Tag Archives: squash

In my veg box this week – Halloween pumpkins (well, squashes) and late summer veg

29 Oct

Last Halloween we left it really late to buy a pumpkin to carve. We went to both of our local shops and neither had any left, so we ended up carving a swede instead. Historically in Britain and Ireland it used to be swedes and turnips that were carved at this time of year, but frankly it’s a lot more effort, doesn’t look as cool, and not nearly as tasty either. I’m really pleased to have three squashes to choose from this year. I bought the large one in the middle from the market at the weekend, the butternut and the little one on the right are from this week’s veg box. Whichever one gets carved on Friday will end up roasted or baked over the weekend, and end up in any of the following:

  • with pasta, greens, chilli, seeds, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze,
  • salad with lentils and loads of other seasonal veggies,
  • a creamy curry with chickpeas,
  • soup,
  • cakes or cookies.

This week I was thrilled to get some late summer courgettes and tomatoes. It has been such a long time since I had courgettes. For weeks on end I’d been saving a recipe for the next time I had courgettes (this one with fava beans if you’re interested) and I had actually given up all hope. so it’s a lovely surprise. I’ll enjoy them all the more knowing they’re almost certainly the last courgettes of the year.

Also received this week: onions, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, grapes, bananas, oranges, apples.

“In my veg box this week…” is not intended as a product review, simply a description of some of the fruit and vegetables that are in season and what I like to do with them. I pay full price for my vegetable box and have no affiliation with the company that delivers them or any of their suppliers.

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No need for a veg box this week – home grown goodies from Mum

27 Aug

Wednesday is normally my veg box day, but I went to see my parents at the weekend and came home with this gorgeous back of fresh veggies! Going to visit my Mum’s allotment was one of the highlights of my weekend, she puts an awful lot of work into it but gets so much back in return. It’s not just the veg (although as I’ve said before about a million times that you can’t beat home grown), but the community and the satisfaction of putting love and effort into something and being rewarded. I don’t have a garden but don’t have the time for an allotment either, I am more than a little envious.

Anyway, my Mum said “lets just pop over to the allotment and pick a couple of bits for you to take back with you” and I ended up with all of this. We picked:

A massive bundle of beans. I think it’s going to be beans with everything for the foreseeable future.

Three different sorts of courgette – yellow, green, and round. The round courgette was more like a ball of marrow than a courgette. I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, stuffed it with felafel mix, and baked it.

A butternut squash. It’s still very under-ripe, but after a few weeks of sitting on a window ledge (sunny, but not in direct sunlight) it will be ready to go. I love squashes and I’m really looking forward to them being in season. My Mum is also growing massive pumpkins, so hopefully I’ll have one of those soon as well.

Some long peppers. She broke one of the “rules” of vegetable gardening and planted some seeds out of a supermarket pepper. It’s a bit risky because the seeds might not be fertile, or might produce peppers completely different from the parent plant, but luckily it did work and they’re absolutely beautiful, really fruity and with a much more interesting flavour than peppers from a shop.

A box of tomatoes. As you can probably see, they got a bit squashed in transit (I’m a public transport girl), but it didn’t matter because I decided on the journey to turn them into a bit batch of tomato sauce, after I spotted this recipe from JB at frugalfinefreshfood.com. The sauce was delicious, somehow both fresh and rich at the same time. We had some over the felafel-stuffed courgette, and I’m about to reheat the rest to serve with some pasta, veg, and tofu.

She also gave me a couple of bulbs of garlic, not freshly picked but definitely home grown.

In my veg box this week – kale, squash, blood oranges

29 Jan

This week we have:

Kale
Very popular with vegans, thanks to its high levels of iron and calcium (amongst other vitamins and minerals). I love it stir-fried with a little chilli and garlic, maybe drizzled with a bit of tahini dressing. I also love this kale pesto recipe from low-cost recipe blogger and food poverty hero Jack Monroe (please check out her website at http://agirlcalledjack.com/). I replace the cheese with cashew nuts and a shake of nutritional yeast flakes.

