Too Much Spinach...
I bought delicious fresh spinach last week and started using it in smoothies for myself and the teenager. Then I discovered I had too much and decided to blitz it with a little bit of water and put this in ice-cube trays. I now have frozen spinach for our morning smoothie or any other time we feel like spinach.
Please send me your upcycling or zero waste ideas.
I love cooking with spices, and the small quantity of organic spices ensures the best flavours. Also it is easier to transport them to the seaside every weekend! Nadiya Hussain's tandoori spice mix is my favourite at the moment, I halve the ingredients:
It goes fantastic with eggs, crackers, sandwiches, pasta, as well as meat. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Review by Geraldine
Let us know which of our products are your favourites and why
Email Geraldine email@example.com
Asparagus Puff Pastry Wraps
Asparagus means spring is here…
I love it when there is an abundance of asparagus in the shops. But often when I cook them, somehow, I never make enough, they are just so easy to eat. When young, my mother steamed them and we had a nice French vinaigrette as dip, they were eaten one at a time… maybe still my favourite way to eat asparagus.
The puff pastry wraps make this into a dish. I think a perfect starter or even a small lunch plate accompanied with a side salad.
Makes six wraps.
Smoked Paprika & Coriander Sauce
Bon appétit !
@HungrySoulVegan - Changing the Culture
Gut & Psychology Syndrome
Gut & Psychology Syndrome by Dr Natasha Campbell McBride
There are books and there are books that shape your life. This is one of those gems! Many of our customers will be very familiar with this book. Some will even understand the role this book has played in the development of The Urban Co-op. To be honest I am kind of surprised when someone says no, I have never heard of it. You are welcome!
How do you explain a book that takes a ton of complicated science and makes it readable for the majority? Plain English that is now translated into many languages making the message all the more accessible worldwide. When I read this book back in 2007 it was that lightbulb moment that helped me to see the power of real food, the importance of gut flora and let’s face it am still here talking about it! Gosh how trendy it all is now to hear about gut health. One chapter to mention covers the topic of fussy eating. She has helped so many parents overcome this torment.
Dr Natasha was a very brave lady to drive forward this message at the time and she did meet with challenges and resistance. She has inspired many people to write cookbooks and we bring in samples at times. You may notice there are food stuffs like the GAPS sausages for sale here inspired by this book. Wide ripples folks, very wide ripples….
It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword. History continues to teach us this valuable lesson and living in the woke times we find ourselves in no doubt someone will have a conniption about that His word and before long we will have Themtory on the curriculum. It appears we can be taught to be triggered by anything and offence is the common language of discourse with real free speech a dwindling thing. Re writing the words of Roald Dahl sets a very dangerous precedence, I fear. Where does this stop? My children adored the awfulness Dahl presented as well as the wonderful life lessons imbedded in his stories. The imaginative food images he conjured up – whippie scrumptious fudgemallow delight, hairy scary beard cups, liquid chocolate mixed by waterfall. Ok, it’s not the healthiest choice I know…
Looking at the words in this context of being sanitised, though I had a moment of pause.
Healthy Food. Heal Thy Food. HEAL THY FOOD…. (Discuss!)
Inspired and driven to heal our children and families are we on the path to healing our food too? Organic farming is gaining traction. The land is capable of recovery with regenerative farming practices. We witness the profound results when people return to real food and recover from poor health. Words can never express the full gratitude we hold to these precious resources we have all around us.
A recent radio talk show explored the depths of a problem that faces a growing number of parents here and quite frankly I was glued to it. With more than a passing interest it is a topic of conversation we often have here at The Urban Co-op. Fussy Eating…There are a few newish names to now add to the pile to describe the phenomenon. ARFIDs (avoidant resistant food intake disorder) being I believe, the latest. Five words makes it quite a mouthful but seems to be the trend to describe something not working right these days. Food Neophobia was the case before that. Picky eating etc. I was that child too and apparently caused worry when I was younger. Growing up on a farm though we were surrounded by food in one form or another. Obviously, I survived it!
A common theme we do see now though is that of distressed parents who resort to their child eating one or two “products” because it is all they eat, and fear of the child starving means they will resort to any length to secure these favoured products. Highly processed of course and ultimately minimally nourishing. Eggs and milk are rarely the last resort foods in this situation. The advice apparently is to keep feeding these products for fear they will drop off to nothing and effectively they will grow out of it. When parents use a platform of a national radio show to compare notes on the similarities of their situations it somehow helps them cope, not feel so alone and helps them to carry on with an acceptance of the situation. This theme is a common one in society today. We share a problem so that makes it tolerable. At a critical growing time for children there is a chronic price to pay for such acceptance. We must challenge this mindset of accepting a problem because it is common. Something is wrong with the system when a large number of people share the same symptoms. Getting to the root cause is where we start to find solutions. Time to grab this problem by the scruff and take action folks.
I’m not going to preach here; my own offspring present their challenges with fussy eating and continue to every day. In this toxic sea of ultra-processed “food” products, it is not easy to navigate through the suffocating messages. The fall out is stressful and chronically debilitating for so many in ways we will never fully understand. Guilt shovelled onto parents is crippling enough to prevent progress of any kind when every mealtime becomes a battleground. Our relationship with food and nourishment has been thwarted for decades and there are many complications and difficulties.
There are workable solutions though and our mindset at The Urban Co-op is to find what works in a collaborative supportive way. We can offer some help and techniques to get you started. It’s a topic that deserves to be exposed for the solutions possible to give that light to all struggling every day to face mealtimes. Like many aspects of co-operation, we have realised that together we can find solutions to the problems we have in our communities. Rather than a battleground food can be a joy again. Watch out for the Fussy Eating talk at The Urban Co-op on 29th March 8pm.
When shopping – particularly if I’m hungry, savouring the idea of preparing delicious dishes, I often buy too much fresh produce. Then I find myself stuck with an excess of wonderful ingredients and a lack of desire to cook. I have many reasons to cook or create a recipe; hunger, obviously, is the principle one, or simply “emptiness”, as my father would claim; the second is the glorious sight and smell of fresh vegetables, fruit and cheese; other reasons include the temptation of a good recipe (or food photograph), or the memory of a dish or a flavour, and the desire to recreate it: but the one that most frequently motivates me to action is the determination to use up food stuff before it goes off, (oh, the the horror of wasting food which costs so much labour to produce!).
This January has been particularly challenging in our house as I’ve been off food since Christmas due to a long-lasting dose of the flu. So all the wonderful food I had bought in the week before Christmas was sitting ignored. The sight of bananas turning browner in a bowl finally drove me to rouse myself and make banana muffins – I just could not throw them out. As an added bonus I was able to use stale natural yogurt – (sour smelling but no mould).
This is an easy recipe and these muffins are a great snack, delicious for breakfast or for putting in lunch boxes and have the added bonus of being quite light on sugar. They also keep well for 3 or 4 days and, if anything, taste better a day or two after baking.
A chance meeting the fantastic Shirley of Petals & Paper led to an amazing zero waste project for our coffee cups and our BPA till receipts.
The talented Shirley turns them into wonderful writing gift sets.
You can find her at various markets and our own Friday Food & Craft fair.
Please send me your upcycling or zero waste ideas.
Recipes from Katie Verling & Jacques