Have you got what it takes to be a Fresh Herb Hero?

10 12 2010

British Herb Trade Association has joined forces with top chef John Torode to launch a search for the nations Herb Hero, which will begin in January 2011.  Here’s what they had to say about the competition:

While much of the food industry has been feeling the pinch during the recession, there is one category which has flourished.  Fresh herbs saw a rise in sales as consumers went ‘back to basics’ and to cooking meals from scratch. However, while one third of us use fresh herbs, that still leaves many who do not.  The British Herb Trade Association has joined forces with top chef John Torode, to launch a nationwide cookery competition in a bid to help change this.

For thousands of years, herbs have been used to add flavour and aroma to a wide range of dishes and have long been known for their health properties.  They can transform the most ordinary meals into something extraordinary.  And now The British Herb Trade Association is launching a search for ‘the nation’s Herb Heroes;’ looking for incredible food from real people, who are transforming everyday meals with fresh herbs. So if you love food, love cooking and want to share your innovative herb recipes with the nation, or simply relish the idea of showing off your culinary expertise, this is your chance to shine.

Leon Mundey of the British Herb Trade Association says: “We’re always on the lookout for new and exciting fresh herb recipes.  Perhaps you have a great family recipe which has been handed down through the generations or just love to come up with new ideas. We believe that when it comes to cooking, Britain really has got talent. So whether you love cooking, love fresh herbs, or think you can give Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson a run for their money, we’d love you to enter the competition.  If you don’t like being the star of the show, then we urge you to log on to fresh-herbs.co.uk and simply vote for your favourites.”

John Torode, chef and restaurateur says: “This is a great competition for people who love cooking and who understand the importance of using fresh herbs to transform ordinary meals into something really special.  The best chefs know that fresh is best and herbs are no exception. Fresh herbs can elevate recipes to something really extraordinary.  The balance of herbs in a recipe can make or break a dish with the correct combination exuding taste, freshness, flavour and aroma.”

To enter, simply create a home-video of yourself cooking up your creation.  You can record your demonstration on a mobile phone, camera or camcorder. Then go to http://www.fresh-herbs.co.uk/competition to follow instructions to upload it from January 2011.  Videos should be no longer than 4 minutes and all entrants must be UK residents. Entrants will be judged by both the public and the competition organisers, according to their cooking skills, recipe, competence in the kitchen, but also their star quality as a presenter.  Most importantly we want to see enthusiasm for food and great use of fresh herbs.

If you don’t have access to the internet, simply send your herb recipe and a picture of the finished dish, along with your contact details to HERB HEROES, Mustard Communications, 5th Floor, Regal House, 70 London Road, Twickenham, TW1 3QS.

The top three entrants will be invited to the cook off in London as well as being treated to a 2 night stay in London for themselves and a guest, with the overall winner picking up the top prize of £2,500.

There is also a junior category for budding chefs aged 7-16 years.

So if you think you can make a meal of herbs, turn up the heat and get cooking!  The competition opens in January 2011 and all entries must be uploaded by Friday 6th May 2011, with the cook off taking place on Tuesday 24th May 2011 in London.


Handy guide to eating left-overs

6 09 2010

Monday 6th September sees the start of the third national “Zero Waste Week”, and just like our dear friend Mrs Green of MyZeroWaste we at VegBox Recipes and Ooffoo plan to give it our full support.

This year’s theme is ‘Cooking for Victory’ in response to WRAPS “household Food and Drink Waste in the UK” report. The report shows we throw away 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink every year. Most of this is avoidable and could have been eaten if we had planned, stored and managed it better. This amount of food waste costs the average family in Britain £50 per month. And in these economic times, that’s £50 per month few of us can spare. What could you do with that £600 you’d save in a year? And if that’s only the average, then some of us are wasting a whole lot more than that…

We have made our own pledge, to publish this “handy guide to eating left-overs”, which we really hope you’ll:

1) find useful,

and, more importantly,

2) add your own ideas to, using the Comments field down there.

