"Grumbeerekiechle” potato galettes

Today we shall get a snippet of Arnaud's origins and head to his home in Alsace, a region in the North Eastern part of France that shares the border with Germany and Switzerland.

Alsace has a uniquely rich, lively gastronomy, that builds on the Alsatians’ passion for food and their German roots.

Alsatian proverb

“In Germany, plates are great but the taste not so much

In France, taste is great but plates not so much

In Alsace, plates are great and taste as well”

Most of the traditional savoury dishes include meat, most often pork or beef, which, consumed too often are not the best for sustainability. There are some exceptional dishes though that do not involve meat, such as the infamous onion pie and…the “grumbeerekiechle” potato galettes!

These flavourful potato galettes are easy to make, full of vitamin C and minerals (parsley) and have a low environmental impact.

Ingredients to serve 4:

  • 1 kg of potatoes - sourced from the local farmer of course ;)
  •  1 big onion – can be red for more antioxidants
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs – free-range preferably
  •  1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 cup of oil (olive, rapeseed)
  • Pepper, salt, nutmeg

Let’s get cooking

  1. Finely grate the onion and the potatoes (cleaned and peeled). Keep the potato starch that will appear when grating.
  2. Chop the parsley.
  3. Mix the onion, the potatoes, the starch and the parsley with the two eggs. Add pepper, salt and nutmeg.
  4. Form small galettes with a full tablespoon into a hot, oily pan. Push the mixture down on the pan to provide more consistency. Don’t risk burning your galettes; add more oil if needed.
  5. Brown your galettes on the two sides.

At this point, the galettes should be crispy and ready to devour. These are great with a side of salad ;)! 

Ecotarian-ly yours! 

Sweet Potato Lentil Dish

Today I shall be sharing one of my ultimate and beloved lentil recipes. While this dish happens to be vegan and - if I may say so myself - very yummy, it is also extremely nutritious! Lentils are an excellent source of protein and fiber (1/3 of your daily fiber intake), while sweet potatoes provide "good" carbs needed in every healthy diet! "Good" carbs typically refer to long chain carbohydrates that will take longer for your digestive system to break down, satisfying your hunger for longer and causing a much lower blood sugar level spike than other types of carbs like white potatoes, pasta or white bread. 

Although this Ecotarian is currently cooking in California, all the ingredients used here actually happen to be in season both on the sunny Western coast of the United States and the great island that is the United Kingdom! Enjoy this seasonal recipe for a wonderful dish that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes!

Your mix of ingredients

Your mix of ingredients

Ingredients to serve 2-3 dining buddies: 

  • 120g green lentils
  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes - peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 white onion - chopped, diced, minced, it's all the same to me! 
  • 1 vegetable stock cube 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil - you are wild and free! 
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away ;) 
  • 75g frozen peas 
  • Handful of raisins (if you like a sweet & savoury twist) 
  • 1 pinch of salt to your pallet's liking 

Let's get cooking:

Step 6!

Step 6!

Step 10 - you're almost there! 

Step 10 - you're almost there! 

  1. Start by placing the lentils in a pot with about 2.5 times the volume of water and the crumbled stock cube
  2. Boil the lentils for 15-20 mins until the water has evaporated and the lentils expanded, then let it simmer on low heat for another 5 mins 
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate pan on high heat, place a tablespoon of your chosen oil
  4. Once the oil is hot, throw in your onion and saute for a few minutes
  5. Add your sweet potatoes to your browned onions and as they are cooking progressively add in a half cup of water 
  6. Once you see your sweet potatoes start to soften, add in your peas and chopped apple and leave these to cook for another 5 mins
  7. Whip in your handful of raisins (acting as a fruity source of sweetness) 
  8. On low-medium heat place a lid on your pan and leave the mix to simmer and the flavours to infuse for another 5-10 minutes
  9. Add in your boiled lentils and pinch of salt and mix it all together with a wooden spoon (to avoid scratching your precious pan!)
  10. Leave the mix for another few minutes until you see it all blending into a wonderful medley of colours and flavours, sweet potatoes mushy, apple slices browned and peas revived
  11. Your dish is ready to be served! 

