Recipes for Christmas Leftovers

7 12 2009

hate waste - love leftovers!

Of course, the best way to avoid having to find something creative to do with leftovers is to only buy and cook what you really need. It’s so easy to over-shop at this time of year, but our bellies don’t suddenly change size on Christmas Eve, so try to buy just enough for the number of people coming for dinner.

If you do end up with leftovers, you could get adventurous in the kitchen and rustle up some favourites like Bubble & Squeak, soup, curry and Bread Pudding.  We also found a great book in the Marketplace to help with “using it all”. Click through for the recipes and a link to the book.


Eco Christmas Drinks

21 11 2009

make mine organic!

Despite our reputation here at VegBox, you can rest easy – we’re not about to suggest that the only way to enjoy a tipple this Christmas is by making your own potcheen!

Because fortunately for us these days there are enough ethical suppliers around that it is relatively easy to source organic and even local plonk.

We wanted to share a few inspiring choices with you, but don’t forget to check out your local farmers market or to call your veg box supplier and ask them if they can deliver what you’re after or else make a recommendation.

Read the full article…

Christmas Brussels Sprouts Recipe aka “and the winner IS…”

22 12 2008
the competition

the competition

And the winner of this year’s “Sprout Peddling Contest” is…

One Ms Nadja Sumichrast from Brixton!

Nadja actually truly did it. She submitted a recipe, right before the metaphorical whistle blew, and when I tasted it my very first thought was “oh botheration, I wish I’d made more!”

That does not happen to me when it comes to Brussels!

Thanks to everyone who submitted recipes, with a special thank you to Elizabeth Smith’s dog Millie! (Dog owners, we strongly recommend you read Millie’s suggestions.)

Here is the winning recipe, which earns Nadja a copy of the very beautiful “Grow Organic” courtesy of Natural Collection.

(Serves 4 as part of a Christmas lunch)

I really did make it, see!

I really did make it!

24 Brussels Sprouts
1 Apple
50g butter
3 tbsps olive oil


1. Whilst gently heating the butter and olive oil together in a heavy bottomed saucepan, prepare the sprouts and chop them into quarters
2. Add to the heated oil and butter and cook for 5 minutes, tossing gently in the pan now and then, until they just start to brown
3. Grate in the apple (skin too, if the apple is organic) and stir through the Brussels, cooking for another couple of minutes
4. Serve and devour!

So, will you be trying out Nadja’s recipe this week? If not, how will you be serving up your Brussels?

The VegBox Team

PS don’t forget, you can access hundreds more seasonal recipes on the main site.

An Alternative Christmas Dinner from VegBox Recipes…

9 12 2008
ho ho ho!

ho ho ho!

What’s in season this month has not changed much since we wrote about what you should expect in your boxes in November.

But in the kitchen at VegBox Headquarters, the recipes we’re matching our ingredients up with have more than a hint of jingle bells and deck the halls about them.

Here is our suggestion for a main course that lends a distinctively seasonal flavour to the 2008 Christmas proceedings.

Juicy Nut Loaf, served with Balsamic Roasted Parsnips, Red Cabbage and Apple, and Mystery Brussels Sprouts!

Mystery Brussels Sprouts?

Well, this year’s Christmas Day Brussels Sprouts recipe is still waiting in the wings like a little green Ms (Veggie) World. The Annual VegBox Recipes Sprout Peddling Contest is still running, and until the winner is announced, our menu will have to remain incomplete.

Meantime, and turning our attention to dessert … in the last couple of years here at VegBox we have suggested these in-season puddings as alternatives to the more traditional Christmas pud…

Honey and Ginger Pears

Pumpkin Pie

So here’s an invitation to you to help us finish off the festive menu.

If you were going to keep your Christmas Day pudding seasonal (apples, pears, pumpkin from storage, or pomegranate if you’re lucky…) – what would you make?

Answers on a postcard (OK, in the comments box below then). Not that there’s a prize, but if we test drive your suggestion and it’s yummy, we’ll post it (with your permission and a credit to you) as an official recipe on the main site.

Looking forward to hearing your suggestions!

The VegBox Team

Christmas Sprout Peddling Contest …

4 12 2008

Brussel Sprouts with Nutmeg The clock is running on the Annual Sprout Peddling Competition.

