Sunday, September 30, 2012

Veggie Box Meal Planning...

Last week I took delivery of my first organic fruit and veg box from our local box scheme Four Seasons Foods.  I have used their excellent service in the past and have decided to go back after a break of over a year.

Why? Mainly because I am feeling it is more and more important to support small local businesses in these increasingly difficult times. Supermarket fruit and veg prices are only going to go up and we have no local greengrocer, only Co-op (probably one of the most expensive supermarkets) to shop from locally. Although I get my main food shop online I am reluctant to allow a 'picker' to chose my fresh fruit and veg for me and every time I have done I am invariably disappointed with the quality.
Organic produce boxes are about as fresh as fruit and veg can get (apart from harvesting them from your own back garden) and I have the satisfaction of knowing that this food didn't travel halfway around the world to reach my plate.

And besides, who could not be inspired by this box full of loveliness?

This week we had potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, red pepper, cauliflower, two cobs of sweetcorn, a Patti Pan squash, a big bag of salad leaves (including lots of my favourite peppery rocket), apples, oranges and a bunch of the sweetest black grapes I have ever tasted!  Four Seasons grow much of their produce themselves while the rest is sourced from farms and growers locally. Some of the fruit may come from a little further afield but they promise that none of the produce is air-freighted.

My challenge each week is to plan our meals around these boxes, ensuring that none of this lovely produce goes to waste! I hope to share some of these meal ideas with you on this blog and would love to hear ideas and recipes from those of you who also use a veggie box service!

So far this week we have had carrot and lentil soup, cauliflower cheese and lots of salad. I am still hunting down good stuffed squash recipes so the patti pan doesn't go to waste (although I am told it can be used as a courgette substitute). The recipe I would like to share with you this week comes from the good old BBC Good Food website - Easy Oven Frittata. It is a perfect veggie box supper! 

chopped veggies - use whatever you got!

The recipe calls for leeks, peas, pepper and sweetcorn but is easily adaptable. I added some sliced runner beans to mine and used corn sliced off a cob rather than the tinned in the recipe.
After reading the comments, I also used 100g of pasta rather than the 85g recommended, used a little more Cheddar as we have no Parmesan and mixed Italian herbs rather than lemon thyme.

Oven baked Frittata on the plate

I confess I was a bit dubious about the eggy pasta bake idea but it worked really well and tasted just as good cold for lunch the next day. Add a large salad and maybe some crusty bread and it will easily feed a family of four and get them well on their way to five a day.

This is definitely a veggie box recipe I shall be using again - you really could use any vegetables you have around. Grated carrot and courgette, broccoli, peas and spinach would all work well and the egg and cheese mix makes it a more substantial meal than just veg and pasta.

Are you a member of a veg box scheme? Most areas have their own local scheme, many of which deliver for free, but there are also a few national box schemes that deliver all over the country.
I would love to hear any recipes you may have tried. If you are on Pinterest why not check out my board 'Veggie Box Recipes' for ideas and inspiration? And if you want to add your own pins to the board give me a shout and I will add you as a pinner.

If you live in the Forest of Dean/Wye Valley area and would like to try a veggie box for yourself give Four Seasons Foods a shout. Visit their website for contact info or tweet them @4SeasonsFoods

1 comment:

  1. You are so lucky to have received such quality and variety. I gave up when my local delivery contained nothing but 6 sorts of brassicas for three weeks in a row! Yours looks absolutely delicious and inviting, with good variety for 5 a day and eating a rainbow too; your recipes look so yummy too! I'm really looking forward to seeing how you get on in the coming weeks and your box makes me want to try a scheme again. I think I already follow you on Pinterest, but best go give a quick check anyway.


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