Isn't summer brilliant? Long, hot, sunny days are great for picnics and parties, but also good news for anyone trying to grow vegetables and it's showing in our shops. Last summer's terrible weather hit crops hard across the country but this year the shelves are full of amazing UK grown crops.
With all this fabulous veg on offer I wanted to see how much of my weekly shop I could get from UK growers and I was pleasantly surprised. With any seasonal shopping menu's need to be able to adapt to what's on offer and what's best in season so I swapped my normal staple of apples (this time of year you can only get ones from South Africa or New Zealand) for Somerset strawberries and Scottish raspberries. I found UK lettuce, peas, peppers, mushrooms and onions as well as adding English courgette to my basket instead of the unseasonal squash. I'll have to wait another month or two for them to be ripe enough for shops. Thanks to the late spring there is still British asparagus in the shops too, although I also found some being sold from abroad which seems odd when we have such a fantastic crop here.
With my fruit and veg collected I headed round the rest of the shop to see what other British buys I could find. Cheese, bread, milk and eggs were all successes and a surprise buy of British meringues went perfectly with the seasonal fruit too. This really is the season of plenty.
With the food shop done, and so much wonderful veg available I decided to have a bit of a veggie week since it's been ages since my last one. It's always nice to rediscover how versatile and, to be completely honest, yummy in season, British grown veg is without needing any meat to add to a meal. So, my menu this week looked something like this:
Sunday: Macaroni Cheese (possibly my favourite veggie meal ever, the best comfort food)
Monday: Mushroom stroganoff and rice
Tuesday: Falafel and British peppers in pitta breads
Wednesday: Spicy Vegetable Stew (Kidney beans,courgette potatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, onions, stock, spices)
Thursday: Asparagus and boiled eggs on toast
Friday:Spicey Vegetable Stew
Saturday:Asparagus and boiled eggs on toast
It's nowhere near a vegan week, but I was please how little cheese I used considering it's my normal fall pack veggie ingredient.
So if you haven't already, I challenge you to find something new, seasonal and British grown in the shops this week. You might event discover a new favourtie or an old friend.