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.
Inspired by its creamy Italian cousin, this vegetarian take on panna cotta swaps out the cream and gelatin for coconut milk and agar agar. Odourless and tasteless, agar-agar is a plant-based thickener derived from seaweed. It’s also a wonderful source of iron, fibre, and magnesium. If you plan on transporting these desserts, pour panna cotta into small jam jars. Once set, screw lids on top and place garnish in separate container. Once you reach your destination, simply garnish and serve.
This happy jumble of vegetables is not only beautiful to look at but also scrumptious. Try to use a rainbow of different colours for the most striking salad presentation. Feel free to replace the dried apricots in the dressing with another dried fruit you may have on hand. Dried cranberries, dried cherries, or golden raisins are all delicious alternatives.
In ancient China, black rice was called “forbidden rice” because only nobles were allowed to eat it. Luckily, today we mere mortals can harness its salad-perfect, slightly sweet, and nutty taste. Bright and fresh, this salad isn’t only flavourful with a winning mix of textures; it’s packed with nutrients, too. Mango tango If possible, use Ataulfo mango for this salad. Its honeylike flavour and custardy texture can’t be beaten. You’re looking for a bit of softness when pressed to indicate ripeness.
Your #mealprepgoals just got easier to nail. Quinoa, black beans, and tempeh provide a triple threat of plant-based protein in this large taco-style salad that holds up remarkably well. The quinoa will absorb the vibrant, flavourful dressing and still be perfectly tender by the time your next meal rolls around. You can toss on some cubed avocado, queso fresco, and/or broken baked tortilla chips for crunch just before serving. Raise a toast To add a deeper flavour to quinoa, consider toasting the grains before boiling in water. Simply heat a couple teaspoons of oil in heavy-bottomed saucepan, add dry quinoa, and heat, stirring often, until the grains are a couple shades darker and emit a nutty, toasted smell; then add your water. Plant-based redo For a plant-based option, you can top salad with slices of grilled tempeh or navy beans instead of chicken. To infuse dressing with savoury, cheesy flavour, minus the dairy, you could use nutritional yeast.