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Fall foods are coming: ItÕs time to start talking about the new seasonÕs cuisine

By October 20, 2010

Special to The Enterprise

Fall is here, but just barely! Still, the calendar and our own internal clocks make most of us inclined to more hearty food, even if the weather doesnÕt quite agree. This week, weÕll make our transition to winter fare, and take advantage of the change-of-season produce along the way.

The most exciting change is the return of Nantes carrots, the most delicious carrot variety in the universe. They arenÕt grown much commercially because they arenÕt the least bit uniform, often growing crooked and forked. That makes them more difficult (and so expensive) to harvest than the Imperator carrots that we usually get. WeÕre lucky that local farm Terra Firma Farms grows Nantes. TheyÕre super sweet and tender, and make a fine side dish steamed.

Local green beans are here again, and with the least bit of luck should stay with us right up until Thanksgiving. ÒDeliberate leftoversÓ of mashed potatoes, green beans, stroganoff sauce and cooked carrots help us build a super-easy super-seasonal Veggie ShepherdÕs Pie that can be in the oven in 10 minutes.

Lest we fall into a long winter sleep too soon, weÕll work in a few lighter, more exciting, but still satisfying favorites Ñ tostadas, tortilla soup and a nice curry, all of which bring a little (or a lot, if youÕre so inclined) spice into our evenings.

Planning is everything in sticking to a food budget, and we aim to help you with six daysÕ worth of menus, which should feed two adults dinner six nights a week for around $40.

These menus assume you already have some cooking skills, and own a basic reference cookbook. They include tips for cooking, or for cooking ahead. If you see ÒIn the fridge for future mealsÓ then save those items from this meal for later in the week. ThatÕs been included in the shopping list.

Our shopping list and recipes are scaled for two adults. Increase or decrease as needed to allow for your household.

We shopped this list at the Co-op on Saturday. We chose organic wherever affordable (marked ÒOGÓ on our list), and picked what weÕd use at home Ñ the best value rather than the absolute cheapest. We also assumed you had a few things in the pantry, which were not included in the shopping total. Our total: $40.77.

Shopping list

In the pantry:




bread crumbs


ketchup or chili sauce

chopped pickled jalapeno

curry powder

salt and pepper

chili powder




mushrooms, 12 ounces

onions, OG, 3

lettuce, OG, 1 head

potatoes, OG, 3 pounds

summer squash, OG, 2


corn, OG, 2 ears

green beans, OG, 1 pound

carrots, OG, 1 bunch

Dairy and cheese:

corn tortillas, OG, 8

salsa, fresh

sour cream, 8 ounces

cheddar, 8 ounces

milk, 1 pint

butter, 1 stick

eggs, 5


peas, 10-ounce bag

refried beans, OG, 1 can


ground beef, 12 ounces

chicken stir fry mix, 4 ounces


pasta, 6 ounces (uncooked)

broth powder

rice, 8 ounces




In the fridge for future meals:



sour cream



Mini Meatloaf with Cheddar

green beans

mashed potatoes

In the fridge for future meals:

mashed potatoes

cooked green beans


Mushroom Stroganoff

steamed carrots

In the fridge for future meals:

stroganoff sauce

cooked carrots

Tip: WeÕll double the stroganoff sauce recipe and take half out

before we add the sour cream to make the shepherdÕs pie.


Veggie ShepherdÕs Pie

In the fridge for future meals:


Tip: The green beans and mashers from Sunday and the sauce and carrots from yesterday make

assembly a snap!


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tip: Prefer a vegetarian soup? Skip the chicken and add a cup or so of cooked beans.


Curried Eggs


Tip: You can fancy up a curry by adding small dishes of toppings for diners to add: sliced nuts, raisins, coconut and chutney are all nice.


ShepherdÕs Pie


2 cups mashed potatoes

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon butter

salt to taste

1Ú2 cup diced onion

4 cups cooked vegetables

1 cup leftover gravy or sauce

Putting it together:

Stir milk and softened butter into potatoes. Season to taste. Heat gravy, add vegetables and cook until vegetables begin to thaw.

Pour into casserole. Spread mash over top.

Bake in a 350-degree oven until hot through and topping is lightly browned.



6 corn tortillas


1 can refried beans

1 cup grated cheese

shredded lettuce

grated carrot


sour cream

Putting it together:

Shallow fry tortillas in a little oil until crisp. Drain.

Spread each tortilla lightly with refried beans. Sprinkle lightly with cheese.

Place tostadas on a cookie sheet and bake or broil until cheese melts. Place tostadas on plate and top with shredded lettuce, carrots, salsa and sour cream.

Mini Meatloaf with Cheddar


1Ú2 an onion

1 cup bread crumbs

12 ounces ground beef

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 teaspoons oregano

1 egg

(chopped pickled jalape–o)

(catsup or chili sauce)

1Ú2 cup grated cheddar

Putting it together:

Mince the onion. Mix minced onion, meat, bread crumbs, garlic, oregano and egg.

Form into 2 small meatloafs and snuggle next to one another in an 8-inch baking dish.

Top with ketchup and/or chopped peppers, then with cheese. Bake in a 350 oven until cooked through, about 45 minutes.

Mushroom Stroganoff


6 ounces (uncooked) pasta

2 teaspoons olive oil

12 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin

1 yellow onion, sliced thin

21Ú2 cups veggie broth

2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons cold broth

1Ú4 cup sour cream or yogurt

Putting it together:

Cook onions in oil 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and sautŽ 3 minutes. Remove and reserve.

Turn heat to high, add broth and cook 5 minutes.

Turn to low, add mushrooms. Add cornstarch/broth mixture and stir until sauce thickens slightly.

Remove half of sauce and refrigerate for tomorrow.

Turn off heat and add sour cream to remaining sauce.

Serve over cooked pasta.

Chicken Tortilla Soup


4 ounces chicken stir fry mix


1 onion

2 summer squash

2 cloves garlic

1Ú2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoons oregano

1Ú2 teaspoons cumin

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup salsa

2 ears corn, cut from cob




sour cream

Putting it together:

Cook chicken in oil until done. Reserve. Chop onion and zucchini and cook until tender. Add garlic and spices. Add broth and salsa. Add corn and chicken and cook 2 minutes.

Shred tortillas and fry in a little oil until crisp. Spoon soup into bowls and add tortilla strips. Top with diced avocado and sour cream

Curried Eggs


4 boiled eggs

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon curry powder or to taste

1 cup peas

Salt and pepper to taste


Putting it together:

Peel eggs and cut in wedges. In a heavy pan, melt butter.

Add the flour, mix and cook over low heat for 1 minute. Add milk in a thin stream, stirring the whole time, and mix carefully.

Cook over low heat until thick, stirring occasionally. When thick, stir in curry powder, eggs and peas. Adjust seasonings and serve over rice.

Julie Cross

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