower rice. Load up your bowl with this golden goddess curry and enjoy!

Ingredients
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 2-inch piece of ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon each: turmeric & cumin
1 medium seasonal squash, chunkily chopped
1 can of coconut milk
2 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon pink himalyan salt

Suggested garnishes: Fresh juice of 1/2 a lime, 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, ½ teaspoon of dried chilis, a sprinkle of cayenne, pumpkin seeds or EVEN BETTER, roasted seasonal squash seeds.

Method
Put the tamarind in a ball of hot water, squish it around to loosen up the tamarind and set aside. Once the tamarind is soft, remove all of the seeds.

Heat the oil in a large pan , add onions and cook until golden, add garlic, ginger and remaining spices and cook for 30 seconds or until the spices are fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients (excluding the suggested garnishes), let simmer for 30 minutes until the squash is fully cooked. I actually prefer to roast the squash is you have time and add it in at the end, it’s entirely up to you. Finish with your preferred garnish!

Autumn Harvest Apple and Kale Salad
Who said salads are just for summer, this warming apple and kale salad is basically autumn in a bowl. Personally fall is my favorite season for salads, I know most people would disagree but you just can’t beat seasonal root vegetables, figs, apples and pomegranates – are you with me Ninja?  Again you can enjoy this plant-based, naturally vegan and paleo deliciousness or you can add some prosciutto or chicken if preferred.

This yummy salad is the ultimate combination of all of the best seasonal ingredients that fall has to offer.

This dish is perfect for a light meal on an autumn evening or as an autumnal picnic recipe, you can also take leftovers to work or add them as a side to tomorrow night’s dinner. The great thing about kale is that it doesn’t wilt like lettuce so this salad will keep for a couple of days if refrigerated.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
2 heads kale, shredded
2 honey crisp apples, thinly sliced
arils from 1 pomegranate
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Cider Vinaigrette
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fig preserves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
kosher salt and pepper
½ teaspoon red chilli flakes

Method
In a large salad bowl, combine the kale, apples, and pomegranates. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots, cook until fragrant.. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly. Add the apple cider vinegar, fig preserves, and thyme. Season with salt, pepper, and dried chilli flakes. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, tossing to combine. Top the salad with toasted pumpkin seeds and feta.

Cinnamon and Nutmeg Banana Bread
Ok so this is the most delicious banana bread, even if I do say so myself. Cinnamon and nutmeg are the ultimate fall spices, this is the kind of recipe that real estate agents advise you to cook because it leaves your house smelling super cosy and inviting.

So you’re not a baker? Don’t worry Ninja, neither am I! This is a simple, one bowl recipe and you honestly can’t go wrong.

This banana bread is moist, tender and completely satisfying. You can enjoy a slice for breakfast accompanied by your favorite seasonal fruits or as a snack, toasted and coated in nut butter. Ok, so writing this post is making me super hungry! I’m off to make some banana bread right now, brb.

Ingredients
3 large ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon raw honey
3 tablespoons almond butter
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Suggested garnish: Nuts of any kind, walnuts would be the most seasonal

Method
Place a rack in the centre of your oven and preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Line a 9×5-inch metal loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing some to hang over two sides. Lightly coat with coconut oil and set aside.

Mix all of your ingredients together in a large bowl, sometimes when I’m short of time I actually put them in a blender and mix. Add to the loaf tin, top with a sliced banana (lengthways) and sprinkle with nuts, bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the top is golden and springs back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

What recipe are you going to try this fall Ninja? Let me know in the comments.

I would love to see your creations on social media #WLNrecipes.

xx Ilse

Founder & Coach
Weight Loss Ninja