posted by Lucy Geoghegan

Cutting
carbon in the most delicious way

Check out the winning recipes from our low-carbon dish competition

Delicious vegan chocolate cake at just a fraction of the carbon emissions

After asking our business and organisation sign-ups if they knew any good low-carbon recipes, we were inundated with yummy replies. Our resident Nigella Lawson, a.k.a Harriet Bell, volunteered to test cook the submissions and the office eagerly accepted the difficult job of judging which was best. After a rigorous taste test, followed by seconds (and thirds), we agreed that the first prize of a huge Organico food hamper should go to Lliana from Streetcar for her seasonal and sensational dish called 'Stuffed full of goodness'. Second place goes to Kirsty from the Campaign to Protect Rural England for her delectable vegan chocolate cake. 

Stuffed Full of Goodness (serves 3-4)

Ingredients

  • 4 Courgettes
  • 2 Marrows
  • 3 Red peppers
  • 1 Big white onion
  • Breadcrumbs (if you have some white bread that is going hard, grind it and use it!)
  • A bit of sugar (raw or unrefined)
  • A bit of salt
  • A bit of sage (7-8 leaves)
  • Half a glass of 10:10 white wine
  • Cheese (optional)

Caramelise the onion by frying it gently with a spoonful of raw sugar and a splash of white wine. Turn the heat down low and cover the pan.

While the onion is cooking, use a sharp knife to slice off both ends of one marrow and peel it. With a sharp-edged metal spoon, scoop out the seeds, making a cavity right through the centre and cut it in half lengthways. These two marrow bowls will be our oven dishes.

Cut the other marrow into 2cm little squares, add a little salt and cover them in breadcrumbs. Either deep fry these breaded marrow cubes or over cook them, making sure they go crispy on all sides.

Cut the courgettes into little cubes and add them to the onions. Add the sage and some salt and then stir and cover for 10mins.

After about 10-15 minutes (once the ingredients are pretty cooked) put the mixture of onions and courgettes and the cooked bread-crumbed marrows inside the prepared marrow. Cut the red peppers into strips and place them on top of the mixture as a lid. (If you're using cheese, top the peppers with grated cheese).

Place the marrow in the grill for a further 7-10 mins until the pepper skins start to turn black.

Reduced Carbon Vegan Chocolate Cake

Double the ingredients (for both cake and frosting) to make a two-layer cake:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups local organic spelt or wholemeal flour 
  • 3/4 cup Fairtrade sugar or 1/2 cup of (UK sourced) ‘fructose’
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 3 tablespoons Fairtrade cocoa powder 
  • 1 teaspoon Fairtrade vanilla 
  • 1/3 cup organic vegetable oil (local/UK sourced such as rapeseed)
  • 1 tablespoon organic vinegar 
  • 1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) 
Mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a bowl until blended. 
Make a well in the centre and add vanilla, oil, vinegar, and water. Mix with a fork.
Pour into a 9 inch baking dish
Bake for 30 minutes (until a toothpick/cocktail stick/equivalent comes out clean)
Cool completely, then frost with chocolate cream frosting (see below)

The Chocolate Cream Frosting:

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoon organic softened margarine (preferably check where the soya comes from) 
  • 1 1/3 cups Fairtrade icing sugar 
  • 1/3 cup cocoa 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fairtrade vanilla 
  • 2-4 tablespoons water

Cream the vegan margarine in a bowl then add the sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and enough water to make a thick but spreadable frosting.

Why not try out their recipes as part of a full low-carbon feast to celebrate 10:10:10