Wonky Veg for the Win

I was in Morrison’s for my grocery shop last week. I had heard before they were doing boxes of wonky veg (the less pretty but perfect good veg that stores usually refuse to sell) but had not come across them before that day. I don’t usually shop at Morrison’s but they started selling vegan pasties so we started going there more often. Anyway, back to the veg. The whole box was only £3 and it was a good size box.

The parsnips were looking a bit worse for wear after a couple of days so I had to get to the cooking. For the first meal I made roasted veggies with mashed swede (rutabaga for the Americans). I did add in a few carrots I already had (also wonky and less than a £ a bag) and used some vegan butter, seasonings and gravy I already had. So not entirely within that £3 box but on the other hand I didn’t use nearly everything in the box so the meal was no more than £3 for 5 people and leftovers. I think that is a pretty good deal.

For the roast vegetables you just need to chop you chosen vegetables into thinner chunks. I used the parsnips, onions, and potatoes from the box and a few small carrots I already had. I used a big roasting pan and filled it rather full for all of us. Normally I would say to keep to one layer but when cooking for a crew that sometimes has to go out the window and extra stirring come in to make it work. Mix the veg up with some oil (or vegetable stock if avoiding oil) and add your seasoning….I usd paprika, garlic powder, and vegetable bouillon powder. Once mixed well cover with a lid or tin foil and put in a pre-heated oven at about 220C / 430F. Stir every 30 – 40 minutes and place the cover. When the carrots are soft it should be ready. It took a couple hours in my questionable oven.

Along with the roasted vegetables we had a side of mashed swede. That was just like making mashed potatoes. Peel the swede and chop into cubes. Boil until the swede is soft enough to mash with a fork. Once it is soft drain any water that is left. Add a tablespoon or so or butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. It really is that simple.

We added some gravy and everyone was so full after that dinner. Lots of veg to nourish and taste to soothe. Best of all I still had leftovers for the next day’s lunch.

Lunch was the same roasted vegetables only with leftover cheezy sauce and a bit of plant schwarma. It was one of those lunches that felt very naughty but was in fact rather healthy.

What else will I do with the rest of that £3 box of veg? There is a cabbage which I plan to shred up and fry with onion as a side to country potatoes. That will be the next dinner. That will leave courgette (zucchini) which I will use in a vegetable soup along with some leftover carrot I still have and various frozen vegetables and beans. That is three full meals from the one £3 box with only minimal extras and store cupboard ingredients. The extras I would guesstimate cost about another £2-3.

Being the run up to Christmas and all the chaos going on this year I figured a few cheaper ideas might be helpful for many people. I know it helps me pull those few extra pounds out of my food budget to prepare for the holidays. For us that might just mean extra treats but for many it would mean having a Christmas tree or even having Christmas dinner. I hope this is helpful to others.

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