Eat Your Veg (what's in season & cooking tips for April)

rhubarb growing in a garden

Some of you may know I had a monthly column in Vegan Life Magazine, which later became Cook Vegan for a couple of years. I gave the column up at the end of last year when the magazine changed to Plant Based. I felt I had been writing the column long enough.

VEG ON WHEELS



My column was called Veg on Wheels and I talked about seasonal fruit and vegetables and what to do with them each month. 

I had the idea after many conversations about veg boxes and how you end up making the same recipes every month (often soup) or have no idea what to make at all. 

I had a veg box delivery myself so I knew what they meant. I really had to make an effort. Anyway, I pitched the idea to Vegan Life Magazine, they loved it and gave me a monthly column.



WHAT'S IN SEASON THIS MONTH?



I was looking at the veg in my fridge today, trying to decide what to make and thought about my column and that my readers might like some inspiration for using their seasonal fruit and vegetables too, so I thought I might share some of my ideas with you each month. 

Some of the ideas I will be sharing I've created myself and some I found and tried from the web. They aren't full recipes, just simple ideas, although I will include some links to recipes you might like to try.

I do hope you enjoy the ideas and try some. Do let me know if you are enjoying my suggestions and have tried any.


WHAT'S IN SEASON IN APRIL?


This month asparagus appears for its short, glorious season, as well as Jersey Royal new potatoes, rhubarb, rocket, spinach and watercress.


ASPARAGUS


Recipe Ideas


In my opinion the best way to serve new season asparagus is naked. Sauté it in a little olive oil or rapeseed oil until tender, finish with a squeeze of lemon and a grinding of black pepper.  

If you want to do something a bit fancier, why not make baked asparagus fries? Coat asparagus in whisked egg or flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds & 3 tbsp water, mixed and left in the fridge for half an hour), then roll in panko breadcrumbs seasoned with nutritional yeast, spices and black pepper then bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Serve with mayonnaise (standard or vegan) for dunking.

Recipes


If you decide you want to to more with your asparagus than eat in naked, why not try: 

How to BBQ Asparagus from Fab Food 4 All -  vegan

Roasted Radish & Asparagus Tart with Kale Pesto from Veggie Desserts  -  veggie & vegan
Roast Asparagus, Oyster Mushroom & Pearl Barley Salad from The Hedgecombers -  vegan
Orzo Risotto with Mint & British Asparagus from Foodie Quine -  veggie




A stack of Jersey Royal new potatoes

JERSEY ROYAL NEW POTATOES


Recipe Ideas


I love potatoes and Jersey Royals are rather good, aren't they?

I like to serve them lightly cooked, halved and tossed through pasta with homemade pesto and green beans. Mind you I always keep jars of Sacla or Mr Organic vegan pesto in my store cupboard for quick meals and that is good too in this dish.

Recipes


If you want some more ideas for Jersey Royal new potatoes try: 

Royal Sag Aloo from the Jersey Royal website -  veggie (add oil instead of butter to make it vegan)




RHUBARB


Recipe Ideas


Another of my favourite things at this time of year is rhubarb. Luckily I have a free supply from my parent’s neighbour Bert, who has a large patch at the bottom of his garden. He doesn’t like it himself, so I’m always happy to take some off his hands. 

You may not have a free supply, but it should be appearing in your veg box and on the supermarket shelves. 

Make a crumble with it. Cut it into chunks and lightly boil for a few minutes. Pop in a casserole dish and top with a crumble mixture (200g plain flour, 100g caster sugar, 100g demerara sugar and 200g butter or dairy free spread. Rub together lightly with your fingertips until you have a crumble like texture) and bake until golden and bubbling. Serve with cream or ice cream (dairy or vegan).

Recipes


If you need some rhubarb recipe inspiration, try these:

Rhubarb Vanilla Buttermilk Cake from Baking Queen 74  - veggie

Rhubarb, Strawberry & Ginger Jam from The Hedgecombers  - vegan
Homemade Rhubarb & Ginger Gin from Fuss Free Flavours - vegan





ROCKET


Recipe Ideas


Rocket is fresh and peppery. My advice is to serve it fresh. Pile it high on pizza that’s fresh out of the oven, mix it through bulgur wheat with fresh herbs and lemon juice or add to salads, sandwiches and wraps to enjoy its peppery kick.

Recipes


For new ideas for rocket try these:

Rocket Hummus - vegan


SPINACH




Recipe Ideas


I like to blend spinach with apples, mint, banana, some water and ice for a healthy start to the day, but it’s really good cooked in a dal with coconut milk and spices or whizzed up into a burger with kidney beans, puy lentils, porridge oats and spices.

Recipes


Love spinach? Try these recipes:

Cheesy Spinach, Mushroom & Potato Crust Pie from Foodie Quine - veggie


WATERCRESS

watercress

Recipe Ideas


Serve freshly cooked peas with watercress, mint and a drizzle of olive oil or whizz up the same ingredients with hot vegetable stock for a fresh and delicious soup.  

You can also mash dairy free spread with finely chopped watercress and crushed garlic. Roll it into a sausage shape, then slice and freeze on a tray. Once frozen move to a freezer bag. Take some out when you want to make homemade garlic bread or to serve over steamed vegetables.

Recipes


Need more inspiration for that watercress in your fridge, why not try: 

Watercress Soup from Jamie Oliver


I hope you have left with some new ideas to try this month. Do share any tips you have for cooking this month's seasonal fruit and veg.



In case you haven't heard, my first published book is out. Living on the Veg: a kids guide to living meat free, co-written with Clive Gifford.

18 comments

  1. It's quite weird being back in Britain, and having access to all the things all the time now; I've spent so long eating seasonally that I feel like a dog with four lamp posts now. That said, I'd love to get my hands on some wild garlic right now! ;-)

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    1. Haha I imagine it is a bit like that, with so much on offer. Are there no woods near you, you can check for wild garlic? We are over run with it up here. I've not gathered any in a while mind you. Oh no I am thinking of cheesy wild garlic scones. *heads to woods*

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  2. Loving all these seasonal recipes, lots of inspiration here:-) Thanks for including my BBQ asparagus:-)

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  3. what a great recipe love asparagus!

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  4. Such a useful post as we're entering farmer's market season. I'll bookmark this so I have access to these recipes as I'm looking for inspiration!

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  5. I want to make it to the Farmer's market soon so I can pick up some of the fresh veggies you're talking about. Then I can try some of those fantastic sounding recipes you have here! Thanks.

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  6. I'm always looking for ways to incorporate more veggies into my diet, and I just love this list. I need to eat more veggies and less meat...and this is a great list of ideas and suggestions. Thanks! :)

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  7. What an AMAZING idea! This is absolutely fantastic! I can't WAIT to try this. Thank you

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  8. I just LOVE all the spring (and soon summer) produce!

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  9. What a great idea Jac - we are so spoiled with supermarkets stocking EVERYTHING all year round that it is really lovely to cook seasonally. We used to get a veg box delivered and haven't for a while now but that was one of the best aspects of it. Thanks for linking to my Jersey Royals frittata! Sharing now xx

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    1. Yes you are right, so it's good to have a reminder. Thanks for sharing.

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x

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