The Perfect Fall Dishes for You & Your Loved Ones
Spice of Life
It’s getting colder. The sun is going down earlier and earlier. But that’s just encouraging us to head into the kitchen and whip up some of our favourite fall & winter dishes, including comfort food, classic cocktails, and new and fresh healthy options (loaded with veggies!).
And, since we’re all trying to support local restaurants and shops now more than ever, we’re highlighting some of our favourites that we think you’ll love just as much as we do!
Homemade mulled wine is incredibly easy to make on the stovetop (or simmer in the slow cooker), it’s easy to customize with your favourite spices and add-ins, and it is SO cozy and delicious. Perfect for winter and holiday entertaining!
- 1 (750 ml) bottle of dry red wine
- 1 orange, sliced into rounds (also peeled, if you would like a less-bitter drink)
- 8 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 2–4 tbsp sugar, honey, or maple syrup to taste (or your desired sweetener)
- Optional add-in: 1/4 cup brandy (or your favourite liqueur)
- Optional garnishes: citrus slices (orange, lemon, and/or lime), extra cinnamon sticks, extra star anise
- Add wine, orange slices, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, 2 tablespoons sweetener, and brandy to a large saucepan. Stir briefly to combine.
- Cook the mulled wine on medium-high heat until it just barely reaches a simmer. (Avoid letting it bubble — you don’t want to boil off the alcohol.) Reduce heat to low, cover, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, remove and discard the orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Give the mulled wine a taste, and stir in extra sweetener, if needed.
- Serve warm in mugs, topped with your favourite garnishes.
Thai Green Curry
This is how to make a really great quick green curry. This recipe is versatile and you can substitute almost all vegetables with your preferred ones. To be honest, we rarely ever end up making the same curry twice and we love it.
Curry: 4 - 6 tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste we used Aroy D
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or any vegetable
- 2 cans of coconut milk
- 1 - 3 tsp fish sauce
- 1 - 3 tsp white sugar
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp grated garlic
- 2 chicken breasts cut to your preferred shape, we usually slice or cut chunks/or pound of shrimp/or keep it vegetarian
- 1 can baby corn, cut each to 3 smaller pieces or keep whole
- 1 sliced bell pepper red or yellow, seeds removed
- 1 cup snow peas, small, trimmed
- 1 cup sliced white or brown mushrooms
- 1 cup green beans
- Bamboo shoots optional
- Juice of 1/2 lime, to taste
- Thai basil or cilantro/coriander, recommended
- Green or red chillies slices, optional
- Jasmine rice or rice noodles
- Heat oil in a heavy based skillet or pot over medium high heat.
- Add curry paste, garlic with ginger and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it mostly "dries out" or golden brown. Don't breath in the fumes!!
- Add coconut milk, mix to dissolve paste.
- Add fish sauce, sugar, salt.
- Add chicken, stir then lower heat to medium so it's bubbling gently. Cook 7 minutes. If using shrimp, add it a couple of minutes before the veggies are done, as shrimp will be done in just 1-2 minutes.
- Add vegetables, cook until medium-soft to soft. We will leave it to your preference.
- Taste sauce. Add more fish sauce or salt for more saltiness, sugar for sweetness.
- Serve curry over jasmine rice with garnishes of choice.
Winter Minestrone Soup
The perfect soup for you and your family to enjoy throughout the fall and winter. This Winter Minestrone is chock full of vegetables and beans and even includes one of our favourites – pancetta!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 lb Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes, in juice
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, divided
- 2 (14 oz) cans low-sodium beef broth, divided
- 1 (1 oz) parmesan
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- In a large, heavy stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and potato. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and rosemary sprigs. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes are very soft, about 10 minutes.
- In a food processor or blender, combine 3/4 of the beans with 1/2 cup of broth. Blend until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and parmesan to the vegetable mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potato pieces are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining beans and the parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Discard the rosemary stems (the leaves will have fallen off) and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
Roasted Vegetable Mash
Accidentally go overboard and buy too many vegetables? There’s no need to let them go to waste thanks to this simple, yet delicious, recipe. This recipe makes 2 small servings.
- 2 parsnips, cut into small pieces
- 2 carrots, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 a head of cauliflower, cut into small pieces
- 2 turnips, cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp cream
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Preheat oven to 400oF.
- Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, add your cut vegetables and olive oil.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Add vegetables to cookie sheet and roast for about 40 minutes.
- Take vegetables out of the oven and place in a high-speed blender.
- Add cream and yeast.
- Puree until mashed well.
Roast Pumpkin and Lentil Salad with Roasted Lemon Dressing
This vegetarian and vegan-friendly salad is guaranteed to leave anyone happy and satisfied.
- 1kg Kent pumpkin (or other pumpkin)
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp each Dijon mustard and honey
- 400g can lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup currants
- 1/4 cup baby capers, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup pepitas, toasted
- 2 cups watercress leaves (or rocket)
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the pumpkin into 3cm-thick wedges, discarding the seeds and fibre from the centre. Divide between two trays lined with baking paper. Add half a lemon to each tray, then drizzle with 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil and season well.
- Roast for 30 minutes, swapping round the trays halfway, or until the pumpkin is soft and richly caramelised. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Combine onion and vinegar. Set aside.
- To make the dressing, squeeze the juice from the roasted lemon and combine with remaining olive oil, Dijon, honey and season. Combine the lentils, currants, parsley, capers, and onion, then mix with some of the dressing.
- To serve, arrange the wedges of roasted pumpkin on a plate and top with the lentil salad, sprinkle over the toasted pepitas, watercress and remaining dressing.
Courage Foods: Courage Foods – an artisanal grocer that offers fresh and frozen meals and spectacular desserts – is the kind of place you can always count on to smell amazing when you walk inside. This cozy little Upper Beaches grocery store on Kingston Rd. sells carefully chosen, mostly local produce and pantry items as well as the shop’s own baked goods and prepared foods made in its back kitchen, the source of the irresistible wafting aromas. (946 Kingston Rd.)
Somun Superstar: Somun Superstar is a small sandwich shop serving up authentic Bosnian somun bread and sandwiches that have received rave reviews from customers and media alike.
Left Field Brewery: One of Toronto’s finest breweries, founded by a local husband and wife, located just off Greenwood Ave., north of Gerrard St. East. In non-pandemic times, it is a fantastic spot to hang out for the afternoon, with kids and dogs welcome. For now, this area is closed but they are offering curbside pick-up and, even better, free delivery inside the GTA if you spend $45 or more on your order. Personal favourite brews include Gigante (low alcohol IPA), Eephus (Oatmeal Brown Ale, also available at Stratus Restaurant), Greenwood (IPA), and Glorioso (Italian Pilsner).