The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

new potato salad with rocket, lemon and mint pesto

Whilst the eyes of many environmentalists have been focused on the “marriage made in hell” that will result from the takeover of notorious agrochemical giant Monsanto by Bayer, two other equally alarming acts of corporate consolidation are in train. The state owned Chinese chemical company ChemChina is in the process of swallowing up Syngenta in a $43 million deal. Last week, the proposed deal received both EU and US antitrust […]

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cannellini beans with garlic and oregano

Earlier this month it was reported that neonicotinoids had been found in drinking water in the USA. Neonicotinoids are chemical compounds found in a number of pesticides and have been heavily implicated in the alarming global decline in bee populations. They only came on to the agrochemical market in the late 1990s and because they are still relatively new, no “safe” level of exposure for humans has yet been established […]

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20 alternative & fabulous vegan ice cream recipes

The weather has been warming up of late, which makes for a great excuse to revisit some unusual but delicious vegan ice creams from the Circus Gardener’s Kitchen archives, as well as to share some great vegan ice cream recipes from other bloggers. There are one or two technical challenges involved in producing a good vegan ice cream, particularly around getting the right fat content to give it a creamy […]

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beer battered halloumi with chips and “mushy” peas

In June last year, during one of the lighter moments of Britain’s rather squalid EU referendum campaign, “leave” campaigner Nigel Farrage led a flotilla of fishing boats up the Thames, calling on Britain to “take back our waters” and to “stop giving away our fish”. However, his flotilla was ambushed by a rival flotilla, led by “remain” campaigner Sir Bob Geldoff wielding a megaphone and yelling out such memorable taunts as “you’re […]

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chickpea soup with rosemary oil

I gave up my beloved allotment plot, the Circus Garden, last year, after an unfortunate accident that had left me incapacitated for several weeks. It had happened at the worst time of the year, just when I should have been out preparing the ground, sowing seeds and planting crop seedlings. As I slowly recovered from my injuries the weeds, of course, had a field day. Once I began to feel […]

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coffee ice cream with pecan biscotti

In case you weren’t aware, we are currently in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight, an initiative launched by the the Fairtrade Foundation to encourage us to be more aware of the origin of the produce we buy, and how it came to reach our table. I’m using coffee in this week’s recipe and, as it happens, coffee was the very first product to come under the wing of the Fairtrade […]

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gigantes

It may only have been lettuce, rather than a staple foodcrop, but some of the supply problems faced by UK supermarkets over the past few weeks provide a fascinating glimpse into the fine margins upon which much of our food supply now depends. The Murcia region of Spain, the main source of fresh salad crops in UK supermarkets over the winter months, has recently suffered unusually heavy rains and flooding. […]

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stir fried broccoli with sesame and garlic

Perhaps it’s laziness. Perhaps it a belief that we simply don’t have the time. Whatever the reasons, British people have an enduring relationship with fast food, spending almost £30 billion each year on the stuff. A UK Parliamentary research paper, “Barriers to Healthy Food”, published last year suggested that the average Briton consumes 200 to 300 excess calories per day, in large part linked to fast food consumption. Characterised by convenience, […]

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saffron braised leek with cannellini and farro

Tomorrow, as the world looks on with varying degrees of trepidation, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America. With Republican majorities in Congress and the House of Representatives, he has the scope to fulfil many of the sweeping changes he promised during the presidential election campaign, with potentially profound impacts on US foreign policy, trade, immigration, and civil rights. However, his […]

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spiced clementines with clementine sorbet

Recently published research in the USA by the University of Virginia has confirmed that the increased use of genetically modified crops (GMOs) by farmers has led to a significant increase in the use of herbicides. Covering a thirteen year period up to 2011, this is the largest study ever undertaken into the impact of GMOs on US farming and the environment. The researchers found that on average farmers growing genetically […]

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