The Community's first 21 Day Challenge - Eating Seasonally in September 2021


Hi everyone and welcome to the Community’s first ever 21 day challenge! 

What is a 21 day challenge I hear you ask? Well, apparently it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. And we’d like to try and make some more sustainable habits in our everyday lives. So, members of the PP team, as well as Community members, are teaming up each month to tackle a new challenge. And hopefully, some of the changes will stick! You can read more about the idea here, too.

This is the thread for September’s challenge, where we can all post our progress including any pictures or updates, as well as what’s going well or what we’ve found tricky. 

September’s theme is all about eating seasonally - a small change which, hopefully, will help reduce our food’s carbon miles. 

Championing this month’s theme are our very own @Bev, plus PP team members @Alberts @Gaz C @Lindywoo, and myself too! :blush:

 

To give a bit of inspiration, I’ve made a handy cheat sheet of some of the in-season British produce coming our way, too… 

 

Anyone and everyone is welcome to take part - and if you do, let us know all about it in the replies below. 

Looking forward to seeing how we all get on! :grinning:


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Oh, not quite on a par with your beauties, Lind, but do love these particular baby vine toms

Lovely and sweet 👍💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕

 

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Looking forward to this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Just wanted to do a quick summary of my 1st week:

I was either working or being away so didn't have much time to cook anything proper ( but will try to cook/bake at least 1 seasonal dish a day for the rest of the challenge ). That didn't stop me though in eating plenty of seasonal produce.

Highlights: :relaxed:

- allotment fruits, veggies and herbs - raspberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beetroots, basil, parsley, lettuce, rocket and kale

- festival stalls with fresh, organic and seasonal food

-  a carrot, beetroot and apple juice in the morning!

Disappointment: :pensive:

- not being able to forage properly apart from randomly picking blackberries and finding a few fallen apples 

We're going camping :camping: again this weekend, will try to take a few photos of some exciting seasonal foods. 

And well done everyone, keep going and posting those mouth watering photos! :camera_with_flash::heart_eyes:

 

Yesterday’s lunch - a  buckwheat “Buddha bowl” with hummus and all the homegrown delicacies

 

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Ooooh loving the “Buddha bowl”, Albert. Sooooo colourful and fresh! Gosh, you shouldn’t be disappointed! Think you did fab with the first week. Gosh, I was thrilled just foraging for these few little blackberries yesterday hee hee hee 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. 

 

Wild blackberries, and dash of kefir 👍

Enjoy your camping again, Albert, 🏕

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And what I LOVE about this challenge, is there’s always plenty left for lunch the following day! 

Tomato courgette risotto

 

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Today was a bit meh for me, maybe it was the rain or maybe the encounter with a rowing machine at the gym… :sweat_smile:

Anyway, to keep up with the challenge and make something comforting but simple I decided to go for "BUTTERNUT, BREADCRUMBS, CURRY POWDER" recipe from Nigel Slater's Greenfeast autumn, winter.

It's another vegetarian book with plenty of seasonal recipes I use often so can definitely recommend it (and  "spring/summer" as well!).

The dish itself contains katsu-like :heart: sauce and “al dente” prepared butternut squash in breadcrumbs :heart: with parsley on top.

 

 

Nigel Slater is one of my favourite chefs and his food always has a homey vibe so I will be cooking a lot of his recipes in the coming months.

Butternut squash is delicious and is one of the many orange foods in season in September. According to Chinese Medicine it's not a coincidence that we're abundant in orange coloured produce at this time of the year. I found a short article about it, hope you'll find it interesting.

https://blog.organicolivia.com/why-nature-is-telling-you-to-eat-orange-foods/

 

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@Bev Kefir is amazing, the best is straight from the bottle :baby_bottle: but you can also make awesome pancakes with it or a cake or add a little bit to a risotto for a sour kick (apparently it’s also a miracle cure for a hangover but I wouldn’t know :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:  ).

