earthday2015
22 April marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Observed in 192 countries worldwide, more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Sustainability is a core focus at UAL, from our curriculum and canteens to our buildings, including Wimbledon’s new BREEAM rated studios. To celebrate Earth Day 2015 we’re sharing three of our favourite organic recipes from our Soil Association Gold Award-winning cafes.

Carrot soup photo George Grinsted Creative Commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/imgeorge/

Organic Spiced Carrot Soup with Ginger & Sweet Potato
Serves 4-6
• 1.1 litres mild vegetable stock or water
• 5 thin slices of ginger
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 1 medium organic onion, thinly sliced
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
• 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
• Cayenne or chilli powder to taste
• about 900g organic carrot, scrubbed well and thinly sliced
• 1 medium organic sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
• 150ml fresh orange juice
• Crème fraiche
• Fresh chopped coriander to garnish

Heat the vegetable stock or water in a pan with the ginger slices, and keep warm on the hob. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger and a few pinches of cayenne powder. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the onion is very soft, about 10 minutes more. Add the carrots, potato, and 900ml of the stock or water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the carrots are very tender, around 15-20 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to the pot, add the orange juice, and thin with the remaining stock to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more cayenne if desired. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche, and a sprinkling of fresh coriander leaves.

meatballs photo by J. Annie Wang Creative Commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/j0annie/

Organic Meatballs in Napolitana sauce
Serves 2-3
• 500 g lean grass fed beef (minced)
• 125 g ricotta cheese, drained (use deli style ricotta which is firmer)
• 200g baby spinach (cooked in a little olive oil and lemon, liquid drained)
• ½ cup fresh chopped parsley
• 1 organic / free range egg
• pinch of nutmeg
• sea salt and pepper to taste
• 4 cups Napolitana fresh tomato sauce

Combine beef, ricotta, spinach, ½ cup parsley, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Shape into large balls and coat in a little olive oil, then place in a deep tray lined with grease-proof paper. Do not place too closely together, making sure there is enough room around the meatballs. Bake the meatballs for 10 minutes, then add the Napolitana sauce to fill half way up the pan. Bake for a further 20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling. Serve sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley, a little grated parmesan and green vegetable spaghetti.

Panna Cotta photo Ana Paola creative commons  https://www.flickr.com/photos/99006711@N04/

Organic Vanilla Panna Cotta
Serves 4
For the panna cotta
• 3 gelatine leaves
• 250ml/9fl oz of organic milk
• 250ml/9fl oz of organic double cream
• 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped out
• 25g/1oz organic sugar
For the sauce
• 175g/6oz organic sugar
• 175ml/6fl oz water
• splash cherry liqueur
• 350g/12oz of organic raspberries
To serve
• 4 sprigs fresh organic mint
• icing sugar, to dust

For the panna cotta, soak the gelatine leaves in a little cold water until soft. Place the milk, cream, vanilla pod and seeds and sugar into a pan and bring to a simmer. Remove the vanilla pod and discard. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves, then add them to the pan and take off the heat. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Divide the mixture into four ramekin dishes and leave to cool. Place into the fridge for at least one hour, until set. For the sauce, place the sugar, water and cherry liqueur into a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and add half the raspberries. Using a hand blender, blend the sauce until smooth. Pass the sauce through a sieve into a bowl and stir in the remaining fruit. To serve, turn each panna cotta out onto a serving plate. Spoon over the sauce and garnish with a sprig of mint. Dust with icing sugar.

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Find out more about UAL’s sustainable food policy

Read more about Earth Day 2015

See how the first Earth Day was reported in the New York Times, April 1970

Discover more about sustainability at UAL