Abel and Cole Veg Box Challenge

TBK VegBoxI am always very particular at home with the meals I create and careful with food waste. If we have leftovers from supper we use them for lunch the next day. It’s as simple as that. As a couple, Steve and I have a budget for our food shopping and we try to stick to it. Thankfully I am quite creative in the kitchen and enjoy preparing and cooking.

I was lucky enough to receive a small “keen cook” fruit and veg box from Abel and Cole. I set myself a little challenge to see if I could create as many meals out of my box as possible. Obviously there are certain store cupboard ingredients that I will allow myself to use.. herbs, spices, milk, cheese etc. Things that most people would have in their cupboards anyway. As it is, the “keen cook” box it is a bit more exotic with the ingredients compared to other boxes. I am a keen cook and have various nuts, dried fruit, pulses and salads in my kitchen at all times so hopefully you will forgive me if I use my regular food items alongside the box ingredients. 

With the Hugh Fernley- Whittingstall’s “war on waste” programme still fresh in my mind I hope to use every single item from my box and give you some ideas along the way. I hope you enjoy my recipes.

Spiralized courgette, halloumi, date and almond salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 courgettes spiralized or grated
  2. Half a bag of spinach. Approx 100g
  3. 6 cherry tomatoes cut in half
  4. Half small red onion thinly sliced
  5. Half pack halloumi cut into half cm slices
  6. 6 dates thinly sliced
  7. 1 tablespoon toasted flaked almonds
  8. 1 dessert spoon runny honey
  9. Olive oil
  10. Cider vinager
  11. Salt and pepper
  12. Chopped parsley (optional to decorate)
Instructions
  1. Take a serving platter and lay your spinach over the base. Next add the spiralized courgettes, red onion and tomatoes.
  2. Place a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the haloumi until golden on both sides. Lay the haloumi over the salad on the platter.
  3. Drizzle the honey, olive oil and vinager over the salad and the season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the salad to decorate. (If using)
Tara's Busy Kitchen (and other stories) http://tarasbusykitchen.com/

Banana Breakfast Smoothie Bowl
Serves 1
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Prep Time
4 min
Prep Time
4 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large banana, frozen
  2. 1 dessert spoon of peanut butter
  3. Soya milk
  4. Half teaspoon cinnamon
  5. Optional toppings.. Dried fruit, nuts, sliced fresh fruit, granola.. The list is endless. Use your imagination and go wild.
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Scoop out your frozen smoothie into a bowl and top with your favourite toppings.
Notes
  1. It's as simple as that! So tasty and so easy and only 4 ingredients!
Tara's Busy Kitchen (and other stories) http://tarasbusykitchen.com/

Roasted aubergine, spinach and sun-dried tomato salad with a tahini dressing
Serves 2
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Prep Time
45 min
Prep Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium aubergine, sliced
  2. 200g bag of baby spinach
  3. 8 Sundried tomatoes
  4. 1/2 small red onion finely chopped
  5. 1 lime
  6. 1 dessertspoon tahini
  7. 1 teaspoon herbs de province
  8. Olive oil
  9. Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 6. Place the sliced aubergine on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and sprinkle over the herbs de province. Roast in the oven for approximately 40 mins or until soft and golden.
  2. Place a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add the red onion and the spinach. Let it wilt and then add the Sundried tomatoes and the roasted aubergine. Mix it all together.
  3. Squeeze over the lime juice and drizzle over the tahini. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir until the dressing covers all the wilted spinach and aubergine. Divide between two plates and serve immediately.
Tara's Busy Kitchen (and other stories) http://tarasbusykitchen.com/

Fruity Red Cabbage Salad
Serves 6
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 red cabbage, finely sliced
  2. 1 small red onion, diced
  3. 2 red apples, cored and diced
  4. 50g walnut piece, roughly chopped
  5. 2 orange
  6. 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  7. 3 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  8. 2 tbsp clear honey
  9. 2 tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Cut the red cabbage into 4 and remove the white core. Finely shred the cabbage in a food processor and tip into a large mixing bowl with the onions, apples and walnuts. Finely grate over the zest from the oranges.
  2. Cut a little from the top and bottom of each orange, so they sit flat on your work surface. Use a small, serrated knife to cut away the peel and pith in strips down the orange. Holding each orange over a bowl, cut away the segments, letting them and any juice drop into the bowl. Squeeze any juice left in the membranes into the bowl, too.
  3. Whisk the red wine vinegar, redcurrant jelly, honey and oil into the orange juice with some seasoning, then stir into the salad. Will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Tara's Busy Kitchen (and other stories) http://tarasbusykitchen.com/

