The United Nations’ ActNow Climate Campaign aims to trigger individual action on the defining issue of our time. People around the world will be engaged to make a difference in all facets of their lives, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear. One of these challenges focuses on sustainable food and gastronomy.

ActNow webpage
Food Challenge videos

Being climate conscious

What we eat has major implications for climate change. The destruction of rainforests to create land for agriculture, along with growing demand for meat, are major contributors to the increasing greenhouse gases which are taking a significant toll on climate and global food security. To top it off, we waste about one-third of the food that is produced. But more people are taking a closer look at what they are eating and the impacts of their diets on their health and on the environment. More and more chefs and other food suppliers are focusing on local and organic produce and shifting away from meat-heavy meals and fast food. They are joined by a growing movement of people changing the way they cook and eat. The UN’s ActNow campaign aims to inspire even more people to enjoy sustainable, climate-conscious and delicious food.

Chef Grace Ramirez talks about sustainability and green hacks in support of the United Nations ActNow climate campaign

Food Challenge

ActNow invites people around the world to make their individual contribution to sustainable food consumption. The challenge: cooking up dishes that are not only delicious but also good for the planet and good for us – reducing meat and emphasizing diverse vegetarian ingredients instead. Leading chefs will spearhead the challenge and provide inspiration by presenting their own creations which you can find on this page. Get cooking!

Chef Saliha Bala

Red Chorba

This soup is a delicious vegetarian traditional Algerian dish.


  • 1 liter of veggie stock
  • 1 branch of celery
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrott
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 small potato
  • 1 cup of frozen peas(or fresh, if seasonal)
  • ½ cup of green lentils
  • 1 cup of soup pasta (angel hair pasta or farfalle)
  • 1 tomato tin, or 4 juicy tomatoes (if seasonal)
  • 1 tsp of tomato puree olive oil
  • ½ flat parsley bunch
  • ½ fresh coriander bunch
  • Spices to taste: ras-el-hanoutjaune, smoked paprika, black pepper, cinnamon, powdered ginger, salt


  1. Chop all the vegetables into medium cubes. Set the zucchini aside.
  2. Using a large pot, cook the onion on medium heat with the all the spices, the carrot, lentils and the potato in 4 tsps of olive oil until soft, this is bring out all the flavours.
  3. Add the tomatoes (fresh or tinned and pureed), then fill half the pot with the veggie stock, scraping the bottom of the pot.
  4. Let it simmer, then add the zucchini. Let cook until soft.
  5. Season to taste. Add more water, if necessary.
  6. You could add angel hair pasta or any kind of little pasta 10 minutes before serving, I suggest to adjust the soup you need and cook the pasta in it, and set
  7. Set aside any leftovers for next time.
  8. Serve hot with a generous handful of chopped flat parsley and coriander.
  9. Turn your best «chaâbi» music on and enjoy yourselves.

Saha ftourkoum! Bon appétit!

Full recipe here

#ActNow #ClimateAction | Courtesy of Kitchen Connection

Everyday vegetables roasts with condiments | Chef Jonas Astrup

Serves 4-6



  • 1 broccoli
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 celearic
  • 1 hokkaido pumpkin 

Brown butter vinaigrette with miso

  • 100 g butter
  • 1 tbsp. miso
  • 2 tbsp. spring onion
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 2 tbsp. capers
  • 2-3 tbsp. applecider vinegar
  • Salt

Sunflower seed spread

  • 70 g sunflower seeds
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 dl vegetable oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Honey

Pumpkin seed spread

  • 80 g pumpkin seeds
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 dl vegetable oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Honey

Mushroom “ketchup”

  • 200 g mushrooms
  • 1 dl vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 ½ dl sugar
  • 1 dl vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Black garlic dip

  • 6 cloves of black garlic
  • 1 dl yoghurt 10%
  • ½ lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Honey

Dill dressing

  • 1 dl yoghurt 10%
  • 1 handuld of dill
  • ½ lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Honey


Roasting vegetables

Turn on the oven at 175°. Clean and prepare vegetables; peel the celeriac and perhaps cut the pumpkins in half). Turn each vegetable in a bit of vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper (and if you prefer, some of your favorite spices).

