Sharing my weekly shopping basket, vegan meal prep ideas for summer and recipes
Our weekly shopping of vegetables / groceries gets done online or once in a while at my neighbourhood supermarkets. I have a few favourite supermarkets where I find the produce to be fresh. I may write about that in another post. The best thing I love about supermarket shopping is that I get to see all the newly launched products on the shelves. What I hate about it is the billing queue 🙂
In Mumbai, the open air markets are always my first preference. Mountains of fresh seasonal produce, the cacophony, the air thick with the pungent aroma of coriander being unloaded from the trucks, and the general hustle bustle – it is a sensory overload. In the monsoons, these markets are one big mess, but let’s not talk about that now.
Buying vegetables online is the complete antithesis to open market shopping. There are a few open markets in Bangalore too, but reaching there (read that as braving the traffic) takes away all the joy of the market experience.
So for most part, online shopping it is.
I have had this idea of sharing with you my shopping basket from time to time, but somehow I never gotten around to doing that. This time, I clicked a photo of the produce and it was a good starting point for this post. I am also going to share with you some vegan meal prep ideas using the produce bought for the week.
It made me smile that the picture of my weekly shopping was in shades of green or yellow and it was not intentional at all. I did have a couple of staples like carrots and beets, that I sneakily left out from the photo in order to keep the green and yellow theme 🙂 But over 80% was green alright.
Gourds – Gourds are best for Indian summers. As much as people love to hate them, they are light, low calorie, full of water and easy to digest. Bottle gourd, zucchini, cucumber are must buys in summers. You’ll find many quick and simple summer recipes in my blog using these veggies. Also, get a few ideas for these three vegetables below.
Lemons – I ordered half a kilo of lemons. Not to make pickles, but just to make me drink more water. I find it very very difficult to drink enough water everyday. So crazy as this may sound, I ‘meal prep’ my water drinking for the day. We have these 650 ml (really) tall glasses. My aim is to drink at least 3 of these in a day. I fill up three of these glasses with water, squeeze half a lemon in each glass and shake a lot of black salt in each. Keeping these on the counter top makes sure I have easy access to these glasses of lemon water. I can gulp an entire glass at one go and that is terrific because I can never drink water as it is. Today, I have had 4 of these glasses and surprised my own self! 2.6 litres of water, yo!
Amla / Indian gooseberry – There is this lovely raita recipe in my book made using amla. Antioxidant content of a food is measured in Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) units. Indian gooseberry or amla has an impressive ORAC score of 2,61,500. Compare that with blueberries with an ORAC score of 4669.
Pressure cook amlas with turmeric and salt and you can eat 1 or half a cooked amla with your meal. Other option is to make a juice with 1 amla, 1 small cucumber, 1 slice ginger and 1 glass water. Blend with some black salt and drink it up first thing in the morning. Add some honey if needed.
Figs – I love fresh figs! Eat a couple of them as a mid morning snack or roasted in the air fryer to add to salads.
Coriander – for garnishing most Indian dishes and and for making chutney. Green chutney is a low-cal option to go with any Indian dishes / snacks or for bhel.
Mung sprouts – these are always good to have on hand, for a crunchy topping on meal bowls, salads or wraps. I often grind the whole lot with green chillies and ginger. This makes an instant batter for mung crepes (pesarattu) that can be prepared instantly, either as it is or with lots of finely chopped onions, coriander and more green chillies. Mung sprouts are a must in any vegan meal prep plan.
Green Chillies – The slightly plump green chillies that my online grocer sells as Chikballabur green chillies are for use in all Indian cooking -curries, dals, chutneys etc.
Spinach and mustard greens – I wanted to make sarson ka saag one last time before they vanish from the market. And spinach is a must have in my kitchen for soups, smoothies and dals or just to add to pasta etc.
Dishes I plan to make / have made using this produce
- Soupy bottle gourd, carrot, peas curry in pressure cooker made in mustard oil with grated ginger, flavoured with coriander powder and green chillies. Check out the vegan meal prep idea for this curry.
- Zero oil Dudhi curry, Bottle gourd raita perfect for summer
- Zucchini noodles pad thai
- Cucumber salads, Cucumber and Chana Dal Idlis
- Pesarattu – Green mung sprouts crepes
- Lemon water
- Amla raita or just cooked in brine as a meal accompaniment
- Coriander chutney
- Sarson Ka saag
- Spinach soup– low cal fast day recipe
- Roasted Fig salad, Fig Vanilla Black pepper Jam
- Besan Shimla Mirch Subzi – my fav subzi to go with rotis
Healthy cooking is more about planning and less about the cooking. So here’s what you can prep in advance….
Summer friendly vegan meal prep ideas using this produce:
- Slice up bell peppers. Line on a baking tray. Drizzle olive oil and roast for 20 minutes. Use in salads / wraps / bowls.
- Blanch the spinach and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. Chop up and add to dals or puree to make curries / sauces.
- Make chimichurri sauce using the coriander leaves and lemon juice. It’s a fancier version of green chutney. The sauce adds a ton of flavour to salads like this one. Or just use it as a condiment with any meal.
- Pressure cook the gooseberries with water, turmeric and salt for 1 whistle. Remove the core / fibrous parts and stock up in an airtight bottle in the fridge. Add some to every meal. You can also add it to dal / chutneys / raitas.
- Dice bottle gourd and pack in resealable plastic bags along with some peas and carrots. Use this mix to prepare a curry in the pressure cooker.