November is a great time to introduce yourself to seasonal cooking. The colder days mean we want to eat stodgier foods, and November’s produce and seasonal meats and fish are about as stodgy and warming as they get. We’re also all looking for ways to save money as our heating comes on and energy bills go up, and November’s seasonal food becomes more plentiful, which drives the prices of those foods down.
So if you want to try out seasonal eating, or if you just want to get some cheap and easy meal ideas, read on. These easy seasonal recipes will save you money.
First, you need to know what is in season at the moment. Seasonal foods include:
Fruit and nuts
Meat and fish
Now let’s see what kinds of things we can make with all of these foods. Below are four easy, seasonal recipes.
500g (1lb 2oz) clams
75ml (3fl oz) water
25g (1oz) butter
50g (2oz) thickly sliced bacon, chopped
110g (4oz) onions, chopped
225g (8oz) potatoes, chopped
300ml (10fl oz) milk
125ml (4 1/2 fl oz) double cream
1 bay leaf
A pinch of grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Get fresh clams and clean them. Tap each one, and discard those that don’t close when tapped. Put a large, lidded frying pan on a high heat, and add the clams and the water. Bring it to the boil, cover and cook the clams for 2 or 3 minutes. All the clams should open, and those that don’t should be thrown away. Strain the clams and reserve the cooking liquid. Remove the clams from their shells and set them aside. Throw away the shells.
In other deep frying pan, heat the butter. Fry the back in the butter for a couple of minutes, until it is brown. Add the onions, and cook them for a couple of minutes, until they have just softened. Pop I the potatoes, milk, cream, bay leaf and nutmeg, and cook the lot until the potatoes are cooked. Stir in the clams, and add salt and pepper to taste.
If you like, you can serve the chowder with a chewy bread, like a sourdough, and a sprinkle of parsley on top.
400g floury potatoes, chopped into chunks
1 swede, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
8 venison sausages (or whatever sausage you like)
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
50g unsalted butter
A good splash of double cream
Nutmeg for grating or 1 tsp ground ginger
Place the potatoes and swede into a large lidded saucepan full of cold water. Bring it to the boil, and as soon as it starts boiling, cover the saucepan and reduce the heat, simmering the veggies for 20 minutes or until they are tender.
Meanwhile in a frying pan, heat the oil and cook the sausages until browned all over, or about 10 minutes. Add the honey and mustard to the pan, coating the sausages and cooking them for 5 minutes until they are glazed.
Drain the neeps and tatties, and mash them with the butter, cream, seasoning. Mix in salt and pepper to taste. To serve, lay a bed of mash down, and arrange two sausages on top. You can also serve buttered cabbage, if you like.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
400g canned chickpeas
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 bunch of kale (or other leafy cabbage), chopped
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large skillet on a medium heat, and add the oil. When it has heated up, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes, until the onions are nice and soft.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add them, as well as the chilli powder, paprika and cumin to the skillet. Stir for a minute, coating all the chickpeas in the spices. Add the tomatoes, give it a good stir, lower the heat and let it all simmer for 5 minutes.
In a large skillet or wok heat the oil over a medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and stir in for 2 -3 minutes until golden and onions are soft.
Meanwhile drain and rinse chickpeas (canned chickpeas are ideal, as they don’t take as long to cook). Add chilli powder, chickpeas, paprika and cumin to skillet. Stir in for a minute until spices coat the chickpeas. Add the tomatoes and stir in together. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Chop the greens, and add them to the skillet. Simmer for around 5 minutes, until the greens are tender. Add the salt, pepper and lemon juice, give it one last stir to get everything nice and mixed together, then serve it over rice, pasta or noodles.
700g pumpkin flesh, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
450ml ready-made bechamel sauce (white sauce)
100g Gorgonzola cheese
freshly ground white pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Preheat your oven to 180 C or Gas mark 4. Toss the pumpkin with the oil and salt and layer it in a baking dish. Bake it in the oven for 45 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft. After the pumpkin has been in the oven about 30 minutes, put the bechamel sauce and the gorgonzola in a saucepan and heat it through. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Prep your apples, if you haven’t already. Remove the baking dish, but leave the oven on. Take out half of the pumpkin, and smooth out the rest into a single layer. Layer the apple slices on top of the pumpkin layer, and then cover it evenly with half the sauce. Add another layer of pumpkin, then apple, and then top with the rest of the sauce. Top it off with a bit of pepper, then cover the dish with foil. Pop it back into the oven for another 45 minutes. After that, remove the foil and pop it back in for another 10 minutes. Pull it out and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Those are just four easy seasonal recipes you can do right now. For more ideas, check out just about any recipe website out there. You’ll be able to eat well and save money, all because you are eating seasonally.