Ask Andrew

Q: What food do you eat on a typical day?

A: We primarily eat a plant-based diet but cook cakes that are made with eggs obtained from our neighbour’s pet chickens.  And, occasionally eat fish.  Last year, I was diagnosed as being lactose-intolerant so I don’t eat any milk products (including cow, sheep or goat).  Neither of us eat meat.

A typical day …

First thing: a glass of homemade kombucha tea or a cup of warm water with homemade cider vinegar

Breakfast varies but typically: Yolande has homemade rye sourdough bread with marmite.  Andrew enjoys oat porridge with raw milk.

Lunch is often a freshly prepared soup made from vegetables in the garden: yesterday we had homemade leek and potato soup with a topping of sprouted lentils and eaten with slices of homemade organic spelt bread.

Afternoon tea is a must!:  fresh herb tea (mint, hyssop or lemon verbena) with a slice of dairy- and sugar-free cake.  Yesterday was sultana courgette cake (made with wholewheat flour and flavoured with nutmeg).   If there’s no cake, we’ll eat homemade bread with homemade preserves.  At the moment we have three on the go: strawberry, rhubarb & ginger and plum.  Or, a handful of dried fruits and nuts.

Dinner is usually bean-, lentil-, quinoa- based: last night we enjoyed homegrown kidney bean casserole (made with chunky chopped  onions, garlic, tomatoes, courgettes, squash and flavoured with fresh herbs including oregano and sage) served with polenta and steamed green vegetables: swiss chard, green beans and kale.  For dessert, we enjoy a glass of homemade wine.  Currently, there are couple of bottles in the fridge, raspberry (dry and very raspberry) and cherry plum wine (sweet and tastes more like a sweet syrupy sherry.

We try to eat a mix of grains and starches in our daily diet.  Grains include rye, spelt, wheat, oats and starch (depends on the season) would include potatoes, parsnips, rice, polenta, jersualem artichokes etc). We also use gluten-free flours in our cooking such as buckwheat and teff.

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Q. I am interested to know which protein crops you are growing and how successful they are? 

A. Very good timing! We just put up a post about proteins so you can check that out. 

Quinoa grows really well in the UK climate as does amaranth. Real Seed Company
Dried beans are restricted to the heavy croppers which we have found to be butter beans (Greek Gigantes from Real Seed Company) and borlotti beans (from the kitchen cupboard). 
We also are striving to grow lentils and are trying Puy lentils this year. These seem to grow better than the brown and standard green varieties but they have all suffered from hungry mice who seem to get there before they mature! 
Chick peas are possible too but I have to try some commercial seeds. I have a friend who is growing some really healthy looking plants outdoors. 
Broad beans grow really well too, especially the ones we sow in October. 
Peas are prone to pea moth grubs if left to dry in the pods on the vines. These at least are the high protein content crops.

If you have a question about any aspect of our lives then you can ask us about it here and we will reply as a post on this page.