As the supply dwindles toward shopping day, it can be tempting to run out to the store for just an item or two. But let’s face it, most of us in the developed world have enough food in the house. I’m not talking about low-income households, who face true hardship in feeding their families. But for the rest of us, “there’s nothing to eat” often means “I’m not sure how to make a meal out of what’s in the house.”
This year we moved back to a location where I am in walking distance of a plethora of food sources. So when I started to throw together a quick chowder for lunch, I realized I didn’t have any potatoes. I have sweet potatoes, but I have plans for those. Those of you who know me, know that not having a meal plan is an unusual situation. But did this predicament really call for desperate measures? I think not.
Hence, this classic simple chowder now features turnip (more appropriately, rutabaga, but that’s not what we called the big purple and yellow root vegetable where I’m from). We are still working hard to choose local first, and the veg in this dish came from across the street – and before that, from farms here in our own province. We’re happy that our neighbourhood FreshCo makes an effort to clearly identify local items, and usually has a good selection of those. If you want to know what’s in season in Ontario, check out this handy guide. Many provinces and states have something similar.
Here’s the result – it was pretty tasty. What do you have on hand that you can use up to keep your grocery bill in check this week?
2 c / 500ml water
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 c diced turnip
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 6 oz / 180 g frozen fish fillet, slightly thawed and cut in 1″ / 2.5cm pieces
1 c / 250ml 1% milk
Fresh ground pepper
Bring the vegetables to the boil in the water. Turn down and cook for 11-12 minutes on medium low heat.
Add the fish pieces and simmer for another 7 minutes.
Stir in the milk until heated through.
Serve with a grind of fresh pepper.