Monthly Archives: November 2010

Vegetable Quiche

So you expect to go back to school with leftovers from Thanksgiving. I was given pretty much a full vegetable garden. Tomatoes, bell peppers, avocados, lettuce, spinach, the list goes on and on. Since four of us share one tiny little fridge, I HAD to get rid of some of those veggies or else. I mean, I have a mini fridge because I always having more food than everyone else but this IS college, so it’s a little full of beer right now. What to do? Make a delicious quiche of course! They’re super easy, super cheap, and a great way to get rid of leftovers or your excess vegetables.

Vegetable Quiche

  • 1 Pie Crust-if you make them yourself PROPS! I haven’t yet mastered that art.
  • 3-4 Eggs, organic! 🙂 You can make this a little less fatty by using just the whites, but don’t forget that the nutrients are in the yolk–>so I recommend at least leaving one whole egg.
  • Whatever vegetables you have on hand, cut in small uniform pieces. I used Canned Corn, Bell Pepper, Tomato, Onion, and Mushroom. Super yummy.
  • Cheese, organic–>again, you can use whatever type that you like but I really recommend doing as I did–>Shredded Mexican mixed with Parmigiano Reggiano.
  • A couple shakes of Cayenne
  • A couple shakes of Paprika

I know this is going to seem insanely easy but you seriously just put the egg in the bottom of the pie crust and fill it up with your veggies (cut uniformly) and top it all with your cheese. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes.

Eco-benefits

  1. It’s a super easy way to get rid of leftover vegetables so they don’t go to waste (which is a huge environmental issue in America).
  2. Eggs can only be labeled organic if the food fed to the chickens is organic as well. This means that they are being fed produce that was not sprayed with pesticides. Since pesticides get washed into our waterways, this is a super great way to help avoid pesticide pollution and keep our limited water resources clean. The same goes for the organic cheese.
  3. If you use organic vegetables you’re furthering this chain of removing pesticides from our waterways.
  4. Use seasonal vegetables for a fuller flavor and so you can get them locally which helps cut out the travel fuel and reduces greenhouse gases.
  5. If you can make pie crusts and you know how to make them whole wheat that would be an amazing way to make this recipe even more sustainable! Whole wheat is not processed as much as bleached flour so it uses less energy.

 

Thanksgivegetarian

I’ve finally done it. I am a full-blown vegetarian… and let me tell you: I definitely do miss sushi and fish tacos and salmon of any kind… I really really do. And I’m pretty sure any vegetarian or vegan that tells you they don’t is lying to you. It’s only been two days and I’ve definitely craved fish more often than I did when I ate fish… I think it’s one of those you want what you can’t have moments. To mark the occasion (not really but they happened on the same day), my hair is now auburn. Yes… I chose to become a ginger.

That was completely besides the point. Here’s the point: I know if you’ve read my blog you know these things, but if you’re new to the Green Bean, here are my reasons for going vegetarian.

  1. I was already a pescetarian. Cow flatulence is one of the leading causes of methane emissions. Methane is a greenhouse gas 20x as powerful as carbon dioxide. It takes more to feed one cow to be of size than it would to multiple people for a year. The steroids and antibiotics fed to the cows end up in our water sources, making them unsuitable for consumption. Check out this post for more on why the meat industry hurts the environment.
  2. Overfishing. It’s a huge problem affecting our waterways and farming fish is not yet a suitable alternative. There are some ways to be better about eating farmed fish, such as using US Raised fish, however, there are many kinks in the system that need to be worked out. Check out this post for more about that.
  3. I really eat mostly vegetarian these days anyways. I rarely eat fish, though I am a huge shrimp fan… but I will learn.
  4. I really needed a change. (Hence the hair). This is something I’ve been working towards for a long time so I figured I might as well do it already.
  5. I feel like I got worn out writing this blog and part of that was because I felt no one was really following what I said… but I wasn’t either. I need to practice what I preach and be a good example. Cutting back on fish is a good step, but the ocean is one of the most overused resources. As an Environmental Science major emphasizing in Aquatic Biology, I heard my professors talk about this all the time and I did not heed their advice. I didn’t know how to continue writing this blog without stopping eating fish.

