While I have thoroughly enjoyed our beautiful summer here on the west coast, the fact of the matter is that fall is officially here. I have to admit that even though I love the sun and the warmth and fun activities it brings, I also really love our fall weather too. I love the fuzzy slippers, the cozy blankets, my cups of tea and the extra family movie nights fall brings.
A couple of weeks ago we were blown away (literally) by a massive storm that I don’t think anyone was expecting. At the time I wouldn’t dare admit it in fear of dirty looks or worse, but I was one of the lucky ones that didn’t lose power.
I know, I’m sorry. Hearing all the horror stories from my friends and family, and seeing the chaos that was any restaurant or fast food chain that had power really had me wondering what I would do in that situation. If that storm was a sneak peek at our fall to come, then it is time to have an action plan in place with a few handy recipes. I don’t think I want to attempt a restaurant among the madness and it is always better to have a stocked pantry than to have to find a store that even has power.
Fall and winter is also a time when I almost go into hibernation mode and I crave soups and stews. Something warm and hearty that will keep me warm and fill my tummy. My boys also love them for the fact that they get to dunk bread and butter in them.
Soups and stews are also perfect because they are one pot meals with the bonus that they have the ability to cover all the food groups, and even if another storm hits, thanks to a portable induction cooker, your BBQ sideburner, or camping stove, there are some ways to still cook them during a power outage. Once you have a few go-to recipes that are easy to throw together and you know off by heart, you will be set for whatever fall and winter brings this year.
Soups for fall
Nothing says fall to me more than anything with pumpkin, so I’m always excited to try any new pumpkin recipe. My favourite soup is a Coconut Pumpkin Black Bean soup. My local coffee shop makes an amazing one, so I decided to try to make my own and let me tell you, it’s delicious. Even the pickiest eater in my house loves it. This soup is so quick and easy to make, and with the beans and pumkin puree it is sure to fill you up.
Coconut Pumpkin Black Bean Soup
3 C chicken stock
1 can (398 ml) black beans drained and rinsed
Saute the diced red pepper in a little olive oil until tender then add the chicken stock, coconut milk and pumpkin puree, beans, cumin and garlic powder.
Allow to simmer for 10 minutes then salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
No joke this recipe is so simple to make, and I love making a batch and storing it in the freezer in single servings. It’s also great because it requires very basic ingredients that a lot of people probably already have handy in the pantry, so in case of a storm you’ll be set to make it.
Bestbuy.ca has this great portable induction cooker that will be a lifesaver during a storm. Who even knew you could get a portable induction cooker? Not me that’s for sure, but I definitely need to get one of these Salton Portable Induction Cookers for my house this fall.
The great thing about induction cooking is how quick they are to heat and because they work through magnetic field, you don’t have to worry about the cooktop getting hot to the touch. If you’re not sure if you have the right cookware for induction cooking check out Shelly_Wutke’s post all about induction cookware.
Stews are another perfect meal for fall and winter. Again, these are one pot meals that you can include all of the food groups, so you can make sure to get a healthy well balanced meal. They are also perfect for cooking in case of power outages. You will probably have some meat in the freezer that will need to be used up too.
You could definitely cook a stew on the induction cooker I mentioned above or even a camping stove like this World Famous 2-Burner Propane Camping Stove. I did a little research, AKA googling, and it looks like If you have a great dutch oven like this Dansk Mario Batali 5.6L Oval Cast Iron Dutch Oven, you can also cook your stew on your BBQ. The idea is to cook it low and slow which is usually how you get the best stew anyway.
My boys always love a beef goulash and my youngest always has to add a dollop of sour cream to make it just perfect. This hungarian beef goulash from afarmgirlsdabbles.com is delicious.
Hungarian Beef Goulash
3 lbs. beef chuck roast, cut into 1″ cubes
Place beef in slow cooker. Cover with carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, onion and garlic. In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients, and then add to the slow cooker. Stir a bit to combine. Cover and turn heat to high. Cook for 4 to 5 hours, or until beef and veggies are very tender.
With these two recipes and of course a basic chicken noodle soup, I’m going to be well prepared for when I need a quick, easy and tummy satisfying meal. I also love one pot meals because there is so little clean up, and they are perfect for the thermos the next day for school. They will also come in handy in case of emergencies this winter and fall either on a crazy busy day or if mother nature decides to knock out our power.
I love to think positive and say I won’t lose my power during a storm, but the reality is that’s it bound to happen at least once, and at least I know we won’t starve.
Check out bestbuy.ca for all their cookware and alternative appliances for cooking this fall, and don’t forget to check out the other posts to prepare your home for a great Canadian winter.
Check out Leila’s post on preparing your home for cold weather
Before winter comes fall, and that means there are apple recipes on Shelly’s Friday Favourites.
Stacey has some greeat ideas to prepare your kitchen and dining roomfor the winter
Title image @ balanceandbliss.com
By Lindsey Reed
, Family and FitnessI am a mom of two boys who loves reading and trail runs. I am passionate about health, fitness and food and write about these topics and more on my personal blog organicfitnesstips.net. I love to communicate with readers of my articles so please leave comments here or contact me on Twitter @LindseyDReed.