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Healthy Seasonal Meals for Autumn

As the weather gets colder, the desire for warm, comforting food returns. When Autumn comes around, there’s truly no better feeling than being snug in the warm with a delicious hearty meal!

Written by

Diets2Go

10/11/2021

As the weather gets colder, the desire for warm, comforting food returns. When Autumn comes around, there’s truly no better feeling than being snug in the warm with a delicious hearty meal!


When we think of seasonal food for Autumn, we often go straight to all things cheesy, carby, and… well, perhaps not foods necessarily associated with good health! However, you don’t have to throw your diet away in the name of delicious, seasonal recipes. In fact, Autumn comfort foods can be super nutritious and packed with protein, whilst still giving you that hearty, warming goodness that you’d expect from classic comfort foods. One of the best things about Autumnal recipes is all of the great, fresh vegetables that are available at this time of year making vegetarian and vegan options just as achievable as other diets.


So, if you’re looking for some healthy, comfort food inspiration, then look no further than the recipes we deliver at Diets2Go!


WHERE DOES COMFORT FOOD COME FROM?

Before we get on to recipes, it’s interesting to think about what actually constitutes the ‘comfort food’ that is so commonly associated with the colder seasons… Where did this phrase come from? And why do we find certain foods so comforting?


Interestingly, when the Oxford Dictionary added a definition for the phrase ‘Comfort Food’ in 1997, it traced its origins back to a 1977 Washington Post article about Southern cooking. The article stated, ‘Along with grits, one of the comfort foods of the South is black-eyed peas.’


But it appears that the Oxford Dictionary was wrong… The author of the Washington Post article rejected the idea that he coined the term, and set the record straight in 2013 - ‘I don’t really believe I created the term, [but since 1977] it has been one of my favourite food descriptors.’


In fact, it seems as though the phrase has been around since at least 1966, when a Palm Beach Post employed the term in an article, it read: ‘Adults, when under severe emotional stress, turn to what could be called ‘comfort food’—food associated with the security of childhood, like mother’s poached egg or famous chicken soup.’


So, whilst the true origins of the descriptor are unknown, it seems as though from its earliest days it has been used to describe the idea that people tend to turn to nostalgic, hearty food when the body and soul are in need of a little TLC! Hence why these recipes are so popular as the weather cools down.


But why is this? Apparently, consuming energy-dense, high-calorie foods can signal the reward system in the human brain. This can create a sensation of pleasure or relaxation. Another factor that plays into this is that consuming calories also warms you up, as you are adding more energy into your body. Put simply, eating these kinds of foods can make us feel good and warmer!


SO WHAT ARE COMFORT FOODS?

With comfort foods having such strong ties to nostalgia, it’s unsurprising that they vary from person to person. As long as it makes you feel happier, it’s a comfort food! Here are a few examples of what may be considered comfort foods for a few different countries:


Italy - Gnocchi

Japan - Teppanyaki, udon

Spain - Roasted chestnuts, grilled lamb

Turkey - Spicy meat dumplings

China - Rice porridge with eggs

United Kingdom - Shepherd’s Pie

USA - Tater tot casserole, mac n’ cheese

Germany - schnitzel with gravy



HEALTHY SEASONAL COMFORT FOOD RECIPES

Now that we’re well and truly into Autumn, there’s no better time to turn to try out some new comfort food recipes. Making use of seasonal produce is a great way to do this. Including apples, carrots, potatoes and onions, there’s a wide variety of fruit and vegetables that are in season in the UK throughout Autumn. 


We’ve gathered some of our ultimate comfort food recipes that are perfect for the colder weather for you to try at home. So get cosy this Autumn and tuck in! If you try out any of these recipes, make sure to share on Instagram and tag us!  


Recipe 1 - Thai Sweet Potato Soup

Hearty and warming, this Thai Sweet Potato soup features the seasonal veg perfectly, with a nice spicy kick.


