Please say hello to our new autumn special veg pot; butternut pearl barley risotto. Especially special because it was chosen by you the people at our 2009 AGM earlier in the year, beating an Italian woodland mushroom risotto by just 5 yes/no bin votes. Pretty special indeed.
Our new summer veg pot hits the shelves this week and to celebrate its arrival, we're thought we'd have a little competition to help you dine al fresco by your tent this summer.
We've got 3 sets of camping stoves, pots, pans and a whole box of our new summery recipe to give away to the three best camping stories we get.
Post your entries below as a comment by Monday 15th June and let burnt-baked-bean-instant-noodle surprise be a thing of Brownie Camp past.
This competition is now closed. Well done to Adam, Natalie and Nia. Camping stoves on their way to you very soon. Meantime campers, remember to always pitch your tent on the leeward side of a west facing slope on Wednesdays.
Spring. The time of year for lambs, lush green meadows and new romances. Along with spaghetti and anything garlic related however, globe artichokes are probably not the wisest thing to order on a first date. All that fiddly peeling and getting fuzzy leaves stuck in your teeth doesn’t make for sparkling chat. Far simpler (and much more attractive) to just enjoy them in our new british spring greens veg pot instead.
We’ve combined fresh spring greens, brown rice, a dollop of crème fraiche and chargrilled artichokes for a sprightly medley, with no leaf peeling, fuzz faffing, blowing date number 2 hassles whatsoever. Please enjoy.
Pans at the ready, judging hats steady, let's get cooking (sort of).
This week, you get to be Gregg. Or John. Or Simon. Or that one with the funny eyebrows from Dancing on Ice. Whichever reality TV judging style takes your fancy, really.
For those who aren't sure what we're wittering on about, a couple of weeks ago we launched our own version of innocent Masterchef. All you had to do was tell us your favourite veg recipe for a chance to then come in for a cook off in our kitchen, Masterchef stylee.
We've picked our favourite innocent Masterchef hopefuls, so the next bit is down to you.
Just have a quick read of our sort of semi finalists below and then vote for your favourite.
Pop a bunch of shellfish in a large pan, chuck in 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, half a pint of veg stock and simmer until the mussels have opened (throw out any that stay closed - they are clearly evil).Add 2 pots of Tuscan Bean Stew and simmer for a few minutes until heated through. Season and serve with big hunks of warm, crusty bread for a great wintery lunch.
2. Claire’s tamarind, chickpea & spinach curry
Toast a mixture of nigella, cumin and fennel seeds, add some chopped red onion and cook over low heat. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, tin of chickpeas, 1tsp of turmeric and paprika and 3 green chillies (cut into strips), a pinch of brown sugar and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Finally, add spinach and 2 tsp of tamarind paste. Serve with rice, garnished with coriander if you’re fancy.
3. Chris’ Risotto Primavera (in the style of Masterchef)
JT: So what’s on your table, mate?
Chris: Er...some risotto rice, home-made vegetable stock, asparagus, green beans, broad beans, peas, shallots, white wine, a lemon and a chunk of parmesan.
GW: Tell you what John, I LOVE the sound of this – creamy rice, tasty but firm vegetables and rich, rich stock, with that hint of parmesan and lemon,
JT: Sure, Greg, but this simple dish has to be PERFECT. Risotto is so, so simple that anything other than perfection is a disaster waiting to happen.
(Chris cooks amazing dish and submits for approval)
GW: Phworrr. It’s summer on a plate. Lovely asparagus, vibrant green broad beans complemented by peas and green beans. all held together in a perfectly cooked risotto with a lovely. fresh finish. I’d finish the lot and order it again. YUMMY!
4. Laura’s stuffed butternut squash à trois.
1.Balsamic puy lentils – Cook lentils in veg stock, sautee some onion and garlic with thyme, sage and chili. Mix in with lentils, add a generous splash of balsamic vinegar and stuff back in roasted squash.
2. Pop a mix of beetroot, toasted squash seeds and goats cheese inside your roasted squash while it’s still warm for a quick yummy tea.
The easiest, quickest way to put a fire in your belly. Mix together and heat gently 2 tbsp fish sauce, 2 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 chilli (minced) and the zest and juice of a lime. Add 300ml stock, 200ml coconut cream and a Thai Coconut Curry veg pot to your sauce. Continue to heat gently. Grill one chicken breast until cooked, slice and set to one side. Get some rice noodles on the boil and add a handful of spinach leaves, bamboo shoots and chicken to a bowl. Then pour your Kare soup on top.
6. Nina’s Japanese Croquettes
Take a Sweet Potato Chilli veg pot, mix it with mashed potatoes and mashed peas. Pat mixture into burger shaped thingys and cover in bread crumbs. Fry or bake until golden and crispy. Perfect accompaniment to meat, fish and other veggies.
P.S I'm 13 (14 in March!) AND I LOVE COOKING! My dish serves 2- 4, depending on how hungry you are.
If you're a closet veg pot customiser, or cook up a mean veg dish yourself, there's still time to enter our master chef (sort of) competition and come into fruit towers to show us your stuff. Then join in a chef vs chef battle, kind of like that stuff Eminem used to do but with less swearing and better one liners.
Whether you were a fan of the red, blue and yellow kitchen and the dulcet tones of Mr. Loyd Grossman or it's Gregg and John shouting at each other that tickles your culinary fancy, if you've always dreamed of being a Masterchef, then here's your chance.
We'd like to see how you jazz up your veg pots for an evening meal. In short, we want to crown our very own innocent Masterchef.
All you have to do is add a comment at the bottom of this post, telling us the best veg dish you've ever made (if it involves a veg pot you'll get bonus points) and giving us one good reason why you should be in with a chance of becoming our very own Masterchef.
Then in a couple of weeks we'll draw up a shortlist and ask you to vote for the finalists – we'll ask the top 3 chefs to come into Fruit Towers and compete in our very own version of Masterchef, right here, in our kitchen. The challenge will be to do something magical with one (or more) of our veg pots and a bunch of other ingredients.
We hope you're up for it. In the mean time, here's something to tide you over, in the shape of an example of how to fix up your veg pot real sharp.
Lots of you wrote in to ask why our veg pots weren't vegan and if we could possibly make some that were. Well, you talk, we listen (or more to the point, you ask us nicely and we try our best to help you out).
Anyways, we're pleased to announce that two of our veg pot recipes are now vegan. We've taken the honey out of our moroccan recipe and created a new seasonal recipe, sweet potato chilli, which is also suitable for vegans.
So hopefully now even more people can enjoy our pots.
One new veg pot recipe – a winter special containing a whole bunch of cockle warming ingredients including sweet potato, chilli, chargrilled peppers and smoky smoky paprika (so smoky they named it twice).