Autumn is in the air, my friends … indeed; it is also in the food.
The festive tidings of pumpkin spice flavorings and variations on squash concoctions are usually unveiled in October, but November is the month that really highlights it all – culminating in the revered feast of excess known as “Thanksgiving.”
Here’s some things to eat this Autumn; for avid and novice cooks alike, these are some easy, fall-themed recipes and foods to seek out.
all photos Eva Gray/Catalyst
Sautéed spaghetti squash, the finished product.
1. Sautéed Spaghetti Squash. Ok, so this is something that I literally make all the time. I love squash so I basically am just into roasting them and eating them in whatever form I happen to cook ‘em in. There are similar steps to roasting most squash – from butternut to acorn, pumpkin, and spaghetti. If you can cook one you can cook them all, just be patient because some roast faster than others!
1 medium sized spaghetti squash, make sure it feels heavy for its size
1 medium yellow or sweet onion
2 bell peppers, an orange and a green
5-6 garlic cloves
1 cup mushrooms
about a cup of pasta sauce, depending on how saucy you are
salt and pepper to taste
mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese if desired
- Cut squash length-wise with a sharp knife. Remove seedy, slimy innards with spoon. Put the halves on a baking sheet with the inside facing upwards. Place into 400-degree oven. Roast for about 30 minutes – or until soft (check with a fork.)
- While roasting the squash, chop vegetables. Place in wide sauté pan at medium heat with about 2 Tbsp. olive oil in this order: first, onions, allow them to sweat. Then add the garlic and peppers. Add the mushrooms last because they cook pretty fast. Reduce heat and cover.
- After vegetables are well cooked, add pasta sauce. Cover.
- When the squash is ready, remove from the oven and use a fork to break up the spaghetti-like insides. Use a spoon to scrape the squash off the skin, and you should just be left with the squash’s outer skin. Add in squash with sautéed veggies and sauce, mix well on stove top on low heat. Serve with grated parmesan or grated mozzarella.
These are the scrumptious pumpkin pancakes one can order at Peach’s Restaurant. Topped with the nectar of the gods (maple syrup), these babies are humongous. One is sure to leave with a satisfied stomach. Peach’s is located at the Landings Plaza next to Publix and offers breakfast and lunch everyday.
2. Spiked Pumpkin Punch. This recipe originated from a vodka martini recipe I found online. My recipe is easier and it worked really well serving it punch-bowl style in a large batch.
1 29 oz. can pure pumpkin purée
about 3 cups apple juice
pumpkin pie spices – nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger – at least 2 tsp. each
It works to add the ingredients in the order they are listed, just remember to stir not shake!
3. Pumpkin Pancakes. Found: Peach’s Restaurant on 4832 S Tamiami Trl, Sarasota, FL. You really can’t go wrong putting two of the best things ever in one – pumpkin pie and pancake. Divine. Topped with the nectar of the gods (maple syrup.) Superb. And these babies are humongous; you are sure to leave with a satisfied stomach. Rating: Sat Plus! Fall-theme-o-meter: Sat Plus Plus!
Other favorites this season can be found in the form of Pumpkin Spiced Lattés, Pumpkin Pie (Peach’s Restaurant also featured a pumpkin pie soup), Pecan Pie, Pumpkin or ‘Oktoberfest’ Beers, Sweet Potato Pie and Butternut Squash Soup. The list goes on … so be on the lookout! Buy seasonal vegetables at the grocery store, and ask about seasonal dishes and drinks anywhere you go!