In Season In October

11 10 2010

in season in october

October brings with it beautiful Autumn colours, the World Conker Championship (second Sunday), Apple Day (21st October), the end of British Summer Time (31st October), and Hallowe’en (also 31st October – don’t miss our top Eco-Hallowe’en Tips from last year, and our list of seasonal “paranormal party foods“).

The Saxons called the month Wyn Monath because it was the season of wine making, and it’s the central month for ripe English hot-house grapes. October 1st used to be the start of “English Pudding Season” (although this refers to savoury “puddings” filled with steak, leeks and mushrooms, rather than the kinds of puddings we personally prefer, like Treacle, for instance!).

As for fruit and veggies – don’t miss the last of the courgettes, figs, runner beans or Spring onions. And crack out the recipes for Brussels (they’re back!), celeriac and Jerusalem (f)artichokes (!) – all back in season from now.

Read on for the full list…

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Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Beetroot

20 09 2010

beetroot and cheese pie

Last year we published a feature on beetroot. This year we’re refreshing that feature as we approach the end of beetroot season, with some brand new recipes from our readers and some more brilliant beetroot facts…

And as it’s just about time to be planning your vegetable patches for next year, do bear beetroot in mind. They look great growing in borders or deep enough troughs on window-ledges because the leaves are so beautiful.

Click through for all the facts, and for recipes for:





Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Broccoli – Calabrese, Purple Sprouting and Tenderstem

28 07 2010

PSB, Tenderstem and Calabrese

Broccoli is a member of the brassica family, like cabbage.

The plant produces green flower heads on thick stalks. They are picked and eaten before the flowers bloom.

There can be confusion between these different types of Broccoli so let us try to help.

Click through for the low down on each type, including their different seasons, and ideas on what to make with each of them…





Veggie-in-the-Spotlight: Cucumber

27 07 2010

nature's WD40?!

Pretty much every weekday morning right now we’re mindlessly chunking up cucumber and throwing it into the box with salad leaves, peppers, spring onions, cashews, and mushrooms for 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 we’ve saved ourselves 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? Oiling your hinges? And is it possible that it can be cooked?! Read on …





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.





Food-in-the-Spotlight: Ethically-sourced Chicken

19 07 2010

would you eat them?

Following on from the June feature on ethical egg shopping, this month we’ve collaborated with the good folks over at Farm-Direct to bring you some thoughts about the chickens behind the eggs.

Since the start of VegBox Recipes, we’ve been focused almost exclusively (and unsurprisingly!) on supporting you to eat local, seasonal, organic fruit and vegetables.

However, not all of our readers are strict vegetarians or vegans. So whilst it’s still true that one of the best ways of reducing your household carbon footprint is to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet, if we’re going to eat meat, poultry and fish, or cook it for others, the natural choice would seem to be swapping quantity (especially ‘worryingly cheap’ quantity), for quality.

Read on to find out how to know what you’re eating, and for recipes to try with your ethically-sourced chicken.

** thanks to our regular reader, Steve-in-KL, for the photo of his “ladies”!





In Season in July…

16 07 2010

in season in july

THIRTEEN new ingredients are coming into season – it must be July!

Click through to see the whole list and to let us know which you need help with.

Make sure you get the list at the very beginning of the month – sign up to the free VegBox Monthly Newsletter…