October Newsletter From Veg Box Recipes

19 10 2008
Autumn is here

Autumn is here

Welcome to October’s newsletter!

Apologies that the newsletter is a bit late this month. Read on to find out about the mysterious disappearing Veg Box Recipes website and you’ll understand why the newsletter is only just gracing your inbox!

Those of us in the UK are finally enjoying a beautiful summer (what’s up with the weather?!) and this month we’re bringing you a round-up of early autumn ingredients to enjoy while you can, plus plenty of ideas for the autumn’s harvest, to help you with the change in season.

We’ve got top tips on what to do with the insides of your Hallowe’en pumpkin, an update on our hens, discussions on eco-cleaning and hot-off-the-press news about the latest green trend: ooffoo-ing your stuff – all will become clear!


Clare x

In Season In October

October really sees the shift in seasons from summer to autumn. Though there are still a few juicy tomatoes and aubergines around, most produce is now looking decidedly autumnal.

So this is a month of transitions, saying farewell to the summer fare and welcoming in the main crop of the winter squashes.

Here’s a round-up of what to expect in October:

apples, aubergine (the last few), butternut squash and all other winter squashes, beetroot, blackberries, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower (miniature varieties), courgette (some final, large ones, best for soup), kohlrabi, leeks, onions, parsnips, pears, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, swede, sweetcorn, tomatoes (very much end of season), turban squash, turnip, watercress

And here are some of our current favourite recipes:

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Soup
With Hallowe’en looming, millions of us are going to be faced with what to do with the innards of our Jack-O-Lantern carvings. Pumpkin soup is an easy and delicious way to enjoy the fruits of your labour!

Bramble Jelly
This is a really popular recipe that my Mum used to make when we were kids. With the current bountiful apple harvest and the few remaining seasonal blackberries, this is a great way of keeping the blackberry flavour going throughout the winter.

Pumpkin, sage & pine nut ravioli

Pumpkin, sage & pine nut ravioli

Pumpkin, Sage & Pine Nut Ravioli
This recipe requires a little patience, but it is soooo delicious. It works well with pumpkin or any of the other winter squashes. Make it for your friends and amaze them with your culinary skills!

Leek And Red Onion Canneloni
This delicious autumn recipe uses in-season leeks and red onions, to make a change from the usual spinach and ricotta canneloni. It’s great on a cold, autumn evening and (if you’ve got any leftovers…) keeps well for a few days in the fridge.


And, in case you’ve still got some pumpkin or squashes left, here’s a traditional recipe for Pumpkin Pie.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie
This classic American dish is a great way of celebrating the pumpkin season.

Remember, you can find hundreds more recipes on the main website: http://www.vegbox-recipes.co.uk/recipes/recipes-index.php

Where Did The Hens Go?

Thank you for the fantastic response to last month’s feature on Getting Clucky.

It was great to hear from so many of you, by email and via the blog comments, with your thoughts and suggestions on raising chickens. Hopefully it will have inspired a few of you to try it for yourselves!

Hen House - WLTM 4 lovely hens with GSOH

Hen House - WLTM 4 lovely hens with GSOH

We haven’t been able to get ours yet, as our landlord is still refusing (nowt so queer as folk!), so we’re going for virtual hens instead, for the moment.

So if any of you would like to share your chicken experiences with us, to help make up for the fact that our beautiful hen house is still very empty, please do pass on your comments and stories via the blog post!

Getting Clucky

Winners Of Confessions Of An Eco Shopper

Confessions Of An Eco Shopper

Confessions Of An Eco Shopper

Thank you to Kate Lock for a great live call last month, sharing her wisdom from her new book: Confessions Of An Eco-Shopper.

The Veg Box Recipes Club has been discussing all aspects from making the most of seasonal bargains to recipes for your own toiletries!

If you missed the call and would like to listen to the recording, then you can still download it from the Club home page and join in the discussions, if you take up the 28 day free membership trial.


The book really is a good read and you can get it via Amazon.

The competition copies were won by Lisa and Chris, both of whom were also lucky enough to have Kate answer their questions during the call!


Live Call - All Things Hallowe'en!

October’s live call is on on all things Hallowe’en and how to really get into the spirit of autumn squashes!
Claire Van Den Bosch is even going to do a feature on how to create a healthier Hallowe’en, so you don’t have to resort to e-number-laden sweety bags for the trick-or-treaters and can easily rustle up tasty Hallowe’en party delights.
It’s open to all club members – even those on the 28 day trial. There’s still time to sign up to the club and join in the call and full details are on the link on the Club Members’ Home Page.

Where Did Veg Box Recipes Go?

Thank you to everyone who got in touch about the mystery of the disappearing Veg Box Recipes website earlier this month!

Apparently we got too popular. We usually get 7,500+ visitors a day, but at one point last week this shot up and, in response, our web hosting company closed our database, effectively closing the website! But they forgot to warn us or tell us…

So huge apologies to all those of you who were looking for inspiration over the weekend and got blank pages with database error messages. Believe me, we were as frustrated as you were!

