The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

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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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asparagus, strawberry and red onion salad

This recipe has been published to mark the start of national vegetarian week. If you’re not already vegetarian, why not give it a try by going meat-free for the next seven days and see how you get along? For those who follow this blog on Facebook or Instagram I will be posting a vegetarian recipe suggestion each day during this week to give you some inspiration. There is a lot […]

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beetroot, avocado and pink grapefruit salad

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver attracted criticism recently over his claim that poor people “eat crap” because they “think in a different gear” to the middle classes. His remarks were made in the context of figures revealing that poor children are twice as likely to become obese as rich children, and were themselves taken out of context. He had gone on to say, “what you see is parents who aren’t even […]

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celery with peanut butter and smoked paprika

For many of us, as we head into the new year, this is a time for resolutions. One of the most common involves “doing something” about our diet. I’m not a fan of diets, not least because so much of the diet industry is owned by the same food industry that makes us fat in the first place (for example, Slimfast is owned by Unilever, Lean Cuisine is owned by […]

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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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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

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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winter slaw with ginger and sesame dressing

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2016 to be the International Year of Pulses. This announcement is important for several reasons. Firstly, it underlines the important role pulses play in the diets of a significant part of the world’s population. Secondly, it highlights the need for us to look at more sustainable sources of protein, given the meat industry’s massive contribution to global warming and profligate use of increasingly scarce […]

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chestnut and chocolate tart

vegan chocolate and chestnut cheesecake

Last month a rather bizarre court case commenced and ended abruptly in Los Angeles, USA. On one side was the refined sugar industry, represented by a group of major sugar refining companies. On the other was a consortium of manufacturers of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), including global giants Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland. The lawsuit brought by the sugar manufacturers claimed that the HFCS manufacturers were guilty of “false […]

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pear, walnut and pomegranate salad

Whether it is through unfair European Union and government subsidies, or through the taxpayer having to underwrite the cost of cleaning up the environmental damage their growing methods can cause, fruit and vegetables grown using non-organic, chemical interventions such as pesticides often end up cheaper in the supermarkets than their organic equivalents. Being lured by the artificially lower prices of such produce can, however, mean exposing ourselves to greater risk. […]

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