Welcome to What I Do With My Veg Box, in which we share what actually happens to all of the veg in our box. We want to break down what it all gets used for in real, busy lives. We all cook and eat differently, and it’s never cookbook-perfect. See the first installment here.
This week sharing my vegbox adventures is me, Sue, your friendly veg box admin. I get my veg box delivery on Thursdays and it feeds me and my partner. We eat a lot of veg, and even though we get an XL veg box and Large Fruit bag, still buy supplementary items from the shops. We mostly eat vegetarian, though I will add organic meat to a meal or two meals throughout the week – my partner is entirely veggie and for stretches at I time I am as well.
This isn’t a typical week (read: where I plan out each meal, including snacks, to minimise waste and trips to the shop) as it was both my and my partner’s birthdays. With a 2nd lockdown birthday, there wasn’t much thrill and excitement, nor plans, so we decided to play the whole week by ear and see what happened.
What I Get
XL Veg Box
- Vine Tomatoes (replaced Chard)
- Baby Turnips
- Mixed Leaves
- Broad Beans
Large Fruit Bag
- Golden Plums
- Mini Watermelon
- Flat Peaches
- (Apples were sadly missing, but I was mostly just happy that the plums and watermelon looked amazing.)
Putting It Away
I keep my potatoes in a linen drawstring bag- it helps keep them dark and cool, and goes in the wash once a week, so I can keep the potatoes muddy until I need them. This also stops the mud from covering my entire cupboard!
Onions go in a salad bowl in the potato cupboard that I promised myself I would use as an actual salad bowl instead of a metal mixing bowl – old habits die hard. I took the radishes and turnips off their greens, washed and dried the greens, and stored them all separately in containers in the fridge. The tomatoes were quite ripe so I put them in the fridge as I knew I wouldn’t be using them for a few days, and considering the heatwave that was impending, pretty much everything else went in the fridge except the melon and bananas. To save on space, I also shelled the broad beans and put them into a container with a lid. Neither my partner nor I enjoy the bean skins, so they went into the food waste bin to be turned back into soil in our friend’s composter.
When the weather is warm, all I want to eat are salads and fruit. So that’s exactly what I did! I had beetroot from the shop I did earlier in the week, so that got tossed in along with the salad leaves, radishes and grated carrot. I also had some cucumber and fennel that needed to be used up, so in that went and everything coated in a Greek-style vinaigrette made of lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, black pepper and (of course, Greek) olive oil. I also added a couple of soft-ish boiled eggs to make sure my salad kept me going through until dinner. I couldn’t resist and tucked into one of the plump plums that came in my fruit bag.
For dinner, I looked to the sad bunch of coriander that I had kept in the fridge a touch too long and decided it was time to make a green curry paste. I rarely make a traditional curry, and most often use it as an excuse to clear out the fridge. I mostly used up older veg, from before my veg box arrived, but added in a couple of potatoes, some of the carrots and all of the baby turnips.
I started the day with a smoothie – protein powder, banana, and peach with some ground flaxseed for extra fibre. The banana, as always, overpowered everything, but the peach came through at the end with a delicate sweetness.
This is the start of my annual leave, and I’m not too fussed with doing much aside walking the dog, and choosing which book I want to dive into next. The protein shake was surprisingly filling, so lunch was quite light – eggs on homemade sourdough toast.
I’m no closer to deciding what to do (eat) for my birthday tomorrow, so for dinner I busy myself with making the exact same salad as yesterday because I’m nothing if not a creature of habit. And I love a salad. This time I added some toasted pumpkin seeds for added crunch and flavour.
For afters, I cut up the watermelon and we feasted on it while watching a film. Usually I just cut the melon in half and go at it with a spoon, but decided to be a bit more organised/less messy and sticky.
It’s my birthday! My partner makes a mean omelette, which was breakfast for the two of us – 6 eggs and a ridiculous amount of cheese.
Again, for lunch, a salad. Can’t get enough of it. We always head to the shop to buy extra lettuce/salad greens because we know that there’s no way a single veg box of any size will satisfy our need for salads.