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I ADORE it straight from the bottle, Albert! In fact, it’s a waste otherwise as so much clings to a glass. Tastes nicer straight from bottle, out of fridge!  Adore the stuff. I was so boiling hot when got back from food shopping yesterday in that 30 degree heat, that I couldn’t wait to open a bottle of kefir as soon as got in. Trouble is, you end up drinking the whole bottle hee, but it’s soooo lovely and sooooo healthy. 

Really love your butternut squash dish! Looks great, Albert! Really does. Love the gorgeous parsley on top. Found the orange food article sooooo interesting! Just been reading it. We’re almost on day ten of the challenge! Halfway! Sooooo enjoyable, and going soooo fast! 👍👏

Love a bit of Nigel Slater @Alberts! He has another cookbook which is more like a diary of his eating through the seasons. And that’s reminded me I should actually be using that for this challenge really shouldn’t I… :smile:

We’ve got a squash ready to go in the fridge. My fav thing to do with it is sage + pasta, or risotto. Same goes for pumpkin.:heart_eyes:

 

@Bev I know what you mean about this challenge making you look out for bits and bobs when walking around - spotted these gorgeous pears in a local community garden the other day. 

I think I may even post it in September’s photo challenge...

pears in a local community garden

 

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Wow! Huge as well, Nat! 😳👍👏

I’m hoping to do something with these two bad boys maybe today or weekend.

I’d usually do summer veg pasta, but challenge is leading me towards the Cornish new potatoes, to replace the pasta, to try keep it as local as poss. Yeah, think that’s a plan. 

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It turns out that I still haven’t got a hang of portion control so have been eating leftovers for the last few days, but there’s definitely worse things to eat!

I did make a tomato and mustard tart for a bit of variation and that never lasts more than a day because it’s just so good. I’ve got a bit of an action packed this weekend with a gig tonight and then seeing my parents for dinner tomorrow for the first time in months - and I’m already salivating at the thought of a curry house - so I can definitely see some more baking going on in place of a full blown meal prep.



@Bev another great looking and sounding risotto - you clearly have the patience of a saint to stand there stirring the whole time!


@Nataly that is a great photo and is definitely tempting me to attempt a pear galette - if the carrot cake turned out so well, why wouldn’t this, right? :joy:

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@bev that looks delicious:) 
We had courgette and red onion baked pakora’s (veg from allotment) on a Quinoa salad (used British quinoa). Instead of gram flour I used rye flour that was milled locally.

 It was yummy

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Spent this morning prepping and storing allotment veg for future months. It’s very therapeutic. The bag the sand was in is now been used for growing spinach.

 

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Gosh !ind, look at all that! Oh truly amazing! Soooo idyllic, I can so so imagine it being soooo therapeutic indeed! Wow, that is truly impressive.  Seriously! 😳😳😳👍👍👍👏👏👏👏👏

Oh I LOVE quinoa, you are doing great finding British staples too, Lind! 😳👍

That tart looks delicious, Gaz! Love how tightly packed your tommies are! 🤣(not a euphemism🤣). I love all the leftovers indeed! It’s been a massive bonus hasn’t it, making plenty then having for lunch the next day, and day after even 😳👍. Yes, I enjoy all the preparation. Probably even more than the eating in fact, so don’t mind standing to chop, stir, etc, hope you enjoy your gig! 👍🎶🎶🎶

We are now on day ten, so halfway (more or less), and just absolutely loving seeing everyone’s photos and tales, truly am. 

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I’m going to call this medley “The English seasonal boat race” 😁

I often fill Cavelo Nero leaves, and call them “Nero boats” and use cheeses, veg, fruits, chick peas, stir fry etc.

So today, I tried it purely using all the seasonal things I’d bought or had left. 

Started with my Nero “boats” and topped with a layer of the beetroot ninja mix I made in the week. 

Then added the rest of those blackberries that picked Wednesday. 

Sliced the radishes, and added to the boats. So far so good. 

