What’s On

Burntisland Sunday Lunch

By Meg Elphee

For the past seven years Fife Diet has been hosting community lunches in halls and public spaces across Fife and beyond. And now we’re bringing it home! Burntisland has been the base for the Fife Diet offices for the last four years and our home for longer, so it seems only right that we should hold a last Fife Diet community lunch in Burntisland at the Parish Church Halls. Please join us to celebrate the success of the project by doing what we like to do best of all: sharing good food with some of the many wonderful friends we have made over the years.

You are invited to Fife Diet’s film premiere and exclusive book launch

Burntisland Parish Church Halls (near the train station),
East Leven Street, Burntisland, KY3 9DL
Arrive 1:45 for film showing at 2pm

Join us for a private screening – the premiere of two Fife Diet short films about the work we’ve done in Fife and beyond with our sister project, the Seed Truck.

Plus see our brand new recipe book. Fife Diet co-founder, Karen Small has com0plied some of her favourite recipes and some hard copies will be available to view on the day (the book will be launched online for all members later this spring).

Following the theme of all our lunches, we will be serving simple but distinctive food made from local and organic ingredients. Children are welcome and are included in all the fun; please book a ticket for them too*.

This event is free and you must book a place at the table here.

We only require your presence but if you like washing up or making tea then please get in touch with Meg: meg@maryland.cochranfirmcriminaldefense.com, before the day. Thank you!

600 frozen pud & sweet peas

*We’ll be eating around 2:30pm, so bear this in mind if your children are used to eating earlier than this!

One Comment
  • 02/03/15
  • Comments: 0

Inverkeithing Community Lunch

The Inverkeithing Community Lunch is being hosted in their medieval Friary and will feature a menu of locally and sustainably sourced natural produce, cooked from scratch. Much interest is gathering behind the idea of setting up a new community food group to bring more food-related events to the historic town. These will highlight local produce, often not available in supermarkets, and enable people to buy more local and sustainable food. Organisers Vohn McGuinness and Pia Gradaus invite you to lunch to hear your thoughts.

Anyone with an interest in local food and who works or lives in Inverkeithing, or the surrounding area, is most welcome. Please do book a place via Facebook so organisers have an idea of numbers.

Facebook: InverkeithingFood
Email: InverkeithingFood@gmail.com


  • 26/02/15
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Teddy Bear’s Picnic

By Fiona Hemsley-Flint

Burntisland Playgroup are hosting a Teddy Bear’s Picnic at the Toll Centre in Burntisland between 11 and 2 on Sunday 8th March, as part of the Fife Diet Sunday Lunch celebrations.  Everyone is welcome, although the event is mainly aimed at pre-schoolers, their parents and siblings.

As well as a free picnic lunch (don’t worry, the kid’s aren’t making it in their mud kitchen!), the children will be taking part in a sponsored bear hunt to help raise some money for the playgroup. There will be lots of other fun activities on the day including face painting, a storyteller, sow your own salad box, decorate a bear biscuit, frame a photo,  name the bear competition, and the ubiquitous raffle!

Burntisland Playgroup's 'Mud Kitchen'!

Burntisland Playgroup’s ‘Mud Kitchen’!

This is a ticketed event to make sure we cater for everyone, so please pick up tickets from the Toll Centre. You can check out our website and Facebook page for up to date information about this and other events, and the playgroup in general!

Click here to see details of the other Fife Diet Sunday Lunches taking place on the 8th March 




  • 25/02/15
  • Comments: 0

St Andrews Sunday Lunch and Skill Share

By Alistair McLeod

In St Andrews, Transition UStA will be hosting a Community Celebration Lunch in recognition of the great work of the Fife Diet on Sunday 8th March at the Cosmos Community Centre, Abbey Walk. Cooks from Transition UStA, Veg Soc and Enactus will be using veg gleaned from local farms and also grown in our own University growing spaces to create some wholesome, delicious and nutritious fair.

Over lunch there will be a chance to reflect on achievements of the Fife Diet and importance of local food whilst discussing the next step for making food more sustainable. This free lunch will run from 12 – 3pm and form part of the much bigger St Andrews Skillshare Extravaganza that will be taking part in the same building from 10.30am to 4pm. Click here to go to the facebook page for this event.  There will be over 20 different skills to try from fruit tree pruning and hen keeping to dance and photography with lunch thrown in. All free and open to all ages.

