Fruit-in-the-Spotlight: Squashes

26 07 2010

squashes in the spotlight

We are close to declaring squashes our favourite of all the ingredients we write about. Maybe it’s the sheer variety of them in all their amazing ornamental shapes, sizes and colours. Maybe it’s their versatility for cooking savoury and sweet dishes with.

We also love that they all grow on plants from the Curcurbitacea family, and so are related to courgettes, cucumbers, melons and LOOFAHS (we don’t recommend eating these)!!!

Originally native to Central and North America, many varieties have since been bred to weather colder climes.

Their seasons vary according to type.

Here’s a quick guide to the differences between Summer and Winter squashes, with recipe compilations for each.


Growing Our Own Veggies: July Checklist

16 07 2010

july growing checklist

The essentials this month are

  1. keeping back the weeds,
  2. regular early morning or late evening watering, and
  3. ‘stopping’ your tomatoes and climbing beans.

There are also still seeds to be sown, especially if you are planning on being able to harvest your own food later on in the year, as well as armfuls of produce to start bringing in and trying out our recipes with.

Click through for the full July checklist.

Fruit and Veggies in Season in July

29 06 2009
sweet sweet summer...

sweet sweet summer...

July – the very depths of British Summer. At it’s best, it can be truly sweltering. The kids finish school and it’s the season for the Great British Barbecue.

Our cousins across the pond celebrate Independence Day on July 4th, and a little closer to home, we can look forward to the annual “Swan Upping” conservation event on the Thames (starting Monday July 20th)!

What will you be doing in July, (imagine I’m your hairdresser) are you planning to keep your holidays local, what is your favourite veggie barbeque food, and what will be in season to keep us fed?

Anyone for tennis? Wimbledon Juice Recipe

16 06 2009
wimbledon juice

wimbledon juice

Well the men’s qualifiers have started, and the first day of Wimbledon (22nd June) is approaching fast.

If you’re planning on tuning in, and if the idea of coughing up for champagne is less than appealing, how about trying a British seasonal fruit juice perfect for mid-Summer?

We’ve called it Wimbledon Juice in honour of the sporting season.

July’s Fourth Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Runner Beans

15 06 2009

Late summer and early autumn are the classic “runner bean season”, although harvesting can start as early as June in some areas.

what to do with runner beans?

what to do with runner beans?

The season starts with fresh, young beans, with delicious, soft pods that simply need to be topped and tailed and briefly steamed. The season ends, however, with rather tough, stringy pods and oversized beans.

Chances are you’ll love your runner beans early in the season but might not be quite so keen by the end. Which is why we’ve recruited the talents of regular VBR reader, Steve in KL, to provide us with a solution for end-of-season bean fatigue 😉 Read on.

July’s Third Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Peppers

15 06 2009
andrew williams spicy vegetable lasagna

andrew williams' spicy vegetable lasagna

This month we’ve been joined by fellow food blogger and newbie food grower and chili pepper enthusiast, Andrew Williams.

Andrew talks to us about why he grows veg at all, why he’s passionate about growing chilis, shares advice on getting started yourself and passes on an amazingly creative recipe for spicy lasagna that is more Mexican than Italian, including the use of enchiladas instead of lasagne pasta! Read on!

July’s Second Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Cucumber

9 06 2009
DIY Tsatsiki...

DIY Tsatsiki...

Pretty much every weekday morning right now I’m mindlessly chunking up cucumber and throwing it into the box with salad leaves, peppers, spring onions, cashews, and mushrooms for VegBox Husband’s lunch. Add a bit of black pepper, a splash of balsamic or even a tin of tuna and some mayo and I can be pretty sure I’ve saved him from the pot noodle for another day!

But is there more to cucumber than salad? Is there more to cucumber even than tsatsiki? Cucumber side effects? And is it possible that it can be cooked?!

Hrm … Read on!