9 Fall Foods Better Than a Pumpkin Spice Latte
Autumn is a great season for eating. From apple cider donuts and pecan pie to mushroom risotto and butternut squash soup, the fall offers a cornucopia of savory and sweet ingredients that warm the soul (and the belly). Since many of your favorite–or future favorite–fruits and vegetables are in season, the months of October and November are an excellent time of year to experiment with some new plant-based cooking.
And while it’s tempting to order a certain sweet, pumpkin-flavored, coffee-like beverage, you can capture all the delicious aromas and flavors of fall without having to venture to the coffee shop. This is the time of year to stock up on apples, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, collards, squash, pears, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and, of course, pumpkins. With so much delicious seasonal produce available at your fingertips, all you need are the right recipes to add some cozy fall-flavor to your Meatless Monday meals.
Check out our list of plant-based breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts that are better than a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Traditional paella is usually a combination of rice, meat, vegetables, all cooked in some sort of broth in a shallow pan, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors, but you can achieve the same effect using only seasonal plant-based ingredients. This particular paella recipe uses Brussels sprouts, fennel, butternut squash, and plant-based sausage. If you’re cooking for a big group this is the recipe for you.
Is anything more fall than baked apple donuts? These little circles of bliss are healthier than your average coffee-shop donut because they’re baked, not fried.
For the Baked Apple Donuts recipe from Cat of The Verdant Life, click here.
Talk about a creative spin. This fritter recipe is a great appetizer, but you can also slice it and stick it in a pita pocket or wrap for a light fall lunch (also great for lunchboxes). The recipe calls for steaming fresh pumpkin and soaking dry chickpeas, but you can get by using canned varieties of both. Fresh herbs and a squeeze of lime juice round out the flavor.
Imagine the sweet smell of apples floating through your kitchen on a Monday afternoon. No, you don’t need a candle from Bath and Body Works. This no-fuss recipe for cinnamon ginger apple chips is also a great way to get kids into the kitchen. Just slice the apples and boil with some aromatics, like cinnamon sticks and cloves. Drain the apples and lay them flat on a baking sheet before sprinkling with spices and baking in the oven until they develop a nice chew.
Brussels sprouts have had a rebirth, and now people simply can’t get enough of them. And with this sweet-and-tangy Brussels recipe, you’ll understand why. Brussels sprouts are quickly cooked in a pan with some balsamic vinegar, and are then topped with a cranberry chutney that’s made with orange zest and Concord grape juice. Fall in a bowl!
This list wouldn’t be complete without dessert. These fudgy brownies are totally vegan, with a flavor more complex than your average brownie thanks to ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cashew butter. Perfect for Halloween parties are the end of a meal.
Plain oatmeal can be kind of meh, which is why you should start your fall morning with a bowl of overnight peanut butter apple oatmeal. You do need a slow cooker for this recipe, but you can also make these oats in a pot on the stove top the morning of. Little chunks of apple, brown sugar, and cinnamon sticks will give off the most mouthwatering fragrance. Not a bad way to start the day.
Pumpkin is one of those versatile ingredients that plays well in both savory and sweet dishes. This recipe for stuffed shells is more on the savory side. The shells are stuffed with a mixture of kale, canned pumpkin, and tofu, for a creamy filling that’s totally plant-based. A quick tomato sauce gives the dish a homey feel.
Smooth and delicate, this creamy sweet potato soup has a fair amount of protein thanks to the addition of white beans. Coconut milk is a surprise ingredient that brings extra richness to every spoonful. It’s pretty easy to make, too. All you need is a good pot and a high-powered blender.
Click here for more Meatless Monday recipes. When posting pictures of recipes to your social media network, tag @MeatlessMonday use #MeatlessMonday to show the plant-based community your creation.