Savour this nutritious meal with a side of green salad and you're all set to go for the evening!

If you want to know more about all the wonderful benefits of lentils (a pulse in the legumes family) check out this link

xxxxxx

Your Food-y Ecotarian 

 

What to do with rotting bananas? A banana cake of course!

Upon returning from the bank holiday weekend, I found my poor little bananas rotting away... Will they have to go to waste? No way! So I decided to make a yummy, healthy, vegan-if-you-like-it, banana cake and here is how it goes... 

Ingredients: 

  • Super ripe bananas (5-6 small ones or 3 big ones) approx. 400g mashed up
  • 150g of flour (self raising flour, plain flour, rice flour, wholemeal flour... whatever you have in the cupboard!)
  • 50g coconut oil (because my flatmate decided to purchase 1.5 kg of it!) alternatively use the same amount of vegetable oil or butter
  • 40g of sugar (I recommend brown demerara sugar because it is unrefined but if you don't have it on the spot I do forgive you)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (or more if you like it extra sweet)
  • A big heap of natural yogurt (I used soja yogurt but any yogurt works!) - the yogurt gives the cake the mushy texture that eggs would otherwise
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Extras??? Add in some pumpkin seeds, a dash of cinnamon and a portion of oats for extra surprise crunchy bits in your cake :) 

How to whip it all together?

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C 
  2. Grease a baking tin with butter or oil (coconut oil counts too!)
  3. Mash the bananas in a big bowl 
  4. Throw in all the ingredients + extras 
  5. Place the funky looking mix in the baking tray and shove it in the oven
  6. Relax and leave it in for 40-45 mins 
  7. Poke a knife through the cake and your cake is ready if the knife comes out clean 
  8. Banana cake done! 

Foodie fact: This recipe provides about 8 servings of banana cake and each serving is less than 190 calories!

Indulge, share and enjoy!

PS: My fellow Ecotarians please remember that food waste is a serious problem in the UK and around the world and we end up wasting a lot more than those bananas on a daily basis! Let's do something about it! :) 

Your Food-y Ecotarian xxxxx

 

Mushroom and Spinach Risotto (Vegan or not vegan?)

Because spinach is in season and mushrooms are always around for a reason, today I thought I would try to make a delicious risotto without cheese-in. With the help of my delighted flatmate I embarked on this culinary journey with a bit of help from the British Broadcasting Corporation (a.k.a. The BBC). 

Ingredients to serve 2 (easily adjustable for more!): 

  • Garlic (as many cloves as you want to smell)
  • 1 onion 
  • 140g arborio rice (risotto rice)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil (this is your butter alternative although you could just replace this with more olive oil instead)
  • White wine (about 150 mL but more never hurts)
  • 500 mL of of boiled water stock (vegetable or chicken stock diluted)
  • 1 pack of mushroom 
  • 1 bag of spinach 
  • Garden peas (frozen or otherwise peas are always a great addition to any recipe)
  • A few stems of coriander or parsley for topping 
  • A few pinches of salt
My wonderful flat mate adding in her favourite ingredient :) 

My wonderful flat mate adding in her favourite ingredient :) 

Place the olive oil and coconut oil in a big saucepan and put on high heat. Once this is sizzling add in the onion then the garlic. After a few minutes of stirring and frying add in the mushrooms cut as you like though I recommend chestnut mushrooms cut in quarters to maintain that chewy texture. Stir gently and leave it to cook for another few minutes. Throw in the rice and cover with the white wine. Once most of the wine is absorbed add in the peas and then gradually add the stock water (about 150 mL at a time) and continuously stir the mix on medium heat. Let the stock water dilute and then add the rest of it little by little. At this point you can start seasoning with salt, pepper and finally the parmesan if you want! Once you have used up all the stock water (with the objective of having a crunchy/al dente risotto rice) add in the spinach leaves and stir in. Leave for 4-5 minutes - depending on how big your spinach leaves are - until the spinach is cooked. Once the spinach is cooked and water absorbed (this will take you about 40 minutes) your risotto is ready to serve and top with fresh coriander.

