Without fail, every year around this time I suddenly feel like, oh! it’s time to eat again. Not bad foods, but I find Autumn to be my favorite season, despite the impending season of the Dreaded Saskatchewan Winter. In the summer I feel like it’s too nice to spend hours cooking inside,so I tend to resort to a lot of veggies, salads, quick, easy meals and leftover mixtures. Nothing really share worthy. But then October rolls around and I remember I have a kitchen. And I love to cook.
Vegetables are generally the main staple around these parts, and almost every meal is stocked to the brim with them. They’re easy, cheap, versatile and super good for you. Plus there is pretty much a vegetable for everyone, no?
Last spring I planted a garden.
Rows upon rows of delicious vegetables. The staples like peas, carrots, beans and lettuce. But we also planted spinach, chards, herbs, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, squash and just in case I have a Halloween bone in my body buried deep somewhere (sorry, it’s not really my thing??), a couple Pumpkins and of course peppers in the greenhouse.
And then June hit. And with June came extensive rainfall. Followed closely by July and August in the summer that seemed to never stop raining. As a result it seems like the weather was a constant cycle of raining or leaving the garden so wet it was impossible sometimes to get in to weed and tend to the blooming stock.
After one particularly horrible rainfall I believe towards the end of June, my peas were wipes out. BOO! Peas are so delicious! I don’t even mind all the picking and shelling because they taste so darn good! We did manage to salvage some things in between floods, but unfortunately a lot of it just took too hard of a beating.
You know what did persevere and pull through in large quantities? Carrots and beats, which is perfect as they’re two household favorites. Potatoes are also a delicious go-to around here, but the husband has horror memories of growing up on the farm and dealing with potatoes that he would not even consider planting them. Plus, they’re stupid cheap and a lot of work, so I won’t argue that!
This time of year also bring a huge array of root vegetables to the grocery stores and markets – which is fantastic! They’re super versatile, relatively bland and can be made into a lot of things. I have taken to throwing a mixture of things such as sweet potatoes/yams, turnips, parsnips, carrots, cauliflower, beets and onions. The boys of the house are obsessed with cinnamon, so I actually throw some cinnamon, a bit of water, tumeric and some coconut oil into the crockpot along with the veggies, set it to high for an hour or so, then down to low for a couple. The veggies come out tender and delicious!
Another favorite? Baby potatoes roasted in the oven. Simple. Easy. I toss some baby potatoes in, a bit of olive oil, and season to whatever the heck I want! This morning I actually tossed some baby potatoes into a roasting pan with some cut up fennel, peppers, a couple garlic bulbs and some dill. I personally love fennel and make this salad often. Potatoes are another one of those things that are pretty versatile. I tend to cook them when I have time (like I did this morning!), and then use them as needed. I’ve actually been tossing a couple into my pan with my veggie filled omelet in the morning. They’re perfect and a nice switch from the usual toast that tends to go with eggs.
People tend to shy away from root vegetables and I’m not too sure why. Yes, they tend to be a little more time consuming than steaming some broccoli, but seriously? I tossed that shit into the slow cooker and it cooked itself. Five minutes max of chopping. Plus they can be refrigerated and reheated at a later date. So cook in bulk, put in the work once, and eat for days!