Catch-up post: market pictures

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Earlier this year I had the idea to post weekly pictures of my market purchases and use them to keep a kind of cooking diary of recipes or ideas on how to use up all those vegetables. I have been posting the market photos on Flickr but I kept forgetting to photograph the dishes themselves. My MoFo resolution is to do a better job of keeping track of those, but first, here’s a catch-up post with a few produce photos from the past months.

Market day (30 July 2014)

From the market: bananas (€1), round yellow and green courgettes (€1), three bunches of fresh parsley and coriander (€1), carrots (€1), fennel (€1), redcurrants (€1), four artichokes (€1), and two large bok choys (€1).

How we ate all this: artichokes with vinaigrette, a redcurrant cake, oatmeal porridge with bananas and redcurrants, chickpea flour pancakes with fresh herbs, and lots of soups and stir-fries with the rest of the vegetables.

Noodle soup

Apparently this soup (with miso, bok choy, udon noodles, carrots, bok choy, and edamame) is the only one of those things I caught on photo.

Market day (8 August 2014)

From the market: a bag of spinach (€1), a pineapple (€1), many tiny artichokes (€1), garlic (€1.50), a bunch of rocket greens (€1.25), yellow peppers (€1), red onions (€1), strawberries (€1), and four star fruits (€1).

How I used them: fruit smoothies, pizzas, spinach salad, marinated artichoke hearts, rocket pesto, a sweet and sour stir-fry with pineapple, yellow pepper, bok choy, and tofu, and a coconut cake with star fruit.

These artichokes had already dried out quite a bit, but I’d never found such small ones before so I didn’t want to pass them up for that price. In the end I removed almost all of the leaves and stems and boiled just the hearts. Then I marinated them in olive oil with garlic and herbs and used them on pizza, in salads and in sandwiches. That way I ended up with a large batch of fancy artichokes hearts for not much more than €1.

Coconut cake with starfruit

I had never bought star fruits before and when I came home and tried a piece, I didn’t love them. After a few days, though, the green fruits turned yellow and they became much sweeter and juicier. I used the final pieces to top this coconut cake. Not bad! But I still think their looks were more impressive than their taste.

Market day (18 August 2014)

From the market: 2 bunches of fresh coriander and parsley for €1, carrots for €1, three leeks for €1, two heads of cauliflower for €1, lots of grape tomatoes for €1, peaches for €1, two heads of lettuce for €1, courgettes for €1, lots of pears that you almost can’t see in the picture for €1, and two boxes of strawberries for €2.

And this is how we ate it: all kinds of salads, pizzas, strawberry ice cream, creamy cauliflower soup with leeks, dumplings, and chickpeas, lentil soup with vegetables, focaccia with tomatoes and parsley pesto, and a kind of shepherd’s pie with vegetables and cauliflower mash. (The picture looks sunny but it rained a lot during the days afterwards, hence the soups and cauliflower bake.)

Most weeks we just eat the fruit as is. I like making cakes and muffins, but I can’t think of many recipes that truly make my favourite fruits taste better than they already do. However, this time there were quite a few fruit flies in the kitchen trying to get to the fruit before me, so we had to use everything extra quickly.

Salad with peaches and almonds

In this salad, for example (with a peach, lettuce, red onion, courgette ribbons and chopped almonds).

Chocolate cake with pears and almonds

And OK, this chocolate cake (with pears, chocolate ganache, and sugar-coated almonds) was definitely worth sacrificing a few fresh pears as well. The base was an experiment that ended up more like a brownie than a cake and I was 100% fine with that.

These were some of my favourite market finds of the past few months. A more recent market/cooking diary should be coming up soon!

Parsnip & fennel patties, parsnip gnocchi, beetroot risotto, parsnip chips

I’ve written about the Haagse Markt before—the market is one of the main things that’s keeping my low-budget meals interesting and healthy. I love to take photos of all the stuff I bring home, so I thought it would be nice to share them on here a bit more often. I always want more recipe ideas for seasonal vegetables and maybe you do, too, so this could be a good way to keep track of what I make. Here’s what I bought this time:

Vegetables from the market

Three boxes of cherry tomatoes for €1, six red and yellow peppers for €1, 500 grams of yeast for €2.50, a bag of garlic (about 10 bulbs?) for €2, two heads of broccoli for €1.50, four courgettes for €1, a big bag of rocket greens for €1, too many parsnips to count for €1, eight beetroots for €1, six fennel bulbs for €1, and a bunch of fresh coriander for €0.40.