Share and Enjoy! xxx

Your Food-y Ecotarian

PS: Obviously you are welcome to add in parmesan at the end of the cooking process but if you feel like keeping it vegan, the coconut oil and a combo of crushed cashew nuts kind of mimics the taste of parmesan... 

British-Style Thai Coconut Fish Curry

Thai fish coconut curry

First step: Chop the onions and celery into small pieces (as small or not small as you want it really) and put to the side. In a big pot or deep pan, turn the heat on high and put your olive oil in, once that's sizzling add the curry paste. After about a minute add the onions and let that fry for another minute and stick in the celery to let the whole thing fry for a few minutes. If you have some ground ginger or juiced ginger, this is a good time to add it to the mix ;)! 

Second step: Add 1/2 of your stock diluted water along with the coconut cream and let that sit for 5 -7 mins on medium heat so that all the flavours are infused. Then add the pak choi (you can cut these in half or in 3 depending on how big they are) along with the rest of the stock water. If you don't find pak choi at your local farmer's market you can also swap with broccoli and add spinach if you like! Leave the pak choi to soften a bit for another 5 -7 mins. If you want your curry to have more of a soup consistence, you can add a bit more water and coconut cream to the mix. Finally, add in the chunks of cod and your pinch of salt. 

Final step: Once the cod has cooked for no more than 3-5 minutes, turn the heat on low and put the lid on it to simmer for about 10 mins and you're ready to serve your delicious Thai fish coconut curry (top with some dill or basil). This is perfect with a side of brown rice.

The crusted Persian style basmati rice cake that you see in the picture will be perfected for another time :) 

Share and Enjoy!!!!!! 

xxxxxxx Your Food-y Ecotarian

Semi-failed brown crusted basmati rice to serve with 

Semi-failed brown crusted basmati rice to serve with 

Today I paid a visit to the Imperial College weekly London Farmer's Market to buy some yummy seasonal organic locally grown (from a farm near Cambridge so almost local) celery, pak choi and onions for my favourite Thai flavoured coconut fish curry! This recipe is easy, fun to make, full of different flavours and easily modifiable to what you like and how many you are serving!

Ingredients to serve 3-4 hungry people: 

  • 3 teaspoons curry paste
  • 350-400g of cod loins chopped in bite size chunks (fresh from the fishmonger and straight out of the north Atlantic Sea) 
  • 2-3 celery sticks 
  • 2 pak choi stems (or replace with broccoli) 
  • 2 onions 
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (must have ingredient always!) diluted in approx. 500 mL of water (basically about 1 and half mugs worth of hot water)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 100-150g coconut cooking cream (to your liking)
  • 1 pinch of salt 
My main ingredients

My main ingredients

Just before you leave the mix to simmer

Just before you leave the mix to simmer

Fruit of the month...Rhubarb!

IMG_5369.JPG
My combo of ingredients!

My combo of ingredients!

The simmered rhubarb in my baking tray 

The simmered rhubarb in my baking tray 

The rhubarb topped with the crumble mix before baking in the oven!

The rhubarb topped with the crumble mix before baking in the oven!

The final thing with soya cream 

The final thing with soya cream 

A super easy, accessible and vegan-if-you-want-it-to-be rhubarb crumble recipe, as healthy as they come and serves 4-5 generous servings! 

Rhubarb is a funky fruit/vegetable (still unsure), a great source of fibre that you may think you don't like but when you see the yummy dish it can turn into, I trust that you will change your mind and plus it is in season in the UK right now, double win!!! 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 rhubarb sticks (approx. 400g) chopped into thumb-length chunks
  • 150g of unrefined cane sugar (try to use unrefined sugar as its typically the more eco-friendly option, but regular brown sugar works too!)
  • 50g of rice flour (gluten free) or self raising flour
  • 100g of rolled oats (Quaker oats for example) 
  • 100 mL of olive oil (if you want to stick to the vegan ways) or 50g of butter works! 
  • As much cinnamon as your heart desires (or not...)
  • A pinch of salt 

Step 1: Throw the rhubarb chunks into a pot and add 50g of the sugar and let it simmer on low heat for 10 mins (put in a cheeky splash of whatever wine/liquor you have for more flavour!).

