Spelt is an ancient grain that has been grown in Somerset since the start of the Iron Age. It has a unique gluten structure which makes it easier to digest than modern wheat.

It has a delicious nutty taste, not dissimilar to barley. High in protein and fibre, spelt is a good source of slow release energy. So much so, that the Roman army called it their marching grain.

Spelt in common with other nuts, grains and seeds, contains phytic acid, a unique natural substance which can impair the absorption of iron, zinc and calcium. Soaking the grain for several hours or overnight can reduce phytate content substantially.

According to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, while pearled barley and spelt are “whole” in the sense of not being rolled, broken or ground down, they are not “wholegrains” but refined: the “pearling” that gives them their name is the process of polishing off the outer bran layer. Soaking is not necessary therefore.

Spelt can be used in soups, stews and salads. It also makes a delicious risotto.

Mar 2019 Menu

Soup £2

Chickpea, lentil & parmesan

Main and two salads £6


Baked spaghetti squash in a rich tomato sauce ( V )
flavoured with a blend of herbs and spices

Roasted Cauliflower and red lentil dahl (V GF)
with rice and spinach

Celeriac, leek and mushroom pie (V)
topped with puff pastry

Herbed lentil balls
with rice & our own tomato relish


Winter green with quinoa
coconut and dill dressing

Roast parsnip, pear & blue cheese
honey & mustard dressing

Roast kalette, squash & spelt
balsamic, basil & olive oil dressing

Roast beetroot & carrot
spiced orange & mint dressing

Chicory, apple & fennel
oil, mustard & lemon dressing

Bread 50p

Homemade sourdough

Gluten free bread

Desert £1

Blueberry Muffin (GF & V)
buckwheat, almonds, coconut oil almond milk

  • V – vegan
  • GF – Gluten Free

Feb 2019 Competition

We have a set of ingredient anagrams each month to win 20% off the next lunch. Last month
Jean Knight’s answer was first out of the bag with solutions to:

  • ionaqu
  • ertobteo
  • utnturebt hsquas
  • ikadu asenb
  • lpkceid natwuls
  • gailletealt
  • bebagca
  • afte ehcese
  • ekel
  • irecmut


Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah was an important, sacred crop for the Incas. There are three main types: white, red and black. This is the nutrient content in 185 grams of cooked quinoa

  • Protein: 8 grams.
  • Fibre: 5 grams.
  • Manganese: 58% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 19% of the RDA.
  • Copper: 18% of the RDA.
  • Iron: 15% of the RDA.
  • Zinc: 13% of the RDA.
  • Potassium 9% of the RDA.
  • Over 10% of the RDA for vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
  • Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin) and vitamin E.

This comes with a total of 222 calories, with 39 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fat. It also contains a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Quinoa is much higher in fibre than most grains and is naturally gluten-free. Quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol – potent plant antioxidants. Quinoa is high in protein compared to most plant foods. It also contains all the essential amino acids that you need, making it an excellent protein source for vegetarians and vegans. The glycaemic index of quinoa is around 53, which is considered low. However, it’s still relatively high in carbs. Quinoa is very high in minerals, but its phytic acid can partly prevent them from being absorbed. Soaking or sprouting degrades most of the phytic acid and increases their antioxidant levels even further.

Easy to cook

  • Put 2 cups (240 ml) of water in a pot, turn up the heat.
  • Add 1 cup (170 grams) of raw quinoa, with a dash of salt.
  • Simmer gently for 15–20 minutes.

It should now have absorbed most of the water and have a fluffy look with a mild, nutty flavour and a satisfying crunch.

Find many healthy and diverse recipes for quinoa online. I have used it to make Tabbouleh instead of the usual bulgur wheat.

Feb 2019 Menu

Soup £2

Butterbean & roasted Butternut Squash (V&GF)

Main and two salads £6


Chilli bean and cauliflower* pie in rich tomato* sauce (GF &V)
topped with creamed celeriac and potato mash

Beetroot* and aduki bean patties (GF & V)
served with tangy tomato sauce

Creamy leek* and mushroom* tagliatelle (V)
with a vegan cream cheese sauce and hint of chilli

Brown rice pilaff
with tumeric, pine nuts & pickled walnuts (V)


roasted organic butternut squash, kale and lentil
herb and olive oil dressing & optional feta cheese

Quinoa & chickpea* Tabbouleh
date & lemon dressing

Red cabbage* slaw with fennel & walnuts
coconut yogurt dressing

Grape, celeriac*, apple*
goats cheese , thyme and honey dressing

Bread 50p

Homemade sourdough
with sesame, poppy, chia,sunflower, pumkin and flax seeds

Desert £1

Blueberry Muffin (GF & V)
almond milk*, ground almonds & blueberries*

  • V – vegan
  • GF – Gluten Free
  • * – organic