The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

oyster mushrooms char sui

The ancient Greek philosopher Plutarch once explained his reason for not eating meat thus: “but for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy”. In the case of the British intensively reared chicken, that “proportion of life and time” has now been reduced to […]

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zhug-roasted vegetables with halloumi

Professional football players have a reputation for being paid huge wages and living lavish, hedonistic lifestyles. One young man who has done a lot recently to dispel that image is Marcus Rashford, a young forward who plays for Manchester United and England. Before the Covid-19 pandemic began to impact he had set up a charity campaigning on homelessness. Since the pandemic he has established a food charity which has so […]

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aubergine, butternut and lentil massaman curry

This recipe for aubergine, butternut and lentil massaman curry is the latest in a monthly series of recipes I have created in partnership with Suma Wholefoods. In these recipes, I use products from Suma’s extensive range of organic and ethically sourced products, and the recipes appear both here on my blog and on the Suma website. Massaman curry is a Thai dish which may well have originated from the Middle […]

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quick carrot pickle

Last month, the UK’ Environment Agency published figures which showed that only 14% of rivers, streams and lakes in England can be designated “ecologically healthy”. The remaining 86% fail to meet standards for “pollution safety”. The three main sources of pollution of these waterways are industrial waste, sewage and agrochemicals used in intensive farming. The UK government had previously set a target for all water bodies in England to be […]

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smoked aubergine and lemon soup

Carbohydrates, which now make up the bulk of most of what we eat, only became a significant part of the human diet after we began practising agriculture some 10-12,000 years ago. Before then, our ancestors would have had a much higher protein and much lower carbohydrate intake than we do. They would also have had much more active (if considerably shorter) lives than us. The one thing they did not […]

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mushroom, black bean and quinoa burgers with vegan aioli

This recipe for mushroom, black bean and quinoa burgers with vegan aioli is the latest in a monthly series of recipes I have created in partnership with Suma Wholefoods. In these recipes, I use products from Suma’s extensive range of organic and ethically sourced products, and the recipes appear both here on my blog and on the Suma website. These lovely vegan, gluten-free burgers are a delicious and nutritions combination […]

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sourdough multiseed loaf

This month marks Sourdough September, an annual event created by the Real Bread Campaign. Sourdough baking relies on just a few natural ingredients: flour, water, salt, water and yeast. At its heart is the sourdough starter, comprising naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria. It’s easy to make your own starter, just follow my method here. Your sourdough starter can survive with only periodic (in my case once a week) attention, and […]

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green minestrone

The Covid-19 pandemic almost stopped modern civilisation in its tracks, and it is not yet over. For many of us, enforced lockdown was a time of reflection on the way we live our lives, the way we interact with our local community, the way we work and even the way we eat. In a survey carried out by YouGov, 85% of respondents said they wanted to see some of these […]

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summer slaw with Pad Thai dressing

The benefits of gardening in respect of mental health and well-being are now well documented. Indeed, garden therapy is increasingly prescribed by doctors to help tackle anxiety, loneliness and depression. But research from the University of California suggests that gardening can also help tackle the growing problem of obesity, especially amongst children. We now know that being overweight puts us at greater risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19. […]

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