Squash
I’m really happy, squash is my favourite vegetable and I’ve been getting a lot of them lately. One of the fun things about getting a vegetable box is the variety of veggies we get. We have had three squashes already this year but they’ve been completely different. This week’s squash is a pale-coloured round squash called a Blue Hubbard. I’m not a squash expert, I’ve just found a really useful website for identifying squash. I think this squash is destined for a stuffing, either with quinoa and vegetables or with spicy polenta and sweetcorn, similar to my stuffed pepper recipe.

Blood oranges
From the outside they look like a regular orange, but on the inside the flesh is somewhere on the orange-red-purple-black spectrum.  It was a bit of a shock the first time but I love them. The more colourful a fruit or vegetable is, the more phytochemicals and antioxidants it contains. Yes, it might stain your clothes if you spill any, but it will stain your insides too and that’s really good for you!

Also received this week: apples, kiwis, pears, a green pepper, a swede, some rather large parsnips, potatoes, carrots, onions.

In my veg box this week – kiwi, beetroot, squash

8 Jan

Image

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I get a weekly organic fruit and vegetable delivery. It started a couple of years ago, when our local greengrocers closed down and the variety of fruit and vegetables we were eating very quickly went down. Getting it delivered is a really easy way to get a variety of seasonal veggies and support local businesses. As it’s something I really enjoy I’ve decided to regularly share what I get and what I’m going to do with it.

This week we have:

Kiwi
It sounds weird if you’ve never tried it, but I eat kiwis whole, skin and all. It does freak people out a little when they see my do it. The fuzzy texture takes a little getting used to, but as with most fruit there is more fibre and other nutrients in the skin, so it’s really good for you. Try slicing a whole kiwi thinly and I’m sure you’ll agree there’s no need to peel it.

A massive beetroot
It’s so big I mistook it for a swede at first. You can eat smaller beets raw, but when they get larger they tend to be a little too woody and need cooking. I find the easiest way to cook beetroot is to bake them. Simply scrub them (don’t bother peeling, it’s too much effort and completely unneccessary), cut into wedges, wrap in greaseproof paper with a splash of balsamic vinegar and any other seasonings you like, then bake for 30 minutes or so at 200°C. I’ve got a great recipe for chocolate beetroot cake from my mum, but I’ll share this another day.

Squash
I love squash so much it’s always a joy to see them in my veg box. I have no idea what type of squash these are, if anyone can identify them from the photo below I’d be really interested to find out. I haven’t decided what to do with these yet, but I’ve got tonnes of ideas. I particularly love roasted squash tossed with sage, chilli, pasta, and pumpkin seeds, maybe with a bit of greens thrown in. I’m also considering a recipe for squash, black bean and chestnut burgers from Lukas Volger’s “Veggie Burgers Every Which Way” (one of my favourite Christmas presents).

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Also received this week: potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, leeks, oranges, apples, bananas.

Spicy roasted squash and chickpea soup

10 Nov

It’s Sunday, it’s cold outside, yes… I’ve been making soup again. I could probably fill my entire blog with soup recipes and never run out of ideas or get bored. Here. squash is roasted to bring out the full depth of the flavour. Chickpeas add texture and balance the sweetness and richness of the squash. My two favourite spices, cumin and chilli, make it lovely and warming for a chilly autumnal day.

I used one of my Mum’s home-grown butternut squash for this, but any squash or pumpkin will do. You could roast the squash when you happen to have the oven on for something else, and then keep it in the fridge for when it’s time to make soup. The soup itself is very quick to put together.

Recipe (serves 4)

  • About 500g squash, roasted (about half an hour at 200ºC should do it)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Half a tin of chickpeas, about 120g
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat. Fry the onion with the lid on, for about five minutes. Add the garlic, chilli and cumin and fry for a couple more minutes, still covered.

Add the rest of the ingredients and then blend until smooth. Heat through, check for seasoning, and serve.

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