Three Cozy Fall Recipes to Make While Procrastinating Your Midterms

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As leaves transition from green to vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, temperatures become chilly, and midterm season barrels forward in full swing, sometimes all you need is a cozy night in and a break from all the work! Cooking has always been a favorite pastime of mine, serving as a way to distract myself from the crazy reality that is life. Plus, who doesn’t love a freshly baked pastry or a warm, home-cooked meal? With midterms consuming most of my time lately, I’ve definitely needed a distraction and a reward! These three fall-themed recipes are not only delicious and fun to make, but they’re also nourishing and just the cozy treat you might be in need of! So put down the books, preheat your oven, lay out some ingredients, and get cooking! 

Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar 

½ cup dark brown sugar 

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg 

¼ tsp ground cloves

2 eggs 

15 oz pumpkin puree 

½ cup coconut oil, melted

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract 

Optional (but highly recommended) crumble topping: 

¾ cup all purpose flour 

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup dark brown sugar 

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg 

¼ tsp ground cloves

6 tbsp butter, melted 

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

For the muffins: combine flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and spices in a bowl, mix together, and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Combine wet and dry ingredients until incorporated, being careful not to overmix.

 For the crumble topping: combine flour, sugars, and spices. Melt the butter. Once melted, use a fork to mix the butter and dry ingredients together to form crumbs.

 Once the batter is ready, scoop into a standard sized muffin baking tin lined with paper liners, adding the crumble topping on top if using. Bake the muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and enjoy! 

Crispy Brown Butter Sage Gnocchi 

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Ingredients: 

1 package of gnocchi 

10 tbsp of salted butter 

18 fresh sage leaves

1 tsp fresh lemon zest

A sprinkle of salt (if needed)

Freshly ground pepper

Parmesan cheese (if you have it) for topping

Instructions: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Once the water reaches a boil, add the gnocchi, making sure no pieces are clumped together. Cook the gnocchi until they start to float and then strain.In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of butter and about half the gnocchi, cooking until the gnocchi starts to form a golden crust, and set aside. Repeat with the rest of the gnocchi. In another saucepan over medium-high heat, add 8 (yes, 8!) tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is almost all melted, add the fresh sage leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter begins to turn a light brown color and the sage leaves darken and crisp up (around twoto three minutes). Remove from heat and add the lemon zest and reserved gnocchi, tossing in the pan and coating well. Season with salt and pepper if needed and top with grated parmesan cheese if desired! 

Coconut Lentil Curry

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Ingredients: 

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp ground coriander 

1 head of garlic, chopped (around 10-12 cloves)

28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

2 tbsp ginger, chopped

1 tbsp turmeric 

2 tsp salt

1 cup lentils

1 tsp cayenne powder

3 cups water

15 oz coconut milk

1 cup chopped cilantro 

Instructions: Over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil in a large pot. Add the cumin seeds and ground coriander  and toast until fragrant (about 30-45 seconds). Add the garlic and let it brown (about two  minutes). Next, add the can of crushed tomatoes, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and salt to the pot, stirring occasionally for about five minutes. Once combined, add the lentils and water, bringing the pot to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot for about 35-45 minutes, until the lentils are soft, stirring occasionally. Once the lentils are cooked and the sauce is thick, add the coconut milk and bring the pot back to a simmer. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Serve on its own or with rice and/or naan! 

These are some of my absolute favorite cozy fall recipes to cook! They’re a perfect way to get your mind off midterms and enjoy some delicious and comforting food. So take a break and ditch the work, get cooking, and enjoy!

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