While I love to cook and try new recipes all year around, Fall definitely holds a special place in my heart… and in my kitchen. As the weather get chillier, my kitchen warms up with aromatic spices and savory dishes. There’s a lot of power behind the food you eat whether it be the ingredients you use or how you choose to share it with others. I personally follow a plant-based diet and love to play with different seasonal ingredients to cook for my friends and family. To me, there’s nothing better than gathering around a table with loved ones and sharing a delicious meal or baked treat. Especially during a pandemic, maintaining some sort of human connection is super important and I think a great way to uphold that is through food. Whether you’re cooking dinner for your family and roommates or baking treats to drop off at a relative or friend’s house, I hope these plant forward recipes bring some color and joy to your Fall days.
- Sweet PotatOATs
I would definitely describe myself as an oatmeal enthusiast. It’s my go to breakfast (and occasional lunch or dinner too). While I often stick to a classic oatmeal with some fruit on top, I love to switch things up and try different combinations. Sweet potato oatmeal definitely had me a little skeptical at first, but I’m so glad I tried it! It adds a little extra color and flavor and also gives you a boost of antioxidants and nutrients! Here’s a link to the oats I made posted on my food account!
- ½ cup oats (I like Old Fashioned Rolled Oats)
- 1 cup water or plant-based milk (Use oat milk for extra creaminess)
- About half of a ripe banana, mashed
- ¼ of a mashed sweet potato
- ~ 1 tsp maple syrup (or more depending on desired sweetness)
Optional toppings: banana, nut butter, almonds, cinnamon apples, figs
1. Peel your sweet potato and cut into cubes, then boil in a pot of water for 5-10 minutes or until soft. When soft, remove from the water and mash with a fork.
2. While your sweet potato is boiling, bring another pot of water or your choice of milk to a boil.
3. Add oats, mashed banana and sweet potato, maple syrup and cinnamon to the pot and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until you reach your desired thickness and consistency.
4. Pour the cooked oats to a bowl and add additional toppings.
- Chai Latte
I know pumpkin spice lattes are all the rage right now, but a nice warm chai on a chilly Fall morning just hits different. The perfect combination of spices and warm frothy milk is so tasty and comforting and it’s not overloaded with caffeine and sugar to give me jitters or a caffeine overload. For the full chai spice mix recipe click here!
Recipe: (serves 2)
- 2 cups of water
- 2 black tea bags
- 2 tbs chai spice mix
- 3-4 tbs maple syrup to sweeten (can adjust to your taste preferences)
- 1 cup plant milk of choice
1. Add water, tea bags, and chai spice mix to a small pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes.
2. Remove tea bags and pour mixture into 2 mugs then add 1-2 tbs of maple syrup to each cup
3. Pour ½ cup of milk into each cup and add some sprinkles of cinnamon or dairy free whipped cream and enjoy!
Bonus: If you have a milk frother I 100% recommend frothing the milk before adding it to your mug. If you don’t, here’s a link to do an easy DIY frothing technique! If you choose to froth the milk, I recommend oat milk as I find it froths the best. My favorite brands are Planet Oat or Trader Joe’s Oat Beverage.
- Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
While pumpkin flavored coffee and baked goods are a fall staple, pumpkin dinners are equally as good. This is my favorite pumpkin pasta recipe, but does require a little more preparation and cooking tools than the others… but it’s totally worth it I promise.
Recipe: (serves ~6)
- 12 oz pasta of choice (I love to use the Banza chickpea penne pasta, but you can use whatever you like)
- 1-2 tbs olive oil
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup cashews soaked in water overnight
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves or 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbs fresh sage
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta and cooking according to package instructions. Once cooked, strain and return to the pot and toss with olive oil.
2. As the pasta cooks, add the pumpkin, drained cashews, milk, lemon juice, garlic, salt and nutmeg to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference and add more milk or water if needed for consistency.
3. Pour the pumpkin mixture to the cooked pasta and stir to coat. Then, add in the sage.
4. Divide onto plates and sprinkle some parsley for garnish.
- Butternut Squash Soup
With pumpkin always being the star of the show in the fall, I think butternut squash deserves a little bit of its own spotlight. While I will definitely eat soup any time of the year, this butternut squash soup just screams Fall!
Recipe: (serves 6-8)
- 4 cups of cubed butternut squash
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 medium onion or 1 tbs onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sage
- 3-4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups plain plant-based milk (or use canned coconut milk to add creaminess)
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Precook squash at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or steam for 10 minutes to soften.
2. Dice your onion and saute in a pot with olive oil, salt and sage until translucent.
3. Add your vegetable broth and squash and simmer for 15 minutes or until the squash is soft. Then, add your plant-based milk of choice.
4. Pour mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add any additional toppings like vegan sour cream, pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds.
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
This is by far my favorite pumpkin recipe. They’re so simple and easy make but taste fantastic! Last fall, I made a big batch and shipped boxes of them to my friends at other schools for a nice little surprise and they loved them! The original Baker by Nature recipe is only vegan, but I’m gluten free so I use the King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour and it works great!
Recipe (makes 12-16 cookies)
- ½ cup solid coconut oil
- ¾ cups dark brown sugar (subbing for coconut sugar would be fantastic also)
- ½ granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp maple syrup (the original recipe calls for molasses but I never have that around the kitchen, so maple syrup is fine!)
- 2 tbs coconut milk
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 ¼ cups flour
-1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (store bought or use recipe here)
- As many dark chocolate chips as your heart desires
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable silicone baking mat.
2. Beat the coconut oil, sugars, and vanilla until smooth (the consistency will come out the best with a stand or electric mixture). Then add in maple syrup and coconut milk.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. Then add in chocolate chips (I like to save some to press into the cookies after I take them out of the oven because it makes them look pretty but is totally optional!)
5. Scoop the dough onto prepared baking sheet and cook for ~10 minutes or until the edges are golden and the centers have set. Once I take the cookies out of the oven, I lightly press a few chocolate chips to the top of each cookie and sprinkle with some flaky salt. Then, let cookies cool for ~ 30 minutes on the baking sheet before moving them to a cooling rack (this is super important especially if you used gluten free flour).
I hope these recipes gave you some cooking inspiration for the Fall season! These are my favorite articles to write so I hope you enjoyed :) If you want any more cooking inspo, or want to share how your recipes came out feel free to follow my food account @megandherfood !