It’s the time of the year that I find myself in the throes of transitions. I imagine it’s the same for many of you.
As I prepare to switch completely from summer to autumn that means that I have to make a few adjustments.
It means that…
- I must… prepare myself mentally to go for my morning walks regardless of the weather. Perhaps, I do this by thinking of myself as a servant of the US Postal Service – neither rain nor sleet nor snow will keep me from my morning walk :-). Or better yet perhaps (cuz I’m not even sure that’s the USPS’s motto anymore), while I’m out walking I think about all the homeless people in the country who exist out in elements (the rain, wind and cold) and remember that my ultimate destination is the comfort and warmth of my home.
- I must… find something to fill the void – there isn’t a whole lot of gardening to do right now. I need a project :-).
- I must… embrace a food transition — saying bye-bye to summer fare and hello to homey, soul-soothing, comfort food. On that note…
I want the comfort, from my comfort food, to start with the aroma. Forget about ‘we eat with our eyes first’… my experience starts with smell, with my nose not my eyes :-). I want to walk into my kitchen, inhale and anticipate the bowl or plate that will soon be sitting before me. And honestly, I don’t care if it takes a while to prep my autumnal comfort food.
I believe that’s where the soul of our comfort food comes in to play. Our souls are happy when we feed them love, so prepping with love and layering the flavors is crucial to my comfort food. Plus, call me crazy, but I generally find prepping rather therapeutic :-). Additionally, my comfort food must be hearty. It must stick to my ribs and warm me.
Of course, I have several tried and true comfort food recipes in my regular rotation. However, I bore easily, so I’m always on the lookout for something new. And as luck would have it, I’ve found a few new ones.
This one, Chickpea and Squash Stew with Barley and Red Lentils, is a vegetarian number, so it will be very nice additional to my repertoire especially after a few meaty dishes pass through my kitchen!
As you can see from the prep, in addition to barley and red lentils, it’s loaded with squash, turnips, fennel, leeks and spices.
The spice blend in this soul-satisfying stew is Bharat, a middle eastern blend of consisting of sweet paprika, coriander, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, nutmeg, cardamom and allspice.
The combination of textures in this stew contributes to its ability to comfort. The barley gives the stew a nice chew and the chickpeas a rich, creamy mouth feel. And while it is not the most attractive bowl of stew it does hit the comfort zone and it’s filling!
After ladling the stew into the bowls, add a dollop of yogurt or drizzle of kefir which adds a nice brightness, garnish with cilantro, add a dash of Aleppo pepper and dug in!
So however you make your transition to autumn… fall into it with joy!
The Old Switcheroo… thanks for visiting Palatable Life.