Cooking time (approximately):

  • Broccoli: 20-25 minutes
  • Hokkaido pumpkin and butternut squash: 30-35 minutes
  • Cauliflower: 30-40 minutes 
  • Celeriac: 60-90 minutes

Brown butter vinaigrette with miso
Brown the butter in a small saucepan while whisking in order to not burn the whey. Take it off the heat and stir in the miso. Finely chop the spring onions, parsley and capers and add it to the butter mix. Season with apple cider vinegar and salt.

Sunflower seed spread

Turn on the oven at 150° and roast the seeds for 13-15 minutes. Grate the garlic on a grater and blend it with the sunflower seeds and the oil until you’ve achieved a smooth consistency. Season with salt, applecider vinegar, pepper and honey.

Pumpkin seed spread

Turn on the oven at 150° and roast half of the pumpkin seed for 13-16 minutes. Grate garlic and lemon zest on a grater and blend it with the roasted and raw seeds and oil until you’ve achieved a smooth consistency. Season with salt, lemon juice, pepper and honey.

Mushroom “ketchup”

Clean and cut the mushrooms and fry them in a frying pan with oil until lightly browned and caramelized. Peel and chops the onion and garlic and toss them in the pan with mushrooms. Let is saute for another 5-8 minutes. Add sugar and vinegar and cook it through thoroughly. Add everything to a blender and mix it to a smooth ketchup-like consistency. Make sure the balance is right – season with salt and pepper.

Black garlic dip

Blend the black garlic with yogurt until you have a smooth dip. Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper and a bit of honey.

Dill dressing

Clean and finely chop the dill. Mix it together with the yoghurt and season with lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper and perhaps a bit of honey.

#ActNow #ClimateAction | Courtesy of MAD, a global community of chefs that aims to create sustainable change and make a difference in restaurants and the world

Chef Melissa

Tom Kha – Galangal Soup with Mushroom and Tofu

This vegetarian version of this delicious rich, tangy and salty Thai coconut soup is bursting with flavours.

Full recipe here:

#ActNow #ClimateAction | Courtesy of Kitchen Connection

Waste-free Omelette with Vegetables | Dr. Yukio Hattori, Japanese Food Educator

Using your leftover ingredients to make a delicius omelette is an excellent way to create a waste-free meal! For all ingredients you can use any remaining vegetables in your fridge. Here is an example of what Dr. Yukio Hattori used! You can easily substitute the vegetables.


For 4 servings

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/8 of an onion*
  • 1/4 of a bell pepper*
  • 1/2 pk. of pea sprouts*
  • 2 mushrooms*
  • 1 cabbage leaf*
  • 2 tops of long green onions*
  • Olive oil as necessary
  • 1/3 pk. of leftover potato chips
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste

Aioli sauce

  • 1 garlic clove
  • Mayonnaise as necessary
  • Milk as necessary (if available)


  1. Cut all ingredients marked with an asterisk into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Heat a sufficient amount of olive oil on a fry pan and stir the ingredients from Step 1. Continue to cook with medium heat until all ingredients are fairly soft.
  3. Crack the eggs into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  4. Put the mixture from Step 2, along with hand-crunched potato chips, in the bowl and combine all ingredients.
  5. Heat additional olive oil in a small fry pan and pour in the mixture from Step 4.
  6. Cook both sides of the omlelette using medium, making sure not to scorch the omelette.

Instructions for making a simple aioli sauce

Add grated garlic to the mayonnaise and mix in milk until the desired consistency is reached.

Cut omelette into convenient-sized slices and garnish with aioli sauce and enjoy!

