I’m not going to lie, I’ve never been an autumn/winter person. I am easily dismayed by the onset of darker evenings, constant rain and waking up to a room as cold as the arctic circle. While cosy evenings and scented candles help my seasonal blues to an extent, I feel much more at ease in the summer, when the days are long, the weather is decent even in England and I can go outside without having to brace myself. Many people find this surprising as I lived in Russia for the first nine years of my life (hello -40 degree weather) and while I’ve retained many ‘Russian’ characteristics, my ability to withstand the cold has faded alongside the stereotypical accent.
However, the one thing I adore about autumn is the food. I’m talking everything pumpkin, cinnamon and roasted vegetables. You know that scene in Miranda when she lists all the things she loved about Christmas? Yep, that’s me when it comes to autumn. I had a lot of fun constructing these jars because their simplicity does not compromise that hint of seasonal flavour. As usual, the recipes are vegan friendly, healthy and packed with micronutrients. And of course, eating food from a jar does the trick of making your life that much more Pinterest-worthy. Well, in my case, I cannot make any other aspect of my life suitable for Pinterest except for food: I’ve been frantically reading style blogs to try and bring some coordination into my wardrobe, and the only plant I kept in my room withered away from neglect before I managed to miraculously revive it #almostRIP.
Anyway, while I created a ‘base’ for these jars (e.g. the curry and the tofu), feel free to switch up any of the vegetables and/or dressings, eating them either straight away or storing in the fridge overnight. Many of the ‘components’ can be cooked in bulk for meal-prepping purposes. I am a big fan of spices myself (and thoroughly believe Autumn is all about spices, whether that’s in candles or in edible things – unfortunately, those are mutually exclusive) but you can adjust the amounts in accordance with your own preferences. Before I can ramble on for 365 more words, let’s leap straight into the recipes:
Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Curry in a Jar
Hearty, warm and packed full of spices, this recipe just sings Autumn. Perfect for cold evenings and as a satisfying lunch. Served over a bed of rice and with leafy greens for an extra crunch.
- 1 cup (228g) butternut squash, chopped into small cubes
- 1 cup (228g) pumpkin of choice, chopped into small cubes
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 can (200ml) light coconut milk
- 1/2 can (227ml) canned tomatoes
- 1.5 cups (355ml) vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup (50g) green lentils
- 1 tsp mild curry powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- two large handfuls of kale
- 1/2 cup (85g) dry sushi rice, to serve
- Raw zuccini and spinach, to serve
- Heat either cooking spray or a dash of oil of your choice in a large pot. Add in the pepper, onion, butternut squash and pumpkin, stirring for 3-5 minutes on a medium heat.
- Add in the vegetable stock, coconut milk, canned tomatoes, vegetable stock, lentils, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, nutritional yeast and tomato paste. Bring to the boil, before lowering the heat and simmering for 30-35 minutes until the butternut squash and pumpkin are cooked through. Add more water/vegetable stock and salt to taste if necessary. Meanwhile, cook the sushi rice according to instructions in a separate pot.
- Add the kale into the curry and stir until wilted.
- Assemble the jars: distribute the rice evenly between the jars, before topping with the curry, the raw zuccini and the spinach.
The next recipe is quicker to make and is much more ‘salady’, thus carrying a hint of summer nostalgia while remaining sufficiently autumnal:
Turmeric Tofu and Edamame Protein Jar
Served with a pumpkin-tahini dressing, this jar is packed full of vegan protein and nutritional value. There's no better way to get in your five a day than from a jar!
- 100g edamame noodles (although, as these may be hard to get hold of, any noodles or pasta can make a viable alternative)
- 225g tofu
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small zuccini, chopped
- 150g vine tomatoes
- large handful of baby spinach
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- lemon juice to taste
For the sauce: – 1 tbsp tahini
- After draining thoroughly, chop the tofu into bitesize pieces. Heat up cooking spray/oil of choice in a frying pain. Add the tofu and the turmeric, stir-frying for 10 minutes until slightly crispy. When almost done, add in the soy sauce and ensure the tofu is fully coated.
- Meanwhile, cook the edamame noodles/noodles of choice according to instructions – this usually involves cooking them in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.
- To make the dressing, simply combine the tahini, the agave nectar, the paprika and the lemon juice, whisking together and adding more lemon juice until the desired consistency is reached (should not be too runny).
- Distribute dressing evenly between two jars, before topping with the noodles, tofu, red pepper, zuccini, spinach and tomatoes. I added some fresh raspberries for a hint of sweetness, although this is completely optional.
And of course, I could not leave out potatoes, aka bae, out of this blog post (and the combination of them with cinnamon is a lot less weird than it sounds!)
Cinnamon Potato and Falafel Jar
In combination with falafels, these chunky fries/chips make a warming dinner or an excellent lunch when cold (can also be eaten off a plate 😉 ).
- Two medium potatoes (around 500g)
- 1 can (240g) chickpeas
- Two cups chopped broccoli, steamed or boiled
- A small handful of canned peas
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp wholewheat flour
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1.5 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- salt and pepper
- Fresh blueberries and spinach, to serve
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Cut the potatoes into chips/fries, toss together in a bowl with coconut oil, 1 tbsp of the paprika, half of the turmeric and the cinnamon, before laying them out onto a greased baking tray and baking for 40 minutes, until golden
- Meanwhile, drain the chickpeas and add them to a food processor/high speed blender alongside the tahini, parsley, flour, garlic and the remaining spices. Blend until a smooth, paste-like mixture is formed, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Form the falafel mixture into balls (should make around ten), laying them out onto another baking tray and bake for around 10 minutes until the outside is crispy but the inside remains soft.
- Once ready, distribute the potatoes, falafels and broccoli evenly between two jars, layering alongside fresh spinach, blueberries and green peas. If desired, add a sauce such as ketchup or sriracha.
Lots of love, Maria ♡
If you liked this, you might enjoy my guide on how to assemble the perfect Buddha Bowl