Every year, on April 22, people all over the world celebrate Earth Day to acknowledge the importance of protecting our planet and supporting a healthy environment for all living things.
If we examine how we live our day-to-day lives, we can find ways to make a significant contribution to living sustainably by taking what may seem like small steps but, when added together, can make a significant difference.
Our kitchen appliances alone account for more than 14 percent of our home’s energy use. Add to that the cost of lighting, heating, and cooking in our kitchen while we prepare, eat, and clean up, and it makes sense to think about ways to be a little more eco-conscious in our meal planning and prep.
For this month’s recipe feature, we’re bringing you a unique, eco-friendly Earth Day menu. Becoming more eco-conscious in our day-to-day lives doesn’t need an all-or-nothing approach. Small steps lead the way toward the bigger goal.
These tasty small-step recipes are drawn from locally produced ingredients wherever possible and include vegan and vegetarian options perfect for an Earth Day meal.
Enjoy our Earth Day menu by serving it up on your finest china and using your best linen, with your favourite soy or beeswax candles lighting the way toward a memorable tradition that you’ll be keen to practise on more than just one day a year.
Every day can be as eco-friendly as befits Earth Day. But April 22 is the day the whole world shines the light on our environment to remind us to be friendly to our earth. When it comes to the food we buy, prepare, and eat, there are a few ways we can be particularly mindful—on Earth Day and every day.
On Thursday April 22, 2021, switch off your lights and set the mood. Romanticize your Earth Day meal and eat by candlelight (soy or beeswax, of course).
Check to be sure your dinnerware and cutlery is environmentally friendly, safe for use, and also sustainable.
Buy and support local food growers and merchants whenever possible.
Plan your meals to avoid overbuying, which often leads to waste.
Store vegetable scraps in your freezer and turn them into a big pot of soothing soup to enjoy on a rainy day.
Bring back eco-friendly—and much more elegant—cloth napkins to your kitchen service.
Finally, always remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle whenever possible.
These little bite-sized morsels are a snap to make. Traditionally, blinis are made with yeast and left to rise. We simplified the recipe using baking powder and soda. Plus, we added some buckwheat flour to make them a little nuttier. These delicious mini pancakes are the perfect foundation for any topping.
Fresh baby carrots are beginning to surface this month. They’re especially delicious eaten fresh from the garden. However, if you’re looking to sip a soothing bowl with healing spices, simmering young carrots in a lovely broth really delivers. We added nutty-tasting wild rice to up the protein quotient along with added fibre, potassium, and zinc.
Puttanesca is typically made with tomatoes, capers, and anchovies. But that’s not what “puttanesca” actually means. It roughly translates to “lady of the night.” We gave it a nutritional boost by adding in some miso, beans, and baby spring chard to add to the umami explosion of flavour. Perfect served with red wine and, of course, by candlelight.
This plant-only recipe may look like it required a lot of fuss, but it comes together easily. Tender zucchini is loaded with a hearty and satisfying bean mixture and then finished off with a drizzle of cheesy tasting sauce. What’s nutritional yeast? Not to be confused with brewer’s yeast or the active dried yeast used to make bread and pizza crust, nutritional yeast is a deactivated form of a micro-organism that is dried into flakes with an abundance of naturally occurring glutamate. Glutamate is an amino acid that interacts with specific taste cells in the tongue to unleash an umami, cheesy wave of flavour. Blend it with silky tofu and some seasonings and … bingo … vegan cheese sauce.
Reminiscent of the stuffed cabbage of yore, the flavour profile of these stuffed chard smacks of cozy fall. It looks all fancy, but everything comes together surprisingly quickly. If desired, you can use turkey or pork sausage and brown rice. Time-saver tip For larger grains, such as wild rice and spelt, it’s a very good idea to soak them for several hours before cooking. This will slash the cooking time by about a third. If not soaking the wild rice, add roughly 20 minutes to the simmering time.
This stuffed eggplant is built upon layers of Middle Eastern flavours: smoky freekeh, tender chickpeas, and a herbal tahini sauce. The quick-pickled raisins add a sweet vinegary pop. Sweat it out Salting eggplant before cooking enhances the flavour by allowing eggplant to sweat out its bitterness and breaking its spongy texture.
In this enchilada riff, we stuff everything into a roasted poblano pepper shell, rather than tortillas, to pack an extra veggie serving into your meal and trim the starchy calories. If you can’t find poblanos, which are mild, dark green Mexican peppers, you can substitute green bell peppers. Flour power Made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater), masa harina flour adds a touch of corny flavour to enchilada stuffing or a pot of chili.