Comfort Food for Fall
There is a relationship between the crispness in the air, the desire to retreat indoors to the comfort of yummy, traditional staples.
Comfort food is about warmth, food fragrance, and familiar flavours and can be quite budget-friendly, with a little planning.
Do you often swing by the grocery store on the way home and pick up a cooked chicken for supper? You can save a lot of money (and reduce your sodium intake!) by doing it yourself, while embracing the “roastable” quality of the season.
Watch for sales (small fryer chickens are a good value, and are frequently on sale). A small fryer chicken will cook in about an hour, making it a viable weeknight dish. Season, and throw in the oven, basting with juices. Roasting is simple, but full of flavour (and your home smells wonderful).
Roast those Veggies
Tis’ the season to celebrate the root! Root vegetables, like carrots, celery, turnips, parsnips and onions are in season, and add an element of comfort (and nutrition) to any meal.
The other benefit to these veggies is that they are great roasted, which means you can toss your dinner in the oven and attend to other things while it cooks itself.
Arrange an assortment of these veggies, and toss with olive oil and your choice of seasoning. Another yummy option is to toss with a little bit of maple syrup, which will draw out the inherent sweetness of these veggies. Tossing with a little balsamic vinegar along with olive oil is another tasty idea. Roast these veggies for about 45 mins, uncovered to get crispy tops.
Soup for supper? Absolutely- and we are not talking about opening up a can either. Soup for supper, accompanied with a green salad and some crusty bread is a budget-friendly, nutritious, delicious meal option.
To make your soup heartier, include meat and/or lots of beans. Several of my favourites include a variety of black beans, chickpeas and/or lentils.
This type of soup can be as simple as opening a can of one of these listed above, adding equal parts of chopped veggies (whose flavour can be pulled out by sautéing them in butter, salt and pepper for about 5 mins first ), and then covering in broth and simmering for about a half hour to meld the flavours together. Add in some chopped meat (leftovers are great!) and then season with whatever you’d like. To make soups more thick, puree in batches in a blender.
Top your soup with things like chopped chives, sour cream, cheese, croutons or chopped bacon for an extra kick of flavour.
Kids (of all ages) love the flavour of chili, especially when they get to mop it up with crusty rolls).
There are a multitude of chili recipes available- but this one is cheap, quick and a little sweet, which appeals to the younger palates.
Brown ground beef and onions. Add one can tomato soup and one can of kidney beans, drained. Adjust consistency, if necessary, by adding little bits of water at a time. Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Grown-ups will invariably like their chili a little spicier. Add chili powder and hot chilies on the side.