Oh My Goodness! So, as luck would have it, I forgot to alter the grocery basket on my on-line order for food delivery scheduled every Monday afternoon. And because of all of the penalty car zones around London, Congestion, No Parking, Fire, Green, and School- you name it, it’s zoned – I have all of my groceries delivered every week to avoid this.
So now I am sitting on a double, possibly triple, amount of fruits and veggies, i.e. strawberries, raspberries, bananas, apples, lemons, limes, oranges, tomatoes, carrots, courgettes (zucchini), red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli and ONIONS – lots and lots of red and white onions. And don’t even ask me about the milk or chicken fingers, I can’t even close my freezer. I have pulled out my complete stash of Zip-Loc freezer bags, cutting boards, paring and other cutting knives to help rectify the situation. It’s a hard job being the House Manager, Nutritionist, The Accountant, The Doctor and The Nurse all in one – no wonder I forgot! But I have to fix this and fast, I hate to waste food!
So Shelton and I were trying to figure out how to save all of this stuff before it went bad in the next 3-4 days AND get everyone nourished at the same time. I can’t just go into the kitchen and start whipping up fancy schmancy Michelin Star dishes when I have three very picky eaters, now can I? I must be creative and wholesome at the same time. Just anything but boring.
Banana Bread (Joy of Cooking) seemed like the easiest solution for the bananas, delicious and almost all good for you! I even made two separate batches – a plain loaf and then banana chocolate chip muffins – Yumm-eee! Remember not to over cook the muffins. Cover when cooled with foil – keeps
everything moist. Should your muffins get hard, blend down to crumb consistency add oatmeal, softened butter, sugar, mix, and spread over seasoned sweet cut apples for an Apple Crumble (Jamie Oliver). The Banana Bread really adds a nice kick in the end!
Spaghetti Sauce (Bolognese/Tyler Florence) with mini-diced carrots, red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, white onions, and garlic was another obvious solution for the majority of the veggies, just add a meat and canned tomatoes and you’re good to go. (Or try the Tyler Florence recipe above – Oh My God is this a good one – just click)!
However, I still have the courgettes, broccoli, more onions, tomatoes and all of the fruit. And here’s another confession, I have a standard rule that any refrigerator of mine have atleast one fresh green herb like coriander (Cilantro), dill or parsley. I have all three X three! Ha ha ha…ha ha ha…now the joke is on me. Literally.
Okay, so my traditional Salsalad is in order with diced tomatoes, diced white onions, chopped coriander, and lime juice – it’s a staple for any health nut or diva looking to lose a few before the weekend! I need to add radishes then red onions (for more colour and get them later when I fetch the children at the school run).
Do you know how to get children to eat broccoli without Ketchup? Try broccoli (or any difficult veg) in Bechamel (flour, milk and butter) sauce with cheese – it’s a real winner. Get a large casserole and place slightly steamed broccoli down in one fat layer. Pour Bechamelto cover all green parts, grate mild cheddar over top and cook in oven 350F for 30-40 minutes. Or even better, sprinkle bacon bits and shredded cheese, place under grill for a fantastic vegetable Gratinée of sorts!
Dee-Rish-Uss as Scooby Dooby Doo would say!
Shelton gave away his fabulous secret for Courgette (Zucchini) Bread and told me I could share it with you – sooooooooo excited! Obviously it has courgettes, flour, ….well, here is the recipe:
Courgette/Zucchini Bread: Straight from Shelton…Its more of a cake really, but I call it a bread so that when I dig into it I don’t feel that bad. Easy to make and smells fantastic this bread does not require a bread machine or excessive kneading.
Ingredients: 3 cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 table spoon cinnamon, 1 tea spoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon all spice, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, 3 medium eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 to 2.5 cups shredded zucchini (basically 3 whole medium sized), a bit under a cup of chocolate chips
Preparation: Preheat the oven to 350F/175C. Lightly grease two 9″X5″ loaf pans. In a large bowl mix together the flour, sifted, the baking soda, the baking powder, the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice. In a separate bowl beat together the sugar and oil, till it’s a bit foamy, mix well. Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating them in fully before adding the next. Lastly add the vanilla and mix in, don’t over beat at this step. Now slowly add the wet ingredients to mixture of dry until it’s all well blended.
Your batter might appear dry at this stage but the zucchini adds a good amount of moisture. For this reason it is important to shred the Zucchini at this stage and then directly add it to the mixture. (otherwise it will dry) Fold in lightly (you don’t want to crush it) and then add the chocolate chips, (or walnuts if you
prefer) mix lightly and you’re ready to bake! Takes ages in the oven - approximately 1 hour 20minutes – but well worth it!!!! (A huge applause for Shelton – I cannot wait to try this one!)
Anyhow, I haven’t even discussed the fruits. I chopped and sugared the strawberries and raspberries to freeze in Freezer Zip Loc bags for later use – maybe for a fruit tart, a smoothie, even fruit sauce on ice cream or how about Strawberry Margaritas?
As for my citrus category, loads can be done! The obvious for lemon and limes is a citrus water over ice – a fabulous way to
get vitamins and even as an inner-cleanser, wink wink. Or better yet, squeeze and freeze for regular margaritas! Now the oranges can also apply to a water, however, I think I will save them for a Clementine Chocolate Cake from Nigella Lawson. And calories schmalories – who cares after all of this food-saving?! I have done my family a huge service!
Now comes the very last item on the produce list: Apples. Did you see how many I had in the photograph? I have 20, 22, 24 – OMG – what am I going to do with all of these apples?!!! Shelton and I both ate 2 today and it didn’t make a dent! So a Deep Dish Apple Tarte Tatin (Tyler
After all of this cooking, baking, chopping, squeezing, slicing, dicing, I am now exhausted! So, I have made a few phone calls for friends to join me now for fresh strawberry margaritas and Salsalad!
Put a fork in it people, it’s time to eat!