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Sustainable Eating: What it is, & Fall Recipes for WNY!

As the leaves here in Buffalo start to turn those magnificent shades of gold and crimson, there's a certain magic in the air that beckons us to embrace the flavors of fall. But there's more to this season than just pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider donuts. It's also the perfect time to embark on a journey toward eco-friendly and sustainable eating, right from the heart of Western New York (or wherever you live!)

In our bustling city, where the winters are legendary, and the food scene is as diverse as our community, making mindful food choices isn't just a trend; it's a way of life. Buffalo, with its close-knit neighborhoods and strong sense of community, knows the importance of supporting local businesses and cherishing our region's unique agricultural heritage. We take pride in our city, our surroundings, and the delicious bounty they provide, especially during this crisp and refreshing season.

Today I want to share with you some ways we can not only savor the flavors of fall but also contribute to a greener, healthier planet while doing so!

a group of people eating dinner at an outdoor table in the fall

Understanding Sustainable Eating

Sustainable eating is a mindful approach to food that considers the well-being of our planet.

At its core, sustainable eating is about making choices that benefit both our health and the environment. It's a conscious decision to opt for foods and practices that leave a lighter ecological footprint, and it's also about choosing foods that are grown in-season. When you choose local and seasonal ingredients, you're doing your part to reduce the environmental impact of your meals. How? Well, think about it this way: When your food doesn't have to travel long distances to reach your plate, there are fewer carbon emissions involved. That's a win for Mother Earth right there!

But sustainable eating isn't just about the environment; it's also about your well-being. Choosing to shop locally isn't only about reducing your carbon footprint, but it also means that the foods you are eating are grown in-season! When you opt for seasonal and local ingredients, you're treating yourself to the freshest, most flavorful foods. These ingredients are often harvested at their peak, which means they're packed with nutrients and deliciousness. And let's be honest, a juicy, ripe tomato from a nearby farm just tastes better than one that's been shipped halfway around the world!


Well, what the heck is in season?

Eating seasonally begins with knowing what's available and at its prime in your specific region. It's like having a culinary calendar that guides your food choices - which can be difficult when you walk into Wegmans and see (pretty much) the same ingredients available year round. Here are some tips to help you identify what's in season:

1. Local Farmer's Markets: One of the best ways to discover seasonal ingredients is by visiting your local farmer's markets. These markets are treasure troves of fresh, locally grown produce. Strike up conversations with farmers and vendors to learn what's currently in season and which ingredients are expected in the upcoming weeks.

2. Online Resources: The internet is a valuable tool for finding information about seasonal ingredients in your area. Numerous websites and apps provide seasonal produce guides based on your location. Simply enter your city or region, and you'll get a list of fruits and vegetables that are currently in season.

3. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs: Joining a CSA program allows you to receive a weekly or monthly share of fresh, seasonal produce directly from local farms. CSA programs often provide newsletters or websites with information on what to expect in your upcoming deliveries, helping you plan your meals accordingly.

4. Seasonal Cookbooks and Recipes: Many cookbooks and food websites feature recipes that are tailored to the seasons. Exploring these resources can give you a sense of what's currently in vogue in the culinary world.

5. Chat with Local Chefs: Local chefs often showcase seasonal ingredients in their menus. Check out restaurant menus or attend culinary events in your area to see what chefs are highlighting, and you'll get ideas for how to prepare these ingredients at home.

7. Observe Your Garden: If you have a garden or grow some of your own produce, you'll naturally become attuned to the changing seasons. Watch for when your homegrown vegetables and herbs flourish, and use that as a guide for what's in season locally.


Easy Vegan Celery Soup (Savory Spin)

Cozy up with a big bowl of this creamy, thick, and delicious Vegan Celery Soup. Ready in less than 20 minutes, this is a comforting, convenient, budget-friendly, and wholesome soup recipe.

