The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

green shakshuka

I am writing this post in my garden on a warm, sunny afternoon as the UK prepares for a fourth week in lockdown. I am surrounded by birdsong and buzzing insects. The usual distant hum of traffic is absent. Right now, I feel blissfully calm and contented. I know that I am privileged compared to many. I am fortunate to have a garden to sit in, I do not live […]

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Cuban-style rice and beans

As we came to the end of a second week of virtual lockdown here in the UK, I found myself drawn to a little reported item of news about a group of Cuban doctors and nurses arriving in Italy to help tackle the Coronavirus outbreak there. It took me back to just over a year ago when I was fortunate enough to explore the island of Cuba. As well as […]

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broccoli, almond and buckwheat noodle salad

This recipe for broccoli, almond and buckwheat noodle salad is the latest in a monthly series of recipes I have created in association 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. This recipe was created prior to the unprecedented restrictions under which many of us […]

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spicy swede oven fries

We are living through uncertain and scary times as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread rapidly through the human population. Whilst the pandemic has seen numerous acts of local kindness it has also seen examples of brazen selfishness and stupidity, in particular through the panic buying and stockpiling of food, hand sanitizers and – bizarrely – toilet rolls. Some UK supermarkets are beginning to resemble their third-world counterparts, with rows […]

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vegan rhubarb and lemongrass fool

Bumble bees, the wild cousins of the honey bee, are crucial to our existence. They help pollinate around a third of the world’s farmed and wild plants upon which humans and other species depend. Over recent years their numbers have declined alarmingly as a result of multiple factors, including intensive farming, pesticides and parasites. However, a new study conducted by the University of Ottowa has revealed that climate change is […]

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red lentil dhal with spinach fritters

This recipe for red lentil dhal with spinach fritters is the latest in a monthly series of recipes I have created in association 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. This lovely dhal could be a meal in itself but it works beautifully as […]

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leek, broccoli and chard soup with thyme croutons

In my experience, people who garden tend to be optimistic individuals. I had always put this down to the fact that gardening is, essentially, about looking forward. Each seed we sow is an investment in the future, a symbol of hope to be realised if and when that seed grows into a beautiful, healthy plant. Gardening also of course provides us with physical exercise, but it dictates the pace. It […]

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carrots and butter beans with carrot top pesto

So, finally, at 11pm last night the UK officially left the European Union. Half of this bitterly divided country rejoiced at this seminal moment whilst the rest of us looked on, bewildered by this celebration of what we see as an act of national self-harm. At least Big Ben failed to “bong”. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s crowdfunding effort failed to deliver this element of the celebration (how is it, incidentally […]

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Persian-style bean and noodle soup

This recipe for Persian-style bean and noodle soup is the latest in a monthly series of recipes I have created in association 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. The recipe is my vegan interpretation of a dish called ash reshteh, a winter staple […]

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spiced aubergine with chickpeas and wilted spinach

At last, some good news: last week the governments comprising the European Union (EU) voted to ban the agrochemical thiacloprid, which is produced and marketed by the global chemical company Bayer. Thiacloprid is one of a group of neonicotinoid pesticides, all of which are strongly linked to the collapse in worldwide bee populations. In reaching its decision the EU stated that it was also concerned that thiacloprid had now found […]

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