Sonya Meagor
07773 298 269
Sonya Meagor
07773 298 269

Eco Cuisine Blog

Seasonal Shopping List for January

January – cold, bleak and grey, but it is also wintry, a new year, a rest after the busy Christmas period and a time to refocus. Love it or hate it, you still have to eat! So today we bring you our January shopping list for what produce is seasonal this time of year.


Seasonal produce is kinder to the environment, kinder to the economy and to your own wallet too. We don’t need any more convincing but people even say eating seasonally is better for your health as well.


Here’s our January shopping list so that you can make informed decisions when buying your weekly food shop:



Parsnip, carrot, potato, broccoli and sprouts

– perfect for a roast dinner, or as standalone roasted veggie based dishes.


Beets, leek, squash, cabbages, celeriac, onion, kale, celery, turnip.

Great for soups too…


Seasonal Carrots Eo cuisine



Pears, apples, clementines.



Lobster, scallop, brill, clam, cockle, haddock, halibut, hake, lemon sole, monkfish, mussels, oyster, plaice, turbot.


Seasonal Fish Pie


Fish pie anyone? There are plenty of options to be had with this variety.


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

Cooking on a Budget in January or Any Other Time

It is still cold and grey out, but there’s no twinkling lights and blissful time off from work. No more elaborate meals and parties and no time for socialising all day. Christmas trees are down and the reality of a few extra pounds on the scales and a few less pounds in the pocket starts to dawn on us.


A lot of us make resolutions in January and we see many people hit the gym and adopt some lifestyle changes. I’ve personally noticed people posting on Facebook about New Year Resolutions surrounding budgeting better, particularly on food and cooking at home.


January resolutions cooking on a budget planning


Whether this is a resolution for you or not, January can be a “tight” financial month for a lot of people after the earlier payday in December. Plus, of course, there is also the expense of Christmas that means some people want to watch the pennies in January. With this in mind I wanted to write my blog post this month for everyone who is on a budget in January or of course any time of year. Don’t worry; you don’t have to live on beans on toast for the month. There are tried and tested simple ways to make your food budget friendly but still delicious and nutritious.


Here are my top tips:

Keep food simple – don’t buy too many ingredients, elaborate curries and fragrant tagines are out unless you have all the spices and many of the ingredients in the cupboard already. I suggest you buy seasonally e.g. root veg is cheaper now. Remember, when you are buying – looking at price by kg to compare prices is the best thing to do and check the so called “special offers” if you are in a supermarket as sometimes they aren’t so special!


special offers planning cooking budget


Know a butcher who will be able to help you buy cheaper cuts that need longer cooking such as shin or brisket of beef, these are good alternatives if you are happy to cook them for longer. Remember to cook plenty of veg and not as much protein too to make your meal more cost effective.


Fishmonger for cheaper fish


Know a fishmonger too – they’ll advise you on seasonal fish………go for the not so trendy mackerel, whiting, flounder, dab – all lovely grilled or baked.


Visit a fruit/veg market late on a Friday afternoon to buy cheap – then freeze as much as you can – blanche first to retain flavour (one minute in boiling water then straight into cold water to cool and stop the cooking process).


Have a few good cookery books if you’re a novice and you can buy from second hand shops or charity shops – oldies can be goodies and will give you a base of knowledge that you can adapt from the produce you buy.


Recipe books budgeting food


Got any other tips to add? Let me know over on my Facebook page. Remember, you can stay up-to-date with my latest news, recipes and events in my bi-monthly newsletter. Sign-up here


Wishing you all a not so blue January…


Christmas Food Traditions

We are starting to feel all Christmassy, you may think it took long enough, with Christmas just days away, but we have been busy catering for all your lovely Christmas dinners and soirees.


eco cuisine food


In today’s blog we are going to take the opportunity to reflect on the many dishes of Christmas. In my last post I gave some alternative suggestions to the traditional turkey Christmas dinner. But, of course what is tradition here in England is different in other countries….


Speaking of turkey, it wasn’t the Christmas Day dish of choice until around 1850, when it was introduced as the preferred dish of Royal courts in place of the previous favourite of roast swan!


I’ve taken a look at some of the most delicious and interesting Christmas food available:


Perhaps one of the most lavish and well-known traditions from Provence is the feast enjoyed on Christmas Eve, le réveillon de Noël. The food at this table is extremely luxurious and you can expect oysters, snails and lobster.


lobster Christmas Food


Families often spend a huge amount of money on this meal and as well as opulent meats and dishes in the main course thirteen desserts are served. ‘Trou normand” or “the Norman hole” which is an alcoholic drink served with an apple or pear sorbet, said to reawaken the appetite, is also served between courses!


Though some of the food sounds scrumptious, generally le réveillon de Noël is not something that appeals to me! The same goes for the traditional Inuit meal for Christmas in Greenland – kiviak. It is made of little auks (sea birds) fermented in a seal skin. It is said to take between four months and eighteen months to prepare!


Another unusual Christmas food trend hails from Japan… Surprisingly KFC is the meal of choice to celebrate Christmas. Apparently this started in the 70s as a result of a great advertising campaign. Well it stuck because approximately 3.6 million people are said to enjoy Kentucky Fried Chicken on December 25th


KFC for Christmas


Most Slavic countries follow the Julian calendar as Orthodox Christians. This means that they celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day two weeks behind us, on the 6th and 7th January. In the Ukraine they don’t eat meat for advent and Christmas Eve is the last meatless meal of Advent. So after midnight mass they feast and break the meatless fast.


soup at Christmas


The meal is known as Sviaty Vechi and like in Provence, thirteen dishes are enjoyed to symbolise Christ and the apostles. These dishes range from soups like borshch to fish and cabbage and beans. Pickled herring is popular too as the silver colour and scales are meant to symbolise forthcoming good luck and prosperity. Sauerkraut is another popular choice and is prominent as it signifies wealth in the coming year. Freshly baked breads with a clove of fresh garlic and honey are enjoyed along with stewed fruits and compote.


