Tag Archives: asparagus

Rosemary Garlic Chicken

Yes. It’s finally here: a recipe for meat on a pescetarian’s blog. I cannot personally tell you how this recipe tasted, however, my mom vouches for the chicken. She tells it like it is and she said it was delicious and moist and… well she is still my mom.

I’m going to let you use this recipe if you PROMISE that you will go find organic, free-range, minimally packaged chicken. I’ll give you the low down on the way to “greenify” your chicken after the recipe but seriously. If you do those three things you can really improve your chicken foodprint.

Rosemary Garlic Chicken

Serves 2

  • 1 ORGANIC, FREE-RANGE Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 3 sprigs Rosemary, chopped
  • 2/3 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 Lemon

Place chicken breast in a plastic bag and beat it until it flattens to 2/3 it’s original width. Take chicken out of the bag. In order to be eco-friendly, reuse the bag and put into it the flour, rosemary, paprika, and salt and pepper. Mix that all up and then place chicken back in the bag to coat it. Meanwhile, put some EVOO in a pan and add the garlic. When that has just begun to cook, place the chicken in the pan. Cook for 4 minutes on Side 1. Flip the chicken to Side 2 and add the lemon juice. Cook for another 4 minutes or until cooked through (chicken cannot have pink in it because it is a huge disease carrier!). Enjoy!

How to “Green” Your Poultry

(I really wanted to rhyme and say “How to “green” your lean protein”… but I thought it might be a little corny)

  • Poultry is about 3x as energy efficient as beef and 5x as energy efficient as pork (so cut back further on those two sources of animal protein and less on the birds) because they do not have the flatulence problems of these other animals.
  • Poultry also needs less water and food to get to full size.
  • If you’re eating poultry (or any meat) you really should be shelling out the extra money for organic and free-range. Any animal protein labeled organic has to eat solely organic feed its entire life (plus no growth hormones or other icky stuff like that). So you’re getting a double-bonus here. You’re avoiding land degredation and water source pollution through the use of pesticides AND you’re eating a bird that doesn’t pollute your own system with growth hormones and pesticides! The government is still figuring out what free-range should mean, however, it does mean that the chickens are allowed to be outside which is more humane. And if you add in the organic, it probably means they have a vegetarian diet (super eco-plus–>a huge waste is growing animals to feed them to other animals).
  • Every farmers market I’ve ever been too has local farms selling chicken. Ask about their practices and if they are labeled organic or have organic practices (and can’t afford the title) buy your chicken there! Then you also cut back on food miles (though in the case of chicken this is not the most important thing so always spring for organic over local unless you can get both).
  • As with my recipe above, add veggies and sides to your chicken so that you can stretch one breast to feed two people (by beating it down it’ll also look like a normal portion per person).
  • Cut your meat diet down. Even by one day. If everyone could do that it would really be great for the environment.
  • Make sure you’re using produce that’s super eco-friendly when you do cook chicken. They don’t cancel each other out, but it will keep your foodprint down for the meal.

Garlic Parmesean Mushrooms and Asparagus

Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp. Fresh Parmesean
  • 1/3 cup Mushrooms (seasonal), sliced
  • 1/2 bushel Asparagus

Place EVOO in a pan and add the garlic. When it starts to cook, add the mushrooms and asparagus and place a top on the pan (this steams the veggies while they cook–>and makes the asparagus a delicious texture). Mix the veggies around a little and then place top back on. Cook ~5 minutes (or until tender) then add the cheese. Wait until the cheese melts and you’re done!

P.S. You can use any veggies you want for this. I think broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc. would be great as well.

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. The chicken is served with brown rice (better than white rice) and veggies plus it was pounded until thinned out so 1 breast can feed 2 people!
  2. The chicken’s coating used whole wheat flour instead of regular all-purpose bleached flour.
  3. The asparagus and mushrooms are in season and I bought them local and organic!
  4. The chicken was organic and free-range (I didn’t buy it local although that would’ve been an added plus point).

 

Hot-house Vegetables

So let me be the first person to tell you that a) I’m not perfect and b) I made a mistake.

