We believe that feelings of Autumn come not only through your eyes but also your belly!
Here are five tasty meal ideas that will cheer you up on a cold and rainy day. In case you are vegetarian or vegan you can easily replace the meat in the traditional recipes with a plant-based product made out of tofu or seitan.
And of course you can always add a bit more fire by using additional spices. Let your creativity run free!
1. Chilli con carne / Chilli sin carne
Chilli con carne is a hearty classic that works in all situations whether you´re planning a party with friends or just looking for a delicious family dinner recipe.
The great thing aboutJamie Oliver´s recipewith minced beef is that it's super easy to prepare and serves up to 6 people.
If you´re looking for a vegetarian/ vegan option you can replace the meat with a plant-based product (vegetarian minced meat) of your choice. That turns the Chilli con carne (Chilli with meat) into a Chilli sin Carne (Chilli without meat).
Enjoy your chilli with rice, couscous or bread together with some yoghurt. Delicious!
2. Mushroom soup
For Finns autumn is mushroom season. While the Finnish mushroom season extends roughly from early May to late November some of the most popular varieties like chanterelles are harvested in late summer and early autumn.
As we have plenty of mushrooms available it's not a surprise that there are many popular dishes made from mushrooms.
One of them isChanterelle Soupthat is usually prepared with cream and served with traditional rye bread.
Another favorite of the season is sienikastike (mushroom sauce) that can be eaten with potatoes or pasta.
Interesting fact: Edible mushrooms contain B vitamins as well as a powerful antioxidant called selenium, which helps to support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues.
Borscht is an iconic beet soup from Ukraine. Ingredients usually include beets, carrots and vegetables, beef stock and a number of additional flavorings (Check Natasha´s Kitchen online for an authentic recipe).
Note: For a vegan/vegetarian version of Borscht you can simply replace the beef stock with vegetable broth.
Interesting fact: The vegetables used in preparing borscht are rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and Vitamin B making it a delicious and healthy comfort food.
Beets, the main ingredient of the soup, help to keep the blood pressure in check, may help fight inflammation, may support digestive health as well as brain health. Not bad considering the amazing taste!
4. Apple crumble
Ok, this dish is not “healthy” in the classical sense, but it's packed with healthy seasonal fruits and definitely comforting!
Apple crumble is simply a classic of the season. The great thing about this recipe is that it's easy to make with basic ingredients. You can also make your own variations with berries or plums.
The most basic crumble can be made with just a couple of ingredients: flour, butter/margarine and sugar for the dough + the fruits of your choice and sugar to taste. Other crumble variations include porridge oats and spices like cinnamon.
Interesting facts: Apples are rich in fiber, vitamin C and potassium. Apples are also known to be a great source for antioxidants, and they may be great for promoting healthy gut bacteria.
5. Vegetarian tacos
Tacos are super versatile as you can choose between hundreds of non-vegetarian and vegetarian fillings. What we love about tacos is that they are fun to make and perfect for a small spontaneous party/ family gathering. Ingredients can easily be added or replaced adding flexibility.
TheseEpic vegetarian Tacosby Cookie and Kate are filled with beans, avocado dip and salsa verde. Topped with fresh cilantro and lime they make a healthy treat that will not only please vegetarians.
Interesting facts: Cilantro (Coriander) is an antioxidant-rich herb with a distinct flavor used in Asian and South-American cuisines. It may help lower your blood sugar, fight infections, and promote heart, brain, skin, and digestive health.
Make use of seasonal fruits and vegetables
Autumn is a wonderful time for cooking. We recommend checking local farmers markets for regional produce and then looking for recipes to make the most out of them.
Some of the tastiest dishes are often made with simple and inexpensive ingredients that are readily available in your region. Add spices like chili, curry or pepper for an exotic twist and some additional fire when the weather is gloomy.