Summer fruits and vegetables have begun to disappear in the food markets, especially Jersey corn and tomatoes. At Bartley we have begun to change our menu to reflect seasonal changes in produce. It is a popular time of year for root vegetables, pumpkin, kale, swiss chard, beets, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes. Fall is a time of year to place colorful foods on your table. Fall vegetables contain essential nutrients and are tasty in many recipes. If you have not used some of these vegetables in your cooking try a new recipe and incorporate them into your meal. You will not be disappointed.
Kale and Swiss Chard are rich in vitamins and minerals especially iron. It is always best practice to steam rather than boil the greens in order to preserve more nutrients. They can be incorporated into a stir fry recipe adding valuable nutrients and a burst of color. Roasting Kale with olive oil and sea salt has become popular as a snack in place of potato chips. They are both a good addition to soups.
Cauliflower is low in calories and is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Roasting cauliflower with a small amount of olive oil is delicious especially if you sprinkle it with parmesan cheese before you roast it. It is also a great additive to mashed potatoes. Try substituting cauliflower for half of the white potatoes to reduce the carbohydrate content of mashed potatoes. Cauliflower can be incorporated into pasta dishes, sides of meats, stir fry dishes or as a vegetable to dip with hummus or your favorite dip instead of chips or crackers.
Beets are not only colorful but they are a good source of folate, Vitamin C, dietary fiber, Vitamin B6, manganese, potassium and copper. They are a great addition to making a fall salad. Try roasting them in the over in foil for 45-60 minutes. Keep them refrigerated and slice them into salads as needed. They make a great addition to a baby spinach salad with toasted walnuts, cranberries and goat cheese. Just be careful when working with beets as they stain your hands and clothes.
Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash and pumpkin are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and dietary fiber. They are delicious peeled, cut up and cubed and then roasted with a small amount of olive oil. They are a great replacement for white potatoes on the table. They add color, fiber and nutrients. The seeds of pumpkin can be washed, dried and roasted for a snack or add to a breakfast cereal. You can also puree these vegetables and use them to make desserts and soups.
Chestnuts, cranberries, apples and toasted nuts are nice accompaniments to these vegetable dishes and add more flavor, color and texture. Enjoy the change of season and welcome Fall into your home and especially into your kitchen!