Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Shades of Purple and Green Beans

Thank you to those of you who came by last week to see my little harvest.

I have another small harvest to share, some purple and green pole beans.
I cannot remember what the green climbing beans are called, but the are Climbing Purple Cascade Beans,
 I have been growing violas in pots to garnish cakes and cupcakes. 
 I took some cutting of the lavender to make lavender sugar, but I left most of it for the bees. 
 I saw a couple of tomatoes in the greenhouse turning red, but not quite ready.
Our apple tree is doing great this year, I wonder if we will actually get to enjoy any though as we keep finding some on the ground knocked down by the breeze.

I won't be harvesting plump juice blueberries this year, the hot weather has shrivelled these and no amount of water is going to save them, even the birds aren't interested in them. 
Please do come back next week when I will show off some of my homegrown courgettes.  I  am sharing this post with  Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave over Our Happy Acres.  

Oh before I go,  I promised some of you that I would share the Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie, please see my previous blog post.  For those of you who may want to know what is American about the Pie, well the recipe is American.   Also  whether its right or wrong the movie 'American Pie' (1999) has made the fruit filled pie  synonymous with the United States of America.  Its not something we eat in Britain. 

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Vegan Rhubarb and Strawberry American Pie

Rhubarb is a vegetable, not a lot of people know that.

It was the first vegetables we harvested from the garden this year.  Sticker rock stalks have been shared with neighbours on our left and right side. 
I have mad a couple of recipes with it, including this Vegan Rhubarb and Strawberry American Pie.  The strawberries also came from our garden.
The recipe for the Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie comes from the awesome Post Punk Kitchen vegan chefs Isa Chandra Moscowitz and Terry Hope Romero in their publication Vegan Pie In The Sky. 
It's been a long while since I made this style of pie and I must admit, I did really enjoyed making it all from scratch. Yes even the pastry, no cheating here and it was totally worth it.
You know the first slice never comes out perfect, all the others did.  But did D bother to retake the picture for me, of course not - he was just interested in shovelling the pie down his throat.  I don't blame him though, it was truly a delicious pie.
Find the recipe here.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Plastic Free July In My Kitchen

Its Plastic Free July, an initiative that started in the land of Oz in 2011 and has spread world-wide.  Over the years we have in our home been composting food waste and peelings, recycling glass, tins, paper and reducing our use of plastic or at least ditching single use plastic, but we do sometimes become complacent and its not good enough (see bottom of blog post when we went on holiday).   

We are now trying to make more of a concerted effort especially when we go shopping.  For example, we ditched our usual brand name brown sauce that comes in non-recyclable plastic bottles for a supermarket brand that comes in a glass jar.  It didn't taste that bad either. 
I picked up these bamboo lunch boxes to slowly replace the plastic ones that presently use to take into work.

We continue to re-use glass jars from Douwe Egberts Coffee for flours, grains and beans. Click here, I wrote about it last September.  
We do use both cotton and jute bags for supermarket and grocery shopping and have done so many many years, but we have been caught out a few times without the bags.   I don't think the 5p tariff on plastic bags is enough, it should be 50p and those shoppers that still do not care about the environment will feel the pinch.  

Some of the times when we have forgotten out jute bags, we will carry the shopping in our arms, but other times we have been guilty of buying some non-degradable plastic bags.  This Baggu that neatly folds into a bag was given to me by my American friend Ingrid. Its in my work bag now. 
I also invested these Veggio carrinet as we are avoiding buying fruit and vegetables in plastic bags and buying them loose.  

