Real Food Grocer + Pumpkin Beetroot Bruschetta

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This photo was taken by my incredibly clever friend, Claire Pini.

As someone who is (obvs) a big old lover of fruit and veg, any concept that revolves around fresh produce will always excite me. Likewise, as someone who hates the thought of food wastage, anything that can be done to stop this occurring is a great idea by me.

Enter Real Food Grocer, a grocery box delivery service that takes produce that may not be up to supermarket standard, then delivers it to your door.

I received a couples fruit and veg box, and was so excited to see what was in it. It changes each week based on what’s in season and available, and though you can make adjustments to suit your tastes, I decided to just be surprised when it arrived.

My box contained:
– 1 jap pumpkin half
– 1 beetroot
– 3 field tomatoes
– 3 Roma tomatoes
– 1 celery
– 2 corn cobs
– 3 potatoes
– 3 brown onions
– 3 carrots
– 6 pears
– 1 pak choy
– 2 limes
– 2 capsicum
– 1 avocado
– 1 zucchini
– 6 nectarines
– 6 plums
– 100g baby spinach
– Bunch coriander
I also had the choice to select an extra product, so I chose the ‘chilli, ginger and lemongrass’ pack. No lemongrass was in my box, though I did get a punnet of lovely cherry tomatoes as a substitute.

Most of the produce looked exactly the same as you’d get in a supermarket, and just a couple of items had little marks or bumps or strange shapes. The boxes can be ordered as a one-off, or in a weekly or fortnightly subscription service.

The one-off couples fruit and veg box that I received retails for $39.50, with free delivery offered, though they just ask that you spend at least $27.50 to cover costs. The actual company itself is fantastic. There was a server issue when I was trying to order, and they were great at keeping customers up to date with what was happening, if their orders would be affected and how they were resolving it. They have a HUGE delivery area, so if you live in Melbourne or the outer suburbs, you’re almost definitely going to be able to receive deliveries from them.

For more info on Real Food Grocer, check out their website.

Below is one of the recipes I created using my goodies from the box. It was really fun being creative and trying out produce that I like, but wouldn’t necessarily purchase.

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Pumpkin + beetroot bruschetta with spicy coriander pesto

Ingredients:
– 200gm pumpkin
– 1 beetroot
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– Salt and pepper, to taste

– 1 bunch coriander
– 1/2 cup almonds
– 1 long red chilli (seeds removed if you don’t like spice)
– Juice of 1 lime
– 1 cup baby spinach leaves

– 6 cherry tomatoes
– Good quality bread (I used a sourdough loaf)

Method:
– Preheat oven to 200°C
– Peel and chop pumpkin into 2cm chunks. Place in roasting dish with olive oil, salt and pepper
– Chop ends off beetroot, and wrap in two layers of aluminium foil
– Place beetroot and pumpkin in oven. Roast for 40 minutes, until pumpkin is soft and a sharp knife can easily pierce the beetroot (the beet may need longer, depending on your oven). Set aside to cool

– In a food processor or blender, combine all of your pesto ingredients and process until you have a fine paste. You can leave it a bit chunkier, if desired. Season with salt and pepper
– Once your beetroot has cooled, peel off the skin (I suggest rubber gloves for this part) then chop into small pieces. Place beetroot, pumpkin and cherry tomatoes in a bowl and toss to combine.
– Toast two thick slices of bread (I used a pan for this, but a toaster works just as well) until golden. Spread a generous layer of pesto on your bread, then top with vegetable mix.
– Enjoy! This will make enough for about 6 slices of toast, with plenty of leftover pesto.

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Keep an eye out for the sweet recipe I created using my box of fruit + veg!

Real Food Grocer kindly sent me a box of goodies to get creative in the kitchen with. All opinions remain my own.

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