Wednesday, 2 May 2012

16 (or more) fruit and veg a week? A challenge?

I've just been hearing on the TV that 'experts' recommend we eat at least 16 different fruit and veg a week to keep healthy. The TV panel seemed overwhelmed by the idea - how can anyone keep up with all this health advice, they moaned. 5 a day is hard enough- but 16 a week? (Hmmm...I may not be a mathematician but it's not 1973 and we aren't on a 3 day week, are we....yet?)

Anyway, snidiness apart- I wondered how many different fruit and veg I'd planned for this week's menus. I emptied the fridge and laid them all out: grapes, pineapple, mandarin segments, leftover broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, apples, carrots, rocket leaves, onion, spring onion,  peas, mushrooms, haricot beans, butter beans, yellow pepper, red pepper and  parsnips (18 I reckon- plus lentils and leftover veg for soup).

What about you- dear blog reader? How many can you boast?

Well, here is how I used this trolley of delights:

Pot roast beef with all the trimmings (parsnips, peas, carrots and roast potatoes)
apple crumble
fruit salad
pineapple upside down cake ( see April)
vegetable stir fry (with leftover Sunday veg, mushrooms and spring onions) with poached chilli salmon

Sussex cassoulet (see February)
Quiche Lorraine- (also see February) with salad Day 1 and beans Day 2

Stuffed peppers with carrot and nut salad, tomatoes and green leaves

Then a chicken curry (with leftover salads and rice) and a lentil casserole with chipolatas- with the leftover lentils, veg and stock made into a thick soup to have with bread and cheese to finish the week.
If you need some inspiration to think fruit and veg then take a look at this pic of the market in Salon de Provence last week- a whole stall given over to fat white asparagus! And you can bet the stall holder had sold out by midday! Delicious!

Go on! Rise to the challenge!


  1. Hi Leftover Liz!

    We're 5 days in to our 16-veg week, and I've already counted 19!

    Here's what we've been eating, and how we've been eating them:

    - Lots of carrots from the garden (baked into carrot muffins, raw dipped in yoghurt, boiled and dipped into garlic mayonnaise...)

    - Bananas (as snacks, and also baked into muffins with white chocolate icing)

    - Radishes from the garden, raw with a glass of wine

    - Tomatoes, diced and microwaved for a minute with a splash of olive oil, served as a topping for ravioli

    - Strawberries for pud

    - Lots and lots of courgettes (in a courgette carbonara with bacon and thyme, boiled and dipped in garlic mayonnaise, fried with aubergines and used in fajitas, oven roasted and eaten cold with BBQ meat)

    - Aubergines (see above)

    - Peppers, baked with chicken and a tomato sauce

    - Spinach, baked in a puff pastry pie case with bacon lardons ad a salad on the side

    - Cabbage, raw with a mustard vinaigrette

    - Cauliflower, boiled and dipped into garlic mayonnaise (can you tell we had aioli?)

    - Cucumber, raw dipped in yoghurt

    - Avocado, made into guacamole

    - Potatoes, wrapped in foil and cooked on the BBQ

    - Fennel, cooked in the slow cooker with a glass of orange juice, some aniseed and a handful of olives (a friend's recipe)

    - Fat white asparagus, steamed and served with chicken

    - Lentilles, with Toulouse sausages and mashed spuds

    - Rhubarbe compotes served with yoghurt and muesli

    Easy peasy! (actually, it's a great way to get you thinking about variety, and to stop you just bulk buying your favourite veg at the supermarket)

    Next challenge please!

  2. Thanks la Barbe!

    I would love that fennel recipe!

  3. The recipe is very simple; it comes from the sample recipe book that came with a slow cooker!

    For approx 750g of fennel:

    10cl of olive oil
    10g of butter
    20cl orange juice
    1 teaspoon of green aniseed powder (optional)
    1 handful of green olives (stones removed)

    Slice the fennel thinly, and fry in the oil and butter for about 5 mins. Transfer the fennel into the slow cooker with the orange juice and aniseed powder.

    Cook until the fennel is tender, adding the olives for the last few minutes of cooking time. Season and serve warm.

    We ate it with barbequed lamb chops, and lots of crusty bread for the juice.