The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

pear and star anise sorbet with pear wafers

I want to tell you a story. It is the story of how we became so disconnected from the food we eat, and it is a story which began a great many years ago. Once upon a time we all shared the land and the fruits it produced. We were hunter-gatherers back then, and we worked cooperatively to hunt, collect and share the food we ate. The concept of land […]

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herb and Parmesan stuffed tomatoes

The UK’s National Health Service is creaking at the seams as it struggles to deal with a growing wave of chronic conditions resulting from poor diet, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, obesity and cancer. Given the scale of this challenge, it is astonishing how many NHS hospitals continue to allow fast food franchises to operate on site. It’s not as if they need to generate more work […]

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roast beetroot, halloumi and freekeh salad

Today marks the midway point of the Soil Association’s annual “Organic September” campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the value of organic food and organic farming. Far from being a fad, organic food is, of course, what we all used to eat before chemical-dependent farming began to dominate food production in the latter part of the 20th century. It is real food. The more of us who choose to […]

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vegan cobnut and chocolate pavé

Here are two interesting facts. Britain exports millions of eggs each year. Britain also imports millions of eggs each year. This is but one example of the inherent illogicality of a globally-focused food industry. Within days of the discovery that eggs in the Netherlands had been contaminated with the pesticide fipronil, seventeen countries including the UK confirmed that they had imported eggs that were affected. Each of those countries produces […]

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aubergine with pomegranate molasses

Real food begins and ends with the soil. In a balanced, organic system, food is grown in the soil and it eventually returns, in the form of composted organic matter, to enrich the soil. For many centuries agriculture has followed this cycle of life and renewal, always looking to work with nature wherever possible. Plants receive nutrients from the healthy soil they are grown in. But modern industrialised farming methods […]

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vegan blueberry fool

There has been something of a brouhaha in the British media recently over the prospect of chlorinated chicken being imported into the UK from the USA under the terms of a putative post-Brexit trade deal between the two countries. Beyond that particularly unsavoury prospect there are plenty of other reasons to be alarmed about the potential impact on British food standards of a UK-USA trade deal. For example, farmers in […]

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stir fried green beans with crispy shallots

When I began this modest little blog four years ago I had two aims in mind. Firstly, I wanted to show that vegetarian food can be delicious, exciting and nutritious. Secondly, the blog would give me a platform for sounding off about those aspects of the food industry that I don’t like – which is pretty much all of it. I had previously decided to become a vegetarian not because […]

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vegan Singapore-style noodles

Climate change brings unpredictability and instability to the environment, a major worry when it comes to growing food. Plants which may once have thrived in a particular region may no longer do so if that region suddenly experiences significant fluctuations in temperature, or becomes subject to flooding or drought. This uncertainty makes it all the more important to our survival to have a wide range of edible plant species available, […]

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cauliflower, pea and paneer curry

The past decade has witnessed a rise of almost 25% in the number of children in England being admitted to hospital to have decaying teeth extracted. To make matters worse, increasing numbers of our children are officially obese by the time they leave primary school (this figure now stands at 20%). If nothing else does, these startling facts should cause us to examine closely what our children are consuming. It […]

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