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  • 24/02/15
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Lochore Meadows Sunday Lunch

By Mags Hall

If you’d like to get outside, stretch your legs, and share some good food this spring, join Mags and Elly from the Fife Diet team at our Spring Nature Walk and Sunday Lunch at Lochore Meadows, near Lochgelly. Enjoy a pot luck lunch prepared by Fife Diet members, before taking a stroll around the loch, looking out for the first signs of spring whilst Elly shares her woodland knowledge and skills.

We’ll be meeting at 12 noon in the main buildings at Lochore – keep an eye out for the Fife Diet signs pointing you in the right direction, and see the map below for instructions of how to get to Lochore. The meadows are a half hour walk or a short bike ride from Lochgelly train station, or there is plenty of parking at the venue.

Please bring a dish to share for lunch. It could be cakes, a salad, bread, or one of your own creations – whatever the Fife Diet has inspired you to cook over the years! We don’t have reheating facilities though unfortunately, so it needs to be suitable for eating cold, although we hope to have some warming soup available if it is a cold day.

There will be games and activities for the kids as we walk round the loch, including plant identification. Dogs are welcome too, although they cannot join us in the lunch area and need to be kept on a lead at certain points around the loch.

The event is free, but please click here to go to our eventbrite page and let us know if you’re coming.

This is part of a whole day of Sunday Lunches, celebrating the end of the Fife Diet project. Click here to see the list of lunches open to the public, or why not host your own at home? For more information on this or on any of the events, email mags@maryland.cochranfirmcriminaldefense.com or call our offices on 01592 871371.


  • 23/02/15
  • Comments: 0

Host Your Own Sunday Lunch

By Mags Hall

As we wrap up our project after eight years, we’re inviting all our members and friends to get together for one final Fife Diet meal, and celebrate the power food has to ground and reconnect us. On Sunday 8th March, people across Fife and beyond will be joining us for Sunday Lunch, in community halls, parks, churches and gardens. Click here to see the full list of community lunches if you’d like to join in with one near you.

But it’s not too late to host your own lunch at home – community doesn’t have to be about hundreds of people in your local hall, it can simply be the people you love, the folk you share a street with, your colleagues at work, your team-mates from football… food has a unique ability to unite us all. We’d like to invite you to get your friends and family together on the 8th March, and share some good, local, sustainable food with them.

There’s no obligations or commitments – just invite your favourite people, cook some tasty food, and celebrate being part of a groundbreaking project. We hope these lunches will inspire people to keep talking about the food we eat and changing our food behaviours long after our work has finished.

If you need any help or inspiration, or would like some books or materials to share at your lunch, get in touch with mags@maryland.cochranfirmcriminaldefense.com or call us on 01592 871371

Tell us about your lunch

Even if you’re just cooking at home with your closest family, you’re part of a bigger movement of people celebrating local food on Sunday 8th, and we’d love you to share your lunch with us. We’ll be gathering together everyone’s pictures and reports from the day, and these will feed into our final work as we collate the story of our eight year project. You can share your lunch with us in a number of ways;

  • On Facebook – Share your pictures, thoughts and ideas from your lunch on our facebook page here, and if you’ve liked our page you can us in any photos you post.
  • On Twitter – Tweet your lunch on the day using the hashtag #FDSundayLunch, at tag us in your tweets – @MagsFifeDiet and @mikefifediet
  • Via Email - send us stories and photos from you lunch to mags@maryland.cochranfirmcriminaldefense.com. We’d especially love to receive any recipes for things  you cooked on the day – we’ll be publishing our favourites along with all the other feedback on our website in the weeks following the Sunday Lunch.

What to cook?

Check out your winter and spring Fife Diet recipe books for inspiration on what to cook for you Sunday Lunch, but below are a selection of recipes from our archives using  ingredients in season just now that you should be able to get your hands on easily. All the dishes are either  easy to scale up if you’re cooking for a group, or work well as part of a spread of dishes. Remember you can check out our local producers map, for help in sourcing your food locally, or head along to the Fife Farmer’s market to stock up in advance – upcoming markets are February 28th in Kirkcaldy, and March 7th in St Andrews.



Kale Slaw – a crisp winter salad that you can adapt with different types of kale and winter veg

Kale crisps – a nice pre-lunch nibble

Red kale pesto – serve as a dip with bread and crudites, or thin down with oil and use as a salad dressing with steamed veg

Slice of Pizza Pie

Cabbage and other greens

Cabbage Sabzi – a big batch of this tasty spiced cabbage dish is a cheap and seasonal way to feed a bunch of hungry folk. Nice as part of a selection of curries too.

