Tag Archives: artichoke

“Green” Pizza

So I have this great childhood memory of Friday night’s being pizza night. For my family, that normally meant Stuffed Crust from Pizza Hut. Now that I’m older, when my pizza craving kicks in, there’s still not much I can do to control it. So… here’s a couple of ways to “green” your pizza:

  1. If you’re definitely not going to cook your pizza yourself (which is obviously the best bet), use a local delivery service. They’ll use less gas than you will because they clump together trips in a more eco-friendly manner (though they do it for economic reasons)–>UNLESS you can bike or walk to your local pizza shop (then no gas is being used for transport).
  2. If you are making your own pizza (although I realize this is repetitive and I’ve pretty much beat this idea into you by now) buy local, organic, in season ingredients. ESPECIALLY for the cheese (unless you’re using vegan “cheese”–>which of course is better because as I’ve stated the less animal products used the better) you have to buy organic. It’s the only way that you’ll know that the cows are not treated with hormones, etc. Local dairy is fresher and logs less food miles.
  3. Try pizza without cheese. Instead, add things like adding extra herbs or veggies in lieu of cheese–>or at least add less cheese (triple cheese pizza may be delicious, but really fresh veggies can make pizza yummy too!).
  4. If you do have cheese on your pizza definitely skip the meat products–>or else you’ll be doubling up on the animal products (which is a big no no in the “green” world).
  5. Try using flatbreads such as pita, naan, or tortilla instead of the pizza dough. This allows the pizza to cook way quicker and it allows YOU to save on your utility bills.
  6. Crust from whole grains! Even if you aren’t down to switch your pizza to flatbread-style (or if you are) an easy way to be eco-friendly is using whole grains. They require a lot less processing. And they’re healthier for you!
  7. Make your own sauce! This cuts back on packaging waste and I think homemade sauces are way tastier too! (If you do use a sauce that’s premade, I recommend trying one in a glass jar–>that way you have an extra cup when you’re done with it! And, at least for my clumsy self, these are always needed!)

So… since I know I’ve been craving pizza, here are a couple of recipes that you will love! and they might even inspire the pizza-maker in you as well.

While we’re on the subject, check out Whole-Wheat or Bust!’s Veggie Naan Pizza. Yummy!

“Green” Green Pizza

  • Homemade Pesto (I made mine from this recipe). You could sub out the cheese (to make this vegan) by using breadcrumbs instead (–>it’ll give the same texture and there will be no animal byproduct!)
  • Swiss Chard (only leaves)
  • Arugula (only leaves)
  • Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
  • Zucchini, sliced
  • Dried Oregano
  • Optional: Goat Cheese
  • Some form of flatbread (I used a whole wheat tortilla)

Preheat the oven to 450 (while oven preheats, bake the zucchini–>cover with aluminum foil). Meanwhile, saute the chard and the arugula until darker green and a little wilted. Top the flatbread with pesto, wilted greens, tomatoes, and the zucchini once out of the oven. If you’re adding the goat cheese (it was a delicious addition), do so now. Place the pizza in the oven until the tortilla (or other flatbread is toasted and the toppings are hot). Top with the dried oregano. I’m not much of a bragger but holy moly it was SO good. Nom nom nom. For sure.

Classic-Style Flatbread Pizza (with extra veggies and less cheese)

  • Some flatbread (I used whole wheat naan)
  • Pizza sauce (here‘s a good recipe for homemade–>I was bad and used a bottle of jarred pizza sauce that I had on hand).
  • Organic cheese (I used a really delicious Mexican blend)
  • Artichoke Heart (Trader Joe’s has a frozen variety that are really tasty if you don’t like the normal canned type)
  • Broccoli, cut into little florets
  • Red Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Optional: top with Parmesan

Alright. Like I said… sometimes I’m just in the mood for pizza. And as delicious as the Green Pizza is, it won’t end your craving like real tomato pizza sauce will. I topped the flatbread with the tomato sauce. I sauteed all of the veggies together before adding them to the top of the pizza. I then filled in the gaps with cheese (if you’re like me and you want a cheesy pizza–>try using less). Place in a preheated 450 oven until the cheese melts and the vegetables are hot. This pizza works with any veggies. I just used what I had on hand.

The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.  ~Marya Mannes

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Eco-Friendly Pasta

So… I love pasta. I think if I was forced to eat solely pasta for the rest of my life I would be totally content. So, I was skeptic to start researching this one… I didn’t want to find out that pasta was a huge contributor to greenhouse gases or something. For you guys, however, I put pasta to the eco-friendly test. Here’s what I found out:

Most pasta is vegan. As I’ve posted before, this is one really eco-friendly way to eat. Fresh pasta tends to have eggs in it, so if you’re really looking to “green” up your pasta, read the ingredients and try eating the pre-made whole-wheat Italian style pasta.

Further, according to The New York Times, one really easy way to “green” up your pasta is just by using less water to boil it in! Less water means less time to heat it up. Therefore, you’ll be saving water (a limited resource) and energy (less greenhouse gas emissions). Other ideas include Bon Appetite’s “boil once, use twice” which suggests boiling the water for your pasta and then turning the flame off and poaching shrimp as the water cools down.

Another easy way to make your pasta more eco-friendly is to make your own sauce! These taste so much better and you don’t get the packaging that comes with the sauces you buy in the market. It also allows you to use organic, local ingredients which, as I’ve stated (click here if you missed it), are really where it’s at environmentally speaking.

