It’s true what your mum says, everything is good in moderation and the same goes for your diet. The answer is not for everyone to become vegan as that’s an unrealistic target. Plus, there’s a whole bunch of issues relating to processed vegan alternatives. Instead, what we should all be aiming for is a reduction in our intake of animal-based foods and replace them with plant-based options, if we’re to successfully tackle environmental destruction at scale.
Thankfully, there are organisations out there committed to helping people make this lifestyle shift, and they’re offering up tasty alternatives, too!
What is the Planetary Health Diet?
The planetary health diet is a global reference diet for adults that is symbolically represented by half a plate of fruits, vegetables and nuts. The other half consists of primarily whole grains, plant proteins (beans, lentils, pulses), unsaturated plant oils, modest amounts of meat and dairy, and some added sugars and starchy vegetables. The diet is quite flexible and allows for adaptation to dietary needs, personal preferences and cultural traditions. Vegetarian and vegan diets are two healthy options within the planet health diet but are personal choices.
What is the Planetary Health Challenge?
The #planetaryhealthchallenge is based on the EAT-Lancet findings that introduce the planetary health diet – the optimal diet for people and planet. To become part of the movement, all you have to do is eat more vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts every day. The hope of the Eat Foundation is that by creating this movement and sharing daily practical tips, tempting recipes, interviews with cool chefs, podcast episodes or other surprises, we will move towards a world where we waste less food and eat more plants.
Our fave recipes include:
Cauliflower Chili Con Carne
Have you ever tried Cauliflower Chili Con Carne? The dish can easily be made vegetarian/vegan by replacing the meat with beans! This is the 7th recipe in EAT’s one week dinner menu. It is made by Norwegian chef Lise Finckenhagen and aligns with EAT-Lancet’s Planetary Health Diet.
Serves: 4 portions Time: approx. 2 hours
300 g brown beans, cooked
400 g chuck steak (or extra brown beans if you want the plant-based version “Chili Sin Carne”).
1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
400 g plum tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 red chilli
1 tsp ground coriander
1 small cinnamon stick
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp brown sugar or liquid honey
300 ml beef stock/broth
2 tbsp dark chocolate (at least 70%), grated
4 tbsp rapeseed oil or mild olive oil for frying
Salt and ground pepper
Natural yoghurt or sour cream
Chopped fresh parsley and/or coriander
Cut the meat into small pieces. Peel and chop the onion and the peppers into even-size pieces. Remove the stems from the tomatoes and chop. Thinly slice the chilli and garlic.
In a thin-bottomed pan, fry the onion, chilli and garlic in 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the dried herbs and the meat. Fry until the meat has browned.
Stir in tomato purée and add tomatoes, paprika, stock/broth, sugar and a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and leave to simmer for another half an hour, or until the meat is really tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Thoroughly rinse the beans in water and stir them into the mixture towards the end of the cooking time. Grate the chocolate and stir it in right at the end (possibly saving some for sprinkling on before serving).
Wash and grate the cauliflower or break it into rough pieces and blend it in a food processor until it resembles rice (or small grains). Heat a large frying pan containing 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the cauliflower rice for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly. Add salt and pepper to taste.