Spring green pizza pie – still a bit early for spring greens, but try this tasty dish with kale or savoy cabbage instead

Purple sprouting broccoli quiche - If your lucky enough to get some of the early PSB crop in your veg box, try this gluten free quiche

Quinoa with leek and mushroom – A bestseller during last year’s Food Co-op pilot, Homedods have their British grown quinoa back in stock now

Cabbage, carrot and onion curry – cheap, filling, winner.



A whole tandoori cauliflower – there’s a bit of a curry theme developing here, but exotic spices are a great way to liven up local winter veg

Jewelled Cauliflower Couscous – a good option for gluten-free guests

Cauliflower ‘wings’ in a buffalo sauce – one of my personal favourites, I could eat a whole head to myself


Root Veg

Parsnip Pate – serve as part of a spread with oatcakes and winter salads

Turnip roasted with rosemary, thyme and garlic – easy to prepare take on this cheap, seasonal vegetable

Whole roasted celeriac - an impressive and affordable centerpiece dish

Turnip and tattie smoked hash – get your hands on some Arborath smokies for this warming one pot dish

Turnip barlotto – a more local take on the classic italian ristotto, using swede or turnip and scottish barley

Beetroot hummus – colourful and healthy, kids in particular love this spread

Oven roasted root veg frittata – perfect for a picnic lunch

Beetroot falafels – baked rather than fried, these make a healthy alternative to the classic falafels as part of a lunch spread

Rhubarb and oranges


Rhubarb and oat muffins – the first of the year’s forced rhubarb is just starting to appear in shops now

Rhubarb and custard cake – a decadent take on this classic, that can be prepared in advance

Beetroot and rhubarb salad - try this refreshing and crisp salad – leave out the cheese for a vegan version


Baking Ideas

Foccaccia – the most more-ish of all breads, and an easy one to start with if you haven’t tried bread making before

Individual carrot cakes – not just for breakfast!

Cheese and thyme scones - a tasty and quick alternative to bread for serving with soups and stews

Turnip cake – use this seasonal veg to reduce the sugar content of your cake and keep it lovely and moist




  • 16/02/15
  • Comments: 0

Community Lunch Celebrations

By Mags Hall

The Fife Diet grew by bringing people together to celebrate, cook and share food. As we close after eight years work, we’re doing that again. Lunches to celebrate the work of the project, and the wider local food movement in Scotland are happening across the region and across the country.

On Sunday 8th March – you’re invited to host your own Fife Diet lunch, whether it’s just with friends or a bigger public affair. There’s still room if people want to organise their own event – anything from a local lunch for friends to a bigger public event – or there’s dozens of events already organised which you can go along to …

Finishing up where it started off, Meg, Mike and Karen will be hosting lunch in Burntisland Parish Hall, celebrating the work of the last 8 years and launching Karen’s new recipe book, ‘The Fife Diet Kitchen’. Lunch is free but booking is essential for this one – click here to book your free ticket.

Meanwhile, Mags and Elly will be at Lochore Meadows near Lochgelly for a Spring nature walk and pot luck lunch. Bring along a dish inspired by the Fife Diet, and join us for a lap of the loch!  Click here for more details and to book your place.

The brand new Inverkeithing Food Community will be hosting lunch at Inverkeithing Friary from 1pm til 3pm. Join them to celebrate local produce and discuss holding more food related events in the community. Click here to visit the event page on Facebook.

Burntisland Playgroup will be holding a Teddybear’s Picnic at the Toll Centre in the village for pre-schoolers and their families. There will be lots of fun activities including name the bear competition, sow your own salad box, and a sponsored teddy bear hunt to raise money from the playgroup. Tickets available in advance from the Toll Centre.



Fife Diet Lunch and Skillshare Extravaganza at the Cosmos Centre, St Andrews – 10.30 – 3pm, with lunch at 1.30. The Lunch will be a central event within the St Andrews Skillshare Extravaganza which is being organised by Transition UStA. We work with our friends at Enactus, local growers and our own gardens to bring in as much local produce as possible to the event as well as encourage people to take part in the communal lunch on the day. More details here.

The community in Auchtermuchty will be hosting lunch in their Church Hall from 12.30 – 2pm with a local lunch prepared by Neal Robertson from Tannochbrae Tea Rooms, to tie in with Fairtrade Fortnight. Tickets available in advance from the tearooms, or by calling Neal on 01337 828787 or Ian Macaulay on 01337 828477

Fife Diet members in Burntisland will also be hosting a Backyard Sunday Lunch with soup and curry, and discussing new local food projects in the area, including FAB’s community orchard. Book your place via eventbrite here.

