Meat free dumplings to mark organic awards

Make this tasty meat free recipe below and vote for your favourite organic product!

This year you can get involved with organic too, the BOOMs Nation’s Favourite Award asks the people to find and vote for the most popular organic product. Nominations are open NOW until to Wednesday, May 31st – make sure you have your say here by voting – click on this link.



3 tbsp organic olive oil
Sprig of thyme
Bay leaf
1 tbsp parsley stalks
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
1 small organic swede, peeled and diced
150g tinned plum tomatoes
1 tbsp good red wine vinegar
200g organic kale, stalks removed (reserved and chopped), leaves shredded
100g orzo Parsley and chervil, to garnish Grated lemon zest, to garnish Organic cheddar, to garnish Salt and pepper, to taste


Pinch of coriander seed
Pinch of rye seed
250g ricotta
10g grated parmesan
1 garlic clove, grated
100g pistachios, toasted and chopped
200g spinach
Zest of 1 organic unwaxed lemon
tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of chilli flakes
2 tbsp light organic spelt flour
Freshly grated nutmeg


To make the soup:

Heat the olive oil over a medium to high heat. Add the thyme, bay leaf and parsley stalks and stir, cooking for a minute or two to infuse the oil, then add the diced veg and cook, stirring for 10–15 minutes, until softened and smelling good. Add the plum tomatoes and cook for a couple more minutes before adding a litre of water, vinegar and the kale stalks, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for another 10–15 minutes, allowing all the flavours to infuse. During this time, make the dumplings.

To make the dumplings:

Dry fry the spices in a frying pan until they start to crackle. Remove and grind in a pestle and mortar. Wash the spinach and then wilt in a nonstick frying pan over a medium heat. There should be enough residual water on the spinach to mean that you don’t need to add any oil or water. After a couple of minutes, once wilted, transfer the spinach to a sieve and leave over the sink to drain. Press down on the leaves with a wooden spoon to squeeze out any excess water. Once cooled and drained, chop finely. Place the ricotta in a bowl and add all of the other ingredients.

Season with salt and pepper and stir well to combine and incorporate all the ingredients. Oil your hands lightly with olive oil and shape them into meatball sized balls.

Poach them in the minestrone. Alternatively you could bring a pan of water to the boil and cook them in the boiling water for 5 minutes, until they float – removing them with a slotted spoon.


National Vegetarian Week (UK) – 18-24 May 2009

London This May it’s time to dust off your recipe books and make a fresh start for summer. Grab your shopping list, freshen up your table and try out a few new ingredients as you brush up on a healthy, cheap and delicious way of eating. From 18-24 May it’s National Vegetarian Week 2009 and the Vegetarian Society has some great tasting meat free recipes for you to try. Call + 44 (0)161 925 2000 to get hold of our new veggie pack or visit

National Vegetarian Week 2009 18-24 May 2009 is sponsored by Cauldron Foods. Cauldron Foods together with the Vegetarian Society are encouraging more people to discover the possibilities and benefits of vegetarian cooking.

From tasty morsels for sharing at barbecues and picnics, through to everyday meals for friends and families or cheap meals for under £5 – vegetarian food has something for everyone. The Week is also a great time to brush up on your foodie know how. The often asked questions of where do you get your vitamins and minerals from? Won’t I be short of iron?

National Vegetarian Week (NVW) is the annual awareness-raising campaign promoting inspirational vegetarian food and the benefits of a meat-free lifestyle. Last year over 1400 businesses, schools, pubs, caterers, libraries and retailers all got involved with finding out the benefits of a meat-free lifestyle.
More information:
· The Vegetarian Society of the UK (founded in 1847) was the first organisation worldwide to adopt the term “vegetarian”. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, or slaughter by-products.

Is Soya Safe? – new guide reveals all

London: The Safety of Soya Leading health charity the Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation (VVF) has created a new nutritional fact sheet “The Safety of Soya”.

The fact sheet reviews the latest science on soya and is essential reading for vegetarians, vegans and meat- eaters alike. VVF give you the facts on the wealth of health benefits and discuss the supposed risks of the humble soya bean.

VVF senior health campaigner and fact sheet author Dr Justine Butler says: “Soya is an excellent source of nutrients and can protect against heart disease, certain cancers and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms; it might even help boost brain power. However, not all the reports on soya are favourable; the health benefits have been questioned by some while others have gone even further, launching a vigorous anti-soya crusade. The result is confusion – people don’t know who to believe. VVF has looked at the research in its entirety and sets the record straight in this timely fact sheet”.

“The Safety of Soya” Dr Butler says “explains how soya foods are a good source of protein, good fats including omega-3s, antioxidants, B vitamins, iron and are cholesterol-free. Calcium- and B12-fortified soya products provide a valuable source of these important nutrients. The new fact sheet explains how soya lowers cholesterol and so protects against heart disease. It describes how soya has been shown to improve bone health and reduce menopausal hot flushes”.

In answer to the soya detractors Dr Butler argues that “Millions of people have been safely consuming soya foods for thousands of years. In fact, millions of infants have been raised on soya-based infant formulas in the UK and US, many of whom are now well into their late 30s and early 40s. The absence of any reported ill effects on millions of babies would suggest there are no adverse effects, either biological or clinical.”

Dr Butler warns “Much of the concern is based on the presence of natural substances found in soya called phytoestrogens (plant hormones that act like oestrogen but are much weaker). VVF is far more concerned about the actual oestrogen content of cow’s milk and dairy products. Cow’s milk contains over 35 different hormones and 11 growth factors, several of which have been linked to cancer. Considering the main complaint about soya is that it contains phytoestrogens, many thousand times weaker than animal oestrogens, it begs the
question: what is the real motivation behind the anti-soya crusade?”

Decide for yourself by reading The Safety of Soya available for 40p including p&p from Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation, 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol,
BS2 8QH. Tel: + 44(0)117 970 5190 9am- 6pm. Email or visit our website at < ahref=""

What is the VVF?

The Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation (VVF) is a charity established to monitor and interpret the increasing amount of scientific research linking diet to health.
VVF communicates this information to the public, health professionals, schools and food manufacturers and provides accurate information on which to make informed choices. It is a vital – and almost solitary – source of accurate and unbiased information and advice on diet and health and is free from any commercial or vested interests.

Delicious new recipes to mark National Vegetarian Week

London: Everyone’s talking about climate change so The Vegetarian Society is urging vegetarians to go even greener by eating seasonal UK-grown produce for the fifteenth National Vegetarian Week which runs from 21st May – 27th May 2007.

A new recipe booklet focusing on seasonal, UK produce, will be launched during National Vegetarian Week. Packed with scrumptious seasonal delights that cut down on ‘food miles’, the twelve monthly recipes prove that you can look after your taste buds as well as the planet!

May’s offering – Warm New Potato and Asparagus Salad – features English Asparagus (uniquely both grown and eaten exclusively in the UK), walnuts and goat’s cheese.

Free copies of the booklet, along with a wide range of other information and resources, are available by T: + 44 (0)161 925 2000, or visit to find out more.

Another new booklet published by The Vegetarian Society in May explains why vegetarians’ meat and fish-free lifestyle reduces their impact on the environment through reduced greenhouse gases, water pollution and land use.

National Vegetarian Week is co-ordinated by The Vegetarian Society but includes events and activities organised independently by local vegetarian groups, eateries, schools and businesses across the nation.

The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as a person who eats no meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea. Vegetarians also avoid the by-products of slaughter such as gelatine or animal rennet in cheese. The Society only approves products containing eggs when they are free-range.