£5 Market Challenge

My goal: make a meal on the fly for a fiver.

Oh, Saturdays mornings in our household are either drab or bursting with energy. Largely this is weather dependant. So when it was a lovely sunny, if somewhat chilly, Saturday morning recently it was time to take advantage. In a bid to lose Christmas weight I went for a long run. Somehow I ended up in the town centre, before the crowds got in.

So, I decided to give myself a little challenge. Could I make a good lunch for the household for less than the £5 I had in my pocket.

Like many towns in the England, Bedford has a market every Saturday morning. According to the Bedford Borough’s website, there has been a constant market in Bedford since 1166. Now I do enjoy the market in Bedford. You can get fresh fruit and veg at much cheaper prices than the grocery store. So this made the challenge at least look possible. However, the quality can vary, so you have to be picky.

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Thinking on the fly was fun. Walking along the stalls, the sight of so much vibrant fruit and veg was tempting. I couldn’t help but take advantage, so decided upon and making a big salad. Something different, with sweet and savory bits. After a bit of wandering, I managed to pick up a few things:

Fresh spinach – two large bunches for £1

Granny Smith apples – a bowl for £1

Blueberries, in February!, two punnets for £1

A hunk of cheddar, £1

Spring onions, 50p!

This came back to the kitchen and became a spinach apple maple crunch salad. The essence of the salad is pretty simple, but tasty and fresh tasting. The veg from the market, were washed and tossed into a bowl (except the cheese). Scavenging my cupboards reveled a need to do some grocery shopping. I did, however, find a few leftover crushed almonds.  I thought what the hell, so I toasted them with a bit of salt and tossed them into the bowl as well.

For the dressing, I made a standard Dijon vinaigrette. To compliment the blueberries I added a tablespoon maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and gave it a shake. Mixed all the elements together and topped with a few shavings of cheddar.

The result of this £5 Market Challenge? A great salad for four and under £5. Plus it mixes both sweet, salty and savory. Not bad effort.

Job done.

Get the recipe here

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