Weekly Meal Plan: In Season In October

Happy October! In my mind October is one of the best food months with the full on arrival of all things squash, mushroom and leafy greens. I thought I’d try something a little different today and try and share weeknight recipes that feature produce that is in season as their hero ingredient so you can try and be a little more intentional with your weeknight meals next week.

Monday: Roast Mexican Chicken with Pumpkin and Pesto

Pumpkins are go! I love this spicy chicken traybake where the pumpkin is actually better than the chicken – I know this goes against everything we’re used to choosing the best squash to carve, but try to choose a pumpkin on the slightly smaller side for this – not only is it easier to deal with in the kitchen, but I find they have a much better flavour, too.

Tuesday: Creamy Vegan Roast Parsnip & Apple Soup

Soup! Believe it or not I’ve only made one soup so far this season, but this wonderful, seasonal number needs to be at the top of your list. Parsnips are just starting to get good this month (I always keep a bag to throw a few in with the roast potatoes every Sunday), and roasted together with what you’ve got left from the apple harvest this is basically a hug in a bowl.

Wednesday: Creamy Bacon, Mushroom & Spinach Pasta Bake

Is it just me or in this weather are you just craving pasta at the moment? I’ve been skipping the traditional tomato sauces recently to make creamy, béchamel based bakes like this one packed with nutty mushrooms, savoury bacon pieces and lots of spinach – this bake is also great for using frozen spinach too if you’ve got a load in the freezer #lockdownvegshopping.

Thursday: Chicken Thighs with Roasted Leeks & Romesco

This is such a simple supper! I know it looks a little basic, but leeks are another hero ingredient of mine at this time of year and sometimes they’re perfect just simply roasted alongside some crispy skinned chicken thighs and drizzled with my favourite romesco sauce you can often find in a jar in my fridge to put on everything!

Friday: Mussels with Sundried Tomato Pesto & Kale

I know most of us just see kale as a default leafy green for the cooler months but it is at its best right now – one of my favourite, unexpected ways to serve it is here steamed in a simple pan of mussels (that are also great right now) and a good few dollops of sundried tomato pesto. This speedy Friday night supper comes together in just 20 minutes and is perfect for a chilled Friday night in (because are they not all these days??) with a nice bottle of wine and lots of crusty bread.

And a few more seasonal treats you might like to make this weekend: Caramalised Apple & Cinnamon Dutch Baby Pancake, Warm Roasted Butternut Squash & Rocket Salad with Whipped Feta, Easy Apple & Cinnamon Hand Pies, Baby Spinach, Walnut & Pomegranate Salad, Sweet Potato, Red Onion, Feta & Spinach Quiche, Mushroom & Pearl Barley ‘Sausage’ Rolls, Creamy Mushroom Savoury Dutch Baby Pancake.