Beetroot and Spinach Risotto

Another full of colours recipe made with beetroots. Beetroots is the vegetable which put colour to the wintery dishes. After sharing the recipe of spaghetti with beetroots, this time is the risotto made with beetroots and spinach. The dish is really pleasant to look, really tasty and on top of that it is gluten free and vegan.

Time Preparing: 10 mins
Time Cooking: 25 mins
Serves: 2-4
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Winter

– 200g Beetroot
– 100g Spinach
– 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
– 150g Arborio Risotto Rice
– 3tbsp Olive Oil
– 350ml Vegetable Stock
– Pepper, for seasoning
– Vegan Parmesan (recipe here)

1. Start by steaming the beetroot for 30mins, then peel once cooled and cut into small chunks
2. Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat, then add the onion and cook for 3mins
3. Wash the spinach then dry with kitchen towel
4. Add the beetroot, continuing to stir for a further few mins
5. Add the rice and continuing to stir for another 3mins
6. Add the vegetable stock and pepper, cover with a lid and allow to cook for 18mins
7. Serve immediately with vegan parmesan


This recipe was created for Tower Green Hamlets by Pauline Cuisine

Stuffed Hokkaido Pumpkin

Whilst this may look like the kind of dinner you’d be expecting for Halloween, Hokkaido Pumpkins (aka Japanese Squash or Red Kuri Squash) are actually in season towards the end of Summer. When roasted, they taste rather similar to any normal squash, but we can never resist stuffing them! To give it a little kick, add chilli powder to the olive oil mix.

Time Preparing: 30 mins
Time Cooking: 35 mins
Serves: 1/2
Difficulty: 3/5
Season: Summer

– Hokkaido Pumpkin
– 100g Quinoa
– 1 Small Red Onion, chopped
– 100g Borlotti Beans
– 2 Handfuls of Fresh Spinach
– 200ml Vegetable Stock
– 4tsp Olive Oil
– 1tsp Cumin
– 1tsp Paprika
– 1tbsp Lemon Juice
– Olive Oil

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees
2. Cut the top of the pumpkin, so that you have a lid then de-seed
3. Mix 4tsp olive oil with the spices, then rub onto the inside flesh of the pumpkin
4. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes with the lid on
5. Rinse the quinoa in cold water then cook as per instructions, but in vegetable stock
6. While the quinoa is cooking, pour a little olive oil into a pan and gently sautee the chopped onion
7. Prepare borlotti beans as instructed, then mix with cooked quinoa, onion, spinach and lemon juice
8. Once the pumpkin has had 20 minutes, stuff with the quinoa mix, re-cover then put back into the oven for a further 20-25 minutes – until you can pierce the flesh easily with a knife

Be a Double Winner like Max!

The Olympics is well and truly under way, and Great Britain are enjoying winning gold after gold, currently placing us in second place. Max Whitlock is GB’s pummel horse underdog, winning two Olympic Gold medals for his outstanding routines.

So with all the success from our veggie loving Olympians, what better way to celebrate than to give you the chance to be a double winner as well!

For our first offer as part of your new Community Corner, we’re offering you the chance to win your next box for free! All you need to do is recommend a friend to sign up for a trial month with us, and your next box will be on us. We’ll also throw in a complimentary box for your friend, so they’ll receive five boxes for the price of four!**

For the rest of August, we’ll also be offering a complimentary ‘surprise’ vegetable in your next box if you send us a ‘before and after’ shot of what you’ve created this week. So as we approach the final weekend of the Olympics, pick up that community baton and run with it!

In other local news, Victoria Park are running a Sports and Healthy Living Day next Wednesday (11am-3pm) in the Opera Field. They’re promising a wide range of fun-filled activities to promote healthy living.


For 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, Perry Court
* Courgette, Perry Court
* Chard, Perry Court
* Green Onions, Perry Court
* Chili Peppers, Perry Court
Mini Cucumber, Perry Court
Tomato Punnet, Perry Court
Spinach, Perry Court

Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Carrots / Squash

Fruit Supplement

* Oranges

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


Happy St George’s Day

Hope you are enjoying the bright sunshine and spring breeze. Perfect days for a parsley salad with capers, anchovies and sun-dried tomatoes. Serve with orzo pasta for a complete meal or as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish. Or try a tabouleh type parsley salad with almonds and apricot, with a classic bulgur wheat combination or use quinoa or cous cous instead, and top off with pumpkin or sunflower seeds if you like.

We’ve featured beetroot and orange salad previously, so why not add parsley to the mix. Add some toasted walnuts and/or goats cheese, and also some mixed spice or ground cinnamon to the dressing if you like, or be lazy and just use balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Use your parsley in this cheesy herb bread recipe or veggie carbonara (also uses up your spinach). Or if you still need more ideas check out the Guardian’s ten best parsley recipes. And for the beetroot in your boxes, check out our past “Need some aphrodisiac? Try beetroot!” article…

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
* Maris Peer, Lincs
* Onions, Norfolk
* Carrots, Scotland
* Spinach, Lincs
* Beetroot, Lincs
Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Kent
Chestnut Mushrooms, Suffolk
Parsley, Perry Court

Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Celeriac, Lincs

Fruit Supplement
Oranges, Spain (standard only)
Uta Pears, Europe