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Julie Goodwin for Oxfam

Green Lifestyle online

Julie Goodwin shares her vitamin-rich and energy-savvy vego san choy bow and mushroom soup recipes for the Oxfam GROW Challenge.

san choy bow

Julie's mushroom san choy bow.

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With one-third of the food produced for human consumption thrown away, despite 870 million people going to bed hungry each night, Oxfam is calling on everybody to reduce food waste. Oxfam also says that if urban families in the USA, UK, Spain and Brazil ate a meat-free meal once a week, the energy savings would equate to taking more than 3.7 million cars off the road for a year. People can register to receive Oxfam’s six practical ‘GROW Methods’ to help you eat seasonal, organic and sustainable foods while reducing waste and saving energy in the kitchen.

The current GROW challenge is to reduce energy use in the kitchen; to limit our individual contributions to climate change. Simply by reducing the amount of water you boil, covering pans while cooking, and reducing the heat as soon as your water is boiling for instance, you can have the same positive impact on the environment as planting a tree and letting it grow for ten years.

GROW Ambassador Julie Goodwin is supporting Oxfam's GROW Challenges and two of her favourite vegie recipes are here for Green Lifestyle readers to enjoy!

Mushroom san choy bow

To cook this quantity of mushrooms successfully, you will need to use a very large frypan or chef’s pan. If you only have a small frypan, cook the mushrooms in two batches.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 500g button mushrooms, diced small
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tin bamboo shoots, chopped
- 1 tin water chestnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornflour
- 8 iceberg lettuce leaves
- ½ bunch shallots (spring onions), white and pale green parts chopped
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- ½ cup coriander leaves
- Toasted sesame seeds or crispy fried shallots, to serve.

Heat oil in a large chef’s pan over a medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they start to soften and “collapse”. Add the onion and garlic. After a few minutes, the mushrooms will release quite a lot of liquid. It is important to keep cooking them until most of that liquid evaporates again.

Once the mushroom mixture is fairly dry, add the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Add the oyster sauce and soy sauce. Dissolve the cornflour in ¼ cup water and stir into the mixture. Cook for another couple of minutes until the mushroom mixture is glossy and heated through.

To serve, place spoonfuls of mushroom mixture into the lettuce leaves. Top with shallots, bean sprouts and sesame seeds or crispy shallots.

Mushroom soup

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1kg button mushrooms, stalks removed, finely sliced
- ¼ cup plain flour
- 1.25 litres chicken-style stock
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt

In a large, heavy based pot, place oil and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and gently sauté until translucent, soft and fragrant.

Add the mushrooms and stir through. Turn up the heat and sauté until the mushrooms are soft and brown. This will take about ten minutes – the mushrooms firstly will take up all the moisture from the oil, then they will exude their own juices, and eventually those will evaporate and the mushrooms will start to brown. This is the point that you want to reach before proceeding.

Add the flour and stir well. Add the stock, about half a cup at a time, stirring all the time. When all the stock is added, bring to the simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Serve into warmed bowls with good sourdough toast.

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Register to take the GROW Challenge at www.oxfam.org.au/my/act/take-the-grow-challenge. Next month's challenge looks at reducing food waste, and then in September, Oxfam will be promoting sustainable food choices.