Earth Day eats for vegos & omnivores

22nd April 2021 | Eativity editors

It’s Earth Day! Each year, April 22 marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. While the event had its beginnings in the United States, the day is now a global event, with earthday.org currently the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 75,000 partners in 190+ countries that are all doing their bit to drive positive action for our planet.

You don’t have to be a placard-waving protestor to make a difference (although that sure does help). As an individual, you can still help to bring about positive change by choosing to buy products from companies that are doing the right thing by the planet.

But before you head out to wield your power as a consumer, you’ll need a good feed, which is why we’ve chosen two recipes to satisfy hungry eco-warriors – one for those who’ve made the choice to stop eating meat because of livestock production’s impact on climate change, and one for those who like to eat meat in moderation but want to do it responsibly.

The first recipe is from v2food, an Australian company that’s developed a “version 2” of meat made from legumes in conjunction with the CSIRO. v2food’s mince and burger products provide the same amount of protein, iron, zinc, phosphorus and B vitamins as beef, plus a healthy dose of fibre and no cholesterol. The newly-released range is so impressive, it even won a 2021 Product of The Year award – the world’s largest consumer-voted award for product innovation. You can find out more about v2food at v2food.com.

The next recipe uses lamb from Warilba grass-fed organic lamb, which is sourced from Australian family farmers that use traditional farming practices to create authentically-produced, great-tasting lamb. Warilba lamb is also 100 percent carbon neutral, from the certified organic farms through to transport and packaging.

Whichever recipe you choose, you’ll know that when you dig in, you’ve made a better choice for our planet. Which is, incidentally, the only one we’ve got.

v2 spaghetti bolognese

Can’t get enough of the humble spag bol? Here’s a gourmet riff on the classic from restaurant consultant and cookbook author Steve Flood.

You’ll need:

Extra virgin olive oil
Garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 medium-sized carrots, diced
Italian tomatoes, tinned
500g v2mince
Bay leaf
Fresh oregano
1 cup vegetable stock
Fresh basil leaves
Red wine (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper

Method:

1. Place a large saucepan on medium heat and add a generous drizzle of olive oil.
2. Add the onions, carrots, garlic cloves, season with salt and pepper and then fry for about 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables soften and begin to caramelise.
3. Create some room in the pan for the v2mince and add to the dish along with a little salt and pepper. Stir into the pan, breaking it up as you go, for 4-5 minutes or until it browns.
4. Add in the tinned tomatoes diced or whole to the pan followed by a small pour of red wine (optional) for depth of flavour, followed by the vegie stock.
5. Add the fresh herbs and the dried bay leaf to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon. Break up the tomatoes if required, mix through and allow the sauce to reduce.
6. Bring a separate pot of water to the boil for your pasta. Once it’s ready, add a pinch of salt and the spaghetti. Keep the v2 bolognese sauce on medium heat in the other pan.
7. Once the pasta is al dente, transfer it directly to the pan with the bolognese sauce. Mix it all through until the sauce generously coats the pasta before dividing it into bowls to serve.
8. Top with grated parmesan and fresh basil.

Warilba butterflied lamb leg with kale salad

You can ensure the thickness of your butterflied lamb leg is even by slicing and opening out the thicker half. This will ensure even cooking. You can also use any leftover lamb in a salad with sliced baby cos lettuce and tabbouleh, or make sandwiches with pickles and sliced tomato or hummus and sliced cucumber. You can find Warilba stockists here.

You’ll need:

For the lamb

1.5kg Warilba lamb leg, butterflied
¼ cup olive oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup currants
1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed, finely shredded
2 medium carrots, peeled, grated
2 tbsp lemon juice

For the yoghurt sauce

2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup plain Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp finely chopped round mint plus extra sprigs to serve

Method:

1. Preheat barbecue to medium and cook lamb, covered, for 25 minutes, turning halfway. Transfer to a clean plate, season, loosely cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large non-stick frypan over medium heat. Add onions and currants, season and cook for 10-12 minutes or until onions have softened and caramelised. Add kale, carrot and lemon juice; toss to combine. Cook for a further minute then remove to serving bowl. Serve with sliced lamb, yoghurt sauce and mint sprigs.
3. For the yoghurt sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl with half a teaspoon of sea salt flakes. Stir to combine, adding enough warm water to give it a thick creamy consistency.

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