Fall Cooking Guide

Fall Gourds

Crisp air, cozy sweaters, pumpkins and apples galore – my favorite season is in full swing and I couldn’t be more excited!  When the temperatures dip, there’s nothing better than having something warm and comforting simmering on the stove.  The farmer’s market is currently brimming will all sorts of gorgeous ingredients to cook with.  If you love to cook, this is your season.  If you’re just learning to cook, there’s no better time to start!   I’ve put together a handy fall cooking guide to help you get the most out of your time in the kitchen this season.

First, a few cooking essentials:

I’m relatively new to the Instant Pot game, but I’m starting to use mine more and more (it’s a game changer for cooking dried beans!).  This combo electric pressure cooker/slow cooker/rice cooker (among other things!) is perfect for chilly nights when you want to have a hands-free dinner cooking away while you watch the latest episode of American Horror Story.

They’re pricey, but you’ll never regret buying an enameled cast iron pot (such as Le Creuset or Staub), especially in the fall when soups, stews, long simmering sauces and braises are de rigueur.  They are sturdy, distribute heat evenly, are a dream to clean and will last a lifetime.

I love roasting root veggies and winter squash in the autumn, so I always have a few sheet pans on hand. 

Now you’ve got your gear – now let’s chat about what’s in season: winter squash, root vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, dark leafy greens, to name a few!   Scour your farmer’s market (they’re usually open until November) and see what looks best – don’t be afraid to talk to the farmers about what they’re most excited to harvest this season.  This seasonal produce chart also will give you a good idea for what you should be cooking with this fall.

If you need help figuring out what to do with your farmer’s market haul, I love New York Times Cooking, Food52, and Epicurious for inspiration and reliable recipes, and there are countless more cookbooks, food magazines, websites and blogs to get ideas from!  Many recipes aren’t vegan, but are great for ideas and/or are easily adaptable to a vegan diet.  My favorite fall cooking methods are slow cooking, braising, roasting, and pressure cooking (aka Instant Pot) – any recipes that inadvertently heat up my kitchen get a thumbs up from me.

Finally, when the weather dips, I love cooking in cozy slippers and putting on the Jazz Essentials Pandora station (#nerdalert) while sipping on some Kombucha or red wine.  That’s how fall cooking is done right, my friends!

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