Stenton Jubilee Community Centre in Glenrothes will be cooking up veggie curry and Puddledubs burgers, whilst hosting stalls from local makers and crafters. Click here to see more on their facebook page.

The community in Strathmiglo are hosting a lunch to celebrate the new community garden planned for the village. There will be bread demos and pizza making, along with a tasty local lunch, raffle and tombola to help raise funds for the project. Book via their facebook page here.

Outwith Fife there’s some great events happening including the Locavore Lunch and Workshop, The Croft at Queen’s Park Bowling Club, Glasgow – a celebration lunch and workshop on small-scale growing to supply local markets, with a tour of Locavore’s nano-market garden in the heart of Glasgow’s South Side. More info here.

And Girvan Community Garden in Ayrshire will be hosting lunch as part of their regular Sunday volunteering sessions – pop along and see what they have planned for the garden this year!


Email Mags at mags@maryland.cochranfirmcriminaldefense.com or call on 01592 871 371 if you want to get involved.

  • 20/01/15
  • Comments: 0

Edinburgh Orchard Meeting at Caledonian Brewery

By Fergus Walker

The Dunblane Orchard Gathering feels like a long time ago! However, in the intervening time, we have not been hibernating, and would like to take this opportunity to present the intellectual ‘harvest’ from that event – all the visions, ideas, advice, news and creativity that came out of that busy day at the Victoria Halls on the 7th  November. You can see all the notes and materials from that day on a brand new dedicated website: orchardgathering.weebly.com. Cream of the crop is this lovely film by award-winning film maker Johnny Barrington:



At the Dunblane Orchard Gathering in November, people were asking when the next meeting was. We are pleased to announce a free, follow-up meeting which will be at:

Caledonian Brewery: 42 Slateford Road, Edinburgh, EH11 1PH

Saturday 21st February, 12-4:30pm. 

This meeting will be a chance to follow up the vision that was created at the Dunblane meeting and decide how we can really make things happen. And, wishing to avoid the proverbial allegation about organising events in breweries, the Edinburgh Orchard Meeting will again have a participatory format, which worked so well at the Dunblane event.

The Edinburgh Orchard Meeting will have the following format:

  • 12-12.30 Lunch
  • 12.30-1.30 Revisiting the Dunblane vision: how do we make it happen?
  • 1.30-4.30 ‘Design for Wiser Action’ – Pooling expertise to help those with an energy to take projects forward

BOOK YOUR TICKETS (free) on Eventbrite here.

‘DESIGN FOR WISER ACTION’ – making things happen

Do you have an orchard-related project that you would really like to make happen, but feel a bit daunted about where to start? Perhaps you need to bring lots of people together to start an equipment-sharing ring? Or you need volunteers to help start a database of tree varieties and and their uses? The Designing for Wiser Action is a framework to allow people offer advice and help to the brave souls who have a plan.

Are you a brave soul? Do you have a project in mind? Is you are keen, please get in touch with fergus@maryland.cochranfirmcriminaldefense.com – think about the following questons: 

What’s your idea/project:

Name/s of person/people who want to take it forward:

What’s the plan so far; e.g.

When are you thinking this might happen?


How many people will be involved?



  • 22/12/14
  • Comments: 0

Fife Diet Sunday Lunch

By Mags Hall

As our seven year eating experiment comes to a close, we’d like to invite you to help us celebrate the work of the Fife Diet in our region-wide Sunday Lunch on 8th March, 2015. This is to be the biggest and best community lunch we’ve ever held, with Fife Diet members, their friends, family and neighbours, all joining together in communities across the kingdom for one big meal. We want to demonstrate the power of the local food movement to bring people together, and spark conversations that will continue beyond the end of the Fife Diet.

The scale, style and location of the event are up to you – all we ask is that you capture it in some way and let us know how you get on! If you’re interested in taking part, get in touch with mags@maryland.cochranfirmcriminaldefense.com, or call our offices on 01592 871371 and ask for Mags.

We will be holding a training session on Saturday 31st January 2015 in two locations to share ideas and talk over the practicalities of hosting a community lunch. Choose from,

Fife Diet Offices, Old Station House, Burntisland – 10am – 12 noon or

Hope Park Church, St Mary’s Place, St Andrews – 2 – 4pm

This will be an opportunity to discuss the support you may need from us in advance of your event, including resources, equipment, and budget. In the meantime, here are some things to think about when planning your lunch.

