Cooking in a climate-friendly approach
Umessen: How a 15-year-old desires to vary the world along with her cookbook

Lea Elci along with her father Koral Elci, who helped her develop the recipes as a cook dinner. Right: Laab Gai with out meat, a vegetarian dish, from her cookbook “Umessen”.

© Seren Dal

Lea Elci is 15 years previous and she or he is scared. Afraid of how we take care of our world. That’s why she desires to vary one thing and get different folks to do the identical. By which? With a cookbook. There are climate-friendly recipes in it; Nobody has to do with out meat and fish.

Lea Elci is 15 years previous, a scholar in Hamburg, Fridays for Future activist, the daughter of a cook dinner and a pastry chef: So she was born with an appreciation for good meals. But she’s additionally nervous in regards to the worries that have an effect on many younger youngsters proper now: “I’m afraid when I see how we deal with the world. I’m afraid of what will happen if we don’t change anything. But I don’t want to be afraid have – but make a difference, “she writes in her Cookbook “Umessen”, with which she desires to encourage climate-friendly cooking.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, the livestock trade accounts for round 51 % of all greenhouse gases emitted worldwide. In Brazil alone, a protected space the scale of 350 soccer fields is transformed into pastureland yearly due to our meat consumption. In addition, portions of water are used for meat and feed manufacturing and soils are destroyed. The consequence: excessive climate circumstances improve, which ends up in yield losses in agriculture. “To see how we destroy our livelihoods day after day makes me sad and angry. We humans have to understand that we are in a serious crisis,” says Elci.

Climate-friendly consuming means no restrictions

For this purpose, the scholar has been consuming a vegetarian food plan for a number of years. Your cookbook shouldn’t be missoned, however slightly create consciousness of sustainable diet and encourage you to vary one thing within the kitchen. But how do you eat climate-friendly? “Climate-friendly eating does not mean restrictions,” says Elci, “but respect for people, animals and nature.” Elci just isn’t concerned about utterly giving up meat. This can also be emphasised by meals activist and butcher store proprietor Hendrik Haase in an interview with the scholar: He finds it unrealistic to utterly resign meat. Because of the grassland that may solely be cultivated by ruminants resembling cattle and goats. So, as with a lot, it is about steadiness. Haase advocates consuming much less meat, however not giving it up solely.

Lea Elci’s recipes are due to this fact not purely vegetarian, there may be fish and a single recipe with meat, wild boar goulash. The recipes are sorted by season. Now in spring there may be, for instance, hummus with crusty bread, sashimi from char, asparagus and strawberry salad, in summer season then spaghetti with samphire and roasted peppers, in autumn Börek with aubergine and scamorza, in winter oriental pumpkin soup.

During the pandemic, vegetarian and vegan diets have turn out to be extra well-liked

With her virtually completely vegetarian recipes, Lea Elci hits a notch that can even be seen in gastronomy sooner or later. Especially after the Corona disaster. Although the vast majority of the eating places didn’t have an excellent enterprise yr in 2020, the recognition and acceptance of vegetarian and vegan diets has elevated. At least that’s what the diet researcher Hanni Rützler writes in her lately printed “Foodreport”.

In a current survey printed within the scientific journal Foods, round 42 % of Germans said that they consciously scale back their meat consumption by consuming a vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian or flexitarian food plan, i.e. with a plant-based food plan and solely occasional meat parts. And it’s also clear to restaurateurs that they’ve to vary and develop themselves and what they provide of their eating places.

Tim Mälzer, for instance, sees himself as a task mannequin. He says that in an interview with Lea Elci. He is conscious of the subject of sustainability, which is why he’s already making an attempt to adapt the constructions in his restaurant accordingly. What does that imply in concrete phrases? The deli of his restaurant “Bullerei” is now utterly vegetarian. “In making this decision, my main concern was to subtly motivate people to rethink certain behavioral structures and habits – and to change them,” says the TV chef. He desires to normalize the meat- and fish-free food plan. An consciousness that not solely restaurateurs ought to observe, but in addition ourselves at residence in our kitchens. Lea Elci’s e book is an efficient begin to this.

Laab Gai without meat

Laab Gai with out meat

© Seren Dal

Recipe for Laab Gai with out meat


  • 120 g minced meat substitute
  • 10 white mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 purple chilli pepper
  • 1 handful of coriander leaves
  • 1 handful of mint leaves
  • 1 handful of Thai basil leaves
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp vegetarian fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 handful of sunflower seeds
  • 1 romaine lettuce coronary heart
  • Lime wedges for serving


Preheat the oven to 200 ° C (180 ° C convection). Put the meat substitute in a baking dish and cook dinner within the sizzling oven for 7 minutes. Clean the mushrooms and minimize into small cubes. Sauté mushrooms in oil in a pan over medium warmth for 2-3 minutes. Peel garlic and chop finely. Wash and clear the chilli, core and finely chop if desired. Wash, dry, finely chop herbs and blend with meat substitute, mushrooms, chilli and garlic in a bowl. Mix the soy sauce, lime juice, fish sauce and honey in a bowl and add to the bowl with the sunflower seeds, combine and season with salt. Wash the romaine lettuce, take away the leaves. Arrange the Laab Gai within the lettuce leaves and serve instantly with lime wedges!

Spaghetti in a deep plate

Tip: With citrus fruits, be sure that they’re untreated and that they arrive from Europe if attainable. Alternatively, vinegar is appropriate. Or even higher: verjuice, bitter juice created from unripe grapes.