Week of eating from the garden – December

Boy, is my oven getting a workout at the moment! I’m roasting all the vegetables that I come across, I bake cakes and make granola. It’s been cold, even snowing, and since we do not have a wood stove (maybe next year?), I tend to at least switch on the oven regularly. Apart from the fact that I really enjoy roasted vegetables during the winter months, it warms up our cold north-facing kitchen.

I don’t really do meal-prep as such but I try to be smart about cooking – for example, when roasting potatoes for tonight, I’ll also put in a baking tray with cubed butternut squash for tomorrow’s dinner. Or I cook a big batch quinoa on Sunday and keep half for Monday. I also try to wash vegetables, especially salads, in advance because having them prepped makes me feel like I’m half way to dinner.

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Here’s the produce I had to work with this week:

Fresh from the garden: kale, parsnips, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, yacon, leeks, beetroot, endive, leaf mustard, land cress, chard, fennel, oriental radishes, winter purslane, corn salad, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme

From storage: apples, sweet potato, butternut squash, Delicata squash, spaghetti squash, regular potatoes

Pantry: dried herbs, dried beans, dried corn, porcini, dried chillies, walnuts, pumpkin seeds

And here’s what we’ve eaten:

Saturday

breakfast: porridge with apple and maple syrup

When the temps drop, I start making porridge for breakfast. The only other person in the family willing to join me is usually my daughter (my husband only ate porridge in the honeymoon phase of our relationship) but this time my son asked if he could have some, too! And then said he liked it! I have not been able to feed him porridge since he was a toddler and even then, he was not super enthusiastic about it. Kids keep surprising you!

dinner: Winter quinoa bowl

The result of how excited I get about the harvest and also an attempt to stuff Esther with as much green stuff as possible while she’s at home for the weekend: shredded carrots, sliced yacon, stir-fried mustard greens, radishes, hummus, oven baked sweet potato fries, roasted Delicata squash and winter salad leaves.

Sunday

Chard & ricotta cakes, roasted purple potatoes and beetroot-carrot-apple salad

The potatoes are ‘ Violette Noir’ and I think I’ll grow more of these next year – they’re fairly productive and fun. Find the recipe for the chard cakes here and the salad here.

Monday

Quinoa with roasted butternut squash, fennel, parsley and pumpkin seeds, leftover chard cakes and kale salad

The kale salad is a recipe from Sarah Raven’s latest cookbook and I had it for the first time when I took her course at Perch Hill farm in October – it’s delicious!

Butternut squash bundtcake with speculaas spices

While I was at it, I roasted the rest of the squash and baked a cake with it. And because this week we celebrated the Sint Nicolas feast, I threw in some of the traditional spices.

Tuesday

Winter vegetable soup with porcini and buckwheat

A filling soup with lots of veggies: leeks, fennel, carrots, parsnips and potatoes. Even though this is one of Sebastiaan’s favourite soups, he does not like the porcini and will carefully remove them and put them in  my bowl. As long as he eats the rest, I’m fine with that.

Wednesday

Spaghetti with kale & sage pesto, roasted beets and brie

Not the prettiest dish but really delicious and one I will make again.

Thursday

Roasted spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and mozzarella

I was writing an article on spaghetti squash and wanted to take some photos of what it looks like baked, so this is what we ended up having for dinner.

Friday

dinner: Leek quiche with spelt crust

On Saturday I was gone in the afternoon and Remco made a favourite butternut squash soup from the archives – super fast and simple but lovely (especially when you come home cold on a snowy evening). We used up most of the fresh vegetables that we’d picked last Friday, there are just some parsnips in the cellar and two bulbs of fennel that I want to make a salad from.

So this was our week of eating from the garden, I hope you found it inspiring. And if you have any favourite recipes for winter vegetables, do share!

14 comments for “Week of eating from the garden – December

  1. Tina Umino
    25/01/2018 at 01:00

    I love your blog and your youtube videos. They are my favorite of all the gardening videos out there. Does your book come in English?

    • vera@gtc
      26/01/2018 at 12:36

      Thank you, Tina, that is lovely to hear!!! If you saw my last video I hinted at a big project I’m working on – it will be a book in English and it should be published in February 2019. I hope to share more soon!

      • Tina Umino
        27/01/2018 at 23:42

        oh thats wonderful. You recipes and stories are so fun to read.

        • vera@gtc
          30/01/2018 at 09:53

          Thank you, Tina! One of my (few) regrets with my Dutch book was that at the last moment recipes had to be dropped because it became too long. So hope to include some in my English book 🙂

  2. Andrea van Dijk
    13/12/2017 at 11:35

    Hi Vera, I already bought your book, but now I incidentally bumped into your blog: very inspiring cooking, thanks a lot!

    • vera@gtc
      13/12/2017 at 12:15

      Thanks, Andrea! So lovely to hear that you find inspiration in my recipes!

  3. 11/12/2017 at 21:59

    Absolutely delightful all of these meals Vera. In the wintermonths the Norwegian people eat lots of porridge fir breakfast, including me, with a hint of cinnamon and a teaspoon of honey it is a warm and lovely start to any cold day 🤗

    • vera@gtc
      13/12/2017 at 12:18

      Thank you, Britta! Nothing beats porridge for breakfast in the winter 🙂 I ate it everyday during the time I studied in Oslo many years ago – I even got Remco (my now-husband) to eat it then!

  4. Trish
    11/12/2017 at 21:20

    You are inspiring me to be a better vegetarian! I’m trying out new grains, and clicked around your site to see if I could find the recipe for the spelt crust anywhere. Though I did find some chocolate/spelt cookies that I must try, I’m still wondering about that spelt crust for quiche. When you have time, the recipe would be appreciated.

    • vera@gtc
      13/12/2017 at 12:37

      Thank you, Trish! The crust was pretty standard, I just subbed about half the all-purpose flour with whole spelt flour – I think it tastes more interesting, kind of ‘nuttier’. Here are the approximate measurements: 100 g all-purpose flour, 80 g whole spelt flour, ½ tsp salt, 100 g (7 tablespoons) cold butter cut into pieces, 3 1/2 tbsp cold water. I hope this helps!

      • Trish
        15/12/2017 at 06:24

        Thanks so much! Will try this out very soon!

  5. Dorothy McLeod
    11/12/2017 at 19:07

    I have never had porridge with apple and maple syrup ….I must try it. I usually have mine with dried cranberries and then sprinkle sunflower seeds on top. Your cake looks delicious I must put that recipe on my list to bake.

  6. Janet
    11/12/2017 at 02:53

    Wow, that all looks so good. Thank you. Do you have your granola recipe on line please? I couldn’t find it😩

    • vera@gtc
      11/12/2017 at 15:15

      Thank you, Janet! You’re right, there’s no recipe for granola in the archives – I should maybe post one! I tend to vary it- this time I made granola with seasonal flavours – ginger, cinnamon, molasses and dried cranberries (and also our home-grown pumpkin seeds!)

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