book recommendation, vegetarian cooking


Climate change will directly affect future food availability and compound the difficulties of feeding the world’s rapidly growing population, this could be more dramatic then previously assumed. It is also sort of wellknown that the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global and especially regarding global warming see e.g. this FAO report. So in principle for the environment it would be best to be vegan. (see also this cornell study)

However this is hard. A vegan diet has to be very well balanced in order to avoid malnutrition. It is much easier to be on a vegetarian diet, which includes dairy products and eggs. However cheese, especially the one which is produced from cattle (and may be in addition with a long storage time) can spoil the carbon balance by quite a bit. Unfortunately I couldnt find a decent study, which gives an overview about an environmently friendlier diet for non-vegans. Neither could I find a anti-greenhouse-gas cookbook. Even greenpeace seems to be silent about the food-climate problem and likewise Al Gore seems to beat around the bush on that issue! (?)

Tim is a vegetarian, who eats drairy products and eggs. I try to be at least a part-time vegetarian, last not least it is healthier than to eat too much meat. However sometimes I get hooked to a certain dish and I do not want to eat anything else. Of course this is not healthy in the long run. Thus I am always thankful for an outside trigger, like e.g. good vegetarian recipes.

One of the best vegetarian cookbooks which I know is the above Cranks recipe book by Nadine Abensur.

As an example my momentary favorite is “Nadine’s Pissaladiere” (from the book):

“A traditional pissaladiere from the south of France is usually made with yeast dough and has anchovies on it. Because it is said to be a cross between a quiche and a pizza, I played around with it and came up with this version which could more properly be called a quichaladiere. It is essential that the tomato sauce is very well reduced.”

Frankly speaking I could feel very tempted to secretly put that anchovy fish on the pissaladiere. But besides the fact that the anchovies are already overfished there is a fact which is often not known to non-vegetarians: Long-term vegetarians stop producing certain enzymes, which are necessary for meat digestion. So if Tim should eat the secret anchovy he would get sick. Interesting question: Is there something like a vegetarian fish, like e.g. done with algae?

Unfortunately for copyright reasons I cant put down a recipe for the pissaladiere. There are many other nice recipes in the book, like the families all time favorite Lasagne (which is a priori not vegan):

“Poor old lasagne – what a part of the British culinary institution, yet how maligned and how derided it has become. Lasagne appears in its various guises in vegetarian as well as in non-vegetarian restaurants throughout the land. Every supermarket chilled and frozen cabinet boasts at least one example. It has become almost a joke dish, the last refuge for soggy pasta and overcooked vegetables floating in watery and undercooked sauces. But here is an example of lasagne with all its many layers of many colours, still warming and rich, but light and modern too.”

I am pretty open what food is concerned, however I am not sure wether I would ever get accustomed to Camembert with jem or accustomed to this composition from the Cranks book Kohlrabi and pear with a dolcelatte dressing and fresh walnuts:

This is an unusual salad which requires pears at the very peak of perfection. William pears are the best, especially when their skins are lightly tinged with orange…. a.s.o

But try out yourself!

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