Mushroom and Walnut Pasta with Sprouts Top Pesto

Time Preparing: 5 mins
Time Cooking:  15 mins
Serves: 2
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Winter

Ingredients:
– 120g Pasta
– 120g Mushrooms
– 1 Onion
– 100g Homemade Brussels Sprout Top Pesto
– 40g Walnuts
– 1tbsp Olive Oil
– Salt and Pepper, for seasoning

Method:
1. Start by cooking the pasta as instructed on the packaging
2. Peel and chop the onion
3. On a medium heat, add the olive oil then once hot, the onion. Stir for a few mins until tender and browning
4. Add the sliced mushrooms, pasta and homemade pesto, stirring until completely covered
5. Serve with walnuts and seasoning

 

This recipe was created for Tower Green Hamlets by Pauline Cuisine

Mushroom, Kale and Bean Sprout Stir-Fry

Stir Fry’s are really easy to make and as the vegetables cook quickly in a hot wok, it helps to keep as much of the nutrients as possible. Stir Fry’s are also tasty when reheated, so are a great idea if you need a packed lunch the following day. This recipe features a number of veggies that you’ll find in your boxes throughout the winter months.

Time Preparing: 5 mins
Time Cooking: 15 mins
Serves: 2
Difficulty: 1/5
Season: Winter

Ingredients
– 1 Small Pepper
– 1 Small Chilli
– Handful of Kale
– 25g Bean Spouts
– 100g Mushrooms
– 2 Nests of Asiatic Egg Noodles
– 3 tbsp Soya Sauce
– 2 tbsp Sunflower Oil / Sesame Oil
– Handful of toasted Sesame Seeds

Method
1. Wash all of the vegetables, chop kale and slice bean sprouts
2. Slice mushrooms into small chunks
3. Heat oil in a wok on a medium heat
4. Cook the bean sprouts for a few minutes
5.Add the kale and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes
6. Add Mushrooms, chopped pepper and chopped chilli for a further few minutes
7. Cook the eggs noodles as per instructions
8. Add soya sauce, followed by noodles. Stir to coat all veggies, then serve immediately, topped with toasted sesame seeds

 

This recipe was created for Tower Green Hamlets by Pauline Cuisine

Vegan Lentil Bolognese

This bolognese is so quick and easy, it totally lends itself to weekday cooking (and by increasing the ingredients, will do you well for lunch time leftovers). The great thing about this vegan number, is the lentils which bulk the meal out, meaning it’s just as filling as a meat bolognese. Feel free to add any of your favourite extra veg!

Time Preparing: 15 mins
Time Cooking: 15 mins
Serves: 4
Difficulty: 3/5
Season: Summer

Ingredients
–  1 Large Onion, finely chopped
– 100g Mushrooms, sliced
– 1 Aubergine, chopped
– 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
– 600g Lentils, rinsed and drained
– 400g Chopped Tomatoes
– 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
– 200ml Veg Stock
– 2tbsp Vegan Butter
– 2tsp Paprika
– 1tsp Sage
– 1tsp Thyme
– 1tsp Oregano
– 1bsp Sugar
– Spaghetti to serve

Method
1. Heat a pan to a medium heat, and add the onion and butter until translucent
2. Add the remaining veg, chopped tomatoes, veg stock, herbs and spices and continue to cook on a medium heat for 10 mins
3. Add the sugar and lentils, simmering for a further 5 minutes
4. Cook pasta in a separate pan, as per instructions, whilst sauce reduces
5. Serve the bolognese with pasta and vegan cheese (optional)

Smashing Garlicky Goodness

We have garlic in our boxes again, which goes perfectly with spinach, courgettes, cucumber, carrots and mushrooms.

If you’ve had a bad day at work or home (or just for the fun of it) try preparing the Chinese smashed cucumber salad for a stress reliever. This rather unconventional culinary preparation method releases the water and softer inner lining, and preserves the crunchy parts of the cucumber. The ragged edges are ideal for soaking up the marinade ingredients, with each bite producing a satisfying crunch. There is a video to watch preparation in action if you are still feeling slightly unsure.

Obviously feel free to bash the garlic as well since that could release more of the compounds that fight disease than slicing or mincing it. Cool and crispy – an absolute classic dish that is perfect for the summer we have all been waiting for. But if the idea of banging your veg seems wrong to you, then try a more conventional chilled garlic soy sauce cucumber salad instead.

Any sunny day is worth celebrating with this marinated courgette ribbon salad. Flavour with salt as the perfect pairing to lemon and throw in some finely chopped garlic if you like and finish with some chopped herbs like chives and mint if you fancy. If you prefer a sautéed version, then lightly fry the chopped garlic until golden brown and its aroma is wafting through, then throw in the courgette ribbons and sautée until just tender, and then just a little more with the lemon juice and herbs.