So those are my reasons. If you have any questions, you are more than welcome to leave a comment about them. Other than that, I’m no longer going to discuss my eating habits. I’m just going to help you be more sustainable with yours. As always, if I ever make dinner for my family or friends, I’ll throw up those recipes (especially if they involve fish or meat) so don’t think it’ll be only bunny food from here on out.

As for Thanksgiving, I really hope you all had great ones! I hope you celebrated with your families, too much food, and too much laughter. If you’re looking for a great recipe, check out  from my friend Lauren’s blog, Whole Wheat or Bust! It’s for Pumpkin Pecan Muffins and they look delicious! I reviewed them for sustainability below.

As for my Thanksgiving, I spent it with my mom, dad, sister, two dogs, and three cats. We ate delicious mashed root veggies that my mom has passed me the recipe for (stay tuned), crab legs (my last meal), stuffing, butternut squash cubes, vegetarian gravy (stay tuned for this as well), and so much pie–> apple, pumpkin, pumpkin cheesecake, and cookies (my mom makes Christmas cookies over Thanksgiving every year). So basically, we had a delicious feast. And of course my parents had some turkey breast. Since my mom was the one who got me into cooking, it was obviously delicious. Happy Thanksgiving weekend! Keep relaxing and sleeping off the turkey :).

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

ECO-Benefits

  1. Whole wheat means no extra processing means less energy used. And of course healthier for you.
  2. Lauren adds tips to make these muffins vegan which means no animal production involved means less energy and less vegetation being used to feed these animals meaning more sustainable quality!
  3. This recipe includes mostly pantry staples meaning no extra car trips to the grocery store to make these. And anything you don’t have can probably be changed to something you do. Don’t have pecans? Use almonds! Don’t have pumpkin? Make them banana nut muffins and use this recipe for a base.

Asian Shrimp with Coconut Quinoa

Yummy yummy yummyness! I seriously made this is maybe ten minutes and it is one of my new favorites! My best friend since forever, Kyle, came over and since I was being super tired and not very fun I made him some dinner to make up for it. You have to try it at some point because it was so delicious! The picture does no justice to the food itself.

On another note, I have dedicated this Thanksgiving crab dinner to the end of my pescetarian days. From November 25th until I change my mind, I will be a full blown vegetarian. And I’m pretty sure this blog is the deciding factor in that switch. As much as I love sushi (I really really do), and shrimp, and tuna, and salmon… it’s just not worth the devastation of our fish populations. And as much as you can find healthier farmed options, it’s always difficult to make a decision towards eating farmed fish when there is so much negative media about them and so much has yet to be learned about future effects of farmed fish on ecosystems and human health. So enjoy this shrimp recipe while you can. I’ll definitely try to post up some other more eco-friendly fish recipes before Thanksgiving. And I’ll keep posting good recipes past the time that I stop eating fish. Because as I’ve shown in the past, there are definitely ways to be “greener” while eating fish and meat. Keep up your great work on being eco-friendly with your eating! Cut back a little on fish and when you do eat fish (and other meats) think about some of the tips I’ve given you to be more sustainable in your eating :). Here’s to fish and keeping them in our waterways!

