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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- If you use organic vegetables you’re furthering this chain of removing pesticides from our waterways.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- Fresh ginger
- Tamari Soy Sauce
- Orange Juice
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
Wow. It has been a very long time since I’ve written anything! And I know I’ve been using all sorts of excuses for it lately… but this time it’s legit. I have very little to no time… AND SCHOOL IS JUST STARTING!!! Don’t think I’m complaining though. I have a feeling this is going to be an awesome year! I love my classes:
- Environmental Ecology: A study of principles of ecology and their implications for analyzing environmental problems. Focus on understanding the processes controlling the dynamics of populations,communities and ecosystems. Specific examples emphasize the application of these concepts to the management of natural resources.
- Anthropology and the Environment: Examines human dimensions of global environmental change in developing countries from an interdisciplinary social science perspective. Compares and contrasts alternative conceptual and analytical models of dynamic, interrelated human-environmental systems and presents recent approaches to understanding risk, vulnerability, resilience, and disasters.
- Environmental Current Topics: Six public lectures dealing with environmental topics. Weekly discussion sections on the lectures and brief written evaluations of six lectures.
- Philosophy: Intro to Ethics: An examination, at an introductory level, of such ethical issues as: why bemoral, moral relativism, the nature of virtues and vices; and possibly consideration of practical ethical problems such as abortion or war.
- Physics 6C: Presents concepts and methodologies for understanding physical phenomena, and is particularly useful preparation for upper-division study in the life sciences. Electromagnetic waves. Geometric optics, optical instruments. Interference and diffraction. Quantum theory of the atom. Nuclear physics. If time permits: Special relativity, elementary particle physics.
- Physics 6C Lab
So… aside from Physics (which I’m finally in my last quarter of!) it’s a bomb schedule! But supppper crazy. And then on top of that I have the worlds best job:
- KCSB 91.9 FM, Santa Barbara Promotions Coordinator.
- Aside from sounding really important, I basically get paid to look up upcoming shows for awesome bands and do cross-promotional opportunities with local venues and promoters… plus, I’ve expanded our ticket giveaways to include a ton of shows that are happening in LA and SLO.
- Like I said… BEST JOB EVER. Plus, we get staff passes to most of the events so I get to go to shows for free (when I have time).
- And our radio station is a commercial-free college station so we don’t play any of the super commercial stuff you hear all of the time. No Top 40 for us! We are a station dedicated to alternative views and promoting lesser-known genres. My show, for instance, is a CA-local surf and psychedelic rock show… but we also have people playing different world musics, classical, electronica…anything you can think of. Plus we have super cool public affairs shows that showcase lesser-heard views on important issues. Basically it’s just an awesome place to be.
Anyways, that’s why I’ve been so M.I.A. Plus I’ve been hyping Surf Club to all of the new freshmen and hitting up Environmental Affairs Board meetings.
I am finally getting a hang of balancing it all so look out for awesome new recipes and environmental tips… just not as often as they used to come at you. For a teaser:
- 2 ears of Corn
- 2/3 cup Rice
- 2 cups Veggie Stock
- 1/3 cup White Wine
- 1 sprig Thyme
- Any fresh herbs
- 1/3 cup Onion, minced
- 2 tsp. EVOO
- 2 tbsp. Butter
- 1/4 cup Parmiggiano Reggiano, grated
- 1/3 Large Tomato, diced
Cut the corn off of the cob and place half into a food processor. Process until smooth. Bring the veggie stock to a simmer. Meanwhile, sweat the onion in the olive oil and add the rice until opaque. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan and cook until most cooks off. Add 1/3 of the veggie stock stirring continuously. When most has been absorbed by the rice add another third. Test the rice and if still not cooked add the final third of the veggie stock. Make sure the rice stays al dente. Add the butter, parmiggiano reggiano, tomato, herbs, salt/pepper, and both types of corn.
- When I made this dish, corn was still local, organic, and in season! You can change it up depending on the season to keep the veggies eco-friendly.
- Rice normally takes forever to cook and uses a lot of energy that way. I found that this allowed the rice to cook quicker (though I could have been imagining things).
- If you leave out the cheese and switch the butter to vegan margarine it becomes a vegan masterpiece! And we all know that going vegan is like riding a bicycle in the eco world.
- The green bean side dish is super easy to make and if you find the beans local and organic it’s also super eco friendly. Just saute them with onion and garlic and top them off with some parmiggiano reggiano. Yum yum yum!
