Newsletter Imbolc 2015

FareShares Nut Roast – Official!

FareShares dabbled with Suma’s new Nut Roast mix when it first came out, but the sweetened cranberries in its contents list was swiftly spotted by vigilant volunteers. FareShares doesn’t sell sugar as a point of principle, because it is neither necessary nor healthy, end of. Suma pointed out that they do also stock Artisan Grains Nut Roast – a ready-made nut roast that doesn’t have sugary ingredients – and also, handily, comes in its own tin,  and further suggested, ‘you could also try our veggie sausage mix, which would make a mean nut roast with some chopped nuts added’.

You may care to explore that option – anyone can order anything from Suma’s catalogue via FareShares, for which service we charge only 10% premium – but ready made meal mixes is not really what we do. The best nut roast is the one you make yourself from scratch and one of the abiding beauties of FareShares is that one can buy as little or as much of any of the ingredients as one requires to make this, FareShares Officially-Costed* Nut Loaf Recipe:

To feed/cost*:                                                         90p*/p/p   3/£2.05*   6/£3.90*   12/£8.22*

Mixed chopped nuts                 av. price  £11.00kg   40g             120g           250g         500g
Oat flakes &/or breadcrumbs                    £1.32kg    40g             120g          250g          500g
Veg stock/Marigold bouillon, 150ml tub £1.60     25ml           75ml         250ml        500ml
Yeast extract                              340g jar    £3.40       1tsp              2tsp            1tbs          2tbs
Olive oil                                                                        1.5tsp           1tbs            2tbs          4tbs
Diced onion & celery                                                   h/cup         2/3cup         cup          2cup
Shredded carrot                                                          small         medium        large        2large
Cumin                                                                           pinch          1/2tsp          1tsp          2tsp
Mixed herbs; salt & pepper                                       to taste.

*prices, Feb. 2015

  1. Make up the bouillon stock and mix in the yest extract. If you’re using dried herbs, add them now.
  2. Put the oat flakes and/or breadcrumbs in a bowl with the mixed nuts, pour over the stock and leave to stand for 20 minutes.
  3. In a saucepan, sauté the diced onion & celery in olive oil until transparent, then add the grated carrots and fry for another 5 minutes or so.
  4. Add chopped nuts, breadcrumbs, and stock mix, combining all the ingredients. It should have a moist consistency, not too wet. Add more stock or water if necessary.
  5. Put the mixture into a greased loaf tin. Fairly shallow trays are best to ensure the loaf gets properly cooked all the way through.
  6. Cook for about half an hour at 200 deg.C in a fan-assisted oven; precise cooking times will vary, according to how deep the loaf is and how efficient the oven.
  7. Check regularly that the loaf does not dry out & cover with it foil if necessary. You can check if it’s cooked all the way through by inserting a knife for a minute before holding the blade to your lips to see it it’s hot. If not, it needs a few minutes more in the oven innit.
Not roast with roast roots and gravy shall be served!
Not roast with roast roots and gravy shall be served!

FareShares’ Sunday Lunches

FareShares Official Nut Roast shall be served up in all its glory, with onion gravy & roasted root vaggies, at FareShares’ Sunday Lunches, to be held at the Pullens Centre on the 15th of February and March. FareShares’ monthly meetings are regularly held on the 15th and, since that date falls on Sunday for the next couple of months, we’re taking the opportunity to invite you to join us to share some hearty vegan fare and chat about FareShares.

If you’re thinking you may volunteer with FareShares, or you used to be involved, this is an opportunity to meet the people behind the scenes, or to catch up with old friends. There are currently about a score of people associated with our collective – not only those who you see behind the counter –  and new volunteers are always welcome and needed to take responsibility for all the various facets of managing our project.

FareShares is not a shop, but an experiment in community and it is in that spirit that you are invited to join us for a late Sunday lunch, served upstairs at the Pullens Centre, 184 Crampton Street, SE17 from 4pm, where the door will be open an hour earlier if you’d care to come along to help set up. Bring the kids, if you like, but if you please let us know in advance that you’re coming, so we have an idea of numbers. Join the event via Facebook, or e-mail:

After lunch, FareShares’ monthly meeting takes place downstairs from 5pm. All prospective and past members of FareShares are welcome to eat with us, but only present members of the collective may participate in its business meeting. Others are welcome to hang out upstairs until the meeting finishes, especially if some kindly bring puddings!

All Hail to the Kale!

We probably shan’t serve kale at Fareshares’ Sunday Lunches, as it usually sells out on Thursday afternoons, such is the popularity of this curly leaved brassica acephala. Flat leaved kale is also grown, but tends to be tougher and used mainly for animal feed. Not only is eating kale extremely beneficial for one’s health, but it’s one of the few green vegetables that’s abundant and full of flavour during the coldest months of the year. It can be substituted for cabbage or spinach and makes a fine side dish when blanched and sautéed with garlic (a little soy and a sprinkling of chopped, roasted nuts is a lovely addition).

