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Wednesday Round Up 12/08/10

Catch a few interesting vegetarian bits and bobs on the web.

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Meat free Christmas recipes with a twist
Welcome to the Vegetarian Society and Cordon Vert Cookery School’s 2010 Christmas recipe collection. This year our recipes aren’t the usual festive fare, inside you’ll find such tantalising food as a pie without pastry and a dessert made with potatoes…

Read more here.

Vegetarian group calls for labelling system

The UAE should introduce mandatory vegetarian-friendly labelling on all food products, says a regional vegetarian group.

“As a world renowned tourist destination, it is vital to have food labels clearly indicating whether a product is suitable for vegetarians,” said Sandhya Prakash, the founder and director of the Middle East Vegetarian Group, during the group’s first congress at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, yesterday.

The group hopes to work with the government to create and monitor a labelling system for vegetarian and vegan foods.

Vegetarian labelling has already been established in Europe and India. In the UK, foods approved by the Vegetarian Society can display a symbol of a seedling. The food must meet a number of conditions, including being free of meat and animal-derived additives. In India, such products carry a green dot. The labelling is legally required in India. In the UK, the Food Standards Agency has released guidelines, but there are no laws.

The Temporary Vegetarian: Swiss Chard Torta
Raffaele Ronca, the 39-year-old executive chef at Palma, offered to make a spectacular Swiss chard torta.

“To me a torta is two inches thick, and it can be sweet or savory,” said Mr. Ronca, who grew up in Giugliano, Italy, which is near Naples. “A grandmother would make it on a special occasion, to welcome someone home.” In his family, he especially remembers his mother’s escarole torta.

The Swiss chard torta, however, is not his mother’s recipe. In 2004, a friend of his, Fedora Cozzi Perullo, who is known as Jinx, a former principal of Stuyvesant High School, made it for him. “I loved it, and started making it,” Mr. Ronca said. “I think chard is an amazing green. I love the bitterness of it.” The chard torta reminded him of his mother’s one of escarole.

It is a beautiful, deeply flavored, highly textured dish – golden brown on top, dark green within, and studded with the red tomatoes.

Read the full recipe here.

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Laura Cooke is the editor and creator of the Veggie Bunch website and community.

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