Now that summer has ended and the nights are drawing in and growing colder, what could be more comforting than gathering with friends and family over a warming autumn feast?
Whether you’re getting together to watch spooky films, heading out to a local bonfire display, celebrating someone’s birthday, or even marking Thanksgiving, there are plenty of reasons to spend time together this autumn.
But with household costs continuing to rise, the idea of hosting might seem prohibitively expensive at the moment. However, special occasions will still happen, and we all need reasons to celebrate.
Hosting on a budget doesn’t have to mean eating badly or compromising your personal ethics. Here’s our handy guide to hosting an autumnal party that’s kinder to animals and your pocket.
Protein is a vital part of a healthy and balanced diet, but there are many places to get protein from, not just meat and fish. Get creative - remember that as well as pre-made products like veggie sausages; eggs, cheese, nuts and beans are also excellent sources of protein, so you don’t need to rely on meat or expensive alternatives for every dish.
But if you are serving meat at your get-together, choose one or two “hero” dishes, such as higher welfare, RSPCA Assured sausages or chicken, and bulk these out with plenty of vegetarian sides.
This is also a great way to save money while maintaining your ethics.
It’s not a term we use very much in the UK, but potluck dinners are hugely popular all over the world. At a potluck, guests each bring a dish to contribute to the meal, relieving some of the time and financial pressure on the host to feed everyone.
You can be as prescriptive or as flexible as you like; either giving your guests specific dishes to bring or providing them with a general theme (like Halloween or autumn) or course (such as veggie sides, potato sides, or pudding).
Knowing what you plan to cook and how much you need to make will avoid unnecessary food waste and help you make the most of your ingredients.
Here are some of our favourite autumn dishes using higher welfare and seasonal ingredients: