Tomato Stuffed Aubergine

Time Preparing: 20 mins
Time Cooking: 45 mins
Serves: 2
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Spring

Ingredients:
– 1 Large Aubergine
– 5 Plum Tomatoes
– 100g Wholegrain Rice and Lentils (pre-cooked)
– 1 Onion
– Salt and Pepper
– 3tbsp Olive Oil
– Handful of Breadcrumbs
– 50g Cheddar Cheese or Parmesan
– Harissa (optional)

Method:
1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C
2. Slice Aubergine in half, length ways
3. Use a knife to carve small square shapes, without removing any aubergine
4. Add a fine layer of olive oil to a baking tray, then add 2tbsp olive oil over the aubergine (and harissa if using)
5. Cook in the oven for 30mins
6. In the meantime, peal and chop the onion then add to a pan with the remaining olive oil for 5mins
7. Add plum tomatoes to the pan, along with cooked rice and lentils – leave for 5mins
8. Remove aubergine and try to remove insides, whilst keeping the skin and outer layer in tact
9. Add the aubergine insides to the onion/tomato mix and stir for 3mins
10. Add the mix back into the aubergine, topping with breadcrumbs and cheese
11. Cook for a further 15 mins

 

 

This recipe was created for Tower Green Hamlets by Pauline Cuisine

Fennel Salad with Sultanas and Giant Cous Cous

Time Preparing: 10 mins
Time Cooking: 10 mins
Serves: 2
Difficulty: 1/5
Season: Spring / Summer

Ingredients
– 200g Fennel
– 80g Chickpeas
– 80g Giant Cous Cous
– 3 Tomatoes
– Handful of Sultanas
– Handful of Parsley
– 2tbsp Olive Oil
– 1tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
– Salt and Pepper
– 1tbsp Mustard

Method
1. Start by cooking the cous cous as instructed on the packaging before draining and allowing to cool
2. Chop fennel and tomatoes into small slices
3. Add sultanas to a small bowl of boiling water to help them raise
4. To make the dressing, mix oil, vinegar and seasoning (mustard optional)
5. Layer all ingredients in a bowl or plate then drizzle dressing over

 

This recipe was created for Tower Green Hamlets by Pauline Cuisine

Purslane Salad with Smoked Salmon

Time Preparing: 15 mins
Time Cooking: 20 mins
Serves: 2
Difficulty: 2/5
Season: Spring

Ingredients
– 120g Black Lentils
– A couple of handfuls of Purslane
– 4 slices of Smoked Salmon
– 1 Large Avocado
– 4 Small Tomatoes
– Chia Seeds
– 1/2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
– 1 tbsp Olive Oil
– Salt and Pepper for Seasoning

Method
1. Carefully wash black lentil and remove any dust, before cooking as instructed then drain and let cool
2. Peel the avocado, remove the stone and slice
3. Cut the tomatoes into small chunks
4. Finely cut the smoked salmon
5. To make the dressing, combine oil, vinegar and seasoning
6. Layer all ingredients in a bowl or plate then top with chia seeds before drizzling over dressing

 

This recipe was created for Tower Green Hamlets by Pauline Cuisine

Swiss Chard, Tomato and Red Lentils with Pasta

Time Preparing: 20 mins
Time Cooking: 30 mins
Serves: 3
Difficulty: 1/5
Season: Spring / Winter

Ingredients
– 200g Swiss Chard
– 1/2 Onion
– 100g Red Lentils
– 1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes / 3 Large Tomatoes
– 1 Veg Stock
– 120g Pasta
– Parmesan (or vegan alternative)
– Handful of Basil
– 2tbsp Olive Oil

Method:
1. Chop the swiss chard, separating the stems from the leaves
2. Peel and chop the onion
3. Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat, then add the onion and swiss chard stems. Cook for 5 mins
4. Add swiss chard leaves and cook for a further 5 mins
5. Wash the lentils and add to the pan, along with tomatoes
6. Add boiling water – just enough to cover the ingredients – along with a veg stock
7. Simmer for 20 mins
8. In the meantime, cook the pasta as instructed
9. Serve with parmesan and basil

 

This recipe was created for Tower Green Hamlets by Pauline Cuisine

Summer Salads

This weeks boxes contain an abundance of salad veggies, which got us thinking that in this unprecedented heat wave, there really is nothing better than a salad packed full of veg.

Typically when thinking of salad, the ‘garden’ type will spring to mind – with this weeks onions, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber being firm necessitates. However, there really are no limits when it comes to variations of salad. Pasta, couscous, quinoa, lentils or potatoes? Chicken, tuna, ham, prawn or vegetarian? Feta, halloumi, mozzarella or parmigiana? We’d advise starting with your choice of veg and working from there, seeing what flavours compliment certain pairings of veg. Our medium boxes this week contain Scarlet Frills, which would be compared most closely to rocket leaves, except they’re dark red, whilst our large boxes contain Lemon Balm – a member of the mint family with a number of health benefits.

We’ve found a gorgeous tuna salad recipe featuring the medium boxes Scarlet Frills, but would always advise to play around with variations to find the combinations that work for you.

Tuna Salad with Scarlet Frills, Capers & Green Beans

Ingredients
– 2 potatoes (from box)
– Bunch of Scarlet Frills
– 200g Green Beans
– 2 handfuls of Tomatoes (from box)
– 2 eggs
-1 tbsp capers
– 1 can tuna in sunflower oil
– 2tsp white wine vinegar
– 100g grated parmigiana
– Olive oil

Method

1. Cut potatoes into slices. Rinse in cold water and pat dry with paper towel.
2. Heat large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Season with salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
3. Remove the coarse stems of the scarlet frills and tear the leaves into small pieces. Place them in a large bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and white wine vinegar. Use your hands to massage the leaves until they’re soft and tender.
4. Add the potatoes, beans, tomatoes, and gently toss to combine. Add the drained tuna chunks and toss again. Taste, and add more salt, pepper, lemon and/or olive oil as you like.
5. Arrange quartered hard boiled eggs on top and toss in rinsed capers.
6. Grate cheese over top of salad and serve.

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

Guarantee a ‘baking’ hot Bank Holiday

Whilst the Bank Holiday Monday is looking like it may be a wash out, we’ve got a great recipe that will ensure you’ll still baking!

Baked Courgette Fries are super easy to make and are the perfect healthy snack. This recipe also works for the aubergine in the large boxes.
To make your fries and a gorgeous tomato salsa for dipping, you’ll need the following:

– Courgettes from your box
– Half a cup of Breadcrumbs
– Quarter of a cup of Parmesan
– 1 egg
– Tomatoes from your box
– Half of the Onions from your box
– 1 clove of garlic, crushed
– 1 tsp chili flakes
– 1 tsp parsley, chopped
– Seasoning

Preheat the over to 200degrees. Stir the bread crumbs and cheese in a bowl before whisking the egg in a separate bowl. Cut your courgette into thin slices before dipping first into the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture. Place all fries on a baking tray an pop into the oven for 15 minutes.
Whilst you’re courgette fries are in the oven baking, begin working on your tomato salsa.
Chop your tomatoes finely, and the onion even finer. Mix in a bowl with the garlic, parsley, chili flakes and seasoning. Using a pestle (or fork), crush the mix – the tomato juice should make sure your salsa is ready for dipping!

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

We’re still after images of you’re creations so don’t forget that for the rest of August, we’ll be offering a complimentary surprise vegetable in your next box if you send us your ‘before and after’ shots. 

What’s in the box?
* Charlotte Potatoes, Perry Court
* Courgette, Perry Court
* Green Onions, Perry Court
* Kale, Perry Court
* Tomatoes, Perry Court
Aubergine, Perry Court
Beetroot, Perry Court
Peppers, Perry Court
Fruit Supplement 
* Oranges, Spain
Kiwis, Chile
No-Potato Substitute 
TBC
Small Box 
Items marked with (*) above 

Please note that this may be subject to slight change depending on availability.

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
Grapefruit

It’s Organic September!

Did you know that it is Organic September? The buying decisions you make on your everyday shopping are a simple but powerful form of direct action and small changes really can make a big difference. Making simple switches to organic has huge benefits for people, animal welfare and the environment.

So well done for ordering organic fruit and vegetables through Tower Green Hamlets (biodynamic where possible) but why not think about switching some of your staples like milk or eggs to organic. Check out the Evening Standard’s Standar Standard’s six reasons to switch to organic milk. Get it from the local milkman (like Parker Diaries) and cut out the plastic. Also, your local corner shop may just stock organic eggs at much cheaper prices than where – check it out!

We haven’t had chard for awhile and it pairs perfect with tomatoes (see recipe), add some chickpeas for the protein or some sausage and spaghetti for the complete mid-week meal.

For another comfort mid-week dinner why not knock together a broccoli leek and cheese pasta bake. Cauliflower would be no stranger to the mix and some diced chicken would also fit right in. Or have it simply as a vegetable bake to go with any fish, meat, or chicken along with pasta or potatoes that take your fancy.  Or this combination of vegetables would be perfect for a Chinese stir-fry, simply fry some meat or tofu at the start before adding the vegetables.

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
* Valour Potatoes, Perry Court
* Carrots, Lancs
* Chard, Perry Court
* Tomatoes, Perry Court
* Leeks, Kent
Cauliflower – Emerald, Lancs
Sorrel, Perry Court
Broccoli, Lancs

Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Acorn Squash, Perry Court

Fruit Supplement
Apples – Katy, Kent (standard only)
Bananas, Dom Rep

Italian, Greek or French?

Tomatoes and basil need no introductions but with the current weather a rich and creamy tomato basil soup may be in order. Or taste the sunshine in a tomato salad and imagine you are on holiday (or still there if you’ve been and back).

Go classic Italian by arranging sliced mozzarella or baby boccocinis and tomato wedges on a serving dish before topping with torn basil leaves. Drizzle with the best olive oil and balsamic vinegar (if you like) you can afford and grind a few twists of salt and pepper to finish.

Or skip the cheese, with some minced garlic and red wine vinegar instead of balsamic, to keep it fresh. Or simplify even further and just add some salt to chopped tomatoes and basil leaves to really bring out the flavour. Leave for a few hours to let the flavours really develop.

And continuing with our Greek theme from last week why not try a classic Greek salad? Even in restaurants, the Greeks serve their salad very simply, scattered with dried oregano, but often without any salt (since the saltiness comes from the feta which is often served as a whole slab), leaving it to you to dress to your heart’s content. Definitely drizzle with olive oil, maybe some vinegar or lemon juice if you like. Peppers are optional but without sliced red onions and olives it would be feeling a little naked. You could even top with sheep/goat’s cheese instead of feta like how they use mizithra on Crete.

We also have French beans which we haven’t had in a long so why not go French with a tuna nicoise salad. Or french beans with almond pesto as a lovely side. If making your own pesto sounds too ambitious then simply toss with some store-bought pesto. Just top and tail green beans and cook in boiling water until crisp tender, for about about 3 minutes (or microwave for 1-2 minutes) before dressing with pesto.

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
* Linda Potatoes, Perry Court
* Tomatoes, Perry Court
* Basil, Kent
* Courgettes, Perry Court
* Carrots Bunch, Norfolk
Spinach, Perry Court
Mini Cucumber, Perry Court
French Beans, Perry Court

Small Box
Items marked with (*) above
No-Potato Substitute
Broad Beans, Lancs

Fruit Supplement
Bananas, Dom Rep (standard only)
Oranges, SA

 

 

What a Gem-is-ta!

Weather is looking great for the weekend ahead and the warmer temperatures are bringing us our first Perry Court tomatoes, perfect for gemista!

We recently came across gemista in Greece – tomatoes, peppers, courgettes and other vegetables stuffed with rice and baked in the oven, until soft and nicely browned. Gemista translates as “ones that are filled”. What a true gem it is, and rightly one of the most popular Greek vegetarian dishes in summer.

The typical recipe includes stuffed tomatoes, stuffed peppers and sliced potatoes. Believe it or not, but it is one of the easier and healthier Greek recipes to make at home, although it may seem a little complicated at first. There are countless recipes with almost every household having its own. So feel free to experiment with the stuffing, with different types of herbs and varying amount of spices. Your imagination is your limit with this amazing Greek dish! And if you really can’t ditch the meat then add some mince.

This traditional Greek recipe falls under the category of Greek dishes called lathera, meaning dishes prepared with olive oil.  So don’t be surprised that it calls for a lot of olive oil (by non-Mediterranean standards) but with lathera-Greek vegetarian dishes with moderate starch and a good amount of olive oil you actually end up with a moderate amount of calories because the vegetables hardly add any calories to the meal. But use some good quality extra virgin olive oil, which will really lift the flavor!

As the peppers are not as juicy as the tomatoes the stuffing of the peppers always comes out a little dry. To avoid that, spoon some extra tomato juice over the peppers and they will become just amazing. When cooking, try covering with aluminium foil as the steam allows the rice to cook and the vegetables to soften without them ending up being burnt. Serve these extra juicy, melt-in-the mouth and bursting with fresh and vibrant colours and flavours Greek stuffed tomatoes with a block of salty feta cheese and bread.

For the glorious mix of summer vegetables in the box this week why not try some of these recipes:

With Shuffle over (if you didn’t manage to try out the mealworm dumplings, algae orzotto and edible flowers foraged in the Tower Hamlets cemetery park at the festival treehouse restaurant then feel relieved or oogle over this review) time to head over to the Wapping Village Fete.

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 (New), Perry Court
* Tomatoes, Perry Court
* Courgettes, Perry Court
* Peppers, Spain
* Carrots Loose, Lancs
Spinach, Perry Court
Mushrooms, Suffolk
Beetroot, Lancs

Small Box
Items marked with (*) above
No-Potato Substitute
Mixed Salad, Perry Court

Fruit Supplement
Plums, Spain (standard only)
Avocados, Spain