The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

Tag Archive for ‘fast food’

stir fried broccoli with sesame and garlic

stir-fried-broccoli-with-garlic-and-sesame

Perhaps it’s laziness. Perhaps it a belief that we simply don’t have the time. Whatever the reasons, British people have an enduring relationship with fast food, spending almost £30 billion each year on the stuff. A UK Parliamentary research paper, “Barriers to Healthy Food”, published last year suggested that the average Briton consumes 200 to 300 excess calories per day, in large part linked to fast food consumption. Characterised by convenience, […]

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roast chickpea and avocado salad

roast chickpea and avocado salad

  In the past twelve months some 2,000 square miles of the Amazon rainforest has been lost to clearing – equivalent to 50 football pitches every minute. Although some of these losses are due to illegal logging, much of it has been to meet the demands of the cattle industry. In 2009 the multinational food giants McDonald’s and Cargill were named and shamed by Greenpeace for their role in the […]

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broad bean, feta and chive tarts

broad bean, feta and chive tartlet

Is it possible that the tide is beginning to turn against fast food? Last month global fast-food mongers Pepsico and Kraft both posted a huge drop in profits for the first quarter of 2015. Business may be looking bad for them, but their troubles have been overshadowed by those of the global burger chain McDonald’s. It reported an 11% decrease in revenue and a 30% drop in profit for the […]

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rosemary flatbread biscuits

rosemary flatbread biscuits

It was nearly thirty years ago that the giant multinational burger chain McDonald’s first moved into the historic heart of the beautiful city of Rome, opening up a restaurant in the Piazza di Spagna, next to the famous Spanish Steps. For many Italians who cared deeply about their culture and their food heritage this incursion into their capital city was regarded as nothing less than an outrage, and McDonald’s arrival […]

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kale, quinoa and nut roast en croute

kale-and-nut-roast-en-croute

Well, now it’s December I reckon it’s probably safe to start talking about Christmas. And for those of you looking for a vegetarian alternative to the ubiquitous turkey, here’s a recipe for a stunningly good, meat-free Christmas dinner. In our household Christmas is a busy and often raucous occasion, with usually anywhere between 10 and 16 for Christmas dinner, which is always followed by a loud and raucous Christmas quiz […]

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mushroom fricassee with butternut squash fondant

mushroom-fricasee-with-butternut-squash-fondant

  There’s a common misconception that “healthy” foods are more expensive than other foods. That perception is encouraged by the fact that manufacturers of unhealthy foods receive billions in taxpayer subsidies each year whilst producers of healthy foods do not. This is how the market is distorted in favour of the multinational food producers, and why highly processed, unhealthy food often seems the cheaper option compared to freshly picked, unprocessed […]

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peach, smoked avocado and mozzarella salad

peach, smoked avocado and mozzarella salad

I recently returned from a week’s holiday in Avignon in Provence, Southern France, a town and a region with a great and enduring love for good food. Returning to the contrasting food culture of the UK has left me pondering about the very strange paradox that seems to underpin the British public’s relationship with food. On the one hand, UK restaurants have undergone a renaissance over the past two decades, […]

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cucumber, shallot and strawberry salad with mint and passionfruit dressing

cucumber, shallot and strawberry salad

Right now, here in the UK, we have a wonderful abundance of locally grown, fresh organic fruit and vegetables to choose from, making it the perfect time to prepare and appreciate a good quality salad. This is a recipe for one which is delicious, quick to prepare and light on calories. Fresh food is an uncomplicated, healthy alternative to the fatty, sugary, additive-loaded processed foods that form such a large […]

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wild garlic tartlets

wild garlic tartlets

According to Joanne Blythman’s book “Bad Food Britain”, which I have just finished reading, something dramatic has been happening to our collective cooking knowledge and skills over the course of a couple of generations. Fifty years ago the average British family meal took 1 hour and 20 minutes to prepare and cook. By 1980 that figure had dropped to an hour. Now it takes on average just 13 minutes to […]

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flageolet bean and crispy leek risotto with truffle oil

bean-and-leek-risotto-with-truffle-oil

A recent study published by Cambridge University revealed that people who live or work close to fast food outlets have an increased likelihood of obesity simply because it means they are more likely to be tempted to eat unhealthily. It seems we are simply unable to restrain ourselves when we are presented with the opportunity for a quick fix of cheap, highly processed, energy-dense food. The Cambridge University report reminded […]

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