Whenever I have a day off I like to go for a stroll with Zz and check local farm markets and grocery stores. I am very lucky as where we live there are plenty of shops where I can buy lovely organic vegetables, and even a weekly farm market.
Nowadays with mass production it can be difficult to know how a specific product has been produced, check its provenance and quality, so it seem an easy solution to buy organic, but this isn't always affordable and it can be tricky with companies and stores often charging high prices. How do we tackle the problem?
I personally focus on quality rather than quantity, so I will balance my meals with cheap ingredients like pasta and rice and then add some lovely organic vegetables. l always try to check what's on promotion at my local supermarket and take advantage by shopping my essentials for the whole month as opposite to a weekly shop, often saving a lot. I also try to make the most of weekly markets where I can purchase direct from the producers at a more affordable price - a good way to ensure you always have local, seasonal ingredients. Eating in season should reduce the cost as produce doesn't travel far to reach our plates.
And you? How do you do your shopping? I would love to hear your tips on how to improve my shopping routine - I am now trying hard to buy in bulk to reduce costs and packaging, and to shop plastic free where I can. I am slowly making that transition and would love to hear any advice on how to make it easier!
Speaking of eating in season, here is a quick salad that requires very little ingredients and time to make:
My seasonal super food salad is easy to prepare, packed with nutrients and most importantly yummy!
1 cup of Peas
You can buy fresh peas or keep a bag of frozen peas in the freezer like I do, then just defrost what you need the night before or when you fancy them by using a microwave.
Why peas? They are inexpensive and full of taste, one cup of cooked peas contains only 134 calories. These little vegetables are packed with protein and vitamins and minerals. Before getting married I really wanted to look my best without compromising my diet so I was eating lots of nice vegetables and had peas literally everyday to help me watch my weight!
1 cup of rinsed Black beans
High protein and fibre content, these are the least expensive source of protein, perfect to keep the cost of your meals down without compromising the healthiness of your diet
1 whole tomato
One of my favourite vegetables, rich in vitamins, did you know that in daily value, a tomato provides 38% of what is needed in vitamin C, 30% in vitamin A, and 18% in vitamin K? I only recently discovered that, isn't that brilliant? But check this out - best of all they contain zero fat or cholesterol.
A handful of peas shoots
Like peas they are a great source of protein and minerals.
Half a cucumber
Cucumbers are one of the cheapest vegetables you can buy even if organic it is still usually relatively inexpensive. If that is not enough then I'd hope by now you've all seen the Macka B song - so you should know these freshest of vegetables are wonderful for you! They contain multiple B vitamins, known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress which we can all do with some help with, I know I personally can! With running a business and a family it's easy to feel overwhelmed so I try to eat some cucumber everyday. Carrots and nuts are good too for this purpose.
A handful of bean sprouts
These are the richest source of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), vitamins and minerals, and also contain a good amount of fibre. They contain all types of vitamins (A, B, C, D, E and K), folate and are an excellent source of iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc.
I season everything with extra virgin olive oil (made by my family in Sardinia, can't get more organic than that!), salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and a handful of toasted mixed nuts - you can read my recipe here on how to make nice nut mixes to use as condiments and snacks
Hope you will enjoy this super easy and yummy salad! I look forward to reading your comments and see your creations, don't forget to share your recipes with us using @leles_london and #LelesRecipes.
And don't forget the most important thing; add a little love to all your recipes - it's the most important ingredient.