vegetable box

What can you make with a vegetable box?

A couple of evenings ago we got a vegetable box from fresh fields farm boxes and almost instantly I had to ask myself

What can you make with a veg box?

I don’t actually know.

You see, veg boxes never seem like picking up some simple groceries from the supermarket. You feel you are allowed to just throw them in to whatever you want, but a veg box seems like it needs a ceremony. The guy who sold them was telling me all about the heritage of each item and how the cauliflower isn’t your usual cauliflower it is special, probably has its own tartan and it might be worshipped by the celts as an aphrodisiac or something, but I am just a simple cook with simple needs and I don’t even like cauliflower.

So why on earth did I get the box in the first place?

That is a good question, it is partly down to a good seller, he was so chipper and relentless I was tempted to check if he was on Duracell batteries like the bunny. In truth though it is because I like to challenge myself because invariably I gain something from it. Not always of course but more often than not my life gets a little better because of something I gained from trying something new.

So we took delivery of the box which includes; a very regal looking cauliflower and cabbage that looks exactly like they do in paintings and carrots with their tops on!!!, and a fair amount of soil.

The veg in the box was:

  • 1 onion
  • 3 apples
  • 6 carrots
  • 1 swede
  • 1 pumpkin
  • 1 cabbage
  • 1 cauliflower

Where to store it all?

The box is supposed to last 3 weeks and so all this new veg is great and all but our fridge just doesn’t have the space to store it and much of it is still covered in the soil it was growing in. I would prefer to clean it up as I go and it will make a mess of the fridge as it is. With the sudden cold weather outside it seemed easier to put the root veg in the garage. The rest just made it into the fridge.

What do I make with it all?

Now it is stored and waiting to be used I really need some ideas on how to use it.  The main challenges for me are the cabbage and cauliflower because neither of us have ever really liked them. Only I like swede but there is a lot of it. We both like onions, potatoes and carrots. Little one and I like apples. So it is a complex list of who likes what which makes me worry that a lot of it will go to waste. I also don’t want to get sick of it simply because we have too much.

We took the challenge as practice in the lead up to Christmas and since little one is away with the grandparents this week it seems a good time to start trying new ideas.

So far I have learnt the following lessons which will be published in the next few days.


I’m open to ideas  The idea of veg boxes is brilliant but in the first delivery we’ve taken on too much. So please help, we need advice on what to do. I have a fussy wife and a toddler. I can eat most things but I get bored quickly.

This is our challenge. We’ve accepted it so can anyone help us get through all this food by enjoying it and not wasting it. Hopefully learning something along the way.

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  1. cook and mash the swede then freeze in 1 person portions . It freezes beautifully. Use the pumpkin to make squash gnocci (cook and purree, stirr in an egg and enough plain flour to make a dough – then cook as normal gnocci) . Fancy up cauliflower cheese, dilute the cauliflowerness with onion, bacon & cooked pasta or just make two dishes – one with just pasta , and one pasta and cauliflower. If its a red cabbage – then braised cabbage with apples will kill 2 birds with one stone and also freezes beautifully (google delias recipe)

    1. Fantastic ideas Sarah as usual. I’m excited already and if I can do any of these they’ll sound great to drop in a conversation or of course a blog post 🙂

  2. I can’t empathise with not liking cabbage. Cut across it every 0.5cm-1cm to roughtly shred it, then steam it, but don’t over do it. Simple and delicious.

    It also stir-fry’s well with a in a wok with a little oil, and if you are doing that, it is classic to throw in a few juniper berries.

    Mashed swede has already been mentioned. Recently I have taken to adding diced sweede or turnip when I make bolognase sauce or chilli con-carne, in the same way I have always added diced carrots. I feel that it adds an extra something to the flabour.

    I am not a big fan of cauliflower so can’t help there (though again I would just steam it).

    The pumpkin I would roast in fairly large hunks.

    I second the recommendation for the red cabbage, though our family recipe is slightly different. (We would add rasins or sultanas.)

    1. Even more great ideas. Thanks Tim, it’s great to hear so much love for cabbage. Good points about the swede aswell. Hadn’t though about that. We like spag bol so it’s definitely a good option to consider.

  3. Wonderful post…the cauliflower the most royal of the vegetables just now here. Of course now I will be imagining them in kilts!

    I would make simple soups. Check Pinterest.

    Great writing!

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