On the weekend, Fergal and I had a lovely Saturday morning outing to our local farmers market. It’s been ages since I had the luxury of doing our weekly shop at a real farmers market and I’d forgotten how much fun it is.
I love strolling through the stalls, choosing from beautiful displays of produce. For me the joy of shopping at the farmers market isn’t just about bringing home the freshest, best tasting produce.
For me, a huge part of the fun is allowing what looks best to dictate what I buy and ultimately what I decide to cook.
It’s really the easiest way to keep your cooking seasonal.
The thing I was reminded of was how market shopping is a bit of a skill.
If you’re used to planning your meals, writing a list and buying what’s on the list, I can imagine that shopping at the farmers market would be frustrating.
Traipsing from stall to stall trying to find what you need isn’t much fun.
I know because that’s how I used to shop. But over the years I found a better way…
When I was living in the Barossa Valley, the highlight of my week was the Saturday morning Barossa farmers market. I’d grab a coffee and a bacon and egg roll. Then I’d wander around tasting this and that, chatting to the farmers and buying whatever took my fancy.
I wouldn’t have had time to make a list so I’d just buy what looked good. And try not to buy too much.
Then when I got home, I’d figure out what to cook based on my market bounty.
Sometimes I’d consult my cookbooks for ideas. But often I’d just make things up.
It was incredibly liberating and because I wasn’t writing a list, it took no time up front. Not even 2 minutes.
And do you want to know the best bit?
Shopping and cooking based on what looks best is a skill that anyone can learn which is why I wrote the ‘2-Minute Meal Plan’.
Speaking of which…
2 Minute Meal Plan eCookbook Anniversary SALE
It’s actually been 2 years since I first released the 2-Minute Meal Plan. It’s easily the most unusual ebook that I’ve ever written in that it’s all about showing you the easiest way to cook with the ingredients you have on hand using ‘template recipes’.
This frees you from the constraints of shopping lists and traditional recipes while providing the support you need to get healthy meals on the table with minimum fuss or effort.
To celebrate the second anniversary of the best selling of all my eCookbooks, I’m having a 2 day or 48 hour sale.
The 30% OFF Anniversary Sale ends in less than 48 hours.
For more details and to make sure you don’t miss this once-a-year occasion go to:
Chunky Zucchini & Pesto Soup
This recipe is based on one of the template recipes included in the 2-Minute Meal Plan. The template recipe is called ‘Chunky Veg Soup’.
In this version, I’ve used the classic combo of zucchini and basil in the form of pesto. But to get a feel for how the ‘template’ recipes work, see the ideas listed in the ‘variations’ for each type of ingredient. There are endless possibilities.
1 onion or other aromatic vegetable (see below for ideas), chopped
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water
200g (7oz) zucchini or other vegetables (see below for ideas), chopped
small handful pesto or other ‘highlight ingredient’ (see below for ideas)
1. Heat a little oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion or other aromatic vegetable and cook, covered for 5-10 minutes until soft and golden.
2. Add the stock or water and zucchini or other veg. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the zucchini or other veggies are cooked.
3. Taste. Season and serve with the pesto or ‘highlight ingredient’ on top.
aromatic veg – onions are my favourite but celery or carrots would be good instead.
vegetables – I used zucchini in the photo. Try parsnips, sweet potato, pumpkin, brussels sprouts, fennel, peas, sugar snap peas, snow peas, cabbage, beets, asparagus, jerusalem artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, red capsicum (bell peppers), bok choy, asian greens, spinach, silver beet or any combination of these. Legumes are also great here.
highlight ingredient – I used pesto. Hummus is good too or other sauces. Yoghurt, sour cream, guacamole. Goats cheese, parmesan, ricotta. Croutons or small slices of bread with melted cheese. Crispy bacon pieces, finely sliced salami or prosciutto.
ps. Not sure if the ‘2-Minute Meal Plan‘ will help you?
Here’s what people are saying about it…
“I just purchased the ebook and I am only on page 57 of the first part, but can already tell I LOVE IT. I’m so excited to start implementing the things I’m learning, and to gobble up the rest of the books. Thank you a million for this ebook, it is absolutely brilliant. I really can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a purchase. I will also be getting a much happier husband thanks to this book.”
Amy, 2-Minute Meal Planner
“The whole system was very useful to me. I learned better planning of meals for a week and, besides that, to improvise with ingredients. Preparing food ceased to be stressful factor and became a joy!”
Kate, 2-Minute Meal Planner