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Sonya Meagor
07773 298 269
Sonya Meagor
07773 298 269

Eco Cuisine Blog


British Food and Your Event

You may already be aware that it is British Food Fortnight at the moment. Held in the autumn at the same time as harvest festival, British Food Fortnight is the biggest annual, national celebration of British food and drink.

 

Love British Food and British Food Fortnight are the brainchildren of Alexia Robinson. Alexia founded British Food Fortnight in 2002 in response to the Foot and Mouth crisis and the fact that, though there were numerous food initiatives, projects and events taking place across Britain at that time, there was no overall flagship event to bring them to the public’s attention.”

 

 

At this time of harvest we thought what better timing than to write a blog post for you all about British food and incorporating it into your daily menus or for catering a special event.

 

At eco cuisine we always encourage you to look for seasonal British food whatever the time of the year. You can see our seasonal shopping list here.

 

It is officially autumn and at the moment you should be able to find squashes of all shapes and sizes. We use them to make roasted squash with caramelised pear and blue cheese. It is a firm favourite and this could be incorporated into an Autumn salad or made small and served as a finger food on sticks.

 

seasonal butternut squash

 

Fresh peas are good now too and these can be used as a side dish or combined with plenty of fresh mint to make a pea/mint puree and served on crostini (toasted and oiled slices of French stick) as a finger food. Both the squash finger good and the crostini are perfect for an evening soiree.

 

Beetroot is abundant and we combine with salmon – this is a great combo accompanied with horseradish cream served in mini cups as a canapé or as a cold starter.

 

 

Kale is popular now as well and we use it in curries as a vibrant green colour and great texture.

 

We are also moving into the shooting season and game will be available – we use duck breasts to create a version of the duck, spring onion, cucumber rolls but we use wraps and black cherry jam and cut them small as a bite size finger food. Mixed game casserole as a warming main course or served in a pie with a puff pastry topping is a fantastic filling option too.

 

We try to encourage clients to use my suggestions of seasonal produce – so scallops wrapped in Parma ham is a popular choice currently. And if you’re feeling in need of an aphrodisiac or just being indulgent, native Cornish oysters are in season. I like to serve them on ice with Tabasco and lemon…

 

British plums eco cuisine

 

Finally, English plums are here! I found them in my local supermarket at £1.75 kilo. I was delighted – seasonal produce at it’s best and cost effective too.

 

If you have an evening event coming up that you are catering for, why not use British produce and try these suggestions? If you haven’t got much time on your hands, or the skill to prepare, you can always get in touch with us – we cater private events for sixteen guests and up.

 

 

Remember we cater for corporate and private events, so get in touch to find out more.



What is a Vegan and Veganism?

This weekend there was a vegan festival here in London and you may have seen Instagram feeds filled with #vegan and #plantbased or perhaps you attended the festival yourself. What with veganism hitting the headlines recently and more and more people adopting a vegan diet, we thought we’d explain a little more to those of you who aren’t sure what veganism actually is.

 

vegan bowl food

 

The Vegan Society define veganism as:

 

“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

 

There are many ways to embrace vegan living. Yet one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey – as well as products like leather and any tested on animals.”

 

You can read more about this here. But people follow a plant-based diet for a variety of reasons from health considerations to environmental due to intensive farming or for religious reasons.

 

One of the biggest misconceptions about vegans is that all they can eat is a plate of greens but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Options are actually very broad but it is important to ensure you get all the nutrients you need from eating a varied and balanced vegan diet.

 

It is quite easy as a vegan to eat five portions of a variety of fruit and veg a day but it can be tricky getting enough protein from fruit and veg alone (though it is possible!) So eat some beans, pulses and other proteins too – have some dairy alternatives such as soya drinks, which are enriched with calcium. Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat in small amounts and as with omnis, it is important to have plenty of fluids – around eight glasses a day. If you’re having foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, have these less often and in small amounts.

 

If you are exploring veganism do take a look at the Vegan Society website, or there are a lot of support groups online too.

 

At eco cuisine a dish which is very popular with our vegan clients is a chickpea curry.

 

vegan vegetables

 

For two persons

 

Sauté two onions and add two chopped cloves garlic – cook until soft. Then boil four tomatoes and skin then chop and add to the onions. Next add 1/2 inch piece of grated ginger.

 

After 10 minutes add a teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric and sauté for a further 10 minutes.

 

At this stage you can taste and if you want more spice for a bit more kick, add chopped fresh chillies to your heat tolerance.