We have also decided to swap  our Supermarket (which I don't like very much anyway as they put the vegetarian food right in the middle of the meat aisle) for Morrisons and Asda.  Morrisons are making an effort and are providing paper bags for some vegetables and for those of you who eat fish or meat, can take your container.  I am not saying they are perfect (as I have been disappointed with their wonky veg, which was more vegetables going off rather than wonky), but they seem to be moving in the right direction. 
D and me are always baffled when we watch the Marathon televised and plastic bottles of water are being given out to runners and then lobbed by the runners into the environment.  The irony.  Well I must confess, I was rather pleased to find Aquapax - natural mineral water in a paper carton that is recyclable.  it wasn't even that expensive £1.25.  I found it in Holland & Barrett, but noted that not all Holland&Barrett's sell them.  I don't understand why these are not on supermarket shelves.  
We have lots of vegetables and fruit coming from the garden - click here - if you want to admire my homegrown produce.  I picked up the above painted vegetable pictures from a charity shop.  I liked them, D wasn't particularly that keen.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Red Gooseberries and Wild Strawberries

The weather in the UK is sweltering and I have been spending quite a bit of time in the allotment garden plot  in my shorts - mostly weeding, but delighting in what has been a better year for me in relation to vegetable gardening.  I am getting there slowly and enjoying the fruits and vegetables of our labour.

Here is a glimpse of some edible colours in my garden 
Heavily scented red roses - I am drying some to garnish homemade cakes.
A bowlful of red gooseberries.
Wild strawberries and traditional strawberries. Not enough to make strawberry jam, but plenty to enjoy with yogurt, cream or in a pie!
 Rocket also known as arugula growing well in pots. 
 More Lettuce from the garden
Most of my broad beans got destroyed by black fly, I only managed to harvest a small pot. The potatoes were a bonus gift from last year and made for a lovely meal for two. 
Rhubarb was the first vegetable we harvested from the garden and stalks have been shared with neighbours on our left and right side. I have also made a Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie and it was delicious.  Blog post coming soon. 

I am sharing this post with  Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave over Our Happy Acres

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Eat Your Greens Round Up

July has arrived with promise of sunshine.
We have  six splendid vegan and vegetarian Eat Your Green recipes to share this month. 
The first Eat Your Greens recipe comes from The Green Gourmet Giraffe, known to her friends as Johanna.  Although we are experiencing what can only be described as unbelievable summery weather in the U.K the hottest in fact for years, the same cannot be said for Australia where it is wintry and it is because of this that Johanna shared with us a  bowl of Thai Pumpkin, Corn and Chickpea Stew. This golden stew elevated by the green from the parsley, basil and baby leek topping. 
Emily who blogs over at Cooking For Kishore shared with us Garden Veggie Pasta Salad.  The greens in this pasta salad all come from her vegetable garden, they are spinach, chard, snap peas, green onions and perfumed with basil. This is perfect to eat out in the garden.
Lovely Linsy who blogs at Home Cook Food shared with us  Vegetarian 'Chicken' Stir Fry with vegetables, and one of those vegetables happens to be crunchy asparagus. I don't make stir fry vegetable dishes that often, but when I see recipes like this, I wish I did so more often. 
French blogger Ephee from The Ephemeral Daily Meal and Other Magic Tricks shares with us a wonderfully light Japanese Asparagus and Radish Salad on some crispy salad.  I absolutely love the colours on this plate. 
Teresa from Affectioknit shares with us her Green Smoothie made with spinach, spirulina and some dried kiwi fruit, but I have to confess its the other dishes on her blog post that made me drool, such as her salsa with nooch and twice bakes sweet potatoes.  
My co-host The Veg Hog has been enjoying the glorious weather and eating out and eating light, but she managed to make this vegan  Green Beans and Wild Garlic and shared it with us for Eat Your Greens. Now doesn't that look good!?

And finally, some of you may be wondering where is my Eat Your Greens contribution?!  Well fellow bloggers you will have to forgive me we are having trouble downloading photographs onto our computer at the moment, one of the many reasons for my blogging lull, so I hope you will forgive me this time and enjoy the lovely contributions shared, please do take time to visit them.  The Veg Hog will be hosting #EatYourGreens challenge this month.  Please Follow this link on how to join in