Autumnal Colours & Pretty Eating

Colour is a massive part of making a meal not only look delicious, but also knowing that it is seriously good for you. A well known, and very simple method of getting more vitamins and goodness into your food is the more colours on your plate, the better. So it’s got to be a sure thing that the most colourful season of the year brings forth some of the most nutrient filled produce! Think about it, in the Autumn we get all those gorgeous colours in the leaves, in a multitude of shades of orange, yellow, green, with some wonderful splashes of red and purple thrown in for good measure. And it occured to me this morning on the drive to work, seeing all these glorious colours brightening up an otherwise dull and cloudy day, that these colours match almost exactly the hues of the fantastic seasonal produce we get this time of year! Bright yellow squashes, brilliant orange pumpkins, lush green courgettes, and not forgetting the stunning variety of beetroot we are treated to, especially the vibrant purples and pinks!
What got me thinking about seasonal produce this year, was not only the wonderful colours of the trees, but also the ‘Our Growing Edge‘ project, headed up by Genie of BunnyEatsDesign. This is a really wonderful blog hosting and sharing platform, where each month has an idea or a theme for bloggers to try new things and then write about, which is then hosted on a different blogger’s site each month – this month’s hosted by Kerene from The Dream Baker.
One of the suggestions for October was to start thinking about cooking with seasonal produce, and this got me thinking about something I’ve been meaning to do for a while; find my local greengrocers and start making the most of Great British goods! It seems like a no brainer to me really, not only are you helping local farmers and reducing the miles travelled by your food before it makes it to your mouth, but you’ve instantly got guaranteed variety throughout the yearas you follow what is in season, as opposed to sticking with the same safe options. I’m always up for learning new things!
Unfortunately this month I wasn’t able to make it to a greengrocers – there just aren’t any in our immediate vicinity, but I have scouted one out for when we move into a new area in a couple of weeks, which I’m really looking forward to checking out properly πŸ™‚ I still wanted to make sure I got some seasonality into our meals, and we’ve all got to start somewhere, right? So I opted for a really lovely looking butternut squash to be paired with some gnocchi, goat’s cheese and spinach, and some bright and beautiful beetroot for a beef curry with a real difference.
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I’ll be honest, we weren’t blown away by the Butternut Squash & Gnocchi meal – more due to the lack of flavours in the meal itself than anything wrong with the squash. That was probably the most flavoursome bit! I think the textures in the meal were all a bit too similar; the soft roasted squash, the wilted spinach and the heavy gnocchi coated with the goat’s cheese made it all a little bit – claggy. That along with the lack of other flavours in the meal… maybe some sage would have saved it, but it is unfortunately one I won’t be making again. Luckily I have plenty of other squash recipes in the pipeline – just not much left of the season!
The Beef and Beetroot Curry however… that really was just sublime. This was a whole afternoon job, so I set it aside for a Sunday afternoon where I could really take my time and enjoy the long process. What with the cooking and peeling of the beetroot, the making of the curry paste and the hours baking in the oven… I can tell you from the incredible smells floating through the house we were well and truly ready for this by the time it was ready! The whole seeds which make up part of the paste became so aromatic and toasty as the curry cooked, and the sweetness of the beetroot with the deep savoury notes in the beef really made us both impatient to start eating! Slow cooked meals like this are also great, as you don’t have to shell out on expensive bits of meat, as the chunks of beef cook slowly in the curry paste and stock, becoming more and more tender as the hours tick by.
The best part about all of this is that I still have some squash and beetroot leftover! So I get to try out a whole set of new recipes next week – I think a beetroot risotto might be calling out to me…
Lotsa Love! Abbie x

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