This summer has been crazy! From visiting my mom in Nashville and road-tripping to New Orleans, researching/swimming with whale sharks which are the largest fish species and SO cool, and having a family reunion on a lake in Washington (which is one of my favorite states) to getting my wisdom teeth out and finding out I’m one of the lucky people who gets chronic migranes, there have been ups and downs and loop de loops galore. And I really wouldn’t change this summer for anything. I had a ball. I hung out with my friends, I cooked up a storm, I spent a lot of time bonding with my family, and I had some crazy cool adventures too. Here’s what this summer has taught me (or at least 10 of the things I’ve learned–> in no particular order):
- It’s way easier to write a blog when I’m procrastinating schoolwork then it is when I’m putting off hanging out with friends–> even though I’ve cooked more this summer than I do during the year.
- Sewing is not as easy as it looks (I made a faux fur jacket that looks super vintage but my goodness was it difficult!–>and my mom helped me finish it up).
- I definitely chose the right major in college and after my time with the whale sharks I’m super amped for heading back up to school (on Thursday!)
- The more time you spend doing something (in my case cooking), the more you realize you have a LOT to learn. (Graduating high school I thought I knew everything… college taught me this lesson too).
- Growing herbs inside is actually pretty darn easy (I have a nice little herb garden going–>plus tomatoes and bell peppers–>and they’re doing well despite the fact I’m known to have the opposite of a green thumb).
- There’s no one in your life like your family followed closely by your best friends. The people that are there for you year after year despite what dumb choices you made are really valuable. I owe these people so much.
- We will all face a broken heart someday. And we will all think that it will not mend. Broken hearts do eventually heal. And if you truly loved someone they can end up as one of your best friends later even though you may believe you’ll never get there.
- We need to practice what we preach. I write all about eco-friendly eating and I really do try to incorporate what I write into my own cooking. Obviously, I have days where I want something that isn’t super green, and that’s ok as long as I do my best. There are people, however, who talk so much about certain issues and then leave them to someone else to resolve. Your cause doesn’t have to be the environment. You don’t even need to have a cause. If you do, however, lead by example. Don’t be hypocritical about it if you really do care.
- Sometimes the little things are really what makes the world a wonderful place to be living. Enjoy them. Sit and watch a sunset, eat a chocolate bar, paint a picture (if it’s bad just call it abstract… that’s what I do), play board games, blow bubbles when you’re chewing gum, take a bubble bath, read a book, go surfing (even if you end up not catching a wave and basically being a buoy), go for a bike ride, etc. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot to have a good time.
- Every day is precious. We only have so long. Don’t wait until you’re retired to start doing what you want to. By then… it may be too late. Travel now before the ice caps melt, the coral reefs bleach, and more animal species go extinct (even if it’s an icky species it has a place in the ecosystem). See the world in all of its beauty. Change some of your less “green” practices now so your children might get to see the environment like you can now. Stay out too late. Get up too early. Do something you are afraid you’ll fail at. Enjoy every moment you have.
In Washington, I tried wake surfing. I've never done any lake sport before so I was worried...I had a blast!
Grilled Watermelon Salad
- Watermelon, cut into squares of about 2 in. by 2 in.
- Goat Cheese, crumbled
- Balsamic Vinegar, reduced
- Tomato, chopped
Rub the watermelon on both sides with EVOO. Place on grill for about 3-5 minutes a side. Place a bit of arugula on a plate. Top with goat cheese and tomato. Place one watermelon square on top of that then make another layer. Top with another watermelon square. Place more goat cheese on top and drizzle with the reduced balsamic vinegar.
MAKE THIS WHILE WATERMELON IS STILL IN SEASON!!! It is soooo delicious. I love how the watermelon almost looks like a seared piece of ahi tuna and it gets such a delicious savory flavor when it’s cooked. SO GOOD. And using local, organic produce is so good for you and it’s so sustainable.
I have to apologize. I lied to you guys. I said I was going to cook up some meat recipes for you this summer even though they aren’t what I eat so that you could see what it means to eat “greener” meat (“green” eggs and ham anyone?)… but I’ve failed. I gave you guys one chicken recipe that wasn’t even all that wonderful and then I pretty much wiped my hands of the idea of cooking up some “green” meat. I apologize. This blog is so that I can hopefully have even one person try to cook a little bit more eco-friendly than they might be doing right now and I couldn’t even spend the time to teach all of you non-pescetarians how to grill up some meat. This recipe, however, is sure to make you forgive me. My dad said it was quite delicious and I’ll give you tons of tips on how to eat your beef and not feel all of the guilt I’ve been heaping on you. And I’ll even give you the recipe for a delicious Mexican-style caesar salad.
