Autumn, those months after summer vacation spending and back-to-school expenses, may leave many household budgets a bit lean. And it is so easy to begin thinking about inexpensive “macaroni and cheese”… but let’s not. As we’ve all heard, “Good food doesn’t have to be expensive;” and it’s so true. You can satisfy your yen for hearty autumn meals and stay within your budget…all you need is some creative thinking and meal planning. A high quality starting ingredient can be developed into an average-priced meal simply by adding things of equal quality but of a lesser cost: bread crumbs, eggs, onions, etc.
Autumn’s cooler weather welcomes a stew. And salmon is my meat of choice in many of my stews. Any hearty fish or seafood will do fine…though do remember a delicate fish may be over-powered by bold ingredients.
Ever heard of quenelles? They’re a delicate meat or fish dumpling very common in France. Once you have had one, you’ll want to have them again, and again. Fortunately they are really easy to prepare yourself, so fear not. Make the first batch by the recipe below and then experiment: switch the mahi-mahi for salmon, then chicken, add pesto, roasted red bell pepper puree, or toasted pine nuts for some crunch. The possibilities are endless.
The cool months of autumn are the perfect time to cook hearty soups and pastas and to experiment with affordable new recipes your whole family will enjoy, while nature presents her spectacular show of changing colors absolutely free.
Seafood Soups and Stews
Other Hearty Recipes
Playing with Bread Pudding
Variations on a Basic Bread Pudding Custard