This newsletter will inform you about:
● Our recipe book project and its current progress;
● Four delicious recipes from our partners;
● What We’re Up To Next?
Our recipe book project
Our partners have collected recipes from traditional regional and national cooking in their countries. Following guidance from the United Nations for a sustainable diet, the recipes have an emphasis on food and ingredients that are seasonal, unprocessed, organic, locally-grown, low in meat, fish and dairy, and with vegetarian and vegan options. The recipe book will include:
• 40 recipes from the partner countries, 10 per country
• Recipes that also describe the traditions and cultural heritage of the places they come from;
• Information about general nutrition and how these recipes and the ingredients they use are nutritious in value;
• Information about sustainability, sustainable food production and wider sustainability goals linked to food and food production
Four delicious recipes from our partners
Over the next few pages we’ll be sharing a selection of recipes from Lithuania, Greece, Spain and Scotland, contributed by our European partners to the recipe book that’s being prepared as part of the Sustainability, Heritage and Health project.
Recipe 1: Nip Nip Soup
A vegan soup from Scotland
About the Recipe
Like carrots, parsnips are native to Eurasia and have been eaten there since ancient times. Archaeological evidence for the cultivation of the parsnip is still rather limited; Greek and Roman literary sources are a major source about its early use. The parsnip was much esteemed, and the Emperor Tiberius accepted part of the tribute payable to Rome by Germany in the form of parsnips. In Europe, the vegetable was used as a source of sugar before cane and beet sugars were available.
This recipe uses minimally processed ingredients, which are healthier than processed alternatives.
The parsnip is rich in vitamins and minerals, and is particularly rich in potassium with 375 mg per 100 g. Several of the B-group vitamins are present, but levels of vitamin C are reduced in cooking. Since most of the vitamins and minerals are found close to the skin, many will be lost unless the root is finely peeled or cooked whole.
The consumption of parsnips has potential health benefits. They contain antioxidants such as falcarinol, falcarindiol, panaxydiol, and methyl-falcarindiol, which may potentially have anticancer, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. The dietary fiber in parsnips is partly of the soluble and partly the insoluble type and comprises cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. The high fiber content of parsnips may help prevent constipation and reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Vegetables have some of the lowest-environmental impact foods, especially carrots, parsnips, and onions as they can be grown locally and using organic techniques.
4 small turnips (no larger than the size of an eating apple)
4 stalks of celery
1 cup of vegetable stock Spices. Suggested:
1 teaspoon of cinnamon;
2 teaspoon of cumin; crushed black pepper. (but can be of your choice)
How to prepare
• Peel and cut up turnips and parsnips into cubes
• Dice onion, carrot and celery
• Saute onion, carrot and celery dice in veg oil until soft
• Add turnips and parsnips, and stir until lightly browned
• Add 1 cup of veg stock and 1 cup of water
• Bring to a boil, then simmer until turnips and parsnips are just soft
• Add seasoning and spices as required to taste, simmer 5 more minutes, until veg are soft
• Use a hand blender, hand masher, or food mill to puree the soup
• Bring back to a boil, adding a bit of water if the mixture is too thick
• Serve with bread, and toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds to garnish
• Tip: Some like to add a dash of tabasco sauce
Recipe 2: Potatoes with forest mushrooms
A vegetarian main dish from Lithuania
About the Recipe
The tradition of collecting mushrooms is widespread in Lithuania. From August to September, people often travel to the forests to search for and collect about 30 different species of edible mushrooms. The mushrooms collected later are used for main dishes, soups and sauces, also it can be canned, dried, marinated or sold at roadside markets. Due to this tradition, many national Lithuanian dishes are seasoned with mushrooms.
A mushroom picking championship is held in Lithuania every year, during which participants compete for the title of mushroom champion in order to collect as many valuable mushrooms as possible within the set period.
One of the most popular and valuable mushrooms found in Lithuanian forests is boletus, also known as the “King of mushrooms”.
This recipe is often used in Lithuania for the Christmas Eve table, when 12 dishes without meat are traditionally prepared for the whole family and relatives
600 g of potatoes
60 g of butter
300 ml of sour cream
50 g of greens
1 kg of mushrooms (preferably seasonal, from the forest)
How to prepare
• Washed and cleaned mushrooms should be dried and sliced into smaller pieces.