The upshot is that we’re changing to a more reliable and sympathetic web hosting company this week. The transition should be smooth, but if there are any tiny glitches, please bear with us. We’ll be working as hard as we can to make sure you don’t even notice the move!

Do You Ooffoo?

Do you ever wonder what to do with those things you no longer need, but are still perfectly usable?

Maybe the idea of sticking them on eBay just seems like too much hard work?

Or you’re not sure your local charity shop can cope with yet another bag of whatever it is you’re getting rid of?

Historically, one of the other options has been Freecycle – a Yahoo-groups-based facility that allows you to offer your unwanted treasure for people in your area to hunt down – or it allows you to request random items that others might be throwing out.

Although this has been great, lots of people found it all a bit clunky and you either got swamped with 300 requests a day for a free piano, with 150 people offering random collections of chipped mugs…

Do You Ooffoo?

Do You Ooffoo?

Anyway, my good friend Al Tepper, former editor-in-chief of the eco-blog City Hippy, and his crew are in the process of launching a super-cool site that is going to transform the way we all think about decluttering!

It’s called “ooffoo” and the name comes from 00FF00, which is the web code for the colour “green”.

The site is tipped to be one of the hottest launches of the year and it’s currently in the final stages of beta launch. In addition to the whole listings area, there will be articles, competitions and much more besides. So if you’d like to be one of the first people out there to start Ooffooing, then make sure you sign up to the Ooffoo launch email!

Go to Ooffoo now

And Finally… Getting Eco-Clean

Following the fab live call with Kate Lock in September, we’ve been discussing eco-cleaning on the Veg Box Recipes Club discussion boards.

We’ve been looking at all aspects of being eco-clean – from how not to cover your walls in newspaper print when you eco-clean your windows, through to how to keep your whites eco-bright and your socks eco-un-smelly!

Eco Balls

Eco Balls

Find out how we’re cleaning our floors, why we’re scrubbing with e-cloths, washing and drying with Ecozone and even discovering what happens when you put fresh herbs in your Indesit (please read the post before trying this one at home!)

It really is a spill-the-beans, humorously-honest kind of discussion topic.

So if you’ve got any experiences, advice or even disasters you’d like to share, just log in to the Veg Box Recipes Club and follow the link on the home page. If you’re not a member yet, you can still take part in the discussions as part of your 28 day free trial.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s newsletter.

Here’s wishing you plentiful pumpkins and a barrel full of autumn apples.

Clare x

P.S. If you’re involved with a Box Scheme or other eco business, please do feel free to forward this newsletter to your customers.

If you were forwarded this email and would like to receive your own copy next time, you can register here: http://www.vegbox-recipes.co.uk/resources/veg-box-recipes-newsletter.php


September Newsletter from Veg Box Recipes

2 09 2008
Patty Pan Squash

Patty Pan Squash

Dear All,

Welcome to September’s newsletter!

This time, not only are we bringing you your usual round-up of what’s in season this month, plus some lovely recipe ideas, we’re also talking about chickens, whether kids should know their broccoli from their broad beans and how to be an eco-shopper!

We’ve got news of an exciting live call you can join in on with Kate Lock (author of Confessions Of An Eco Shopper) and even a competition to win a copy of her new book.

So whatever your views on the current weather and whether or not we ever had a summer this year, hopefully we’re bringing some sunshine your way!

Clare x

In Season In September

Although September is often seen as the start of autumn, from a fruit and veg point of view, much of the summer produce is now at its best.

You only have to smell the tomatoes to know they love September!

So this is a month of transitions, saying farewell to the summer fare and welcoming in the earliest signs of the new season in the form of the winter squashes.

Here’s a round-up of what to expect in September:

apples, aubergine, butternut squash (just in, UK), beetroot, blackberries, broccoli (tenderstem), carrots, cauliflower (miniature varieties), chillies, courgette, cucumber, fennel, french beans, globe artichoke, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, patty pan squashes, pears, peppers, potatoes, runner beans, sweetcorn, tomatoes, turban squash, turnip, watercress

And here are some of our current favourite recipes:

Beetroot and Fennel Salad With Sage Croutons
If you’ve not tried this combination, it’s well worth a go and might even convert someone who’s not sure about fennel!http://www.vegbox-recipes.co.uk/recipes/fennel-recipe-4.php

Blackberry And Apple Syrup
A delicious way of preserving a glut of blackberries – time to get picking!

Caramelised Onions With Goats’ Cheese
The sweetness of the caramelised onions contrasts wonderfully with the tang of the goats’ cheese. Enjoy!

Remember, you can find hundreds more recipes on the main website: http://www.vegbox-recipes.co.uk/recipes/recipes-index.php

Getting Clucky

Aside from the fact that my landlord is sulking with me over a rude workman he sent round – and the fact that I kind of have enough to do already – the boys and I are getting clucky.