The baby leaves at the side, are oars 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

 

 

Then to finish, fried the mushrooms I had left, in rapeseed, and popped on the top, for heat and flavour. 

Photo doesn’t do the colours justice really but it worked out well👍

 

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Those veggies look amazing @Lindywoo 🤩

We're off to camping now but earlier in the morning I baked us a sourdough to go with all the soups and stews.

The weather looks promising as well so it should be a good one, have a nice weekend everyone! 

 

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Oh wowsa Albert! Gosh that looks soooooooooo professional! Oh that is stunning, I want to lift a slice off the screen! Mmmmmmmm! So talented! I love sourdough. That is sooooo much better than the shops! 😳😳😳😳

Have a great camping weekend! 👍🤞🏕☀️

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So, bit of improvising today, as sooooooooo wanted to make cauliflower cheese, but wanted to keep it as British and local as could, and wanted to use what already had in fridge. 

Have to say, my biggest concern before this challenge, was the number of extra trips I’d have to make to the supermarket, but it’s been the opposite😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳. I’m SOOOOOOOOOO amazed at how long the produce is lasting, and also amazed at how much improvising I have done, especially the next day with lunches with odd leftovers. It’s working really well 👍👍👍👍. Keeping me very very full too. It’s all the types of food and meals I’d make anyway, yet it feels extra healthy throughout this challenge, 

So, today I put together this improvised cauliflower cheese thingy. 

 

 

Used my British cauliflower, courgettes, bit of broccoli 🥦🥦, few baby vine tomatoes 🍅🍅🍅. All British and local, but did throw in a cheeky staple of chick peas. 

For the topping, I used Cheddar 🇬🇧 and breadcrumbs, blended in Ninja, then spread over the veg. 

 

It really tasted delicious! Soooooooooo pleased! 

Calling it Bevs British Cauliflower Bake 👍🇬🇧😁😘

 

All washed down with a, not so local 🤣🤣🤣🤣, cheeky Sanny Miguelly 🤪🍺

 

 

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So, DAY 12 of our fab first PP challenge 😳👍👏👏👏👏

Few odds and ends in fridge, so improvised. Sometimes, those unplanned meals come out better than a strict recipe. Truly thrilled with this thick, creamy soup I just put together 😳👍👏

 

Had no idea how it’d turn out as only had few Cavelo Nero leaves, broccoli 🥦, new potatoes, and 🥕🥕. Threw few fresh herbs in 🌿☘️🍀, and it’s come out perfect, if I do say so myself 😳👍💕. 

I shall call it “British Seasonal SOUPer lunch!” 🍵👍😁

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@Bev I love an improvised soup.

Last night we had a green & red tomato casserole type meal - no pics as we eat it really quick, it was well tasty but plenty left over. 
Today a wonderful Sunday roast, all the veg was from my allotment and the taste was just sublime.

I now have enough left over food which with a bit of improvising will see us through until Thursday at least. 

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I’m just looking in awe at your homegrown Cavelo Nero, Lind! 😳😳😳😳😳😳😳Wowsa !!!!!!!!! Soooooo gorgeous! Oh man, I can just imagine the deliciousness of all your homegrown veg on one plate for your Sunday roast! All looks sooooo wonderful! 

Hey glad you do improvising too, Lind hee. Can you believe we’re over halfway! Loving it. 

Fab photos Lind 👏👏👏👏👏👏

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Just spent some time in kitchen first thing, preparing the 🥦🥦🥦and courgettes, hope to make a broccoli, new potato, cheesy kind of bake. Bit of a twist on the usual pasta dish I regularly make, as this way it stays seasonal and British. 

Liking the way, after just two weeks, it’s making me soooo much more mindful of what ingredients I am using 👍🇬🇧. 

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So first, replacing the usual rigotoni with baby new English potatoes. Really hope it works as well as the pasta🤞

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Smelling good so far ♨️

 

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