Step 2: Heat the oven to 180C-200C (fan). Once the rhubarb looks a little soft put it into a baking dish. 

Step 3: The crumble! Heat olive oil (or the butter) in a pan on low heat and after a couple minutes of heating throw in the rest of the sugar (100g), flour, oats, mix it all together add your pinch of salt and cinnamon and if you like it more sweet add some honey. Now the crumble bit of your crumble is done and you can throw it on top of the rhubarb in your baking dish! You can also add ground nuts/seeds/desiccated coconut to your crumble, playing around with extra ingredients is always fun!

Step 4: Stick it in the oven for about 40 mins then, take it out, let it cool for 5-10 minutes and dig into this yummy rhubarb crumble! Add single cream or in this case soya cream (vegan choice) for a super-duper yummy desert!

Indulge and be seasonal!

                              xxx Your Eco-Foodie! 

Let your eco-foodie buddies know what you think of this recipe!

Let us know what you think of this recipe and what more you want to get from your Eco-Foodie recipes!

Leek, mushroom, wholewheat spaghetti

This is a wholesome recipe made with 100% seasonal British vegetables (Feb-March) for 2-3 people that will cost you under £5 and takes 18 minutes in total including preparation!

Ingredients: 

  • 250g wholewheat spaghetti (Waitrose and Sainsbury's have their own brands) or gluten free alternative is brown rice spaghetti
  • 300g mushrooms (any kind you like - cup, portobello, oyster)
  • 2 big leeks
  • 1 can of cannellini beans drained (approx. 400g)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • single cream or if you want to avoid animal produce all together go for a light and low fat single soya cream (typical brand for this is Alpro)

First, boil water in a kettle for the pasta as this will consume less energy than boiling a whole pot of water on the stove. In the meantime, chop your leeks into round slices, then chop the mushrooms in half or in quarters depending on how big your mushrooms are.

Put the wholewheat spaghetti into the pot of boiling water, whilst you sizzle your olive oil in a separate pan (my favourite thing to use is a non-stick Teflan pot as it is hollow but will still act like a pan). Put in the chopped leeks once the oil is hot. Once the leeks have browned slightly, add in the mushrooms and stir regularly. 

As your mushrooms are softening in the pan with the leeks put in a vegetable stock cube of your choice (you can use chicken stock but in the animal-free product spirit we shall use veg stock) along with a dash of water (roughly 15ml) and add the drained cannellini beans. 

After a few minutes add some of your single soya (as much as you want - I put a quarter of the 250 ml container). A couple more minutes on low heat to let the flavours mix and your spaghetti sauce is ready! Drain the spaghetti after 8-10 mins of boiling (however al dente you want it) and mix it all together! Add a few basil leaves for deco and amazing smell.

Dig in and enjoooooooyyyyy :) 

xx Your Food-y Ecotarian

Why choosing your fruit & veg carefully matters

Did you know that 2.5% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions results from the consumption of fruit and vegetables [1]?

Most of these emissions result from the transport and refrigeration stages of the fruit and vegetable produce chain. So this means - please choose the fruits and vegetables that will have traveled the least to get to you (i.e. don't buy it if it's coming from the other side of the world or even the other side of the Channel), those that have grown naturally (i.e. not in some greenhouse that consumes a lot of energy to mimic some tropical environment) and try to avoid  pre-chopped, pre-washed, pre-peeled fruits and vegetables as they will have already over-consumed water and energy to be stored and packaged. I know this sounds like a lot of DONTS but its easier than it may seem!

Obviously us busy Londoners don't have so much time on our hands, but every little bit helps and here we will be giving you some yummy recipes that will help you make sure you maximize the use of seasonal British produce and minimize the consumption of carbon intensive products: 

Helping you help the planet ;)