 

Add your tinned chickpeas with water and then add some seasonal veg to bulk it out – if making now, I’d be adding some lovely kale for texture and flavour  – just simmer for 20 minutes and serve with brown rice.

 

Yummy!!

 

Tried it? Share with us over on our Facebook page.

 

Remember we cater for a variety of dietary requirements and provide meat/fish/vegetarian and vegan catering.



Seasonal Shopping List for September

Autumn is just around the corner – next week in-fact on the 22nd September and it feels as if it is here already with the sudden weather change.

At eco cuisine we are all about sustainable food and eating seasonally is a big part of sustainability. When buying British seasonal produce you are supporting your local economy, helping the environment and it is of course cheaper too.

There are arguments for seasonal eating being a healthier option too.

With this in mind we create a seasonal shopping list so you are aware of what will be in season this autumn and can make informed decisions when buying your weekly food shop.

 

Seasonal Pumpkin Soup

 

Fruit and Veggies

Artichoke, aubergine, beetroot, broccoli, sweetcorn, cucumber, courgette, kale, spinach, onion, tomato, lettuce, mangetout, runner bean, pumpkin and squash, leek, plum, blackberry, apple, fig, damson, grape and melon.

 

Meat and Fish

Autumn lamb, partridge, wood pigeon, duck, venison, grouse, brown trout, oyster, mussel, sea bass, clam, cod, crab, dover sole, grey mullet, haddock, halibut, herring, john dory, lemon sole, mackerel, monkfish, plaice, salmon, sardine, scallop, squid and turbot.

 

Seasonal Meat Pie

 

I know what you are thinking… all this delicious produce sounds perfect for hearty soups to start and warming fruit pie for dessert and you are right!

 

Let us know what you whip up in the kitchen this month over on our Facebook page

 

 

 



Thai Green Curry Recipe

14-20 August was National Allotments Week – the National Allotments Society’s initiative. On their website they say:

 

“This year our theme is “Growing the Movement” a celebration of all the hard work put in by voluntary association management committees, plot-holder volunteers and councils managing, creating, developing and safeguarding sites.”

 

They safeguard allotment sites and the British tradition of  allotment gardening. They work with the government and other bodies to promote and educate on allotment gardening too and even offer support and advice for people on the subject matter. You can find out more about them here

 

Whether you have an allotment or grow your own at home, August is a great time for seasonal produce.

 

We’ve already had blackberries aplenty, strawberries, plums, cherries, and Bramley apples as well as broad beans, runner beans and cabbages, lettuce and celery too.  August is a great time for carrots, cauliflower, celery, cherries, courgette, cucumber, marrow, and sweetcorn as well.

 

I like to make the most of the abundance of readily available seasonal fruit and veg and whip up a storm in the kitchen with everything from salads to apple crumbles and even curries.

 

Why not give it a go yourself? Here’s my recipe for vegan Thai Green Curry, you can make it omni simply by adding some chicken or prawns…

 

Thai green curry paste

Thai curry ingredients chilli ginger eco cuisine

 

2 x lower part of lemon grass stalks

1 tablespoon galangal or ginger

3 tablespoons shallot

2 tablespoon garlic

2 teaspoon salt

10 small dried chillies

3 kaffir lime leaves

 

Take the above ingredients and add a small amount of water then whizz in processor. Remember, you can use what you need and freeze the rest by spooning into an ice cube tray – then each ice cube equals one portion depending on how hot you like your curry. Give it just a couple of tries and you will know. You can always adjust the above to suit your taste with regard to the chillies used too.

 

At this time of year, seasonal squashes and pumpkins come very soon and make a lovely base for a filling veggie curry, then you need only add green beans and broccoli. You can even buy British choi sum or pak choi to add some South East Asian authenticity to your curry.

 

seasonal butternut squash

 

Dice your veg – add the paste (one tablespoon per person or ice cube of from frozen) and  stir and mix into your vegetables for a few minutes. The next step is to add either coconut milk from a tin or if using dry coconut cream  add some slivers and boiling water and stir in.

 

Next, just simmer until your veggies are cooked. You could add tofu to this or if you are a meat eater of course diced chicken, prawns etc.

 

Enjoy! With a glass of sauvignon blanc or maybe a chilled beer. If you don’t drink alcohol, why not have it with a glass of tonic water with lots of fresh mint… Delicious.

 

white wine with Thai curry eco cuisine

 

If you tried it or even if you have just enjoyed a crop of gorgeous goodies from your garden or allotment, do share with us on our Facebook page.

 

Until next time…