And this is what I used it for: roasted tomatoes, rocket pesto, white bean patties with parsnip and fennel, parsnip gnocchi, broccoli & potato mash, beetroot risotto, parsnip stews, fennel soups, omelettes with stir-fried broccoli, roasted beetroots, roasted parsnips, roasted garlic, and several stir-fries, pizzas, and salads. I only took pictures of a couple of these, but here they are:

White bean patties with parsnip and fennel

I had white beans I needed to eat, so I used them to make burgers with some of the fennel and parsnips. I sautéed the vegetables with onions and garlic until softened and then mashed them into the beans with herbs and fennel seeds for flavour, roasted sunflower seeds for texture, and rolled oats to hold everything together. These were definitely veggie patties with no resemblance to non-vegetarian burgers other than their shape, and they made for great sandwiches. In the picture above, I had one in a pita with rocket leaves, roasted tomatoes and onions, and rocket pesto (hidden underneath).

Parsnip gnocchi

I wanted to try something new with my parsnips, so I used them in these gnocchi. The recipe is very similar to regular gnocchi—just with parsnip puree instead of mashed potatoes—but they were a nice change and I found the dough to be really easy to work with. If you want to make them too, just peel, dice, and boil two parsnips, mash them well (I used my stick blender) and mix in some olive oil and salt (I also added some chopped fresh parsley). Let the purée cool down a bit and start stirring in scoops of flour, adding just enough to make a kneadable dough. Then roll the rough into ropes and cut into small pieces to make the gnocchi. Cook the gnocchi by boiling them in plenty of boiling salted water until they float to the surface. For the meal pictured above, I pan-fried the leftover gnocchi in olive oil with red onion, pears, tempeh and rocket greens. I think these would be even better with something creamy to offset the sweetness of the parsnips—maybe a cashew cheese?

Beetroot risotto & tempeh

Speaking of creaminess, I love pairing root vegetables with creamy things but I’ve been looking for something a little more budget-friendly than cashews to make that happen. To go with the beetroot risotto pictured above, I made the cashew ricotta from Veganomicon but with sunflower seeds instead. It wasn’t quite as creamy, but it went well with the rest of the meal. I’m not sure the dish actually counts as a risotto, because I basically poured all the ingredients in a pot and went to take a shower while it simmered away, but it turned out pretty well for so little effort. I added some cumin seeds to the risotto and some oregano to the ricotta and we had it with smoky pan-fried tempeh.

Parsnip chips

I have to say we were almost getting sick of parsnips by the time we had consumed about twelve of them, but then I roasted the last two and it made me wish I’d bought more. I cut them into small crunchy chips and I had some mayonnaise left from another meal, so this was a great snack!

I think I’ve used up everything now except two beets, and I’ve already picked up new veggies for this week. I came home with more red cabbage than I know what to do with, so I need to go look for new recipes!

Chocolate raspberry tartlets and market produce

Chocolate raspberry tartletsWhen I came home from the market with two boxes of raspberries that needed to be used quickly (more on that below), I immediately thought of this amazing-looking white chocolate raspberry tart I’d seen on Celine’s blog. Unfortunately I didn’t have the white chocolate or silken tofu required for the filling, so I went with a slightly different idea and made mini dark chocolate tarts instead. I halved Celine’s crust recipe, replaced the whole wheat flour with plain flour as that was all I had left, added a little cocoa powder for extra chocolate flavour, and baked it in a muffin tin (about 8 minutes for 6 mini crusts). The filling is a recipe from Vegan Pie in the Sky (Lagusta’s Chocolate Raspberry Pie) and even though I think I let the chocolate melt too quickly which prevented the ganache from firming up properly, I’m really happy with the way they turned out. I like that they’re not too sweet, so the flavour of the raspberries really shines. I’d love to try the white chocolate pie as well!

Back from the marketLately I’ve been buying most of my vegetables (especially the ones that tend to be overpriced at supermarkets) at a local market. After shopping there a few times at different times of day, I now try to go in the morning when it’s not too busy and there’s still a good variety of produce to choose from. I usually bring a limited amount of cash (say, €10) and stick to that as my budget. I often spend less than that and just bring as much as I can carry, which will last us for 1-2 weeks. And I’ve found some pretty good deals! Here’s what I brought home today:

– eight (striped) aubergines for €1
– a bag of tomatoes (also striped! couldn’t resist the gorgeous patterns) for €1
– five courgettes for €1
– three ears of corn for €1
– one watermelon for €1
– two artichokes for €2,60
– two boxes of raspberries for €1,50

I did my best to protect the raspberries while carrying them home, but some of them still got crushed in my bag. Oh well, all the more reason to eat them straight away! The mushier berries were perfect in the tart filling and most of the whole ones found their way into our mouths by the end of the day as well. I don’t buy fresh raspberries very often so they’re a wonderful treat.

The artichokes were a little more expensive than I’d hoped, but I decided to splurge on them anyway because I love artichokes and my boyfriend has never tried them! I’ve never cooked them myself so I’ll have to look through my cookbooks for tips first. I’m hoping to counter my boyfriend’s reluctance to try new vegetables by appealing to his love for foods that come with dipping sauces, so I need to make a good vinaigrette or mayonnaise (or both)! Any ideas? :)

Thanks to everyone who’s been reading my posts and/or leaving comments! <3 Hope you have a lovely day.