Dinner was a sushi feast, which is one of the few cuisines I will order in/go out to eat because while I’m happy to give it a bash, it’s never even close to being as good as what sushi masters spend years practising. (Obviously).
I am older! I don’t feel much wiser. Hopefully I haven’t maxed out my wisdom yet. Still a creature of habit, so a smoothie – this time with only peaches – is breakfast. My partner isn’t keen on them, so he makes himself eggs on toast. You could say we’re both pretty reliable in our eating patterns.
Lunch was, you guessed it, a salad. But plot twist! There was also leftover sushi. At this point I’ve finally used up the batch of Greek vinaigrette that I made earlier in the week, and was already plotting which to make next. As you might have noticed, we eat a lot of salad!
For dinner we wanted to make use of the spinach while it was still looking bright and lovely, as well as the radish and turnip greens. Chaana saag aloo is what we decided on, though with a few creative additions. Potato, spinach, turnip and radish greens, onion and tomatoes with a tin of chickpeas, it was exactly what I wanted it to be. We spiced it with a random assortment from the cupboard, again unlikely to be traditional – cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes, brown mustard seed and smoked sea salt. The heat from the chilli flakes and cayenne pepper was intense, but helped cool me down in the end from sweating profusely and wishing I hadn’t put in half as much. I always make far too much of a dish so that it can be had again in a day or two as leftovers.
We snacked on fruit later that evening, nearly polishing off the rest of our fruit bag.
Now it’s my partner’s birthday – a busy week in this house! I make breakfast this time around – for him, scrambled eggs on sourdough toast using up the last of the bread in the freezer, and for me, a peach/banana protein shake which uses up the last of the fruit.
For lunch it’s leftovers, and I’m already thinking about what I’m going to do with the cauliflower and broad beans that are left. The warm weather and sourdough starter bubbling away on the counter gives me a few ideas…
He’s decided on pizza for his birthday at the last minute, which means we went out to eat because I didn’t have enough time to make up a proper pizza dough. It was our first time out at a busy restaurant since the before times, and it was bizarre. But delicious. And filling! Which meant my lunch for Tuesday was sorted. Probably with a salad on the side, because of course.
I decide to take a break from my breakfast smoothies, and opt for eggs with tattie scones that we found in the freezer while looking for chicken to defrost with dinner. I do love a tattie scone, and vow (again) to learn how to make them.
Lunch is as suspected – leftover pizza with a salad. This time it’s dressed with a vegan caesar type dressing that I created years ago – apologies, this recipe is one that I keep quiet about! I will say that its base is sunflower seeds, and involves a ridiculous amount of garlic.
For dinner I decided that douez a la marocaine was everything that I needed. I lived in Morocco for a while many, many years ago, and learned a few dishes from the matriarch of the family I was welcomed into. Her cooking was out of this world incredible – she could take the most humble of ingredients and make a feast fit for royalty. Douez is essentially a stew, eaten with khobz f ddar, or bread of the house. This bread is used as a utensil, rather than just an accompaniment. I didn’t have it in me (due to the heat) to bake that day, so I made brown rice and used a fork – it definitely wasn’t the same as eating it with a dense round of wholewheat bread. I cooked off my chicken breast and put it aside to be added to my plate at the end. For the douez, I used potatoes, carrot, tomato, cauliflower florets and leaf, and shelled broad beans. Spiced with cumin, paprika and the last bar two sprigs of parsley from my potted herb from a veg box sometime last spring – I hope it keeps going but it’s also done well keeping my parsley garnishing needs going for over a year. We’ve got enough to have this for another meal, maybe by which time I’ll feel up to the task of baking khobz. We’ll see what the weather decides to do.
The only thing left from my veg box are a few potatoes, which are very likely getting turned into chips and cheese tomorrow. I’m already looking forward to my veg box this week and might plan a bit to make life easier, but I did enjoy going with the flow this week instead.