The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

griddled plums with thyme, orange and vanilla ice cream

griddled plums with thyme orange and vanilla dressing

According to a 2015 report by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, nearly one in five UK children are obese by the time they leave primary school. That is a shocking and scandalous state of affairs, which to my mind is evidence of a new type of child abuse. Without a drastic change in their circumstances, most of these young children, already obese at age eleven, will go on […]

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Thai-style cucumber salad

Thai style cucumber salad

Today marks Earth Overshoot Day, the day in the calendar when humankind has already used up the equivalent of a year’s worth of natural resources. It marks our continuing failure to adapt towards a more sustainable pattern of existence. When Overshoot Day was first calculated, back in the mid 1980s, it fell on 19 December. Although in recent years the rate of acceleration has decreased (last year Overshoot Day fell […]

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broccoli, courgette and wasabi soup

broccoli, courgette and wasabi soup

Over the centuries aggressive nations have used their military might to subdue, colonise and plunder other nations for prized resources. At one time such plunder would have consisted of “precious” minerals like gold, silver, copper and diamonds. Subsequently, with the advent of industrialisation, the exploiting nations turned their attention to the plundering of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. Now, rather than precious metals and fossil fuels, it is […]

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cherry, almond and pistachio crumble

cherry, almond and pistachio crumble

One of the biggest difficulties in trying to assess the likely impact of Britain leaving the European Union (EU) is that we don’t yet know what form “Brexit” will take. What is not in doubt, however, is that no other sectors of our economy are likely to feel the consequences of the UK’s vote to leave the EU quite so keenly as agriculture, food and the environment. Last year, UK […]

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pea and ricotta polpette with mint and pistachio pesto

pea and ricotta polpette with mint and pistachio pesto

As I write this post it is a week since the momentous decision of the UK electorate to vote to leave the European Union (“Brexit”). In the run up to the referendum both the “Vote Leave” and the “Vote Remain” camps led disgracefully shallow and misleading campaigns. As someone who is proudly European and who sees immigration as a positive cultural influence, I was particularly dismayed at the barely concealed […]

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strawberry sorbet

strawberry sorbet

Not long ago Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company (and several times voted “the world’s most evil corporation”), caused alarm amongst environmentalists by launching a hostile take over bid for Syngenta, the world’s largest crop chemical producer. The bid was ultimately unsuccessful, but it now appears that the proposed takeover was merely a precursor for a much larger feeding frenzy within the agrochemical industry. Monsanto is back in the news […]

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radish, broad bean and mint salad

radish broad bean and mint salad

Supermarkets deploy a considerable amount of science to exert subtle influences over our shopping habits and impulses. For example, all supermarkets now use planogram software to help with store layout in order to stimulate our purchasing behaviour and increase revenues. Essentially, planograms are used to determine where each product should be placed, not only to make the shelves we pass visually appealing but also to ensure each product is in […]

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asparagus, basil and sesame wraps

asparagus, basil and sesame wraps

The European Food Safety Authority recently began a review of the temporary ban on neonicotinoid pesticides imposed two years ago by the European Union (EU) in response to evidence about the harmful effect of these chemicals on bee populations. The evaluation is due to be completed by January 2017 and it could lead to the ban being lifted or maintained. Since its introduction, the multinational pesticides manufacturers Bayer and Syngenta […]

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yellow split pea and wild garlic tarka dhal

yellow split pea and wild garlic dhal

The recent announcement by the makers of Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s, advising consumers that their sauces should only be consumed once a week, struck me on two levels. Firstly, as the manufacturer was not required to make this declaration, I wondered what could have motivated it to take such a unilateral step. Ever the cynic, I believe this move was less about serving the interests of consumers and more about […]

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six fabulous vegan street food recipes

six fabulous vegan street food recipes

My culinary experiments and adventures have been restricted of late, following a freak accident which has left me with multiple rib fractures. Believe me, fractured ribs cause a lot of pain! I am hoping to be fully back in action very soon, but in the meantime here are six vegan recipes from the Circus Gardener’s Kitchen archives, each of them inspired by street food classics from around the world. As […]

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