I’m a fresh-faced Geography graduate with a passion for food. Having a South Asian background combined with a love of the environment means I know all too well the importance of creating delicious meals that are kind to the planet, without compromising on flavour. After all, what’s the point of food if you can’t enjoy it?
This dish was inspired by the Mancunian Vegetarian, and is a great example of how you can substitute vegetables for meat and still recreate an authentic meal. Changing the type of rice you buy can help to make this dish even more environmentally friendly. Opt for rice that is fairtrade to support farmers, and sold in zero waste stores to help cut down on plastic waste.
This recipe uses plant-based vegan mince, a source of low fat, high protein 'meat' that is an alternative to lamb or beef. It also has a much lower carbon footprint than its counterparts, indicating that it's a more sustainable choice.
I've also used bell peppers, a vegetable that is currently in season in the UK, which helps to further reduce the carbon footprint of this dish. If you're curious about finding out more information about which produce is in season, head over to the The Seasonal Chef for monthly updates and great recipes.
Dalgona coffee is a South Korean drink that seems to have gained a lot of hype over the past few weeks, and rightly so! The velvety frothy cream adds another dimension to it that certainly makes those morning coffees more enjoyable. Drinking sustainable coffee is a great way to help your impact on the environment, so always look out for labels on packets such as Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade.
Couscous is a great alternative to rice and roti as it's very versatile. It's traditionally made using durum wheat, but by opting for couscous made with alternative ingredients e.g. spelt you'll be helping to make the production of it more sustainable. By driving a demand for spelt alongside durum wheat, you'll be able to help to tackle monocultures in agriculture. I've added a lot of vegetables to this dish to help reduce the higher carbon footprint that chicken has, without having to cut it out altogether.
This recipe is based on a dish from Hello Fresh, and is something I'll definitely be eating more of in the future. It mainly uses dry, cupboard ingredients which are easy to find in stores and last longer than their fresh alternatives, helping to reduce food waste Chickpeas, mango and pistachio isn't a very common blend of favours but it works perfectly to make these delicious burgers.
After many requests, here's a recipe for a couscous salad inspired by Moroccan cuisine. It can be served with tofu, halloumi or even grilled meat. For a lower carbon foodprint, opt for sustainably sourced fish or poultry over meats such as lamb and beef. The refreshing flavours are perfect for summer and make it a great side to any meal.
Halloumi has a reputation for having a high carbon footprint, and so it's important to think about how you can offset this with the rest of your meal. Purchasing locally sourced vegetables e.g. at a farmers market, or growing food in your garden are all easy ways to do this. Not only does this lower your footprint, but it reduces the amount of packaging involved that you'd usually get when buying food at a supermarket.
Banana cake involves using ripe fruit and therefore helps you to avoid waste, as darker peels usually indicate a more intense flavour. This only takes 10 minutes to prepare so it's probably one of the easier bakes you'll do. This recipe is taken from The Starving Student - head over to her website for more tasty dishes!
These cookies are from BBC Good Food are easy and fun to bake, making them perfect for everyone in the family to join in! They can be frozen and defrosted at a later date which is very handy if you want to avoid food waste. Wheat flour is used in this recipe, but there is a call for using alternatives such as spelt or quinoa. Driving a demand for unusual flours helps to prevent a monoculture and also jazzes up dishes! Let me know in the comments if you've baked anything with alternative ingredients!
This is my take on a signature Spanish dish - the Spanish omelette! It's great hot or cold making it perfect for packed lunches or picnics. The potatoes and onions make it much more filling than a usual omelette and add another dimension to the meal. As with all of my dishes, adding leftover vegetables is a good way to increase the nutritional value of the plate and it's even better if they're homegrown as this reduces the carbon foodprint!
Roasting butternut squash with some crushed garlic, salt and pepper is the easiest lunch you'll ever make. Adding mixed beans and cashew nuts to this dish is a great way to not only make it tastier, but also a way of getting vegan protein into your meal and lowering your carbon foodprint.
I've been recently loving eating this as either a snack or for my breakfast! It's tasty and requires minimal effort - what more could you ask for? Using Greek yoghurt as a base means you can experiment with whatever fruit/jam you like, and adding something crunchy like biscuits or nuts adds another dimension. Using homegrown fruit to either make your own jam or add to this is a great way to reduce your carbon foodprint!
As everyone is beginning to self-isolate, finding things to make that are easy and require a small number of ingredients has never been more necessary. Most of my mum and grandma's cooking embody tasty and simple meals so I'll be borrowing more of their recipes over the coming weeks! I've been loving making pakoras recently as they're easy to make and are perfect for a snack or light lunch.