Easy Vegan Celery Soup
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 bunches/heads of celery (I bought one of those packs that contain 2 celery bunches)

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 5 large cloves of garlic

  • 1 inch chunk of ginger

  • 1/4 tsp powdered cloves

  • 1/4 turmeric powder

  • 2 tsp coriander powder

  • 1-15.5 oz can of canneline beans

  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley

  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro

  • salt and pepper to taste

Get the recipe here.


Homemade Peach Mango Salsa (The Sweet Honey)

This sweet and savory Homemade Peach Mango Salsa is packed with fresh ingredients like mangos, peaches, tomatoes, jalapeño and garlic. Serve as a dip with tortilla chips or as a vibrant addition to grilled chicken, salmon, or shrimp!

Homemade Peach Mango Salsa from The Sweet Honey

  • 1 large tomato diced (about 4 oz)

  • 1 mango diced (about 1-½ cup)

  • 2 peaches diced (about 2 cups)

  • 1 jalapeño seeded and chopped

  • 3 oz tomato paste (about 2 tbsp)

  • 1 garlic clove minced

  • 1 fresh juice from lime

  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • ¼ cup water (can add less or more depending on desired salsa consistency.)

Get the recipe here.


Blackberry Lemon Cobbler (Rabbits and Wolves)

This simple vegan blackberry lemon cobbler features tons of juicy blackberries. Toss with sugar and fresh lemon juice. Then topped with my favorite type of cobbler topping. It is somewhere between a dumpling and a biscuit.

Blackberry Lemon Cobbler (Rabbits and Wolves)

Get the recipe here.


Bang Bang Broccoli (Rabbits and Wolves)

Asian-inspired broccoli panko fried to perfection drizzled with a creamy sweet and spicy sauce.

Bang Bang Broccoli (Rabbits and Wolves)

Bang Bang Sauce

  • 1/4 C. Vegan mayo

  • 2 Tbsp. Chili paste

  • 1 Tbsp. Agave nectar


And the rest

Get the recipe here.


Butternut Squash Curry with Spinach (Healthy Nibbles)

This delicious butternut squash curry is rich, tangy, and spicy. It is filled with tomatoes and spinach and is ready in about 45 minutes! If you have leftovers, this is one of those recipes that taste even better the day after!

Butternut Squash Curry with Spinach (Healthy Nibbles)
  • 2 tablespoons virgin or unrefined coconut oil, see note 1

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger

  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder, mild spice

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, see headnote about spice

  • 4 cups diced butternut squash (1/2-inch dice), (about 18 ounces)

  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes

  • 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk, see note 2

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 4 to 5 cups baby spinach

Get the recipe here.


Garlicky Creamed Spinach (Minimalist Baker)

Spinach and garlic simmer until buttery and tender in a creamy, flavorful cashew-miso sauce. The result is incredibly savory, nourishing greens that are lighter than your average creamed spinach!

Garlicky Creamed Spinach (Minimalist Baker)

Creamed Sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews*

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tsp white miso paste (or sub chickpea miso // find our guide to miso here)

  • 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper


  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter (or olive oil)

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (5 cloves garlic yield ~3 Tbsp)

  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 16-20 oz. fresh baby spinach (or loosely chopped if using bunches)

Get the recipe here.


The Best Green Smoothie (I Love Vegan)

More spinach because we need all the greens!

The Best Green Smoothie (I Love Vegan)


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk

  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach

  • 2 frozen bananas

  • 2-4 soft pitted dates

  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts

  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter

  • 2 ice cubes


  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds

  • 2 tbsp raw buckwheat groats

  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds (or pumpkin seeds)

Get the recipe here.


Thinking about the holdays yet? Check out this guide to plant-based eating for holiday parties:

Get ahold of me!

We can't wait to hear from you.

Stephanie Genco, Wellness & Nutrition coach in her office drinking a coffee

Need a buddy to help you discover what lights you up? Schedule a free discovery call to see if working with me is for you! More info & book here.


You are worthy of living and capable of creating a healthy lifestyle you love. 🤍

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