#ActNow #ClimateAction | With thanks to UN Information Centre Tokyo

Chef Denise Browing

Brazilian Vegetarian Feijoada / Feijoada Vegetariana

Feijoada – black beans and pork stew – is considered Brazil’s national dish. This is the vegetarian version of the iconic dish which is usually slowly cooked on stove top for hours. This recipe is an energy-saver as it is cooked in a pressure-cooker, shortening the cooking time significantly.

Deep Fried Bananas / Empanada Banana

A Brazilian versatile dish that can be served as a side dish for beans or feijoada or as a dessert topped with caramel and/or ice cream. It only takes about 2 minutes to cook on the stove top which helps conserve natural resources.

Full recipes here:

#ActNow #ClimateAction | Courtesy of Kitchen Connection

Optimal Fruit Salad / Ensalada de Frutas Óptima | Chef Palmiro Ocampo

People ask us what else can I do with the banana peel? The #recetaoptima shows another use for it. It is a fruit salad accompanied by honeyed and delicious strips of banana peel completely covered in cinnamon powder and accompanied with candied banana peel. 

Process – 30 min

  1. Season fruits. You can take the ones you like.
  2. Cut them to your liking. In this case we have done it in small squares.
  3. At the same time, remove the brown and white part of the banana peel. We cut into strips and keep them in water for a while.
  4. Add 3/4 cup of water to a pot, add 4 spoons of sugar (medium heat). Once the boil breaks, place the strips. Lower the fire.
  5. Keep simmering approx. 15 to 20 min. We remove softly and leave to cool.
  6. We remove the strips, wait for them to cool down a bit. Combine them with cinnamon and preserve them.
  7. We present and decorate with the strips full of cinnamon.


Se trata de una ensalada de frutas acompañada de melosas y ricas tiras de cáscara de plátano completamente cubiertas de canela en polvo.

Proceso 30 min.

  1. Frutas de estación. Puedes tomar las que gustes.
  2. Pícalas a tu gusto. En este caso lo hemos hecho en cuadritos.
  3. A la par, retiramos la parte marroncita y blanca de la cáscara de plátano. Cortamos en tiras y las conservamos en agua un rato.
  4. Ok, ahora, 3/4 de taza de agua a una olla, agregamos 4 cucharas de azúcar (fuego medio). Una vez rompa hervor colocamos las tiras. Bajamos el fuego.
  5.  Mantenemos a fuego lento aprox. 15 a 20 min. Removemos de forma suave y dejamos.
  6. Retiramos las tiras, esperamos que enfríen un poco, combinamos con la canela y las conservamos.
  7. Presentamos y decoramos con las tiras llenas de canela.

#ActNow #ClimateAction | Courtesy of UNIC Peru

Groundnut Soup | Chef Selassie Atadika

One of my favourite lessons from the African kitchen is the use of nuts and seeds to provide plant-based protein, a rich creamy finish and of course, deliciousness. This dish is a great way to make use of leftover vegetables. In addition to being a great soup, it also makes a great sauce drizzled over steamed or grilled vegetables.


Servings: 6 servings of 8 oz/one cup each

  • 1 1/4 cups smooth natural peanut butter or groundnut paste (unsweetened) 
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste 
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, powder 
  • 8 cups vegetable stock 
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated 
  • 1 Tbsp mushroom powder 
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Chili to taste
  • Add blanched or sautéed vegetables of choice; examples include: green beans, eggplant, carrots, okra and/or cauliflower


Mix peanut butter and tomato paste with cayenne pepper selection of vegetables in a pot, slowly blend in 2 cups stock. Cook on medium heat, cover and stir occasionally for 20 minutes. Add remaining 6 cups stock, stirring in slowly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add ginger, mushroom powder, onion, chili and salt. Boil for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the oil separates and comes our of the groundnut paste*. Add in the sautéed or blanched vegetables to the soup and let it cook for a few minutes before serving. Serve alone, or with starch of choice. 