Pancakes are such a great brunch food, they are very filling and combine dessert and breakfast into one meal. You can have them with either a savoury or sweet topping, which shows how versatile they can be. Using homegrown fruit such as apples, or raspberries helps to reduce the carbon emissions of this meal. Alternatively, you can shop at stores that sell loose fruit/veg to reduce your use of single use packaging in this dish.
Kidney beans are a great source of protein, and they have a lower carbon footprint than meat. They're also very cheap to buy, and are great to keep in the cupboards for a range of recipes such as a chilli con carne or even this kidney bean curry! I've taken this recipe from BBC Good Food and the great thing about it is that it is easily adaptable - it's a perfect dish to add all sorts of veg to.
This recipe was taken from BBC Good Food. It's very easy to follow and is perfect if you're baking with children, or just want to try something simple. The combination of ginger and cinnamon is classic flavour synonymous with winter, so there's no excuse not to try it!
Spaghetti is amazing if you want a hearty dinner that's quick and cheap to make. This recipe uses a homemade tomato sauce which is healthier than buying premade jars from the supermarket. I've taken this tomato recipe from 'The Starving Student' - a food blogger who creates tasty dishes inspired by her Spanish heritage!
As you can see, this has a higher Carbon Foodprint than the chickpea burgers I've made. Despite this, it has a lower footprint than if I was to use beef - so, if you're finding it hard to cut meat out of your diet then try lamb as an alternative. You can make your Carbon Foodprint even lower by using locally sourced lamb that hasn't been imported from afar.
To celebrate my birthday, I baked a lemon drizzle cake! I put a generous helping of lemon curd in the middle for that extra kick of sharpness. I'm not a fan of intensely sweet desserts so I opted for a light and fluffy lemon cake. The best thing about baking is you only need a mixing bowl and cake tin so if you don't have much cooking equipment, it's ok!
Mixing fruity yoghurt is possible the easiest breakfast (or snack) to make. It takes the same amount of time as toast and is healthier and more filling. Here, I used raspberry yoghurt, honey flavoured granola and blueberries. Simply switch the yoghurt for a dairy free version if you're vegan!
This recipe is taken from 'Avant Garde' - he's a chef who makes amazing vegan food and I've recreated his moroccan spiced tofu today. It's a great alternative if you like spicy chicken but are looking to cut your carbon foodprint. You can make this on the weekend and meal prep your lunches for the week ahead!
If there’s anything that sums up autumnal food, it has to be a classic fruity crumble. It’s a great way of using overripe fruit that you might be about to throw away. Crumbles can be made with loads of fruity combinations so don’t worry if you don’t have any apples or pears, try berries instead! Serve with custard or ice cream and enjoy.
Porridge is one of the best ways to begin your day. A warm and filling breakfast is perfect as the weather gets colder. Like most meals, the toppings can be changed to whatever you’re feeling – try switching the fruit for nuts and honey. The milk can also be changed to soy milk or another alternative to make this dish vegan.
What better way to celebrate national curry week than with a traditional and authentic south Asian dish? Like many other curries, this uses the simple base of tinned tomatoes, onion, salt and chilli. It's a lot healthier than ready meals or shop-bought curriess and so much nicer.
I grew up eating my Grandma’s take on a traditional roast dinner - I think it’s safe to say we eat everything with a good helping of chilli! Being a one-pan dish, this meal couldn’t be any easier to prepare and it’s even easier to eat. The great thing about chicken is it has it produces less carbon emissions than other meats such as beef and lamb, so you can still reduce your carbon footprint by simply opting for poultry instead.
Chickpea burgers are a great alternative to meaty ones, and taste just as nice! You can serve them as a traditional burger or have just the patty with a side of salad for a lighter lunch. For a bit of twist, try putting a small cube of cheese in the middle of the burger before you cook it and it'll melt beautifully inside.
Toasties are perfect for lunch, they’re tasty warm or cold so you can make them in the morning and take them to school or work. They can be filled with lots of different ingredients so you don’t have to have the same thing each time. Their carbon foodprint is low and they’re quick to make – what more could you ask for?
This hearty breakfast is perfect to see Autumn in! The cold weather has me craving warmer food and this dish is definitely helping. It's so easy and quick to make that there's no excuse to go back to boring cereal or simple butter on toast. You can switch the fruit up for pretty much anything such as banana and strawberries.