In just over a week’s time, the “lines will close”, as they say, and we will have to decide which recipe will receive the Brussels Sprout Crown for 2008. The success of the nation’s Christmas dinners is practically hanging in the balance. Will there be puckered mouths around the table when the tureen is passed, or will ours be a land of little Olivers, begging for more green loveliness on their plates?

So far, I’m delighted (that’s through clenched teeth!) to say that we’ve been receiving and testing your entries, and I (as the VegBox resident Sprout Loather) have even mustered one actual “yum” already. Bah humbug ; )

But there is still time for more entries. So, with your sprouts-on-a-stalk in one hand, as though it were a culinary wand, make your way to the kitchen and do some conjuring.

If you need inspiration, you might want to have a look at some of the recipes we already feature:

Brussels Sprouts Salad – Fresh, young sprouts work well in this raw salad. The sweetness of Balsamic vinegar gives it a delicious twist and the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts give it a nutty crunch.

Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Almonds – If eating them raw doesn’t tempt you, try frying them with a little garlic and then dressing them with cream an almonds puts a whole new slant on this veggie.

Stir-fried Brussels Sprouts – This recipe is quick, easy and delicious and has been known to receive nods of approval from even seasoned Sprout Naysayers.

Submit your entries using the comments box below. Remember, there’s just over one week to go, the nation is counting on you, and the winner will receive a copy of the very beautiful “Grow Organic” courtesy of Natural Collection.

The VegBox Team

Brussel Sprouts Recipes For Christmas

22 12 2007

Cooked Brussel SproutsAre you fed up with mushy sprouts with your Christmas lunch?

Here’s a whistle-stop tour on how to cook Brussel sprouts and some great ideas for side dishes. If you’ve got any sprouts recipes of your own that you’d like to share, please feel free to comment! (I’m particularly looking for a Brussel sprouts soup recipe that I’ve heard rumours of!).

Here goes!

Sprouts Are Good For You…
Sorry! Packed with vitamin C, folic acid and more, sprouts (lightly cooked) are really nutritious. But overcooking destroys most of the vitamins…

Avoid Smelly Sprouts
Sprouts stink when you over cook them. They release sulphur, which is what overpowers whatever else is in your kitchen. So, to avoid the stench, steam them for 5-8 minutes – 10 minutes max for steaming. If they’re big, cut them in half, to reduce cooking time.

Avoid Mushy Sprouts
There are those who are rumoured to enjoy sprouts you can squash with a fork. I’m not one of them. The thought of a melt-in-your-mouth sprout does unpleasant things to my stomach… Leave your sprouts with a bit of crunch and your Christmas lunchers will be eternally grateful. The easiest way to do this is to make sure your sprouts are similar sizes – cut in half if necessary. No sprouts should need more than 8 minutes – any longer and you’re in dangerous territory!

Quick Sprout Guide
If your sprouts are on their sprout top, snap them off. (See this Sprout Top Recipes post for ideas of what to do with the remains). Peel off any yellow outer leaves and discard. Trim the stems, but only to remove any brown bits. If the sprouts are large, you can cut them in half to reduce cooking times. There’s no need to cut a cross shape in the base. Although this can make them cook faster, it also makes them harder to drain, leaving a watery mess on your plate.

Steam or plunge in boiling water for about 5 minutes. The colour changes when they’re cooked, so keep an eye on them and test one, to see if they’re ready. Drain and serve immediately. Toss in a little salted butter for a luxurious taste.

Other Brussel Sprout Recipe Ideas
You can stir fry sprouts. Prepare as above, cut in half and stir fry in sesame oil for 5 minutes, tossing regularly. Dress with a little soy sauce or tamari and some sesame seeds. You could also add a teaspoon of honey.

Brussel Sprouts With Almonds
Frying Brussel Sprouts with a little garlic and then dressing them with cream and almonds puts a whole new slant on the UK’s least favourite vegetable.

Brussel Sprouts With Nutmeg
A quick and simple variation.

Brussel Sprouts Salad
Fresh, young sprouts work well in this raw salad. The sweetness of Balsamic vinegar gives it a delicious twist and the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts give it a nutty crunch.

Let me know what you do with your Brussel Sprouts this Christmas!

Clare x

Alternative Christmas Lunch Ideas

20 12 2007

Nut RoastAre you fed up with the “same old” Christmas menu each year? Only so much turkey, boiled sprouts and roast parsnip a person can eat?

Here are some suggestions to add a little variety to your Christmas dinner.

Got some suggestions of your own? Please feel free to comment!


Clare x