Mexican Spiced Flank Steak
- Flank Steak
- 1 small box Vegetable Stock
- 1/4 cup Lime Juice
- 1 Jalapeno, diced as small as possible
- fresh Cilantro, chopped
- Cumin, ground
- dried Mexican Oregano
- Chili Powder
Poke holes in the flank steak with a fork. Place the veggie stock (which gives the tomato flavor so present in many Mexican dishes) with the lime juice and all of the yummy Mexican seasonings in a plastic bag with the flank steak. Let marinate completely covered (you may need more lime juice or veggie stock if you’re feeding more than 2 people) for at least an hour (but the longer the better!). Then grill the flank steak for about 4 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side (my dad likes his closer to medium rare so if you’re a medium-> well type go for a little longer). Slice the meat in 1/2 inch strips against the grain. It should be super tender and full of the flavors of Mexico. 🙂
I don’t know if you guys have figured this out yet, but I’m a HUGE fan of Mexican food. Maybe it’s the whole living in Southern California thing (and having worked at a Mexican restaurant) but it’s definitely my cuisine of choice when I can’t decide what else to eat. This salad is inspired by a recipe I found in a Mexican cookbook I got while I was in Baja, Cocina de la Familia and I thought it was absolutely wonderful. I hope you guys like it too.
Chipotle Caesar Salad (Ensalada Cesar con Chile Chipotle)
Serves 2 as a Side or 1 as a Meal
- 2 Hearts of Romaine, torn and rinsed
- 1 tbsp. EVOO
- 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Stale French Bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 can Anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp. Grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 canned Chipotle Chile en adobo sauce
- 1/2 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 tbsp. EVOO
- 1/2 tbsp. Peanut Oil
Preheat oven to 275 F. Warm the 1 tbsp. of EVOO and 1 tbsp. of unsalted butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic. When the garlic begins to lightly brown, add the bread and toss until just starting to brown as well. Then place the bread cubes in the oven for about 20 minutes. Turn while they are cooking to toast evenly.
Meanwhile, place the anchovies, garlic, cheese, mustard, and the chipotle chile, vinegar, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. (If needed add more chile). Pour in the 3 tbsp. EVOO and 1/2 tbsp. peanut oil while motor is running. Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix together romaine leaves, croutons, and dressing to coat then toss the salad.
I hope that the recipe makes up for my lagging on the eco-information about beef. If not, here’s some real tips to keep your foodprint as small as possible even when you’re craving red meat.
- Because meat, especially cow and pig, has such a huge foodprint I can’t stress this enough: ORGANIC ORGANIC ORGANIC. Opt for organic, grass-fed and especially local if you can find it! Organic meat means organic feed means no harmful pesticides or gross antibiotics or growth hormones. Local means less transportation. Grass-fed leads to less cow flatulence leads to less greenhouse gas emissions. It’s better for you, better for the environment, and some people say it tastes better.
- Choose a meat such as flank steak that can be sliced (and in this case is meant to be). Then give everyone a smaller portion of meat and a larger amount of sides. Less meat= greener, however, you still get the protein you’re craving.
- Since you’re getting meat, pay attention to what else you’re serving. Opt for local and organic produce, quick-fix grains (such as bulgar wheat or quinoa), less dairy, and meat and sides with less packaging (recyclable packaging is best).
- Eat less beef. Make the days you do eat it count and then cut back on how often you make it. This recipe is perfect for that. Super yummy so you’ll be satiated until your next beef-fix. If everyone cut back a little bit on their beef intake, there’d be a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. If you were to cut back on 2 oz of meat a day, you’d save 819 lbs CO2 a year. If you were to cut back on 16 oz of meat a day you could save 6,548 lbs CO2 a year. That’s HUGE! –Go Green Get Lean
- In Go Green Get Lean, it shows that it takes: about 7 lbs of corn and 2, 500 gallons of water to produce 1 lb or body weight on cattle, more than 200 gallons of fuel to raise a 1,200-lb steer on a feedlot, about 5 times as much water to grow feed grains as it does to grow fruits and veggies, and roughly half of all irrigation water in the US goes to livestock… so think about the changes. I’m not saying stop eating meat. I’m just saying think about cutting back a little. Cows take a lot of land, water, and food. Even if you don’t believe in the “green” movement, think about the fact that that could be going to humans.
- This meal used a lot of the techniques stated above to “green” up the meat. Smaller portion of meat to a larger portion of a side dish, organic grass-fed beef raised in CA (which is local for me), organic local salad ingredients, etc.
Posted in Dinner, Lunch
Tagged anchovy, butter, chili powder, chipotle, cilantro, cumin, dijon mustard, EVOO, extra virgin olive oil, flank steak, french bread, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, oregano, parmesan, peanut oil, pepper, red wine vinegar, romaine, salt, vegetable stock
I have been cooking up a storm lately, however, it seems that I continue to have a sort of writers block. So I’m going to let this delicious recipe talk for itself. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Halibut and Scallop Ceviche
- Wild-caught Pacific Halibut
- A couple of scallops for added flavor
- 1 cup Lime or other citrus Juice (I actually mixed lime and grapefruit)
- 1 medium Tomato, chopped
- 1/2 Red Onion, chopped
- 1-2 Jalapenos, diced (add more if you really like it spicy)
- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
- Salt, Pepper, and Mexican dried Oregano, to taste
- 1/2 Avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped, to top
- Cilantro, to top
Put the fish into a nonmetallic bowl and cover with the citrus juice. Mix thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Drain off excess juice and an hour before serving, stir in the tomatoes, onion, and jalapenos. Add enough olive oil to coat. Add the salt, pepper, and oregano, and return to the refrigerator until just before serving. Taste for seasoning and mix in the avocado. Sprinkle with cilantro.