*Please note that if you don’t wait let the soup cook until the oil separates, it can cause discomfort during digestion.

#ActNow #ClimateAction | Courtesy of MAD, a global community of chefs that aims to create sustainable change and make a difference in restaurants and the world

Okra Stew | Zoe Adjonyoh

Okra is an ingredient commonly used in west Africa, as well as in my restaurant kitchen and home. As a child a slimy okra stew was like a bowl of snotty porridge. When I started Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen I looked for new ways to incorporate okra into dishes, one being Okra tempura. This dish demands super fresh crisp okra—sometimes someone over orders and we have a surplus.

Okra stays fresh uncut for about 7-10 days when refrigerated, but doesn’t last forever. When you see okra reduced to one pound a bowl at the grocer’s, looking a little peaky, and slightly bruised plum or beef tomatoes in the discount bin, there is still life in them yet. So grab that bargain and cook this leftover Okra Stew. It’s one of my absolute favourites and of the most traditional Ghanaian dishes I cook.

Zoe Adjonyoh’s leftover Okra Stew

A famous West African dish, it traditionally calls for finely chopped and separately boiled okra, to create a very slimy sauce. I’m not a fan of slimy okra, so instead I slice mine slightly less than 1cm (1/2 inch) thick—the smaller you cut okra, the more mucilage in the pods it releases, a process only further developed by boiling. So by adding the sliced okra straight to the stew, you can avoid slimy okra soup.


  • 200ml (7fl oz) sustainable red palm oil or carotene oil (can be substituted for coconut, rapeseed or sunflower also)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp extra hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp cooking salt
  • 2 medium red onions, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped or grated
  • 7.5cm (3-inch) piece fresh root ginger, finely grated (un-peeled if organic) 
  • 1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chilli, deseeded and diced
  • 750g ripe plum tomatoes, cubed or blended
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 250ml (9fl oz) good-quality vegetable stock
  • 500g (1lb 2 oz) okra, trimmed and sliced
  • 150ml (5fl oz) water

Chopped Coriander and sliced Anaheim chillies to garnish

Photo by Nassima Rothaker

1 | Heat the oil on low–medium heat until it melts (palm oil has a low smoke point, so be careful not to let it burn), add the onion and sauté gently for a few minutes until translucent. Add the spices, garlic, ginger and Scotch bonnet and stir well, then sauté for a further 5 minutes.

2 | Cook in the tomato purée stirring well, then pour in the vegetable stock to de glaze the pan, reduce the heat to low, and then add the tomatoes and salt. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes until they start to lose their tartness.

3 | Add the sliced okra to the pot with the measurement water, stir though once or twice and replace the lid and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes until the okra is just tender. Season to taste.

This dish is traditionally served in a bowl with banku on a side plate along with a finger bowl.

#ActNow #ClimateAction | Courtesy of MAD, a global community of chefs that aims to create sustainable change and make a difference in restaurants and the world

Perfect Loose-Leaf Green Tea | Henrietta Lovell, Rare Tea Lady

Tea bags use forests, industrial chemicals, plastics, glues, and bleaches, and create unsustainable waste. Even a completely biodegradable bag is made using chemicals and precious resources. A teapot can be passed down through generations and flood your life with pleasure.

Making great tea needs a recipe just like a cake. You can’t just add some flour and butter, a few eggs, cook for some time, at some temperature and hope to get a perfect sponge. With tea the recipe is simple – you need to control three things: 

  1. How much leaf to water
  2. Temperature 
  3. Infusion time


Makes a pot to share for 2

  • 5g of whole leaf green tea (Direct Trade if you can find it – giving the best deal possible to the farmer who grew and crafted it).
  • 250 ml of boiling water
  • 50 ml of cold water


  1. Pop the tea in the teapot
  2. Add 50ml of cold water over the leaf
  3. Add 250ml of boiling water on top. This combination brings the temperature to just above 70 degrees.  The best flavours in green tea dissolve at this lower temperature and you’ll get a sweeter more delicious cup.  Boiling water releases the tannins that can dominate and make the tea bitter.
  4. Infuse for 90 seconds.
  5. Strain to the last golden drop into 2 teacups (don’t leave any water in the bottom of the pot to over extract).

