Autumn has brought many changes in my shopping list.
As I'm trying to give up on all the evergreen supermarket food, I had to adapt to new tastes. Seasonal food gave me tasty reasons to start experimenting with fresh ingredients.
There's just a bunch of tomatoes left. Zucchinis are almost gone. So are peppers, cucumbers, and eggplants.
Anyway, I found new foods for my family's dinners. And, luckily for us, autumn vegetables are rich in vitamins of all sorts, while having less calories.
Your inner child may not like it, but you need to give broccoli a chance this year.
It tastes good once you go over the first bite and leave misconceptions behind. Even better, you can adapt it to a wide range of recipes, from pasta to soups to complicated dinner recipes.
I often use broccoli for cream soups and salted tarts. But you can steam it to get a fancy side dish for your meat. There's no limit, trust me.
It's green, I know. But it's full of vitamins and minerals. You can find just about anything in this vegetable. One portion of broccoli delivers more vitamin C than an orange, among other benefits. And there's less sugar in it, for sure.
It's one of the tastiest vegetables I've ever eaten. Fennel has few calories and is full of fiber and minerals. It's a good source of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and vitamins A, B6, and C, as well.
I like it both raw - in salads - and cooked - in soups or made in the oven. Also, fennel tea is among my favorites.
I grew up with pumpkins in the garden, but my mother didn't cook too often. Pumpkin was served inside the pie or backed merely in the oven. Meanwhile, I learned to use it more often in the kitchen, in cream soups, rice, vegetable stew, and pasta.
Pumpkin flowers are also edible. I cooked them several times in the oven, stuffed with cheese, or with pasta sauce. I was reluctant when I first got these flowers, but it's a culinary experience that's worth trying at least once.
With Halloween so close, you have another reason to experiment in the kitchen. Beware of decorative pumpkins that are not edible. Here comes, as far as I understand, gourds and any pumpkin with a very rough shell. A good pumpkin has a pleasant smell, and the pulp is orange, easy to cut.
I've read that kale was fashionable in the past years - you know the trend of "superfoods." But it's not all about being cool in this green delight. Kale has all the vitamins and minerals you need to get ready for winter. Plus, it's tasty and easy to cook - boiled or steamed.
You can make anything you can think about, from sandwiches and pizza to quiches. There's no limit.