We’re thinking of getting some chickens – the egg-laying variety.

We’ve got enough space in the garden for them to run around during the day and have been doing our homework on what’s actually involved for the last few months.

But I figured there are probably plenty of people reading this who know far more than we do! So I wondered if you’d mind sharing?

The main reason I want to get hens is so that we know exactly what has gone into our eggs and also so the boys can start to learn to take responsibility for caring for animals. Is this a good idea? Are we nuts?!

I’ve started a blog on this one, to get the discussion going. If you’ve got any opinions, thoughts or ideas, please get sharing via the comments section. I’d love to hear from you! Thanks.


Confessions Of An Eco Shopper

Confessions Of An Eco Shopper

Confessions Of An Eco Shopper

I recently came across a fab new book from Kate Lock called “Confessions Of An Eco Shopper”.

Kate and I have been chatting about her experiences during the two year journey she took into the world of becoming a more eco-aware shopper.

She’s got a wonderfully down-to-earth attitude towards it all and there’s not a hint of preaching anywhere in anything she talks about, which is so refreshing! Also, she recommends Veg Box Recipes as a resource to her readers, which is very kind (warm, glowy moment coming on!).

Kate gets answers to the questions we just think about:

Are muddy carrots worth the effort? Can a natural deodorant survive a salsa class? Will clothes swapping ever beat clothes shopping?

Two years ago, shopaholic and supermarket addict Kate Lock set herself a series of ‘eco-challenges’, from kicking her Tesco habit to composting her kitchen waste.

The book shares everything she learned over those years, served with a large dollop of humour.

Kate has persuaded her publishers to run a special offer for Veg Box Recipes readers so you can get hold of your copy at a discounted price, with free P&P – very kind of them. If you’d like to find out more, go to:


And to find out how to win a copy of Kate’s book next Sunday, read on…

Live Call – Clare Josa & Kate Lock!

Live Call

Live Call

On Sunday 7th September at 2pm, we’re running a live call with Kate Lock.

She’ll be tackling, head on, the mis-belief that eco-shopping has to be more expensive!

Given all the talk about the credit crunch, Kate has pulled together her top tips for saving money on whatever you’re buying, whilst also doing your bit for the planet and its inhabitants.

I will also be taking you on a whistle-stop tour of the best bits from the Soil Associations Organic Food Festival that I’m off to on Saturday. I’ll be doing interviews with loads of the businesses there, so I can bring you, hot off the press, the latest eco shopping news.

This call is not to be missed!

And if you’d like to take part, you can call in live, listen live on-line via the webcast, or download the MP3 recording to listen to later.

Here’s where to go to register and book your place:


Everyone who registers will be entered into a competition to win a copy of Kate’s book!

Should Kids Know their Broccoli From Their Broad Beans?

In these “post Jamie days”, we’ve pretty much all picked up on the fact that lots of children don’t even know that chips come from potatoes.

And I was wondering what the fuss is all about?

A friend of mine was recently teaching a course on health to a group of children. Of the 7-9 year olds in the room, hardly any knew that chips are made from potato and few could identify vegetables beyond carrots, peas and sweetcorn. And this wasn?t in an area that could be called in any way “deprived” – the excuse we all usually make.

Are we, as a nation, making too much of a fuss about children knowing about fruit and veg? What could we be doing differently? In these days of readily available vitamin supplements, should we care anyway?

Let?s get some discussion going via the blog comments!


Veg Box Recipes Club

Thank you to everyone who has signed up for their free 28 day taster of the Veg Box Recipes Club.

We’ve been sorting out the techy side and this week are moving the main club area over to a dedicated site, away from Facebook, which we know had confused a few of us… So now you’ll get the chance to join in properly – with chat, your own page, discussion boards, posting photos and videos, getting access to your exclusive section on what’s in season in September, with loads of members-only stuff, and lots, lots more.

And we’ve also got some exciting news that the Veg Box Recipes Club has hit the radar of Gordon Ramsey’s team. We had them on the phone last week. Seriously. Club Members: we’ll be telling you more over coming weeks!

If you’ve not joined in yet, here’s how: http://www.vegbox-recipes.co.uk/subscription.html

Quick Reminder: Zero Waste Week

My Zero Waste

My Zero Waste

A quick reminder from the last newsletter: if you want to get involved with Rachelle’s Zero Waste Week campaign, it starts today!

Whenever you’re reading this newsletter, it’s not too late to get going. So how about popping by her blog and letting her know how you’re going to get involved today? You could win goodies from loads of eco companies, just by cutting down your rubbish!

Anyway, that’s all for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed this newsletter.

Here’s wishing you bountiful butternut squash and sparkly saucepans.

Until next time!

Clare x

If you were forwarded this email and would like to receive your own copy next time, you can register here: http://www.vegbox-recipes.co.uk/resources/veg-box-recipes-newsletter.php