20 October 12 • SCB

I am a little bit late to the game, but I am trying my best to get into the rhythm of autumn this week. This past month was so busy with work and travel that I was lucky if I thought ahead to dinner that evening, let alone stocking my pantry for fall cooking. Fortunately, I had some time to clear out my fridge and pantry this week (if I can’t remember when I bought it, into the compost it goes. I try to start each season fresh). A little planning and a trip to the market later, we are better prepared to eat well with minimum effort (instead of reaching for the take-out menus).

Some tips:

:: In the cooler months, I roast a chicken on Sunday, make a bone broth for soup on Monday, and use extra meat for a dish later in the week. This week we will have chicken soup with barley, lemon and kale and chicken hand pies later in the week.

:: Onions, carrots and celery will become mirepoix for the freezer, so I will be ready to make simple soups and stews quickly in a pinch.

:: My favorite fresh herbs from the summer are being replaced with warming dried spices—smoked paprika, cumin and curry blends are some of my favorite additions.

:: I don’t buy a lot of canned food, but I do like to have tomatoes, coconut milk (for a cauliflower curry), and chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (for lentil chili) in my pantry.

:: Squash and root veggies are really calling to me right now. We will have sweet potato biscuits with our soup.

:: Tender salad greens are being replaced by hardier kale and bitter greens like mustard. I eat these fresh or shredded as a topping for a brothy soup.

:: Dried lentils (I stock brown and the more tender red lentils in my pantry) are great to have around because they cook up so quickly.

:: Ditto for whole grains. My kids love pearled barley, quinoa, and wheat berries. Put them in soups, cook them in broth to serve on the side, or use them as you would rice.

Happy autumn eating!

ps: The bag holding the onions above is a sneak peek at an alternative use for a project that will be featured in the new Quarterly…coming soon, subscribe today!