Kale makes an excellent ingredient in hearty, warming soups such as Scotch Broth and the traditional Portuguese dish, Caldo Verde. If you can overlook its meatier numbers, The Guardian’s 10 best kale recipes includes classic kale crisps; fermented kale and kohlrabi kimchi; a salad with sweet potato & hazelnut; a stir-fry with other greens, plus ginger ‘n’ garlic; and a ‘sabzi,’ with fiery chillies, onion & ginger and ‘the earthy tones of mustard and poppy seeds’.  Veritably, this brassica is the most versatile of winter greens!


marmaladeIt’s marmalade season and oranges are available to order for the next couple of weeks (probably not longer though last year they ran through until 1st week of March) for £2.49/kg. Please order and pre-pay in the shop for delivery, not the following week, but the week after (we need to order on Thursday for delivery on Tues/Weds).
If you do get your hands on some oranges, you can make thick-cut marmalade like so:

  1. Use equal quantities of marmalade oranges and sugar by weight (ordinary granulated is fine).
  2. Wash the oranges. Cut them in half over a bowl or pan (to catch the juice), and remove the pips. Place the pips in a muslin bag. Cut the oranges into pieces the size you like in your marmalade (e.g.: around 5-6 mm wide). You may want to wear gloves while you do this, as the juice really stings if you have any cuts on your hands.
  3. Put the oranges in a (very) large pan and cover with water. Soak them overnight, with the pips in the muslin bag. Sterilise some jam jars by rinsing them with boiling water.
  4. The next day, bring the oranges to the boil, still with the pips in the bag, and boil until they are very soft (when a wooden spoon can cut through the skin). Remove the bag of pips, and add the sugar. Continue to boil – but be careful! The mixture will splash and spit, and it’s good to have it in a very large pan so it doesn’t keep spitting over the edge.
  5. Put a saucer in the fridge to chill. To check whether the marmalade is ready, drip a small teaspoonful onto the saucer, and leave to cool for a couple of minutes. Then push the edge of the drop with a finger – if it wrinkles up, the marmalade is ready to set. If it’s still runny, continue boiling for a few minutes and try again.
  6. Pour into jam jars and seal. This marmalade is best left at least three months to mature. It will be quite bitter – if you prefer a sweeter marmalade, add more sugar to taste.

In The Fridge: Tofutti Cream Cheese

other varieties will be available!FareShares’ relationship with our suppliers is a process of give & take: sometimes, they send us stuff we didn’t order, but we take it anyway and see if it sells. That’s what happened with the Taifun Tofu Weiners and now it’s happened again with Tofutti Dairy Free Cream Cheese.

Well, it’s can’t be called , ‘cream cheese’ in the EU, precisely because it’s been nowhere near a dairy. That’s what it’s called in the USA, where New York restaurateur, David Mintz, started selling an ice cream substitute in the 1980s. Here, it’s called, ‘Tofutti Creamy Smooth – the delicious soya alternative to cream cheese.’

Tofutti CS comes in: plain Original; Garlic & Herbs; Herb & Chives; and Country Vegetable varieties & is ideal in soups, dressings, pates & spreads, in sandwiches, or slathered upon jacket potatoes; or one might add fruit, or purées and use it in cheesecakes & smoothies.  FareShares shall stock a selection of these over the coming months, in the fridge, at £2.46 per 225g tub.

Fareshares Food Co-op on Facebook

FareShares Food Co-op is the most popular page on the internet (about FareShares) with more than 330 likes! What people ‘like’ most about FareShares’ Facebook page, mostly, is recipes re-posted from Finding Vegan and One Green Planet. Our most popular post of recent times was this Iranian aubergine & chickpeas stew with coconut-almond sauce, although the ‘cheesy’ whole-roasted cauliflower – the role of cheese in this production played by Engevita yeast flakes – is probably the recipe that more people actually cooked. And delish it was, too.

lionAside from the recipe feed (sic), there’s news from our suppliers, such as fresh product info; eating-out recommendations; that kind of thing. We do vegan lifestyle tips & we don’t do cute animal pics, much. There was that one of the bears dancing in the woods; who could resist that? But it’s mostly recipes. And the odd cartoon.

Some people refuse Facebook and that’s their prerogative, but if you do Facebook and you shop at FareShares, then you might as well ‘like’ FaresharesCoOp on Facebook and kindly add your review, with a star rating. Scroll down to the ‘reviews’ box on the right hand side, click the star rating and add a few well-chosen words to tell the world wide web and our land lord that FareShares is not a shop, but a vitally-needed and highly-appreciated experiment in community that also serves up relevant recipes and so on.