This brownie recipe is taken from BBC Good Food - it's safe to say they definitely know a thing or two about baking! They're intensely rich and fudgy and go perfect with ice cream or even just a simple of cup of tea. I'm going to try baking some plant-based desserts in the future so if you have any tips about making vegan cakes or any requests then let me know!
This dish uses the classic base of garlic, onion, salt and chilli which you see in a lot of curries. These four simple ingredients can be used with meat or vegetables and are guaranteed to make something tasty. You can be flexible with the seasoning and add spices like cumin or garam masala if you're feeling adventurous! This particular curry is easy to recreate and can be cooked in batches if you're trying to meal prep for work, school or uni. Switch it up each day by serving it with rice, roti or a salad.
Lentil curry, otherwise known as daal, is a staple in South Asian households. It's easy to make and very healthy! Lentils are renowned for being a great source of protein with a low carbon footprint, so if you're struggling to cut down on meat then give this dish a go. To serve, eat it with rice, a salad or try making a traditional roti which takes just a few minutes.
This tasty dish is so easy to make, it's the perfect way to start your day! As I've mentioned before the carbon emissions associated with the production of avocados isn't great... But one way you can reduce the foodprint of this meal is to use locally sourced vegetables or even try your hand at growing some in your own garden!
Making your own pizza might seem like a hassle, but it's so much fun and it's a great way to use up any vegetables that's probably seen better days! There's loads of flexibility with this, so whether you're vegan or a meat-lover you can switch the toppings to suit your requirements.
These pancakes were used with ingredients locally sourced from a friends mum who is an avid beekeeper and gardener. We used the honey she'd gathered along with some fruit which kept the footprint of this dish down. It goes to show that with a tiny bit of effort, there's so many things you can grow from your garden which will help to reduce the environmental and economic costs of food. For more advice, check the 'Top Tips' section on my website!
As GBBO has begun, I've been desperate to try and do a bit of baking myself. Instead of making a huge cake, I decided to serve this recipe as cupcakes. It makes them easier to eat and you have none on the faffing that comes with trying to cut a neat size. It's the perfect balance between sweet and savoury and easy to make so even if you're a novice baker you can have a go!
This recipe was recommended to me by a friend - I've never used sweet potato in curries before so it was a nice change and it's definitely something I'm going to try and cook with more often. The dish is mildly spicy, so you can tailor it to your needs and add more or less seasoning.
Sharp yet sweet, this cheesecake is so light and fluffy you'll be left wanting more. It doesn't require any cooking so whatever your culinary skills you'll be able to master this! The lemon flavour goes with pretty much any fruit so you can decorate it with whatever you fancy.
Soup is so easy to make in batches, making it perfect for school or lunch the next day. You can experiment with different flavours and sides, serving it with toasted bread - a brilliant way to use up stale bread and reduce waste. This has one of the lowest foodprints of all the meals I've prepared - it's tasty and good for the environment, what's not to love!
In the summer, I find smoothies to be the perfect balance of refreshing and filling. They’re a brilliant excuse to use up overripe fruit and also a lot cheaper than shop bought drinks. The easy thing about this is that you can combine virtually any fruit together and it’ll always taste nice.
This is one of those recipes where you’ll always have the ingredients in the cupboard. It’s also vegan, gluten free and lactose free so perfect for pretty much anyone (providing you like spicy food). Make it as spicy or mild as you like and serve with rice and salad for a filling and hearty dish. Alternatively, serve with homemade naan or couscous for a bit of a twist.
As much as I love devising my own recipes, I also enjoy recreating dishes seen on cooking shows and in books. This trifle recipe is from Nadiya Hussain's show 'Time to Eat'. Full of quick and tasty food, she explains how she 'cheats' on recipes to make them easier whilst giving them a unique twist. A perfect example of this is her version of a healthy trifle, meaning you can eat it and probably still get 1 of your 5 a day.
A filling and nutritious dish perfect for brunch! Definitely more interesting than a boring piece of toast and worth the time it takes to make. Serve this with a fresh glass of orange juice and start your day off right. It must be worth noting that avocados aren’t the greatest for having a low carbon footprint. However, knowing this means you can make an informed decision about what you’re eating, and be aware of the environmental consequences of your actions.
It turns out Nadiya Hussain isn't just talented at baking, her chicken shawarma recipe is equally as impressive as some of her GBBO creations. Spicy and flavoursome, this dish is sure to impress even the toughest of critics. Using chicken instead of red meat is better for the environment, making this a perfect dish if you're trying to reduce your carbon foodprint.