- My dad’s friends son was staying with us for the summer and actually went to Alaska and fished. The halibut that I used was one of the fish he caught. Non-commercial catching of fish is much healthier for the environment because there is no damage done to the ecosystem such as with nets and dredging.
- Pacific, wild-caught halibut is a sustainable fish according to Seafood Watch. Other types of halibut, are not sustainable so be careful what you’re buying.
- I used left-over scallops in this and ceviche really is a great way to use any excess fish you may have on hand.
- Buying seasonal and local vegetables helps allow for a greater flavor in this dish and it is more sustainable to not have to get ingredients transported large distances.
- Ceviche needs absolutely no cooking. Your gas bill and the environment will thank you.
And if you happen to be worried about fish parasites or other nasty no-cooking diseases, I recommend that you freeze your seafood for at least two days and then thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. The freezing will get rid of anything on the fish.
Posted in Dinner, Lunch
Tagged avocado, cilantro, extra virgin olive oil, grapefruit juice, halibut, jalapeno, lime, lime juice, oregano, pepper, red onion, salt, scallop, tomato
Summer means a lot of different things to different people. To me, it means traveling, eating, resting after a long school year, and, most importantly, seeing family and friends. When I was little my family often traveled together in the summers. We explored places like Tahiti, Europe, and Australia. As I’ve grown up and, in doing so, caused my parents the financial burden of my college education, family vacations have consisted more of all of us together in a fun staycation. My older sister comes home from law school, my mom comes home from Nashville, and I come home from college to stay with my dad and play games, watch movies, and talk about what has been going on in our lives. I used to leave half-way through nights like these to go hang out with friends, yet, as I’ve grown older I’ve begun to realize how important nights like these are. We each have our own adventures and we’re all so busy that a lot of times we can’t hash them out on the phone. As we travel as a family a little less, I now go on adventures myself: to Europe, to India, and most recently to Baja. I find that keeping a journal on these adventures allowed me to bring my family into the trip and give them much of the experience that I had. As a family, we still travel, however, it is now to see one another or our extended family. For example, this summer, I went with my parents to visit my mom’s side of the family in Washington. None of the other cousins could make it (two came for the first day) because we all have such different schedules and such busy lives; so, for the first time, I experienced the stories and lives of the adults. I feel much more connected to my aunts and uncles and I finally see the importance in that as well. Furthermore, as my friends and I have started different adventures at different schools with different friends, summer has become the prime time to see them and catch up with their busy lives. We have crazy random adventures (like going to the roller rink, riding the free trolley around my town at night, or trying to sew our own clothes–>which can be super eco-friendly) while discussing the past year and what our plans are for the future. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I hope you all appreciate the people in your lives. I know that I’ve had times where I didn’t and I wish that at those times I would have realized how important spending time with them is. So if you’re still on summer (as I am), I recommend spending some time catching up with the people that are important to you and getting stories out of them. This summer I’ve spent a lot of time listening to other people’s stories and I’ve learned a lot about that person through them.
Last night, I was all pumped up to power out a delicious meal when I got a phone call from one of my best friends inviting me to dinner at his house. And let me tell you about his mom’s cooking: you don’t say no to eating it. It was the most delicious and summery dinner and I’m totally drooling just thinking about it. It was also really easy to make so I’m going to tell you all about it so you can someday make it as well. Keep in mind most of the ingredients came straight from my friend’s mom’s garden. It’s also the perfect summer meal for you to enjoy with friends (though to green it up I suggest switching the tuna for something a bit less over-fished such as salmon).
Salad Niçoise with Seared Ahi Tuna
- Greens of your choice (I suggest Romaine Lettuce)
- Cooked and cooled Green Beans
- Hard-boiled Eggs, sliced
- Boiled and cooled Potatoes (of a smaller variety)
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Niçoise Olives
- Avocado, sliced
- Artichoke Hearts
- Ahi Tuna, seared
- Salad Dressing of your choosing (I recommend a Vinaigrette)
Set all ingredients out separately and allow each guest to choose what they would like. You can add or subtract whatever ingredients you like/dislike. It’s the perfect summer meal.
I’m sorry to say that I do not have a picture for you guys, so I’m going to dazzle you with a picture of me with a whale shark. Let me remind you: the sharks on average were about 20 feet long (though we were dealing with adolescents–>the adults are on average 40 feet long).