June is Sustainable Gastronomy Month at Campanile, with a campaign in all our hotels to encourage more environmentally friendly eating habits. A quarter of France's greenhouse gas emissions are generated by our food, according to the Environment & Energy Management Agency ADEME. We can all help reduce emissions by making changes to how we cook and eat. So pop your apron on and let’s get started!
If you cook at home it’s easier to stock the fridge with planet-friendly foods, so it takes less effort to make sustainable meals a regular part of your lifestyle. As a conscious consumer you can fill your shopping basket with smart choices that are not only sustainable, but also better for your health. We’re talking organic, fresh, local, seasonal produce with no chemical additives, and lots of whole foods – or at least avoiding processed products as far as possible.
More and more of us are starting to think about how our consumption choices impact the world, with increasing concern for preserving biodiversity and ecosystems, safeguarding working conditions on farms, limiting the distance that food is transported, and controlling the techniques used in food production, livestock breeding and fisheries. These issues are all at the heart of sustainable food!
Shifting our eating habits towards a sustainable diet isn’t easy to do overnight. It’s a collective challenge that we’ll need to approach gradually, with patience and perseverance. There are small steps we can take for starters, like freezing leftovers – even small amounts – to cut down on waste. Look out for fairtrade labels, especially for exotic products like teas and coffees. And eat less meat (no more than 500 grams a week per adult is the recommended maximum, according to the experts at mangerbouger.fr).
Here are two sustainable recipes (each serves four) that put the theory into practice – they’re healthy, bursting with flavour, and simple to make at home. Plus, if you have any junior apprentice cooks on hand to help you, so much the better.
The first dish is meat-free, a delicious vegetable combo that’ll leave almost zero waste. The second recipe is also minimum waste, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, and uses fresh seasonal fruits.
• Haricot Bean, Aubergine, Courgette & Halloumi Stew
These are the ingredients you'll need:
- 1 aubergine, diced
- 1 courgette, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 30 g spinach shoots
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 600 g cooked haricot beans
- 200 g halloumi cheese, sliced
- 1 pinch of Espelette pepper (or paprika)
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, sweat the onion in olive oil, then add the garlic, aubergine and courgette. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Add the tomatoes and Espelette pepper, season with salt and pepper, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Lastly add the beans and spinach. Grill the halloumi slices in a lightly oiled frying pan, and top the stew with the halloumi before serving. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
• Forest Berries in Verbena & Mint Syrup
These are the ingredients you'll need:
- 200 g strawberries
- 150 g raspberries
- 125 g blueberries
- 100 g caster sugar
- 50 cl water
- 15 fresh verbena leaves
- Fresh mint leaves
Prepare a simple syrup by putting the water into a saucepan and adding the sugar. Heat up and simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. Add the verbena leaves and leave to cool completely before straining the liquid. Rinse the berries, dry them, and chop the bigger ones into pieces. When the syrup is completely cold, pour the berries into it and put the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour. Serve scattered with chopped mint leaves.
This fresh, light and healthy dessert is just as delicious with other fruits or berries, like redcurrants, peaches, apricots, cherries – whatever’s in season! If you can't find fresh verbena leaves, simply infuse some dried ones. And you could drizzle a little honey over it before serving, for even more flavour.
As well as the benefits we’ve mentioned, it’s really rewarding to make your own dishes from scratch! With sustainable home cooking you can be as creative as you like, adapting recipes to suit your mood, what’s in season, and your household’s likes and dislikes. And of course, cooking and eating together is a great way to share good times with family and friends.
We hope you’ll try out these two recipes of ours for yourself. If you want to taste some more of Campanile’s environmentally responsible dishes, our hotels will be happy to serve you! We want you to be able to enjoy healthy and eco-friendly cooking even when you’re on holiday.