Sip to your hearts delight!

When you are ready you can repeat with the same leaves making a second and possibly third delicious infusion. The second if often better than the first.

#ActNow #ClimateAction | Courtesy of MAD, a global community of chefs that aims to create sustainable change and make a difference in restaurants and the world

Pasta with Mint and Breadcrumb Pesto | Massimo Bottura


Mint and breadcrumb pesto

Serves 6

  • 7 oz (200g) basil leaves
  • 2 oz (50 g) parsley leaves
  • 4 oz (120 g) mint leaves
  • 1 oz (25 g) stale bread, finely crumbled (scant 1⁄2 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • generous 1⁄2 cup (50 g) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt


  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 lb (600 g) fusilli pasta or other short pasta
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving


Mint and breadcrumb pesto

In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, parsley, mint, breadcrumbs, garlic, and 5 ice cubes and pulse until finely chopped. Add the olive oil, Parmigiano, and salt and pulse to incorporate.

Prepare the pasta

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the fusilli and cook until al dente. Toss the pasta with the pesto. Sprinkle with the grated Parmigiano and serve. 

#ActNow #ClimateAction | Courtesy of MAD, a global community of chefs that aims to create sustainable change and make a difference in restaurants and the world

Broken Rice with Nettles and Lemon Leaves | Skye Gyngell

This dish is typically served alongside venison with buttermilk and spices and pullet eggs and celery salt, but can just as easily be enjoyed without meat!


 Serves 4

  • 300g broken rice (most middle eastern food stores stock this)
  • 170ml coconut milk
  • 170ml water or vegetable stock
  • Salt
  • 100g nettles, leaves only (make sure you wear gloves when picking)
  • 5 lemon leaves, washed 
  • Sugar
  • Pepper
  • Coriander for garnish 


  1. Wash the rice well under cold running water to remove any excess starch and transfer to a saucepan which has a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Mix the coconut milk and stock together and pour it over the washed rice. Stir in the nettles and lemon leaves.
  3. Cover the saucepan with a lid and bring the rice to boil on high heat.
  4. Once vigorously boiling, change to a low heat, cover with the lid and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the water level is the same as the top of the rice.
  5. At this point, turn the heat completely off and allow to rest for a further 10 minutes, keeping the lid on at all times. Use a wooden spoon to fluff up the rice before serving. Add salt, sugar and pepper to taste.
  6. Garnish with coriander

#ActNow #ClimateAction | Courtesy of MAD, a global community of chefs that aims to create sustainable change and make a difference in restaurants and the world

Lacto-Fermented Asparagus | David Zilber

Vegetables often come packaged in bundles to guarantee stores sell through their stock. Being locked into buying more than you need can leave you feeling guilty for throwing something away if you didn’t get to it in time. What do you do with excess ingredients before they spoil? Take them out of the fridge and let them rot in your favour.

Fermentation, a practice invented countless times over around the world and throughout history, was one of humanity’s first means of food preservation. By harnessing these ancient techniques you can divert waste and keep food edible longer. Thereby buying less, thereby producing less in the first place. Even in the face of a seemingly insurmountable challenge, practicing simple acts like fermentation at home, can be the spark of hope that keeps us fighting for a better future.


  1. (sea) salt
  2. water
  3. lemon (sliced)
  4. 1/2 bunch asparagus (or whatever amount you have left!)


  1. Using a large, re-purposed glass jar capable of holding the asparagus upright, wash out your jar with very hot water—a hot dishwasher cycle works too. Once it’s clean and dry, place your jar on a scale, and tare the scale to zero it. 
  2. Place your asparagus in, and fill the jar with cool water up to its neck.