It was a busy morning at BBC Radio Kent. I was on air with Julia George at about 11.15 but I am afraid I lost track of time! Such a ‘buzzy’ fun atmosphere in there and Alex Ward and Anna were a great help at getting me organised.
We were discussing the Peas Please initiative which I touched on briefly last Friday in my – Friday Foodie blog. I am completely behind the campaign and feel ‘its about time’ as a country we spend so much money on advertising of soft drinks and junk food – why not on good old veg? The celebrity chefs are supportive are you? It was great to be on air with Anna at the Food Foundation who are heading the campaign. Of course, its obvious why we don’t eat enough veg – its usually not interesting, the answer would be to ‘dress it up’ somehow. How do you do that? A start would be education and looking at making veg more appealing, show how versatile and delicious it can be!
I talked about Riverford Organic Master Veg classes whereby you bring your box of veg ‘alive’ with a delicious recipe made together. This reminds people what veg is all about, trying something new and not being afraid to experiment and have fun in the kitchen. This is what ‘Alive with Flavour’ is all about, but take these beautiful recipe cards in Supermarkets, lets display them where we need the inspiration, when we are standing looking at the veg shelves… thinking I would love to buy some leeks but what to do with them? What about cookery demos in store, often they are promoting the latest cheesecake or drink brand – with lots of samples – what about if each month they looked at seasonal veg in store and showed some creative ways of getting it in to your family’s diet.
I stay away from ‘ready meals’ but I understand from my customers feedback that supermarkets need to up their vegetarian meals! The choice for vegetarians is still very low, for example I understand one of the very well known supermarkets only have one vegetable curry and yet about eight different meat dishes – a new recipe hit the shelves just recently, to fly back off the shelf very quickly – the need is there!
I think making recipes that are a little different, keeping away from the boiled veg as much as possible really helps. On the menu in the studio this morning, using my jam packed ‘veggie box’. I made a Pea and Mint Soup, Shredded Raw Pad Thai salad, and a roasted veg traybake which included beetroot, carrot, feta and cumin. I have added all the recipes on the full article on my website. I hope you find them fuss free, but mostly full of flavour and colour. Soups are so quick and easy, you can also use up so much leftover veg, stalks and leaves too. A great meal on a budget too, I talk about making soups with teenagers and prepping for University! This pea and mint soup has a bag of frozen peas which most families have in their freezer and are full of goodness and make for a comforting but nutritious lunch/supper. The raw pad Thai salad is a little bit trendy, which appeals to teenagers, I have several in and out our house and they always love something a bit different like this. I know not all teenagers are so open but trying to involve them in either the planning or the preparation does help. If your son or daughter likes pizza try a cauliflower base with all the usual toppings or curry then what about a sweet potato or beetroot curry, its worth a try! We all need to put some #veg power – into our food!
I want to mention that as part of my ‘hands on’ supper club schedule I have a vegetarian menu on Wednesday 7th March 2018, click on my events.
Please click on the link here and you find me chatting to Jules after Four Tops, Loco in Acapulco around 2:10 in to the show.