Autumn splits opinion and whether you come down on the love-it-or-hate-it side of this Marmite season, you need to cook the right dishes. That means warming comfort food that tastes great and boosts the immune system with loads of lovely nutrients in it.
Most of the time, that means turning to soup, but not everyone is a fan of a steaming bowl of minestrone. Step away from the soup bowl (we do love you really) and try one of these other recipes that will act like a radiator in your belly.
Butternut squash risotto
Butternut squash has to be the ultimate autumn ingredient and that bright yellowy-orange colour is enough to cheer up even the dullest of days. It’s packed with potassium, manganese and vitamin E, so will certainly help to keep you fighting fit through the season.
Roasting the squash before adding it to a recipe is a top tip for enhancing the nutty flavour. That’s exactly what Lucy Bee does in her recipe for butternut squash risotto with sage. Rice dishes are particularly satisfying in autumn as they really fill you up, making you want to just curl up on the sofa in your slippers afterwards.
Sometimes, all you want to do is throw a whole load of ingredients into a pot and let them bubble for a few hours. Go for a walk, throw leaves around, or put your feet up and come back to find the meat is tender and the vegetables soft, having flavoured a hearty sauce. This is the power of stew.
If you’re not confident enough to just be throwing ingredients at a pot then follow this recipe from the Happy Foodie. This sausage and lentil stew is livened up with chilli, parsley and lemon juice, but retains that deliciously comforting feeling.
Stuffed cabbage leaves
Cabbage is an underrated ingredient, mainly because people don’t know what to do with it and boil it beyond a tasteless death. Stuff it with something interesting instead and you’ll find that this often-overlooked leaf is your new best friend.
If you don’t believe us then try Wish to Dish’s pork and thyme stuffed cabbage leaves with a smooth tomato sauce. What else is there to say? It does what it says on the tin and is so packed with flavour, you’ll never think that cabbage is boring again.
Yes, you could make pumpkin pie, but pancakes are a great foodstuff to experiment with and the sweetness of the vegetable really works well. You could have them for breakfast or an afternoon treat and load them up with autumnal fruits to give an added boost of vitamins.
This recipe for pumpkin pancakes from Love and Lemons is vegan, so you can serve it up as a dessert that everyone will love. Just remember not to offer your vegan guests any whipped cream to go on top.
Often served up to vegetarians by hosts who know a simple crowd-pleaser when they see one, stuffed peppers can also be enjoyed by the carnivorous eater. Among the benefits is the good representation of the food groups. The pepper is, of course a veg, then you’ve got carby rice, fat from the cheese and protein from the beef if you’re doing a meaty version.
Speaking of meaty versions, the Foodie Crush tells you exactly how to make her stuffed bell peppers with beef. The secret is to create a rich tomato sauce as the base and then add in your favourite ingredients.