If you’re already vegan – take a week off, you’re ahead of the curve.

Our first challenge – waking up your workplace – was epic and you’re probably still working on it, so we made this week’s challenge more modest.  It may even reduce your workload because cooking vegan meals tends to be faster than cooking meat.

Climate Challenge #1 (7)

I have 6-8 regular meals that I loosely cycle through so we eat our most common meals maybe 40 nights in a year.  Learning just one vegan recipe and putting it into that rotation can have a real impact on your footprint – and if it’s easy and delicious you can cook it for others and pass the recipe on.

Chickpea Bolognese

Strangely, you can replace beef with chickpeas in most bolognese recipes.  I make this exactly the same as I make a regular bolognese, except I add a lot more olive oil when I caramelize the onions and garlic at the beginning.  I smash up about half the chickpeas to thicken the sauce and I brown the other half in the oniony-garlic olive oil for a few minutes before adding the strained tomatoes.  I use all my regular ‘secret ingredients’ like Wooster Soss and Brown Sugar and Bay Leaves and it turns out delicious.  Either adapt your own favourite bolognese recipe or try this one from the minimalist baker.

Garlic Chili Eggplant Tofu

(I usually double everything in this recipe so that there are leftovers)

1 pack of tofu (drain and cut into 1/2 inch cubes)

2 chinese eggplants

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp alcohol (sherry, port, cognac, bourbon, whatever — optional)

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp. water

3 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp ginger (grated or minced)

3 garlic cloves (chopped)

green onions (finely chopped)

Chinese Chili Paste or Chili Oil to taste


  1. Make rice.
  2. Start frying the garlic and ginger in the oil until it just starts to soften (med heat).  Turn up the heat to medium high and add the chopped Chinese eggplant.  Stir-fry, reducing the heat if necessary until it starts to get goopy.  Add more oil if it sticks too much.
  3. Mix the sauce ingredients (keep the green onion!) in a seperate bowl or just add them all to the pan while you’re stir-frying.
  4. When the eggplant is nice and soft and the sauce is in, add the tofu and cook it just until it gets hot.   Add more of any of the sauce ingredients that you really like.
  5. You can either cook the chopped green onion a little or add it fresh to each plate.
  6. Serve on rice.


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