Alternatively, rather than adding your ideas here, why not add them to Mrs G’s website and put yourself in the running to win one of the two great prizes that she has up for grabs: a £50 LUSH voucher and £50 Natural Collection voucher!

Click through for the “Handy Guide to Eating Left-overs

Winner! The VegBox Recipes Courgette Cake “Grown in Britain” Prize Draw

29 06 2009
winner: sebastien durieu!

winner: sebastien durieu!

Thanks to all the wonderful folks that submitted their recipes for the “Grown in Britain” Prize Draw.

The recipe lucky enough to be pulled from the bag was submitted by Sebastien Durieu from Glasgow. Thanks so much, Sebastien – we really hope you enjoy the book!

If you weren’t lucky this time round, don’t despair, you can still buy a discounted (20% off) copy of this book at www.dk.com. Simply enter the code VIPbonus at the checkout to receive your 20% discount. Offer ends 31st December 2009, while stocks last.

Click through for the recipe for Sebastien Durieu’s Courgette Cake, and for a chocolate variation too!

Prize Draw plus June’s Second Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Courgettes

18 05 2009
you could nab a free copy!

you could nab a free copy!

Courgettes are in their main season in the UK in June, July, August and September, and we’re celebrating their arrival on the Summer scene with:

Find out more over on our sister site, www.ooffoo.com.

Stay tuned for the next Fruit Feature … Raspberries!

A “snarf” of sarnies?

7 04 2009
whats your favourite?

what's your favourite?

I have no idea whether there really is a collective noun for sandwiches, but in my case, I think it would be a “snarf” (thanks to PVH for introducing me to this word!).

As in, if I see a plate full of sandwiches, I usually end up “snarfing” most of them myself.

May 10th-16th will be British Sandwich Week. In honour and in preparation, we’re using our sister-site, ooffoo.com, to host an “ooffoo round of sandwiches“.

We’ve contributed three seasonally scrumptious sandwich recipes to the round-up, and are inviting everyone we know to submit their own favourites to the list. Really special recipes will be added to the VegBox Recipes database, with your names on them of course, and also to the ooffoo recipes listings.

So read on to check out our sarnie recipes and to share yours : )

Food for Feasting!

19 03 2009

We absentmindedly missed not only St. David’s Day and St. Piran’s Day but we also missed celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with you. BAD VBR.

To make up for it, we thought we’d have a St. George’s Day recipe challenge, in preparation for April 23rd.

Fancy having your name in lights not only here on the blog, but also on the VegBox Recipes main site AND over on our sister site, ooffoo?

Then all you need to do is submit a recipe for something scrumptiously traditional that uses seasonal ingredients … And we’ll announce the winner at the beginning of April.

Now then … cabbage, spinach, spring onions, watercress … which ingredients will they choose to use?

what did st george eat?!

what did st george eat (other than dragon, that is) ?

Earth Day Challenge

17 03 2009

In 1969, Gladwin Hill wrote in the New York Times:

earth day

earth day

“Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation’s campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam…a national day of observance of environmental problems…is being planned for next spring…”

That national day of observance has now become an international and annual event called Earth Day. And it takes place on April 22nd.

Which gives us just over a month to plan something :O

Now, given the VBR passion for seasonal eating and for growing our own food, it seems sensible to play to our strengths. And I personally have been promising myself that one day I will organise something designed to help create a more friendly community in the street where I live. So I guess this is my chance.

But I can’t decide exactly what to do. And that’s why I need you, dear reader!

1. Please vote in the poll to help me choose between three ideas:

2. And then please use the comments box down there to share ideas on how you plan to use Earth Day to promote seasonal / local / organic eating or “victory gardening”.

We’ll pick all the events we really like, publicise them for you here, and even see if we can get a bit of radio or print publicity for you when we issue our own press releases announcing whichever event gets the most votes.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

The VegBox Team