This beautiful book is a delicious collection – our gift to you – an Ebook of local, seasonal cooking. A collector’s item. Enjoy!
PDF Directions: If you would prefer a copy of the book as a PDF then follow this link to download.
Hard Copy Directions: It is possible to order a hard copy of the book – each copy is made as the order is placed, and unfortunately this makes the price rather high! The price you will see is the actual cost price of production with no ‘profit’ going to the Fife Diet or any other organisation. Blurb regularly offer discount codes however and special offers, which can be used to bring the price down. The basic price for a soft cover version of the book is £23.59 plus £6.99 postage. Go here to order a hard copy.
By Meg Elphee
For the past seven years Fife Diet has been hosting community lunches in halls and public spaces across Fife and beyond. And now we’re bringing it home! Burntisland has been the base for the Fife Diet offices for the last four years and our home for longer, so it seems only right that we should hold a last Fife Diet community lunch in Burntisland at the Parish Church Halls. Please join us to celebrate the success of the project by doing what we like to do best of all: sharing good food with some of the many wonderful friends we have made over the years.
Join us for a private screening – the premiere of two Fife Diet short films about the work we’ve done in Fife and beyond with our sister project, the Seed Truck.
Plus see our brand new recipe book. Fife Diet co-founder, Karen Small has com0plied some of her favourite recipes and some hard copies will be available to view on the day (the book will be launched online for all members later this spring).
Following the theme of all our lunches, we will be serving simple but distinctive food made from local and organic ingredients. Children are welcome and are included in all the fun; please book a ticket for them too*.
We only require your presence but if you like washing up or making tea then please get in touch with Meg: firstname.lastname@example.org, before the day. Thank you!
*We’ll be eating around 2:30pm, so bear this in mind if your children are used to eating earlier than this!
By Mags Hall
As we wrap up our project after eight years, we’re inviting all our members and friends to get together for one final Fife Diet meal, and celebrate the power food has to ground and reconnect us. On Sunday 8th March, people across Fife and beyond will be joining us for Sunday Lunch, in community halls, parks, churches and gardens. Click here to see the full list of community lunches if you’d like to join in with one near you.
But it’s not too late to host your own lunch at home – community doesn’t have to be about hundreds of people in your local hall, it can simply be the people you love, the folk you share a street with, your colleagues at work, your team-mates from football… food has a unique ability to unite us all. We’d like to invite you to get your friends and family together on the 8th March, and share some good, local, sustainable food with them.
There’s no obligations or commitments – just invite your favourite people, cook some tasty food, and celebrate being part of a groundbreaking project. We hope these lunches will inspire people to keep talking about the food we eat and changing our food behaviours long after our work has finished.
If you need any help or inspiration, or would like some books or materials to share at your lunch, get in touch with email@example.com or call us on 01592 871371
Even if you’re just cooking at home with your closest family, you’re part of a bigger movement of people celebrating local food on Sunday 8th, and we’d love you to share your lunch with us. We’ll be gathering together everyone’s pictures and reports from the day, and these will feed into our final work as we collate the story of our eight year project. You can share your lunch with us in a number of ways;
Check out your winter and spring Fife Diet recipe books for inspiration on what to cook for you Sunday Lunch, but below are a selection of recipes from our archives using ingredients in season just now that you should be able to get your hands on easily. All the dishes are either easy to scale up if you’re cooking for a group, or work well as part of a spread of dishes. Remember you can check out our local producers map, for help in sourcing your food locally, or head along to the Fife Farmer’s market to stock up in advance – upcoming markets are February 28th in Kirkcaldy, and March 7th in St Andrews.
Kale Slaw – a crisp winter salad that you can adapt with different types of kale and winter veg
Kale crisps – a nice pre-lunch nibble
Red kale pesto – serve as a dip with bread and crudites, or thin down with oil and use as a salad dressing with steamed veg
Cabbage Sabzi – a big batch of this tasty spiced cabbage dish is a cheap and seasonal way to feed a bunch of hungry folk. Nice as part of a selection of curries too.
Spring green pizza pie – still a bit early for spring greens, but try this tasty dish with kale or savoy cabbage instead
Purple sprouting broccoli quiche - If your lucky enough to get some of the early PSB crop in your veg box, try this gluten free quiche
Cabbage, carrot and onion curry – cheap, filling, winner.