If you ever despair eating your leafy greens like spinach, then banish those fears with some buttered garlic spinach which would go perfectly with fish or chicken. If you prefer a healthier olive oil alternative to butter and would like to ditch the lemon juice, then try this spinach with garlic and pinenuts version instead.

Or put it all together and try this spinach and courgette pesto parmesan puff tart, topping it off with a few slices of mushroom if you like.

If you need an idea for what to do with all your carrots then why not try this carrot, quinoa and spinach soup? You could also add in some chilli, fennel and turmeric to really turn up the spice-o-meter a few degrees. Or simply roasted caramelised carrots with garlic – add in some thyme in addition to the parsley, and some honey or balsamic vinegar if you like.

Suffering from bad breath after all those yummy garlicky dishes? Perfect time for an apple from the box, says the Daily Mail, or check out the other suggestions on Breath MD.

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Rooster Potatoes, Lincs
* Carrots, Scotland
* Garlic, Spain
* Spinach, Yorks
Cucumber, Yorks
Courgettes, Spain
Onions, Spain
Beetroot, Lancs

Small Box
Items starred (*) above
+ Red Onions, Netherlands

No-Potato Substitute
Mushrooms, Suffolk

Fruit Supplement
Mandarins, Spain (standard only)
Cox Apples, NZ

 

It’s Officially Summer!

Notwithstanding the chilly temperatures some hours, the patches of sunshine brings hope whilst 1st of May tells us that summer is indeed here. So we’ve got mixed salad and radishes in the boxes as a fitting herald to the new season.

If you’ve still got parsley from last week and wondering what to do with it, why not try this green parsley risotto with sauteed shrimps. Substitute the shrimps with snails (sorry we don’t source those but there are sure to be quite a few lurking around Stepney City Farm) and you’ve got Heston’s Fat Duck snail porridge, which is basically a parsley risotto with snails – a solid French dish taken to a new level. And here’s a fancier snail porridge recipe if you are really scratching around for something to do this May Bank holiday instead of practicing your Morris dancing around a may pole or meandering amongst bluebells and wild garlic.

As for your wild garlic (check out our suggestions from our last write-up on it) and some of the other items in your box why not try:

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box

* Charlotte Potatoes, Lincs

* Carrots, Scotland
* Chestnut Mushrooms, Suffolk
* Wild Garlic, Kent
Kale, Kent
Radish, Kent
Mixed Salad, Perry Court
Rhubarb, Lancs

Small Box
Items starred (*) above
+ Broccoli, Spain

No-Potato Substitute
Leek, Kent

Fruit Supplement
Mandarins, Spain (standard only)
Bananas, Dom Rep

 

Give Your Body New Life with Vegs – Happy Easter! 

Just a reminder about the local Easter services that are happening – do pop over and check them out at St Dunstan across the road from Stepney City Farm, or at St Paul’s Shadwell.

During Easter and Passover we reflect on renewal, a perfect time to celebrate the spring harvest. So it’s great to see the return of some local greens with land cress from Perry Court in the small box this week. Easier to grow as it requires less water than watercress, it has tons of iron, calcium, beta carotene and vitamin C.

Flavourwise it’s peppery and definitely fiery stuff with a real earthiness so it’s often served with other salad greens to temper it. This bite works well as a garnish for other dishes especially meats. For fish, add it finely chopped to a mayonnaise with some capers or make a kind of pesto to serve on the side. If you want to use it straight up as a salad adding honey to your dressing will balance the flavours nicely. Try it with some pecans and goat’s cheese. Or try making this land cress fritatta with parmesan and ricotta, and throw in some mushrooms whilst at it. After all, you can’t really have Easter without eggs…

As for the standard box we have a return of the Kentish wild garlic (check out our previous blog post for recipe ideas) along with local radishes. How about pairing radishes with mushrooms for a slightly less usual combination – slice them up and try one of these suggestions:

Most of these suggestions would also work with either mushroom or radish only, and perfect accompaniment for your Easter eggy brunch.

Meanwhile on the farm-side, the seed sowing is going well and it’s almost beginning to get challenging for space! The propagation tunnels are overflowing and the growing tables outside will soon welcome more plants ready to experience their first few days in their new environment.

For more ideas on how to eat the vegetables in this week’s box, try searching on our webpage for past blogs!

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Bambino Potatoes, Perry Court
* Onions, Norfolk
* Carrots, Scotland
* Mushrooms, Suffolk
Radish Bunch, Kent
Wild Garlic, Kent
Spring Greens, Lancs
Broccoli, Spain
Small Box Items starred (*) above
+ Land Cress, Perry Court

No-Potato Substitute
Chard TBC

Fruit Supplement
Apples – Topaz, Kent (standard only)
Oranges, Spain