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On Earth Day 2021, we hosted an online workshop and cook-along all about taking #climateaction in the kitchen.

With plant-based chef and student dietician Steph we discussed why we need to take #climateaction in the kitchen. Steph then shared some practical steps for taking #climateaction - including sourcing local and seasonal food and reducing food waste.

Steph then led us through a #cookalong where we made a seasonal, healthy, no-waste sticky black bean Korean inspired Jajangmyeon dish with putple sprouting broccoli. Yum!

Why do we need to take #climateaction NOW?

It is estimated that food production contributes 15-30% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the UK.

Within our current mainstream food systems, there is a lack of diversity in the kinds of crops we consume. It is estimated that only nine crops account for nearly 70% of all food produced.

At the same time, we are producing a lot of waste. UK households contribute to 6.5 million tonnes of food waste – 4.5 million of which is edible.

We are also depleting our marine environments. It is estimated that over 90% of fisheries are now fully exploited.

Things we can do in the kitchen

Whilst these statistics present a challenge, if we work together, we can make a difference. Steph shared three key ways we can take #climateaction in the kitchen ...

  1. Consume less meat and dairy;

  2. Buy more locally sourced and seasonal food;

  3. Throw less foods away.

1. Consume less meat and dairy

According to the EAT-Lancet commission, the first full scientific review of what constitutes a healthy diet from a sustainable food system, we should be aiming for a #PlanetaryHealthDiet - with around half our diet to be fresh fruit and vegetables, with the other half consisting mainly of whole grains, plant-based proteins.

EAT Lancet Planetary Health Diet, 2019.

2. Buying more locally sourced and seasonal foods

Local, seasonal produce can support a #PlanetaryHealthDiet

Here are some top spots for sourcing local and seasonal produce in Cardiff:

•Roath, Riverside and Rhiwbina Real Food Market

Paul's Organic Veg - Monmouthshire based organic farm, deliver veg boxes and can be found at Roath Real Food Market

Blaencamel Farm - Ceredigion based organic farm, deliver veg boxes

Coed Organic - Market garden based outside Coed Hills, veg bags and at Riverside Farmers Market

Amano Growers- Ponthir, Caerleon – Vegetable farm, grown by hand

Splo- Down – not for profit, co-operative for affordable food for the Splott, Adamsdown, and Tremorfa area. Including a locally sourced veg box.

Hodmedods - British grown pulses, grains and ferments

Ripple- Cardiff based, packaging free, dry pantry whole- foods supplier

Riverside Sourdough - Cardiff based long-fermentation sourdough bakery

Gut Instinct – Caerphilly based oat milk company

Essential Worker Co-operative – Organic/GMO free/fair trade wholefoods

3. Throwing less food away

Steph also shared some top #FoodWasteHacks

  • Use all the vegetable when cooking.

  • Use left-over fresh herbs, greens and vegetable stalks for sauces – pesto, salsa verde, and curry sauces (see Steph's No waste and seasonal Wild Garlic and Leek thai green curry sauce/paste recipe below.

  • Re-grow vegetable scraps in water – spring onions, leeks , fennel bulbs and lettuce.

  • Make stock powder with vegetable peelings and spare vegetables if not composting.

  • Be storage savvy – buy only what you need and know how to store it.

  • If possible, stock a larder of dried legumes, lentils, grains and spices for quick meals.

Here are two of Steph's seasonal, no waste, healthy recipes...

Seasonal and no waste, Purple Sprouting Broccoli & Black Bean Jajangmyeon

This recipe would benefit from a food processor or blender

● 200g of Purple Sprouting Broccoli / broccoli if not able to source purple sprouting broccoli

● 200g of Black Beans (soaked and cooked before the session)

● Noodles (of your choice, preferably wholegrain)

● 1.5 cm of Ginger

● 5 cloves of garlic

● 2 tables spoons Soya Sauce

● 2 table spoons of Rice wine vinegar

● 2 teaspoons of miso (optional)

● Chili (optional)

● 2 Onions/shallots/leeks

● 1 table spoon of Sugar/Mirin/honey/maple syrup

● Spring onions & sesame seeds to garnish

1. Prepare noodles by cooking them in boiling water for 2-4 minutes, run under cold water when done, toss in sesame oil to avoid them sticking together.

2. Blitz ginger, 3 cloves of garlic, half of the black beans, all the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sweetener , chili and miso until smooth, preferably glossy.

3. Prepare Purple sprouting broccoli by quartering large sprigs and finely chopping stalks to thin discs.

4. Cook together onions, garlic and chili until soft, and then add the prepared sauce for another 2 minutes.

5. Add the chopped purple sprouting broccoli for 2 minutes and toss in with the sauce.

6. Add the remaining black beans for another 2 minutes and toss with the other ingredients.

7. Serve with noodles and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and spring onions.

No waste and seasonal Wild Garlic and Leek thai green curry sauce/paste

This recipe requires food processor or blender

● 150g Leftover/ coming to the end of best greens e.g. coriander, parsley, basil, mint, spring onions, kale/chard stalks, salad

● 150g Foraged wild garlic / nettles

● 2 leeks / 4 spring onions

● 3 Green chillies

● 1.5 cm of ginger

● 2 stalks of lemon grass

● 1 teaspoon of turmeric

● 1 teaspoon of coriander seed/powder

● 1 teaspoon of cumin seed/powder

● 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil/water

● Juice from 2 limes

● 1 teaspoon of salt

● 1 teaspoon of pepper

1. Blitz altogether for a smooth paste, adjust to taste and what you have access too at the time.

2. Use it as the basis for thai green curries, add coconut milk, vegetables and protein sources as available.

3. Curry paste should last for 10 days if refrigerated.


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