Saute onions on low heat until browned. Add in some curry paste, sriracha, ginger and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes. Pop in your sweet potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add vegetable broth and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for around 25 minutes. Take off the heat, and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning and add in coconut milk to your taste. 


Serve with buttered bread and enjoy!


Recipe 2 - Pumpkin Hummus

Perfect to enjoy as a snack with some roasted ciabatta!


Cut the top off of your pumpkin, scoop out the flesh and remove the pumpkin seeds. Cut the pumpkin into chunks and roast with oil and garlic at around 200 degrees. Bake until tender (usually around 45 minutes) then leave to cool. Tip the pumpkin into a blender and add chickpeas, lemon juice and tahini. Season with salt and pepper and blend. If your hummus is a little too thick, add a dash of oil and blend again. 


Enjoy with some roasted ciabatta for the perfect Autumn snack!


Recipe 3 - Apple Chicken Stew

Is there anything that screams comfort food more than a stew?


Heat oil in a pan and add some chicken until browned. Sprinkle with bay leaves, salt, thyme, garlic and black pepper and stir. Add in your vegetables of choice, we recommend onion, carrots, potatoes, parsnips and celery. Next, add in your apples, apple cider, chicken stock and cider vinegar. The vegetables should be just about covered in liquid, if not, top up the pan with a little more chicken stock. Simmer the mixture and cook until the carrots are tender (around 30 minutes).


Take out your bay leaves, garnish with a little bit of parsley and serve!


Recipe 4  - Butternut Squash Curry

A great way to make use of this delicious seasonal vegetable, with a little spicy kick.


Boil water and cook your rice as per packet instructions. Heat oil in a pan and add your butternut squash. Cook until browned. Add onion and curry paste and fry for an additional 3-5 minutes. Pour over vegetable stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add some chopped tomatoes and chickpeas and gently cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Take off the heat and serve with your rice and a tablespoon of yoghurt. 


Recipe 5 - Chicken Jollof Rice

Absolutely delicious - this one reminds us of our Mum’s cooking!


Add some tomatoes, red bell pepper, onion and seasonings to a blender and blitz until smooth. Heat up some oil and toss in more onion, chicken and curry powder. Fry until the chicken has browned (around 10 minutes). Remove chicken from the pot and place to the side. Raise the heat and add in your blended tomato mixture and reduce until thickened. Fry for a further 3 minutes and add in your chicken and rice. Cover your pot with foil and cook for a further 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


Recipe 6 - Curried Couscous
For when you need a little comfort food at lunchtime, this is the perfect pick me up! This recipe is packed with veggies and is the perfect recipe to prepare the night before and take to work.


Add couscous to a bowl. Pour in your chicken stock, curry powder, salt, pepper and oil to a separate pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and combine your couscous with your stock mixture. Seal with cling film for 30 minutes. Fluff up the rice with a fork and enjoy!



HOW DIETS2GO CAN HELP YOU PREPARE MOUTH-WATERING MEALS THIS AUTUMN

Looking for the perfect healthy seasonal foods this Autumn, but don’t think you have the time to prepare them?


Diets2Go offers a wide range of delicious meals, hand prepared by professional chefs for a variety of appetites and delivered to your door!


We know that hectic lifestyles can often get in the way of healthy eating, which is why we offer a vast array of delicious meal prep options, made with the freshest of ingredients, to help you enjoy your food whilst still achieving your fitness goals.

Including Tennessee BBQ Mince, Jerk Chicken Thighs, and Creamy Tomato Beef Linguine, we have a wide range of beautiful seasonal meals. All are prepared with care by professional chefs and packed full of nutrients. 


Any intolerances that you may have, such as wheat, gluten or dairy, or allergies can all be noted during the order process to make sure that your meals are the perfect fit for you and your dietary requirements.


Check out our meals now and get them delivered as early as tomorrow!


Think you might like to try? Why not check out our latest menu?


Any questions? Check out our FAQ Section. You can also contact us via our website to learn more about our tasty meals. Whatever your query, we will be happy to help.

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