I’ll be serving turkey at home with all the trimmings, but whatever you are doing and eating, I hope you have a great one.



Merry Christmas to you all and thanks for your support this year. Here’s to a great 2018.




Have Yourself an Eco Friendly Christmas

If you care about sustainability and if you are eco conscious, you are probably already aware that in the U.K people throw away an obscene amount of food. According to the Food Standards Agency “we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. Wasting this food costs the average household in the UK £470 a year.”


Obviously we want to reduce waste year round but the problem is so much worse at this time of year. People buy too much food at Christmas and that’s why so much is thrown away. Most shops are only closed for one day and yet the amounts bought average 169.00 per household just on food for Christmas day!


Not to mention the amount of plastic waste, non-recyclable packaging and bin bags being thrown out too! So I am on a mission to ensure we all consciously consume this Christmas.


Christmas Shopping


First things first, plan your dining. We all like to have little luxuries and foodie treats to snack on over the festive period, but be sensible. Think about when you will be at home and how much you will realistically eat. If you are entertaining, plan your menu in advance and buy enough food for the amount of people you are catering for. Stuck for ideas? Take a look at my blog post with seasonal recipes.


roast turkey eco cuisine christmas


When it comes to Christmas Day’s food, most of us know about utilising Christmas dinner leftovers over the following days with cold cuts and salad, potato salads, sandwiches and turkey curry. Personally I love making bubble and squeak with left over veggies and having it with a poached egg. But it’s also yummy with any leftover turkey, ham or even on it’s own… This is a good option for minimising food waste – especially for the veggies that aren’t ideal contenders for freezing.


That said a lot of people forget the trusty freezer over Christmas. Remember, you can freeze some of your leftovers too. From ham and meats to Christmas cake! Just make sure you freeze food in sensible portion sizes. It is best to have food frozen separately as a few portions rather than in one large chunk that is hard to defrost and too much to eat. Once you have defrosted it, you can’t freeze it again.


Consider local refuges and food banks over Christmas too. Normally they want canned or longer life goods but if you have food going spare, reach out to someone in need.


We’ve covered off the food basics, now what about Christmas presents? I do try and buy eco friendly brands and I like to check that packaging is minimal or at least appropriate for the gift, as well as recyclable of course.


Christmas eco cuisine


Do try to buy local and UK made products where you can. Shopping independent is even better in my book but it can be quite difficult to do for certain products and gifts! Try not to use online sites with delivery – though this is another challenge for busy folk. If you find something online, most stores will match the price if you ask them and show them on your mobile device.


My parting words of wisdom – just do your best. We can’t be perfect but if we all tried to consciously consume and make small changes it will certainly make for a less wasteful Christmas.


Good luck and enjoy the season!

Seasonal Eating – Christmas Dinner Alternatives

Love it or hate it, Christmas is fast approaching. For many people, this means their diary is booking up with parties, soirees and dinner dates – ‘tis the season after all. If you are hosting or simply attending, whatever your plans over the season, lots of people are already thinking about their Christmas menus for parties and for Christmas Day itself.


There are so many options these days that even the traditional turkey and all the trimmings can be overwhelming. With an array of different methods for marinating it and cooking it, not to mention all the variations on seasoning and accompaniments, there is plenty of choice.


roast turkey eco cuisine christmas


But what if turkey isn’t your cup of tea, or you’re vegan or veggie… Christmas dinner may look a little different but if doesn’t have to be any less delicious. Here is a recipe that hits the spot:


Vegetarian Christmas main course

Vegetable and chestnut stew – serves four


Boil two carrots and a small celeriac until just al dente (or you can use any veggie you like)


Peel/dice two red onions and sauté with a clove of minced garlic in oil.


Add 750ml tomato juice and a few florets of broccoli or tenderstem (in-fact just about anything, just make sure it is something green) and cook for two minutes.


Add in your carrot/celeriac plus 100g kale and 100g cooked chestnuts – bring to boil and then add two chopped spring onions, five sage leaves and season, then simmer


Combine 100g butter with 200g breadcrumbs, five sage leaves and salt/pepper. If you are a vegan use a decent butter substitute.


Place your stew into a dish and top with the breadcrumb mix and pop under the grill to brown the crumb – then you’re ready to serve.



Are you a meat eater but not fond of turkey? Some people don’t like it, although I don’t personally see why but if you’re one of them or know someone who doesn’t like it – why not cook something that will sit in the oven for hours and not spoil……………I’d suggest a five hour roast leg of lamb with root vegetables – so easy !!


Simply brown the leg on each side for five minutes in butter/oil…in the meantime chop your favourite root vegetables into large chunks – potatoes, celeriac, carrots, parsnips, onions (keep whole) and pop in some fresh herbs like thyme with salt/pepper/garlic whole – one clove per person. Next pour over the leg and veg, approx. half a bottle of white wine or use a stock if you prefer – enough to go half way up your roasting dish. Pop in the oven 150 for five hours with a lid or foil on top. You can then carry to the middle of the table to carve and serve.



Whatever you are eating over Christmas, we hope you have a wonderful time. If you’ve sorted menus but are worrying about gift buying, how about considering eco friendly gifts? We know where we will be shopping – being eco friendly at Christmas with Friends of the Earth –