• Fry the chopped onions in half the butter, add the mushrooms and fry while stirring.
• Peel the potatoes, cut it in straws (or otherwise), fry in the remaining butter until almost baked, add the mushrooms with onions, sprinkle with salt, add sour cream, stir, cover and fry.
• When serving, sprinkle with chopped greens.
Recipe 3: Spinach rice “spanakorizo – σπανακόρυζο”
A vegan main dish from Greece
About the recipe
Spinach is rich in iron, vitamin A and C. Adding lemon to the dish also helps with the iron absorption. Greeks usually eat it with a big slice of traditional, whole-wheat bread and olives or feta. Tip: while feta cheese is tasty and pairs well with spanakorizo, the calcium leads to lower iron absorption.
Spanakorizo is usually cooked with white rice, which is not particularly high in fiber but still offers nutrients such as B complex vitamins. Spinach is quite resistant to extreme temperatures. The ideal temperatures to grow are 5 to 24 degrees Celsius.
Spinach withstands frost and does not suffer damage up to -10 degrees Celsius. It also does not require a lot of water
1 kg fresh and cleaned (or frozen) spinach
1/2 cup olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 bunch of spring onions with their leaves chopped
1 chopped leek
3/4 cup Carolina rice
1/2 bunch dill the juice of 1 large lemon salt and freshly ground pepper
How to prepare
• Heat half of the total olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the spring onions, the onion and the leek for 3-4 minutes until they become transparent.
• Coarsely chop the spinach and add it to the pot. Continue sautéing for 2-3 minutes on high heat until the volume drops.
• When the spinach withers, add the rice and stir, until it is well oiled.
• Add 1 glass of water (spinach and vegetables will also produce enough fluids).
• Season with salt and pepper, lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
• Add the rest of the olive oil at the end of the boiling, and sprinkle with the chopped dill.
• Squeeze the lemon, and stir.
• Cover the p
Recipe 4: Quince Jelly with Walnuts and Cheese
A vegetarian/vegan dessert from Spain
About the recipe
The quince tree is native to Western Asia but has been grown throughout Eurasia for thousands of years. The fruit is not edible raw, even when ripe. It can be eaten after bletting (softening through freezing and partial rotting), but it has traditionally been prepared by cooking in a variety of dishes. The Spanish word for jam, mermelada, is originally derived from marmelo, the Portuguese word for a quince.
Hard cheese or vegan cheese (optional)
How to prepare
• Wash the quinces well and place in a large pot. Cover them with water tree and bring them to a boil. Turn down to medium heat and let them cook for about 40–45 minutes, depending on the size of the quinces.
• Remove them from the heat and let them cool so as not to burn yourself. Then peel then, remove the core and cut the fruit into small pieces.
• Weigh the resulting fruit and calculate an amount of sugar equal to 80% of the fruit by weight. So, for example, if you have 1kg of fruit you will need 800g of sugar.
• Add the fruit and sugar to a large, flat saucepan. Cook over a low–medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon (never metallic) for about 10 minutes, when the sugar should be completely dissolved. Use a hand blender to obtain a finer mixture, then cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. The mixture will thicken and darken as time goes by.
• When the spoon stands up on its own, the texture is right. You can blend it one last time for a finer texture, then pour it into a mould, such as a low, rectangular plastic box. Cover and leave to cool, then place in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.
• Quince jelly is traditionally served as a dessert with slices of hard cheese (vegan cheese may be used if desired) and walnuts.
What We’re Up To Next
We will be preparing all the recipes at workshops in each country and we expect to have the book ready for the end of February. We will have a meeting in Greece this Easter to talk about the app and an online platform that people will be able to access from anywhere that will contain the walking routes, the recipe book and all the activities associated with the project.
All the recipes will be converted into digital tools and added to the project’s online interactive platform and mobile application so that more people have access to them. The application will also allow users to check recipes according to different categories (country, seasonal food, raw food, special diets, etc.)
The ongoing global pandemic has placed in the spotlight how important it is to rely on local food production systems and we expect this trend will continue for decades.