Asian Shrimp with Coconut Quinoa

  • 1/2 lb. Shrimp
  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne
  • Paprika
  • Coriander
  • Fresh ginger
  • Tamari Soy Sauce
  • Honey
  • Orange Juice
  • Sriracha
  • Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • Coconut Butter
  • 2x Soy Milk

Shell and devein your shrimp. Mix together the turmeric, cayenne, paprika, coriander, chopped fresh ginger, tamari, honey, orange juice, sriracha, and dijon mustard, to taste. Definitely be careful about how much tamari you add as it can get really salty and you’ll need to counter-act the salt with honey and orange juice which will result in adding more of each of the spices. (Believe me… I learned this). Place the mix in a bag with the raw shrimp. Bring to boil the 1/2 cup water. Add the quinoa, cover, and turn to a simmer. Meanwhile, mix a heaping spoonful of coconut butter with double that amount of soy milk and place in the microwave until melted. While the quinoa finishes cooking, (it takes about 15 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed by the quinoa) place a tiny bit of EVOO in a pan and add the shrimp with their sauce (it’s a great topping). Cook for about 2 minutes a side, or until pink. Top the quinoa with your coconut sauce and some of the shrimp marinade and add the shrimp on top for a super easy, yummy, asian dinner!

ECo-benefits

  1. Make sure to get US farm-raised shrimp so it is sustainable and not filled with the chemicals that other countries’ farms can add in.
  2. Quinoa is a quick cooking grain so it’s way better for your gas bill and the environment than it’s long-time counterpart, rice.
  3. Soy milk is a great alternative to cows milk for your health and the environment. Cows release a lot of methane through flatulence and pasteurization of milk takes a lot energy (as well as gets rid of most of the benefits of the milk).
  4. The coconut butter/soy milk mix can be substituted for coconut milk (add more soy milk for a less dense consistency) and both are in resealable containers (whereas coconut milk comes in cans and recipes rarely call for the whole can=food waste).
  5. Fun fact: honey and turmeric both dry up mucus which is great for cold/flu season. I know because I have bronchitis and they’ve really helped me out a lot! Use a 1:2 ratio (1 tsp of turmeric per 2 of honey), mix them together, and it’s really not so gross to eat. Or add them to your spicy tea (I recommend a spiced black chai–>but definitely not a chai tea latte).

Back In Action

Hey everyone! It’s been forever… believe me I know… and I have a thousand excuses for why that is… but I’m not going to go through those. Instead, I’m going to try to make it up to you by giving you some awesome recipes over the next weeks, by giving you some good information on how to eat eco-friendly, and by telling you a little bit about my life outside of the blog world.

As for my life outside of the blog world… I have recently been hired as the Promotions Coordinator for Santa Barbara’s only community radio station, KCSB 91.9FM. That by itself has been a huge part of my life this year. I really live, eat, and breathe the station. I love my job, I love the people I work with, and I love the the people who program at the station. Everyone is beyond passionate about their music, public affairs, and sports programs. It’s really inspiring. My show, The Left Lane, airs every Sunday from 2-4pm (and live streams online at KCSB.org if you aren’t in the Santa Barbara area). It’s a surf and psychedelic rock show on which I tend to have themes or interviews with local bands. Everything about the radio station really is a de-stressor and when I’m having a bad day, it’s the only place I want to be.

As for the Environmental aspect of my life, I am taking two upper division ES classes this quarter, along with a Philosophy class (about ethics) and my last Physics course (thank goodness!). I’m inspired by my ES130A class which is Humans in the Environment. It’s a cross-listed course in both the Environmental and Anthropology disciplines. I’m sure you’ll be hearing a lot about it in the near future.

As for the rest of my life, I finally feel like I’ve found my niche at UCSB. It was difficult at first with a lot of trial and error moments, but the radio station, my housemates last year, and this amazing open mic night known as Bean Night have really shown me a group of people that are not concerned with looks or views or gender… they’re real and only ask that you are too. In Santa Barbara that’s really a breath of fresh air (no hard feelings to my friends outside of that who are amazing and make my life wonderful as well…you guys rock too!).

As for recipes: get ready. I have some wonderful foods coming your way as soon as I charge my camera battery :). Talk to you all soon!

Right after being in a pie-eating contest (it was disgusting). I got third place!

Spring (Eli), Summer (me), Fall (Raisa). Happy belated Halloween!