A whole tandoori cauliflower – there’s a bit of a curry theme developing here, but exotic spices are a great way to liven up local winter veg
Jewelled Cauliflower Couscous – a good option for gluten-free guests
Cauliflower ‘wings’ in a buffalo sauce – one of my personal favourites, I could eat a whole head to myself
Parsnip Pate – serve as part of a spread with oatcakes and winter salads
Turnip roasted with rosemary, thyme and garlic – easy to prepare take on this cheap, seasonal vegetable
Whole roasted celeriac - an impressive and affordable centerpiece dish
Turnip and tattie smoked hash – get your hands on some Arborath smokies for this warming one pot dish
Turnip barlotto – a more local take on the classic italian ristotto, using swede or turnip and scottish barley
Beetroot hummus – colourful and healthy, kids in particular love this spread
Oven roasted root veg frittata – perfect for a picnic lunch
Beetroot falafels – baked rather than fried, these make a healthy alternative to the classic falafels as part of a lunch spread
Rhubarb and oat muffins – the first of the year’s forced rhubarb is just starting to appear in shops now
Rhubarb and custard cake – a decadent take on this classic, that can be prepared in advance
Beetroot and rhubarb salad - try this refreshing and crisp salad – leave out the cheese for a vegan version
Foccaccia – the most more-ish of all breads, and an easy one to start with if you haven’t tried bread making before
Individual carrot cakes – not just for breakfast!
Cheese and thyme scones - a tasty and quick alternative to bread for serving with soups and stews
Turnip cake – use this seasonal veg to reduce the sugar content of your cake and keep it lovely and moist
by Karen Small
This is a quick and easy dish for breakfast or lunch – make it as spicy as you like. Serve with toast, bread or oatcakes.
olive oil or butter
1 clove garlic
1/2 chopped chilli or some dried chilli flakes
2 large handfuls seasonal green, washed and shredded (e.g. leeks, chard, spinach, kale)
4 fresh organic eggs
grated cheddar cheese
Cayenne pepper (optional)
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and cook on a moderate heat until golden. Add the garlic, chilli and greens and stir fry unitl cooked – adding a splash of water now and then to prevent burning and help wilt the greens.
Meanwhile whisk the eggs with the milk and season.
Once the greens are cooked, pour over the beaten egg mix and gently stir as they set.
By Karen Small
These are a lovely twist on pancakes – and are very quick and easy to make. You can add all sorts of extras to the mix – sultanas, chocolate chips, dessicated coconut, berries or chopped banana.
Best eaten freshly made, serve them warm with a spoonful of yoghurt, a drizzle of honey or some fruit compote.
125g plain flour (or wholemeal self raising)
40g rolled oats
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
70g yoghurt (Greek is good)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Plus any extras of your choosing
Place all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix well and set aside.
In another large bowl, beat together the wet ingredients until smooth.
If you’re adding any extra ingredients, sprinkle them over the dry mix now.
Then pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and mix very gently until just combined and no more. This will help keep the pancakes light.
Heat a non-stick pan or girdle on a moderate heat and drop in four tablespoons of mix, one for each pancake. Cook for about a minute until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges begin to look dry. Flip over and cook for 2 minutes on the other side until the centre is set.
By Eva Schonveld
Meat is a minefield. It’s not just that there’s conflicting information about it, it’s that there’s so much, and it often says diametrically opposed things. So, depending on who you listen to, meat is good for your health and bad for your health; it’s key to causing climate change and it’s key to stopping climate change; we need more pasture land and we need more crop land – or maybe we need more wilderness… There are so many ethical, welfare, health, environmental and economic issues to consider – and when you put that together with the fact that most of our meat is sold through an unaccountable, profit driven supermarket system – it can be hard to make an informed decision about any aspect of our relationship with it.
Culturally, meat is important in the Scottish diet and many people still find the idea of cooking a ‘proper’ meal without it hard to get their heads round. The recipes on the Fife Diet website have leaned heavily towards making the best use of veggies, offering a wide range of alternatives and showing that nutritious, tasty meals are possible and even easy without meat.
In terms of carbon, the majority of current research says that cutting down on meat – and especially red meat – is one of the most powerful carbon saving actions we can take (see the infographic from Environmental Working Group below). Depending on your starting point, it could be equivalent to or even more effective than giving up your car.
GHG data based on lifecycle assessment by CleanMetrics. cleanmetrics.com
Of course there are so many variables, including how long the land where the animals were reared had been used as pasture, how they were reared and what they were fed, how they were transported, treated and stored, all of which would affect the carbon count. But the kind of mass produced, cheap meat that forms the bulk of our national intake is right up at the top end of carbon emissions.
Although ‘wasting less food’ is one of the other resolutions, it’s interesting to note that wasting meat is significantly more damaging both to your wallet and the planet, compared to wasting other foods. A recent report in Science notes that ‘the disposal of a single kilogram of beef was equal to the waste of 24 kilograms of wheat, in terms of the effort – water, fertiliser, greenhouse gases, cropland needed for its production.’
