The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

gluten free

vegan vegetable hotpot

Most informed scientific opinion now agrees that we are either heading for or already within the Sixth Age of Extinction. For us humans, as well as many other species, this could well mean terminal decline unless we dramatically change the way we live by embracing a balanced, sustainable existence. And of all the human activities that have brought us to the edge of this precipice, it is the way we […]

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bean and vegetable casserole with pistou

I do hope I can tempt you to try my new recipe, a wonderfully tasty vegan comfort food dish – bean and vegetable casserole with pistou. On the subject of succumbing to temptation, I believe it was Oscar Wilde who first said, “I can resist anything apart from temptation”. A recently published study suggests that this is a human failing we all share. Our inability to resist temptation is also […]

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pak choi and broccoli with soy sauce and garlic

wok fried pak choi and purple sprouting broccoli with soy and garlic: vegan and gluten free

To kick off the new year on this blog here’s a healthy, quick and delicious dish of pak choi and broccoli with soy sauce and garlic. This is a time of year that is full of good intentions, when many of us making resolutions and many of those resolutions are about improving our diet. Whether you are someone who has signed up for “Veganuary” (a month of meat-free and dairy […]

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kale and sweet potato soup with horseradish cream

I eat soup most of the year round, but during the dark, cold nights of midwinter it becomes more out of a necessity than choice. This seasonal, hearty and nutritious kale and sweet potato soup really hits the spot. All of the ingredients in this recipe are organic and free from artificial chemicals, which is more than can be said for much of the food we consume in the UK. […]

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parsnip, cranberry and nut roast

This week’s recipe is for parsnip, cranberry and nut roast, a delicious vegan alternative Christmas dinner. An enormous amount of meat will be consumed, and discarded over the Christmas period this year. Aside from ethical considerations about the slaughter of other sentient life, there is no doubt at all that our current levels of meat consumption are contributing directly to climate change. The government’s own Committee on Climate Change is […]

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sweet potato oven fries

vegan sweet potato chips

A recent study entitled “What are the barriers to eating healthily in the UK?”, led by the Social Market Foundation, concluded that 10.2 million people resident in the UK are living in what the report calls a “food desert”. It defines a food desert as an area where residents have severely limited access to fresh fruit and vegetables, usually in the form of a local supermarket. The findings of this […]

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Keralan-style pumpkin and lentil curry

delicious vegan Keralan curry

I spent three weeks in India at the start of this year. It was my first visit to that wonderful, extraordinary country and I brought back many great memories. Hair-raising tuk-tuk rides through the crazy Bangalore traffic, the vibrant hustle-bustle of the huge Devaraja fruit and vegetable and flower market, beautiful lakeside sunsets up in the hills of Wayanad, tea plantations gracing the slopes around Coonoor, sailing a converted rice […]

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portobello steaks with salmoriglio sauce

The Gaia hypothesis, conceived by Professor James Lovelock, contends that the Earth is a self-regulating mechanism. According to Lovelock, this means that the planet as a whole is able to calibrate a highly complex set of interdependent relationships. These relationships are between living organisms (animals, plants, micro-organisms) and inorganic entities (air, water, soil). In fulfilling this regulatory role, the Earth’s ultimate objective is to achieve “steady state”, in other words […]

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frisée, canellini bean and avocado salad

canellini bean and avocado salad with smoked paprika and garlic dressing

Farming in the UK began approximately 6,000 years ago with the gradual clearance of forest land to make way for fields for the growing of crops. Over the ensuing centuries, and until the industrial revolution of the late eighteenth century, farming methods and techniques evolved at a gradual pace and remained relatively simple, relying upon sustainable practices and techniques handed down from generation to generation. The introduction of mechanisation, which […]

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borlotti bean cassoulet

vegan cassoulet of borlotti beans, carrots and celery

The UK’s level of self-sufficiency is in long-term decline. We now produce just over half of the food we consume. Of the shortfall, nearly three quarters is currently made up of food imported into the UK from the European Union (EU). Climate change related uncertainties – highlighted by scorching temperatures and insufficient rainfall over this year’s long hot summer – are an additional food security concern. Some UK crops were […]

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