Eating Seasonally: Autumn


As the weather gradually grows cooler and the days shorter, the majority of us naturally turn towards eating warm, comforting foods.  We'll enjoy the occasional salad sure, by we're now craving dishes that are a bit heavier and heartier.  This craving is perfectly natural and one that we should act upon however instead of cluttering our diets with heavy foods consider taking the opportunity to change things up by giving our bodies something both nourishing, comforting, and that is in season.  Think savory potatoes, hearty lentils, and turkey meatballs...  Eating healthy doesn't mean lacking in flavor or leaving the table hungry.  Quite the contrary!  I've found that the healthier I cook the more opportunity I have to experiment with flavor and seasoning. 

The autumn season being no exception, is a source of some beautiful produce.  For vegetables there are: artichokes, beets, bell pepper, broccoli, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, celery, chard, corn, eggplant, fennel, garlic, mushrooms, parsnip, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rutabaga, spinach, and sweet potatoes.  For fruit there are: apples, cranberries, pears, persimmon, plums, pomegranate, raspberries, and tangerines.  One of the great things about eating seasonally is that it provides us the chance to experience new flavors and to benefit from vitamins and minerals that we might not have received earlier in the year.  The flavors of the produce in season are also much more satisfying as they have just been harvested during their natural season. 

Roasted Potatoes & Beets with Lentils

Ingredients for Potatoes:

1 russet potato

1 sweet potato

1/3 sweet onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 TSP oregano

1 TSP cumin

1 TSP tumeric

1/2 TSP paprika 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste


Ingredients for Beets:

6 beets

1/4 Sweet onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 TSP cumin

1/4 TSP paprika

Salt & pepper to Taste

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Honey, optional


Ingredients for Lentils:

1 cup of dried lentils

1/2 onion

1 TSP cumin

1 TSP oregano

1/4 TSP paprika

 Salt & pepper to taste

3 cups of water

Method for Potatoes:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Drizzle your pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Add garlic and ontion.  Sprinkle with salt.  After washing and drying your potatoes, chop them.  Add your chopped potatoes to your pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and the rest of your spices.  Salt and pepper to taste.  When the oven is heated, place your pan inside and allow to bake for about 40 minutes minutes or until potatoes have a crisp golden color.


Method for Beets:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Drizzle your pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Add garlic cloves and onion.  Sprinkle with salt.  After washing and drying your beets, chop them and add to your pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, add spices and season with salt and pepper.  When the oven is heated, place your pan inside and allow to bake for 30 minutes or until beets are soft/not burnt.  If desired, 10 minutes before pulling the beets out - remove the pan and lightly drizzle beets with honey.  Put pan back in for remaining 10 minutes, or until the beets are done.


Method for Lentils:

Rinse and soak lentils before adding them to your pot.  Add in the onion, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, paprika and water.  Bring the pot to a boil before reducing the heat, covering, and allowing to simmer.  

When the lentils are finished (45 - 60 minutes), plate your potatoes, beets, and lentils and enjoy!  


Turkey Meat Balls with Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients for Turkey Meatballs:

1 lb. lean ground turkey

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup of parsley, chopped

1/2 TSP salt

1/2 TSP pepper

1/2 TSP oregano

1 egg beaten

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

Method for Turkey Meatballs:

Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, then lightly oil your pan.  Mix all ingredients together and shape into meatballs about 1" in diameter.  Cook for about 30 minutes.

Ingredients for Cauliflower Rice:

1 head of cauliflower, chopped

1 TBS Extra Virgin olive oil

1/2 cup of sweet onion, diced

1-2 stalks of celery, chopped

2-3 radishes, chopped

1 TSP sea salt

1 TSP black pepper

Additional seasonings as desired

Method for Cauliflower Rice:

Add chopped cauliflower into a food processor and pulse into fine pieces.  This should look like "rice".  In a saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil oil, lightly cook the cauliflower, onion, celery, and radishes until golden.  Stir in remaining ingredients.


Baked Salmon & Root Vegetables with Sage Pesto

Ingredients for Salmon & Vegetables:

4 (5- to 6-oz) salmon fillets
3 small beets, halved
2 carrots, chopped
1 small to medium sweet potato, diced
12 baby potatoes, halved if larger
12 Brussels sprouts, halved**
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
 Salt and black pepper, to taste


Ingredients for the sage pesto:
     1 cup fresh sage leaves
     1 cup baby kale
     ⅓ cup toasted pistachios
     ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
     ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
     Himalayan Pink Salt
     Crushed red pepper flakes
     ¼ cup grated Manchego cheese
     Fresh lemon juice, optional

Method for Salmon, Vegetables, & Pesto:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  On a rimmed baking sheet, toss beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, baby potatoes and Brussels sprouts with olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Roast for about  20 minutes, or until veggies are slightly tender.

Meanwhile, make the pesto. In a food processor, combine sage, kale and pistachios and pulse until finely chopped. Add Parmesan and pulse again. With the motor running, drizzle in olive oil. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.

Remove veggies from oven and push them to one side of the pan. Put salmon on the other side. Rub a few tablespoons of sage pesto over each fillet.  Return pan to oven and roast for 10 to 20 minutes more, until salmon reaches desired doneness and veggies are soft. Remove pan from oven and top each fillet with some Manchego to melt.  If desired, squeeze a drop of lemon juice over salmon. Serve with roasted veggies and extra sage pesto alongside.



* This recipe is from The Chalkboard Mag.

 ** I subsituted the Brussels sprouts for a head of broccoli because that's what we had on hand (and to be honest...I really don't care for Brussels sprouts).