For some, giving up meat entirely is not a realistic aim, but resisting the lure of cheap supermarket cuts can ensure that, as well as cutting your carbon, you’ll also stay healthier, support the local economy and be sure of animal welfare. Buying locally produced, preferably organic meat, while aiming to make the most of the seasonal veggies on offer is the easiest way to tick all of these boxes, while being likely to taste best too.
But buying local meat often looks expensive. A whole chicken from Tesco costs £5, free range costs £11.25 and the organic one I bought from Earthy the other week was almost £20? So why does it cost so much more?
A lot of the high costs of local, organic meat are about what it doesn’t have: animals aren’t treated with hormones or antibiotics, farms don’t have a lot of high-tech equipment; they won’t be part of a massive national or even international distribution system… Animals reared organically on your local farm will be reared mostly outdoors, at low intensity and all their food will also be organic. Smaller farms are less likely to benefit from the CAP single farm payment, which larger farms can use to subsidise their produce… and on and on. But if you’re also eating meat less often, there might be little impact on your shopping budget.
Buying meat from a local farm, you will also be spending your money within the local economy: your farmer may well spend some of their hard earned cash in your café or getting you in to fix his boiler – whereas when you spend in a supermarket, much less money stays local, much of it getting sucked out into shareholders’ tax haven accounts.
For your typical meat eater, eating less can be a real challenge, but if this is one of your resolutions this year, there are lots of things that can help you on your way:
By Karen Small
There is nothing quite like a hot bowl of parsnip soup on a cold January day, and this is a great recipe – easy and quick with a lovely rich depth off-set by the tangy pesto. The pesto will make more than you need for the soup but it keeps really well in the fridge, or can be frozen in an ice cube tray and added to soups or pasta sauces.
Try adding lightly toasted breadcrumbs or croutons to serve and use any remaining pesto on sandwiches, pasta or potatoes.
For the Soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 large parsnips, peeled and diced
1 litre vegetable stock
For the Pesto:
6-8 kale leaves, washed, stems removed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
40g Parmesan (or other hard cheese), diced
25ml olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Warm the olive oil and butter in a large soup pan on a low heat. Add the onion and garlic and gently cook until the onions are soft – about 10 minutes.
Add the parsnip, milk and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the parsnips are cooked and soft to a knife – this should take about 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender until super smooth.
Meanwhile, put the pesto ingredients of kale, garlic, cheese, olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt in a food processor and blitz until the kale has been well chopped, and you have a pesto like consistency, adding more oil, lemon juice and salt as desired. Check the seasoning.
Add one or two heaped teaspoons of pesto to each bowl of soup before serving.
Oats are something Fife is not short of and this is such an easy, simple and inexpensive alternative to milk. It was first suggested by Elly Kinross – primarily for lactose intolerance reasons – but I’ve been making and using at home ever since.
It doesn’t taste like dairy milk – there’s no point pretending it does. But then no dairy milk alternatives do! So for me, it’s a matter of adjusting to the different taste and my kids certainly don’t notice at all when I use it in breakfasts, cooking or smoothies.
What I probably love most about this is that there is no packaging. You whizz it up in a few minutes, and it will keep in a glass jar in the fridge for 3 days. You need to give it a good shake time each time you use it as it does separate (but that’s just because there are no other ingredients in there holding it together).
I use cups for this recipe because it’s just about the proportions of oats to water (1:3), and keeps it totally easy. I like to add some vanilla – but you could also add a sweetener of your choice or another flavouring such as cinnamon at the blending stage.
Note: Use a hand blender rather than food processor as the bowl may not hold all the water once it’s on at high speed and result in leaks and spills. If you have a muslin cloth you can use this in addition to the sieve and then squeeze it to get any extra liquid out, but it’s not necessary. If you like a thicker milk, use a little less water.
1 cup of rolled oats
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
3 cups water
½ teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
Place the oats in a large, high sided bowl and cover with water for 20 minutes or longer. Drain off the water and rinse the oats in a fine sieve.
Place the now soggy oats back in the bowl with the water, salt and vanilla essence if using. Blend for a two minutes with a hand blender. Place the fine sieve over a second bowl and pour the blended mixture in. You might have to do this in two batches depending on the size of your sieve. Press down on the oats with a spoon to allow as much liquid as possible to pass through. Discard the oats, and repeat the process once or twice. This gets you a really smooth milk. I just keep rinsing out the bowls and switching from one to the other.
Pour into a clean lidded jar and store in the fridge for up to 3 days, shaking well before each use.