There’s a definite chill in the air now and as soon as autumn starts to loom large on the horizon, I find myself craving comfort foods. During this time of the year, I want more hearty and home-cooked meals like pasta and various types of soup and chilli. Lots of these can be made quite easily just using one big pot and, as you know, I’m not big on complicated, time-consuming recipes when I have Caitlin and Ieuan asking me what’s for tea every 5 minutes.
Once the kids go back to school, their appetites ramp up with all that extra activity and, even though, my two have school dinners, the portion sizes don’t always seem to match their appetites.
Here are some simple recipe ideas to try out if you’re short on time (and cooking skills!)
With these recipes, you’ll need to sautée the vegetables first in oil, then add the rest of the ingredients. Seasonings can be added near the end, along with vegetables that are already on the softer side.
This creamy pasta recipe is perfect when you want to use just one big saucepan to make a comfort food dinner. This type of pasta is similar to fettuccine alfredo, but with some slight variations.
You can use fettuccine or the kids’ favourite pasta shape and combine it with Italian seasonings and herbs like salt and pepper, oregano, basil, and parsley. Add olive oil to the pot and submerge the pasta in it, then add some vegetable broth, shallots, garlic, milk, seasonings and herbs.
The pasta will cook along with the milk and other ingredients to give you a tasty garlic pasta for dinner.
Spinach Macaroni and Cheese
Another version of the recipe above which is a bit healthier is this alternative pasta dish, which adds spinach and artichoke. Again, all the ingredients can just be thrown into one big saucepan.
Use olive oil, garlic, macaroni, vegetable broth, almond milk, and Italian seasoning. Then add your artichoke hearts and baby spinach, along with mozzarella cheese and smoked cheese to give it a bit of a kick.
Let everything cook together as the liquid works on boiling the pasta and the rest of the flavours combine together.
Chicken Orzo Soup
If you are in the mood for chicken noodle soup, you can make this variation on the classic. Instead of traditional pasta, use orzo pasta for the soup. Add boneless and skinless chicken breast pieces that have already been cooked with chicken broth. You can add veggies like onions, carrots, and celery, and any other veggies you like, such as peas or even tomatoes. You want some olive oil, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and other seasonings or herbs for flavour.
If all this sounds like too much effort, you could do what I occasionally do when I’m pushed for time and inspiration and that is to call on the skills of the team at HelloFresh.
HelloFresh is a recipe box subscription service which offers a variety of meal boxes packed with fresh, organic and seasonal produce, together with printed recipe cards that are simple to follow.
What I particularly like is that all the sauces, seasonings and accompaniments are also included so you don’t have to dash out to the shops for a random vinegar or herb.
We have the family box which contains 4 meals that easily feed 4 hungry family members – even 5 if you have younger children. Most of the recipes can be whipped up in 20-40 minutes and you don’t need any hi-tech or expensive kitchen equipment.
You manage your subscription online where you can order your box type, size and opt out of recipes that don’t appeal. I’m afraid we still haven’t got to grips with Gnocchi and I can’t get the Husband to eat prawns but it’s no problem to simply choose an alternative recipe.
You’ll find great family favourites included in your box and this autumn the team at HelloFresh have put together a particularly yummy selection to tempt even the pickiest eater (yes I’m talking about Ieuan).
How about Creamy Chicken Pie, Sweet Potato Cottage Pie with Rosemary, Kylie’s Super Mexican Cottage Pie, Pulled Chicken Burgers or this one, which I’ve particularly got my eye on, Pork and Apple Burger with Rosemary Chips.
These are pork mince and Cox’s apple burgers with fresh rosemary served in a brioche bun with fresh leaves and chunky chips on the side. Fast food that’s good for you and much, much cheaper than eating out. If your family is anything like ours, you’ve seen enough chicken goujons over the last 6 weeks to last a lifetime and your wallet has taken a battering!
Because HelloFresh recipes come with ingredients already in measured out portions, you’ll find there’s very little waste too – particularly with veg and spuds.
If you’re looking for easy, speedy, fresh family meals this autumn, take a look at HelloFresh recipes and boxes. No more worrying about what to have for tea, no more bulk shopping and lovely, comforting autumnal family favourites!
What are your go-to autumnal comfort food favourites?
Midlife mum from Cardiff. Wine Imbiber. Likes glitter, fluff and olives. Approaching tweendom with Caitlin (11) and Ieuan (10). The husband is hiding in the loft.
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