Red Cabbage Hash
Serves 4
This recipe uses the leftover red cabbage salad which eliminates any food waste. Perfect for the message "war on waste".
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Total Time
25 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 800g diced potato
  2. 25g butter,plus more for grilling
  3. 100g-300g Fruity red cabbage salad
  4. Fried eggs to serve
Instructions
  1. Boil potatoes until tender. Melt the butter in a shallow pan (ovenproof if you have it), then fry Fruity red cabbage salad for a few mins to soften. Stir in the well-drained potatoes with some seasoning, press down and carry on cooking to crisp the bottom and heat through.
  2. If you like, dot the top with a bit more butter and grill to crisp it up. Eat with fried eggs.
Tara's Busy Kitchen (and other stories) http://tarasbusykitchen.com/

Mango and pomegranate breakfast parfait
Serves 1
This is a rather delicious breakfast or brunch dish. It is more of an assembly job really as no cooking is required. You can make this for four people just as easily as you can for one which is great. Just increase the amounts. It's up to you how much or as little of each ingredients you use. I worked along the lines of half a glass of fruit and half a glass of yoghurt.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 mango cut into small chunks
  2. Pomegranate seeds
  3. Natural Greek yoghurt
  4. Toasted almond flakes
  5. Honey
Instructions
  1. Take a glass or a bowl and layer the mango and half of the pomegranate seeds at the bottom. Cover with Greek yoghurt and topple the rest of the pomegranate seeds on the top. Next sprinkle the toasted flaked almonds over the seeds and then drizzle with honey.
Tara's Busy Kitchen (and other stories) http://tarasbusykitchen.com/

Herb baked celariac
Serve this as a novel side dish to meat or fish or as a vegetarian main dish alongside salads or green vegetables. Rosemary, thyme, bay and garlic give it a wonderful flavour.
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 celeriac
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. 4 rosemary
  4. sprigs
  5. 4 thyme sprig
  6. 3 bay leaf
  7. 1 garlic bulb, broken into cloves
  8. 50g butter
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas
  2. If the celeriac has a green sprouting top, cut it off and discard. Scrub off any dirt and trim away any frilly bits of root. Rub the celeriac all over with the oil and place on a large sheet of foil, root-side down. Scatter with the garlic, herbs and seasoning. Wrap the foil tightly and place on a tray and roast on the bottom of the oven for 2 1/2hrs. Check after 2 hrs that the top is very tender – if not give it 30 mins more.
  3. To serve, unwrap the celeriac and cut off the top. Loosen and mash the middle with the butter, some seasoning and squeezed out softened garlic. Serve the celeriac as a side dish to roasted meats or fish. I had mine as a vegetarian main dish alongside some salads. Delicious!
Tara's Busy Kitchen (and other stories) http://tarasbusykitchen.com/

Garlic mushroom bruschetta
Serves 2
This recipe is a great lunch or supper dish. Easy to prepare and takes next to know time to make.
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 slices of sourdough bread
  2. 1 punnet of chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  3. 1 Clove of garlic, minced
  4. Small bunch of flat leaf parsley
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to gas 6 180C. Place the sourdough bread slices on a baking tray and drizzle both sides with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the bread is toasted and golden.
  2. Meanwhile place a large knob of butter in a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Throw in the sliced mushrooms, garlic and salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. The mushrooms should soften a little and pick up a lovely golden colour. Once the mushrooms are cooked toss in your chopped parsley and mix together.
  3. Take the toasted bread out of the oven and place the mushrooms on top and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Transfer to your serving plate and eat straight away with a little green salad or like me a mixed salad using up my left over veg box tomatoes and the rest of the halloumi that I had used for the Spiralized Courgette, halloumi, date and walnut salad. Delicious. Plus it uses up all the last bits from your veg box so no waste!
Tara's Busy Kitchen (and other stories) http://tarasbusykitchen.com/

I hope that you might find a little inspiration within these recipes to try them out yourselves or even use them as a template to create your own. Good luck!

Photo credit to Steve Kitch for some of the photos used in this post.

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