Today is the first day of fall and the start of one of my favorite seasons. As a former professional cook I love the tastes and ingredients that come with the changing of the leaves. Between football season and the upcoming holidays everything about fall food is inviting, warm, and bountiful. I want to share a few of my favorite ingredients that come around this time of year and how I use them with my family. Of course we will be keeping healthy habits in mind....
My family is totally on the brussel sprout fad wagon and we have no shame about it. When it comes to this fantastic ingredient we use it in a couple of ways. First is just a simple roast. Simply toss with some oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and roast until the edges are crisp and yum!
One of my other favorite ways to dress this delicious vegetable up is in salad. With a few ingredients a brussel sprout salad is a great entertaining dish that will delight your friends and family. Personally our favorite salad goes a little something like this.... Roasted brussel sprouts, pearl cous cous, granny smith apple, and pecans. Add some vinaigrette and it's something you'll be gobbling up. I will share the full recipe in our private Facebook group!
2. Acorn Squash
For the longest time I was team butternut squash. Nothing could change my mind and it was by far the best option when it came to fall. Boy was I wrong.....acorn squash to me is by far one of the best fall squash out there followed closely by delicata squash. Yep that's right I rarely use butternut squash anymore.
To enjoy this yummy squash simply roast like the sprouts above. In our family we love the crispy skin you get when it roasts as a slice! Sometimes we will make this versatile vegetable into the vessel for our meal and stuff with ingredients like chicken, apples, wild rice, and sage. Let me tell you nothing quite beats the smell of these bad boys in the oven.
Now this ingredient may seem unexpected to you, but this funky little root is one of my go to flavor boosters when you're chasing that warmth everyone loves about fall.
My favorite way to incorporate ginger is in my sauces and dressings. If you have a family sensitive to spicy foods, but still need a zing this is a great way to help appease every palette in your house.
Bonus tip....add some ginger and a cinnamon stick to your warm apple cider and just curl up with a nice fluffy blanket. You can't go wrong.
For me fall wouldn't be fall without sage. My family goes through so much of it during this season that I grow it year round.
This ingredient is something I toss into everything, but if I were to pinpoint one of my favorite meals? Crumbled sausage with fresh sage and roasted apples. The juices from the apples for a fantastic coating and the sage amps up the flavor in the sausage. I'll typically serve this over cauliflower rice or brown rice or even with roasted fingerling potatoes.
You probably are thinking what.....what about apples? To me everyone knows a dozen recipes for an apple, but the pear is an under celebrated fruit with tons of capability to bring your fall meals new dimension.
We grate our pears for meat tenderizing. Did you know they contain an enzyme that breaks down the tough fibers in beef? Asian pears are a traditional addition to bulgogi marinades and they are so delicious. When it comes to using the pear as a star one of my favorite desserts include poached pears. A great and simple way to highlight the fruit without much fuss. Want to add a bit of flair wrap your poached pear in pastry for a bit of crunch.
I wish there was a way to include every ingredient I stock in my pantry during the fall, but you would be reading for days. Do you use any of these when you cook for your family? Are any of these an absolute surprise for you? If you want to see recipes featuring some of the ingredients above head over to our private Facebook page, introduce yourself and tell us your favorite fall ingredient.