Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Musings about falafel and veg boxes

Yesterday we went to the annual Redland Mayday fete - the first time we've been since we moved to Bristol. It was a huge affair, absolutely packed out with people of all ages. A real community get-together.

Inevitably I had to try the food and picked a falafel stall run by the Falafel King. They sold really big chunky flatbreads stuffed with falafel, coleslaw and red cabbage salad topped with tahini and smoked chilli dressings which you could add to taste. I've never made felafel from scratch but it's such a great food I'm thinking I might give it a try.

Only problem is I don't have a food processor in the flat and I'm wondering if my blender would actually cope with dried - or rather cooked - chickpeas or whether I'd have to add so much liquid it would make them too sloppy. Any thoughts welcome.

I've also ordered a veg box for Thursday. Normally I like to go to my local greengrocers or the market and see what's looking good before I decide what to buy but I know many people order veg boxes and then wonder what to do with them so I thought it might be a useful element of the book.

I've had one in the past and always enjoyed it for the first few weeks but then struggled with backlogs of butternut squash and kohlrabi and longed for some more variety. It does make you eat a healthier, more veg-centric diet though. My daughter Jo is passionate about hers.


Sophie said...

I know what you mean about the veg boxes - I love the idea of them but because there are only two of us we always end up with a backlog of something. Plus it's a bit restrictive if you tend to have strong ideas about which recipes you'd like to try that week.

When we get a veg box I tend to go for having one every other week and to buy a few bits and pieces in between. This seems like a good balance between the fun improvisation part and having a bit of flexibility. At the moment I have a bit of time at home during the week so I go to our market garden shop to pick out what I fancy instead.

p.s falafel with smoked chilli dressing sounds marvellous!

Career Misfit said...

I've found that the problem with ordering veg boxes is two-fold. Firstly, for the suppliers in our area at least, the price of a box seems grossly imbalanced with the quantity of items inside; secondly, there's this unshakeable feeling that the supplier has chosen the vegetables which are cheapest to produce in order to maximise their profit margin. 5-a-day is all very well and good; 5 different types of squash is taking the mickey. Luckily for us, our local grocer is within walking distance from the house and charges very reasonably, although walking home with 6kg of potatoes on a Saturday afternoon can often evoke powerful urges to get the car.

On a side note, I'm beginning to think there's a need for a food processor in our kitchen. Quite a few of the more veg-centric recipes I want to try seem to require one. Shame there's no room for it, really.

Fiona Beckett said...

Well, I'll let you both know what's in my box when I pick it up this afternoon. It's just starting to be a good season for veg boxes - there's always a dud period between March and May. Good idea to have it every other week though, Sophie.

I've picked the company because it's local - shipping a veg box half way round the country, as some firms which have national distribution do, doesn't seem to be quite in the spirit of the whole enterprise.

So far as food processors are concerned, we also have a small kitchen but I have noticed that a couple of manufacturers like Magimix do smaller processors. Needless to say they're more expensive than the big ones . . .