Fall is here!

In the last few weeks fall weather has finally come to Lake and Mendocino Counties - cooler nights and shorter days mean that some of the summer vegetables are slowing in production and it's time to start planting new crops like lettuce, favas and onions that prefer cold weather. In Lake County we had a great workshop about fall gardening taught by Lake County Master Gardener Coordinator Gabrielle O'Neill you can read her guide on fall gardening here!

With the shut down of summer vegetables in the garden there is a new season of vegetables to enjoy cooking and growing! Here are some great recipes that highlight fall vegetables:

We start our list of recipes with a great revive of chili that uses pumpkin and sweet potatoes - a great meal to warm you up in cool weather, and a heart healthy take on the traditional beef and bean chili that I grew up eating! For a full recipe you can click here.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchilada Bake from EatingBirdFoodNext we have a tasty and simple Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchilada Bake - easy to throw together and eat on throughout the week. This recipe is naturally gluten free because it uses corn tortillas - but you could easily use flour tortillas instead of corn if you prefer.

On the creative side we have a tasty and simple Spicy Sweet Potato Waffle - great for a savory breakfast or breakfast for dinner.

Finally we have an intriguing recipe for Pumpkin Cheddar Beer Bread. Making bread can be intimidating but beer bread is super easy and guaranteed to impress your friends and family.

Another great vegetable that thrives in cooler weather is the humble leek which I enjoy adding to soups and stir fries for a great mild onion flavor, and enjoy raw sliced into salads since their flavor is much milder than other alliums like garlic and onion. Leeks also have many of the health benefits you'll find from onions and garlic as they belong to the same family and are great for reducing inflammation.

You'll also find that greens like spinach, arugula, mustard greens and lettuces will thrive in the cooler weather making for wonderful fall and winter salads to brighten up cool weather meals.

Happy cool weather cooking and gardening!

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