Who will you invite?

Host a small event with family and friends, invite neighbours from your street, or hold a lunch for other Fife Diet members in your local area. We can use our membership list to put you in contact with members nearby, send out invites, or help you set up an on-line page where people can book in advance.

Where will you hold it?

In your own home, or a local community centre or church hall. We have cooked in a wide range of community spaces across Fife over the last seven years, and know where many of the good kitchens are – get in touch if you’d like some ideas! We have funding that can help cover any costs involved with venue hire.

Or perhaps you own a cafe or restaurant, or have links with someone who does? These spaces will have all the equipment and kit you need for cooking for a group, so why not chat to them and see if they’d like to team up with you for the day?

What will you cook?

This is entirely up to you, but obviously the more local it is, the better! We can send you out copies of our recipe books for inspiration, and you can access lots of locally inspired recipes right here on our website. At the training session in January, we’ll share some of our past menus from community lunches, and talk about the practicalities of cooking for larger groups, which may influence what you choose. We can also give you information about where to buy your ingredients from.

What else can I do at my lunch?

You might want to keep things simple and focus on good food and friends, or you could take the opportunity to turn your lunch into something bigger. Perhaps you could invite some local musicians to play, host an art exhibition or craft fair, or invite a guest speaker to give a talk to your group. You could invite friends to share their skills and help prepare the lunch by running a morning workshop. Or maybe you’d like to do away with the venue all together, host an al-fresco lunch and go for a walk up the hills! There’s no fixed model for your community lunch, as long as there’s food and people, so let your imagination run wild…

How do I capture the day?

These lunches are about celebrating Fife Diet’s work over the last few years, and inspiring people to return to the local roots of the organisation. Ideally we’d like photos from your lunch, plus a short write up of the event to be used as a blog or part of a booklet. You may like to get creative – could you make a short film of the day? Or ask your guests to graffiti a board with their ideas and comments? Would you like to write up your recipes and share these on our site too? It would be great if people could share their event on social media as the day goes on, and get people beyond Fife talking about our big Sunday Lunch! Document your thoughts on what it means to be part of the Fife Diet, as this will be a valuable resource as we look to the future.

We hope you’re able to join us for the training session on January 31st. If you are unable to come but would like to take part, let us know and we can share the learning in advance and register your event.

Good luck, please stay in touch and let us know how you get on!


  • 16/12/14
  • Comments: 0

Future of the Fife Food Co-op

By Mags Hall

We have now come to the end of our six month food co-op pilot project.  Thank you so much for participating in this exciting experiment.  It has sent ripples all across the country as we know from the inquiries and interest it has generated.

We will be holding a celebratory meal for all our customers and producers, alongside a meeting to discuss the future of the Food Co-op on Monday January 12th from 6.30pm at the Old Station House Meeting Room in Burntisland.   Please email elly@maryland.cochranfirmcriminaldefense.com if you would like to join us – everyone with an interest in the project is welcome to come along, even if you haven’t been to a steering group meeting before.

 As you may have read, our board has decided to wrap up Fife Diet project at the end of March 2015.  This means the organisation is unable to take forward any future Fife Food Co-op as a Fife Diet project, however the board are supportive of the Food Co-op in principal and there is potential help with resources, funding and equipment that may be available.   At the meeting the Monitoring and Evaluation report will be presented and it is an opportunity to contribute the the development of the business plan which is being formed.

The Open Food Network

As well as trialing the concept of a local food hub in Fife, the Fife Food Co-op was also a pilot for the first wave of the Open Food Network in the UK. We’re continuing to work with other organisations across the UK to develop this as an open source solution for local food hubs, and we’re now at the stage of helping other organisations to use the software for their own trial food hubs.

We’ll be hosting a free training day on Friday, January 23rd, at the Melting Pot in Edinburgh for all community groups, organisations and small businesses wishing to run their own food hubs using Open Food Network. The day will be split into two parts – the morning will be a wider discussion around food hubs, where we will be sharing our learning from the Fife Food Co-op Pilot, whilst the afternoon will be a hands on workshop setting up groups on the software. If you’re still at the early stages of thinking about your own hubs, please join us for the morning and get involved in the discussions over lunch – if you’re further down the line and ready to take the next step come for the whole day.

Booking is essential for this training sessionclick here to go to our Eventbrite page and book your place.

If you’ve any questions about either of these events, please get in touch with elly@maryland.cochranfirmcriminaldefense.com or call our offices on 01592 871371 and we’d be happy to talk to you further.


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