An easy vegan meal, shed painting, and slim pickings

I’ve been making a lot of pasta with pesto lately. The kids love it and on Tuesday and Thursday evenings I have less than an hour between when my workday ends and my General Assembly course begins so I want something that’s quick and easy to cook. I buy the pesto sauce which is vegan, of course. Traditional pesto is made with parmesan which is not vegan but the one I buy is made with cashew nuts and really good. Most supermarkets sell it.


I mix the whole jar with the pasta and then add toppings like tomato, cucumber, lettuce, olives, and pine nuts.


It’s a quick and easy healthy vegan dish.

I put the kids to work painting the allotment shed today. They have never painted anything before but did amazingly well. Unfortunately it started raining – I did check the forecast and it was not meant to rain but it was just a passing shower so hopefully it’ll be ok. We only did one coat so there’s still more to do but we definitely have the best shed at the allotments now.



My pickings from the allotment have been slim so far this year. It’s partly my fault because I was so late getting started this year. But also the slugs ate every single one of my beans and the person volunteering on my plot mistakenly pulled out all my kale. But it’s not all grim. I’ve got some parsnips and leeks coming along nicely and today we harvested our first courgette.


I also got a whole heap of garlic. This was from bulbs I planted last year.


And even more exciting, the first of my blueberries and gooseberries are ready.


I’d never eaten a gooseberry until yesterday and they’re rather yummy. Our gooseberry bushes are still quite small because I only planted them a few months ago but hopefully in the years to come we’ll get lots of fruit from them.

6 thoughts on “An easy vegan meal, shed painting, and slim pickings”

  1. Your garlic is a beautiful red. What variety did you plant?

    It’s always rewarding to grow your own vegetables and fruit, even if the harvest isn’t the farmers’ market you were hoping for. Children especially learn a lot from planting their own garden. I was very pleased when my older daughter had my grandchildren plant beans, peas, strawberries and cherry tomatoes in box planters. They’re now harvesting and eating their own veggies (another great thing about growing their own) though the strawberry plants produced only a handful of tiny berries this year.

    I made my own pesto from basil I grew from seed. Unfortunately, the basil bolted before I could harvest it, resulting in somewhat bitter leaves. I’ll know better next year.

    1. I totally agree with the growing vegetables and getting children involved. It gets them more interested in eating vegetables. Growing produce is also an important skill to have.

      Regarding basil, I have the same problem whenever I try to grow it. I’m not sure what you’re meant to do.

      I think the garlic is red Russian garlic, from memory. It does look like it when I search for it now.

      1. I was told to cut the flowers from the basil before they fully develop, but it’s tough to get the timing right when you’re not in your garden every day. I was also told a long hot spell will make basil bitter, so it’s better just to cut the whole plant down when it starts getting warm. But I have an allotment like you, and it’s just not realistic to get there just in time to harvest the leaves. I think I’ll stick with pesto from my supermarket this summer!

      2. Yes I have the same problem with the allotment! I can usually only manage to get there once a week or sometimes once a fortnight.

    1. Thanks, Denise. One day I should post some photos of other plots. There are some amazing ones there – much better than ours – but they’re often owned by people who are retired and who have time to go there every day.

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