How are you celebrating Earth Day? Planting trees? Recycling party? Picking up trash on the side of the street? How about with food that’s delicious and sustainable? Many people don’t realize it, but of all the choices they make on a daily basis, the one that perhaps has the largest impact on the planet starts on their plates.
Animal agriculture is at the core of our current environmental crisis. Over 50 percent of the world’s arable land resources are dedicated to grazing livestock or growing their feed. In addition, this destructive industry uses a majority of our freshwater supplies, all while driving deforestation and emitting an enormous amount of air and water pollution. The UN estimates that animal agriculture is responsible for around 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while the Worldwatch Institute estimates it could be as high as 51 percent. And in spite of all this, 850 million people still suffer from food scarcity. The fact is, our food system is broken.
This all might seem incredibly daunting, but the good news is all it takes to reduce this massive impact is some delicious plant-based food. Yes, delicious food can save the world.
“The real war against climate change is being fought on our plates, multiple times a day with every food choice we make,” said Nil Zacharias, Fo-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of One Green Planet, “By choosing to eat more plant-based foods, we can drastically cut our carbon footprint, save precious water supplies, help ensure that vital crop resources are fed to people, rather than livestock and give thousands of species a fighting chance for survival. We have the potential to make an enormous positive impact by just changing the way we eat.”
Since One Green Planet is the site with the largest vegan recipe database, eating for the planet has never been easier or more delicious. We have recipes for every food you could ever want, from macaroni and cheese to meaty burgers, and pizzas that you thought existed only in your dreams.
We have only one planet, so this Earth Day, try one of these 10 recipes that are both sustainable and delicious.
Jackfruit is a giant tropical fruit that’s a relative of mulberries. It’s still relatively new to us, but in East Asia, it’s been around for several years as a substitute for meat in dishes due to its meaty, pull-apart texture. The jackfruit in this Barbecue Jackfruit Bowl is served on a bed of rice, with tender, cooked broccoli and a crunchy peanut cabbage slaw. The coleslaw sauce is packed with an infusion of peanuts, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and five-spice for a beautiful balance of flavors that are complementary to the jackfruit. The meaty jackfruit has a slightly chewy, yet tender texture, like pulled pork.
Forget beef and get ready for warmer weather with these hearty Beet and Black Bean Burgers! Beets give them their gorgeous pink color and earthy flavor while freshly cooked black beans add a meaty texture. Serve these topped with sprouts, fried onion, and mushrooms with sweet potato fries on the side.
Typically, fajitas refers to any kind of grilled meat in Tex-Mex cuisine. But, you know what they say — it’s all about the seasoning and we can recreate the flavors we’ve come to love with plant-based foods. In these Easy Smoked Tofu Fajitas, tofu is covered in the marinated in a savory sauce and baked until crisp on the outside. Once the onions and peppers are chopped and ready, the whole dish comes together in one fell swoop. This colorful dish is crunchy, fresh, and smokey tasting. Plus, if the weather is nice, all the components can be grilled outside!
You better believe that cheese isn’t off the table when you cut dairy out of your life. We can make cheese from nuts and seeds, or we can make cheese sauces from beans and vegetables. If you’re looking for something decadent to snack on, then this recipe for Baked Herb-Crusted Cashew-Almond Cheese is top notch. Lemon juice combined with nutritional yeast give it a tangy, “authentic” flavor that’s just begging to be served with sweet, fruity flavors. You can even alternate what flavors you serve this cashew-almond cheese with, so experiment to your heart’s delight! The base of this cheese would also pair beautifully with dried cranberries, figs, and sun-dried tomatoes.
If you’re looking for an effortless meal that doesn’t disappoint, then you have to make this Lentil Veggie Loaf. What makes this meaty dish so wonderful is not only its heartiness but also its versatility. You can pack it with whatever vegetables you want and still achieve something delicious. It’s topped with a spicy homemade barbecue sauce for extra flavor.
You won’t even miss seafood when you make these Fish-Style Parsnip Fillets! Parsnip and fish may not have much in common, but it’s what you do with seasoning that counts. Lemon pepper, bread crumbs, oil, remoulade, lemon juice, and dill is what takes this humble vegetable to the next level.
Garlicky cauliflower is smothered in tangy Romesco tomato sauce and topped with a dollop of creamy cole slaw in these Cauliflower Steak Sandwiches. To say that they’re hearty and flavorful would be an understatement. We guarantee you’ll have one of those moments where you’re so satisfied and full, but are dying to go back in time just so you can relive eating this sandwich. Try it and you’ll see this is not a dramatization.
8. Creamy Chocolate Turtle Squares
These silky, Creamy Chocolate Turtle Squares are the perfect balance of refreshing matcha and sweet, creamy chocolate. Chickpeas give these treats their soft texture, while the dates provide their rich flavor. Enjoy these with a cold glass of almond milk.
If there’s one device that people hardly regret buying it’s an ice cream maker. Once you’ve entered an era of being able to know exactly what’s in your ice cream, down to the last ingredient, it’s hard to go back to store-bought pints. This Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream has a coconut milk base and is creamy, sweet, and studded with flavorful strawberries. Enjoy it on your favorite pie with a dollop of coconut whipped cream.
Inspired by the famous dessert from the Ottoman Empire, this smooth, creamy Raw Baklava Cheesecake sits on a crunchy, cinnamon-spiced crust. The best part about this cake is that, even though it’s one of the most impressive things you’ll ever taste or see, it’s incredibly easy to make. You need only use your food processor twice — once for the crust and again for the base.
How are you celebrating Earth Day? Tell us in the comments!
Lead image source: Beet and Black Bean Burgers