I’m also pro pasta over rice because rice is the number one most water-intensive crop. Since water is a finite resource this is a big deal. (More on that later–>I wrote a whole research paper on water so you definitely don’t want to get me started).

Anyways… here are some delicious pasta recipes for you to enjoy (just don’t forget to cook them in less water).

The Really Delicious College-Style Pasta

(By college style, I mean that since I have a midterm tomorrow I needed to throw this pasta together in a hurry)

  • 1 Roma Tomato
  • Asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar (or lemon if preferred–>just a little of either to add a little flavor)
  • Whole wheat Fusilli pasta
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start your water boiling. Add pasta to the boiling water (keep covered). Chop the tomato and cut the asparagus into bite-size pieces. Mince the garlic clove.

When the pasta is done cooking, turn off the heat and remove it with a slotted spoon allowing the water to stay in the pot. Place the asparagus into the water and keep covered for 5 minutes. This will steam the asparagus (even though the heat is off there is still enough heat in the water). Drain the asparagus and add everything to the pasta.

A quick and easy eco-friendly version of pasta for lunch!

This is a quick and easy recipe that is fast to make. I used both energy-saving techniques: less water and boil once, use twice. You can use any vegetables you want, I just happened to have tomato and asparagus lying around. It was really a delicious lunch!

Artichoke Heart Tomato Pasta

  • Can of organic tomatoes
  • Three artichoke hearts
  • Feta cheese
  • Whole wheat Penne
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • Half of a yellow onion, chopped
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Start your water boiling and add the penne. While the penne cooks, place olive oil in a pan and saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add the canned tomato, artichoke hearts, and spices. (I melted the cheese into the sauce, but you can also put the feta on top). Cook until it thickens up. Top the penne with the sauce and you have a delicious dinner!

Mmm... yummy whole wheat dinner!

Lessons Learned:

  • Using less water for pasta does not damage the quality and is way more environmentally friendly!
  • You can use the boil once, cook twice method to poach shrimp or blanch vegetables.
  • Pasta is normally vegan which means more environmentally friendly! –> Make sure to read the ingredients!

Why Going Vegan is like Riding a Bicycle

I’m not a vegan. That does not stop me from wishing that I had the cajones to woman up and go vegan. The problem is… I love SO many things that have eggs in them, or BUTTER (which can make anything taste good in my opinion), or honey, or cheese… the list goes on and on.

Like I said… I wish I had the cajones. Mainly because last year one of my first and favorite Environmental professors told us this: eating meat is like driving a Hummer, being a vegetarian is like driving a hybrid, and going vegan is like riding a bicycle.

The largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions is the meat industry. Livestock are responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. Part of this is due to the burning of fuels to transport meat, part is due to the fuel used to make the synthetic fertilizers used to grow the crops that the animals eat, and part is due to cow flatulence and manure. The flatulence and manure actually emit methane which is 20x worse than carbon as a greenhouse gas.

Furthermore, cows need a lot of water. Just to produce one liter of milk, it is said that 990 liters of water must be used.

Animal manure washes into waterways and kills ecosystems in rivers, lakes, and oceans. It also makes the water toxic for human ingestion.

In South America and other places, deforestation is occurring to clear way for cattle grazing lands. This means a loss of complete ecosystems! Plant and animal populations are being devastated.

If going vegan can help reduce all of this… maybe we should all grow a pair. OR maybe we could all try going vegan a day or two a week (or if it’s difficult for you a meal or two a week). Like I said… I really like butter. So, to give it a try (and to prove how DELICIOUS vegan recipes can be) I decided to ride a bicycle today.

Strawberry-Banana Agave Smoothie

  • 1 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 1 Banana
  • Frozen Strawberries
  • 1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar
  • A dash of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, clove)
  • A dash of extra cinnamon (I love cinnamon)
  • Ground flaxseed
  • A pinch of Maca (if desired)
  • Optional: If you’re looking to make this a breakfast meal like it was for me, I recommend adding almond butter. It’ll thicken up the recipe and add some protein and fat which will allow it to make you full. Added bonus: almond butter is completely vegan! WOOHOO!

Then just blend all of the ingredients together! The frozen strawberries take the place of any ice needed, so if it is not to the desired consistency, just add some more!

Yummy vegan breakfast!

Quinoa, Kale, Artichoke, Tomato Pilaf

Makes 2 Servings

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 bunch kale, torn up, stems removed
  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 artichoke hearts chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • optional: add mushroom (portabella) for some protein, you can also add other vegetables such as broccoli.

Rinse the quinoa to remove bitterness.

Heat vegetable stock to a boil, add all of the ingredients and reduce to a simmer. Cover the mixture and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa is fully cooked.

Yummy vegan goodness! It’s not the most attractive thing but believe me. It was delicious!

It was really delicious and the recipe is really easy to fiddle with. I used all organic locally grown vegetables again and it was 100% vegan yumminess.

Lessons learned:

  • Vegan things can be delicious!
  • The meat industry (which is also in charge of the milk, butter, cheese, etc. that we love) is environmentally hazardous. I recommend that we all try to eat vegan for at least a couple of meals a week.
  • And eating vegan stops YOU from ingesting the growth hormones and antibiotics in our animal products these days.