Celebrating Earth Day 2021 with a Plant-Based Mindset
Apr, 22 2021
This Earth Day, we look at sustainable initiatives we can embark on closer to home, in our own kitchens and across our diets. Our FoodPrint measures the environmental impact of growing, producing, transporting, and storing food. Eating seasonally, using fresh local produce, and incorporating more plant-based meals into our diet have all proven to have an immediate and beneficial impact on the environment.
To help you take a delicious step forward to reduce your FoodPrint, Coco Collection has put together a recipe card for a 3-course meal, inspired by the lush fruit, vegetables, and herbs grown in our very own Chef’s Gardens at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and Coco Bodu Hithi.
We encourage you to tweak and adapt these recipes to use local and seasonal produce found near your own home!
Starter: Tomato Gazpacho. Serves 4.
1. Cut the tomatoes into large cubes and add to a blender along with the chopped cucumber, garlic, shallots, and vinegar and pulse to form a smooth consistency.
2. Tear up the bread if using and add to the blender with the olive oil, salt, pepper, tabasco sauce and pulse until smooth.
3. Add the water as needed, adjusting the amount to your preferred consistency.
4. Strain the gazpacho and chill in the in fridge until you are ready to serve.
5. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve chilled.
Main: Organic Vegetable Risotto. Serves 4.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C
2. Halve the pumpkin and drizzle with olive oil with a pinch of salt. Lay flat on a roasting tray. Roast in the oven at 220°C for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool before scooping out the flesh and pureeing in a food processer until smooth. You should have about 200g of pumpkin puree.
3. Heat a large, heavy bottom pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add in half of the butter and sauté the onion and celery for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add in the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, ensuring the mixture does not burn.
4. Add the rice to the pot and stir for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the white wine. Cook until liquid is fully absorbed by the rice.
5. Add the vegetable stock to rice, ladle by ladle. Allow the rice to absorb each ladle of stock before adding in the next, cooking for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked through with a bite (al dente).
6. Stir in the remaining butter, cream, Parmesan cheese, sage and pumpkin puree.
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the risotto is thick.
8. Serve warm with a topping of fresh crunchy vegetables and a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Dessert: Layered Fudgy Mint Brownies. Serves 4.
To make the Brownie
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
2. Lightly grease an 8x12-inch baking pan with butter. Line with baking paper and set to a side.
3. Place a heavy bottomed pot on the stove and pour in a few inches of water. Allow the water to simmer. Place the butter and the chocolate together heat-proof bowl that fits over the pot. Ensure the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the butter and chocolate together by stirring continuously with a spatula.
4. Once the butter and chocolate have melted, the mixture should look smooth and glossy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
5. Add the sugar, egg, vanilla extract, salt and mix. Add half of the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and mix the ingredients before adding the remaining half of the flour and cocoa powder. Ensure you do not over mix the batter. Fold in the chopped nuts if using.
6. Pour the batter into the into a greased baking pan and bake 25-30 minutes at 180°C or until the top of the brownie has just set.
7. Remove the baking pan and allow the brownie to cool in the pan until room temperature.
1. In a medium bowl mix all ingredients for mint layer together. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
2. Pour over the cooled brownie and place the brownie in the refrigerator until the mint layer sets for about hour.
1. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl over a pot of hot water. Once the butter and chocolate have melted, pour over the set int later.
2. Allow the chocolate layer to set in the fridge, for at least an hour.
3. Once the chocolate layer has set, cut brownies into squares.
4. Decorate each slice with a sprig of mint and a dusting of icing sugar. Serve with fresh berries and chocolate sauce on the side.