Worried about the planet? Our cookbooks can help!

A new UN report suggests upping plant-based dishes could improve both our own health and the land around us
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Strawberry picking at Restaurant de Kas, from The Garden Chef
Strawberry picking at Restaurant de Kas, from The Garden Chef

Many of us know that favouring plants and fruits over burgers and fillets is often a wise idea. Still, it’s nice to have your suspicions confirmed. This week’s UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that balanced diets, featuring plant-based foods can both improve human health, and help the land around us, staving off some of the effects of climate change. 

So, where does a would-be vegan, vegetarian or meat reducer (the report does allow for ‘animal-sourced food produced in resilient, sustainable and low-green-house-gas emission systems’) start? With our books, of course!

 

Raw nori and vegetable rolls
Raw nori and vegetable rolls

The Vegan Cookbook Author Jean-Christian Jury might be a reformed meat eater, but he doesn’t want to take the fun out of dining. “For years, my goal was to surprise non-vegans with delicious vegan recipes, to show that meat wasn’t necessary for a delicious and satisfying meal,” he says. His raw nori and vegetable rolls might look like a indulgent, Japanese-style treat, but they actually pack in plenty of sunflower seeds, avocados, and cauliflower florets. It takes about 40 minutes to make, and you don’t even have to use a cooker.  

 

Barbecued eggplant, with peanut vinaigrette, green curry and herbs
Barbecued eggplant, with peanut vinaigrette, green curry and herbs

The Garden Chef Our book on famous chefs, restaurants and their accompanying gardens features plenty of highly sustainable operation. Yet even here, Restaurant de Kas in Amesterdam, stands out. “Set in a series of greenhouses that date back to 1926 and which belong to the Amsterdam Municipal Nursery, the restaurant relies on produce from greenhouses and gardens, where it harvests vegetables, herbs, and flowers,” explains our book. “Founder, Gert Jan Hageman, is also the head gardener.”  His barbecued eggplant, with peanut vinaigrette, green curry and herbs, is a wonderful way to bring together late-summer vegetables. Want to try it? The recipe is reproduced in our book.

 

Zucchini pizza crust
Zucchini pizza crust

Raw The Icelandic cook, restaurateur, raw-food advocate and Phaidon author, Solla Eiriksdottir, has found a way to create a healthy, gluten-free version of pizza, using zucchini (courgettes) as the basis for the pizza base. This version also uses chia seeds and almond powder to bind the base together, as well as a topping of vegan cheese. 

 

Lunch box for Space Activism Marathon
Lunch box for Space Activism Marathon

Studio Olafur Eliasson: The Kitchen Eliasson’s studio kitchen isn’t entirely meat-free, though it certainly works towards reducing its carbon footprint. For the artist’s huge, communal Space Activism Marathon workshop in Berlin back in 2010, Eliasson's kitchen prepared lunch boxes for participants, filled with pickled eggs, potato croquettes and a tomato chile sauce. They were tasty, easy, and meat-free, and also aesthetically pleasing too. “The ingredients for this lunch box were carefully selected for this event to create an even balance between textures, colors, and food types,” explains the artist’s studio. 

Take a look at Studio Olafur Eliasson: The Kitchen hereRaw here; The Vegan Cookbook here;  and The Garden Chef here;  and for many more sources of culinary inspiration, take a look at our food books here.

 


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Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
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