Many of the recipes I have shared with you guys so far have included tomatoes. My recent research has led me to realize that tomatoes are often grown in hot-houses because they are a summer fruit craved all year round (and people stopped putting up with green tomatoes “ripened” by chemicals that had no taste). Greenhouses and hothouses are different things. Greenhouses are a great way to grow your fruits and veggies using glass to trap heat in. A hothouse is a heated greenhouse. Therefore, tomatoes and other hothouse-grown produce are energy intensive. Temperature, ventilation, humidity, light, water and carbon dioxide are all kept at prime levels. This leads to delicious produce that can be eaten year-round and may even be locally grown, however, some environmental hazards come from the production of this produce.

So… the question comes down to whether you’re willing to put up with canned tomatoes (which are canned at peak season but include packaging and have lost some nutrients)… or should you buy tomatoes that have been flown from all around (since produce is always in season somewhere)… the third choice is to continue buying the locally grown tomatoes because at least they’re fresh produce (meaning they keep their nutrients) and you’ll be supporting your local economy.

Here’s what I’ve come up with: we can only do what we can. There will always be some environmental costs to our eating (and I love food too much to stop eating). That’s the price we have to pay due to overpopulation and the industrialization of our food industry. Therefore, what we can do is to continue to ask questions about where our food is coming from. Just because our meals can’t be completely “green” doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t continue to try to eat in a more eco-friendly fashion… it just means that we can’t be upset if we have to buy an out of season tomato every now and then. Every little bit counts.

I’m sure that this won’t be the only time I have to apologize for making a mistake. I am not, however, going to stop using tomatoes in recipes. They are very good for you and summer is coming soon! Further, now that I realize the implications of the tomato, I will do what I can to extra “greenify” the recipes they are in.

Here are a few recipes that I love that don’t include the tomato. I hope they can hold you over until the brilliant summer months that I call tomato season.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin
  • cinnamon
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • agave nectar
  • golden raisins
  • coconut butter (not necessary)

So I have been feeling under the weather and have not been really stoked on eating anything. Therefore, I made one of those comfort-foods that you can eat regardless of how you feel sort of things. I microwaved the oats, pumpkin, and vanilla soy milk together for about 2 and 1/2 minutes. Then I added the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, agave, and raisins. I topped it with coconut butter (which like L says is like crack) but it was more for aesthetic beauty than for flavor. It was a great home feeling pick me up! (It is kind of a hybrid between two recipes from Whole Wheat or Bust!).

Comfort food for when you're sickly. Mmm. Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal.

Two things about this breakfast:

  1. I used canned pumpkin because pumpkins are obviously not in season. If you find canned pumpkin at this time of year stock up!  When I was looking for it a while ago it took me 3 different shopping trips to find it! Or, stock up when it’s in season in fall.
  2. I realize I’ve talked about the perils of the packaged food. I am, however, human, and as I’ve stated, you can’t be 100% green all of the time. I used organic pumpkin, and the rest of the ingredients were things that I had lying around. Just do your best.

Veggie Omelet

  • 2 eggs
  • Any cheese you have lying around
  • Any veggies you want… I used:
  1. Asparagus
  2. Red bell pepper
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Sugar snap pea
  5. Parsley

So I used some of the leftover veggies from last nights stir-fry to make this delicious lunch omelet. I cooked them up with a little bit of olive oil and when they were done I placed the eggs into the leftover oil in the pan. I cooked the egg until it stopped being liquid on the sides before I added the cheese and veggies. Then I cooked until all of the egg was no longer liquid.

  1. Yay for leftover meals!
  2. I know what I’ve said about animal products. But again, I’m not perfect and since I don’t eat meat eggs and cheese make for good protein.

Leftover veggies made into a delicious omelet.

Lessons Learned

  • Don’t trust anyone’s word as 100% correct. I do my fair share of research and do the best I can to help you “green” up your diet, but I make mistakes.
  • Always ask questions. Most produce departments (or other departments depending on what you’re making) have a person who can answer.
  • Do research! I know I’ve learned a lot and I’m having a great time doing it!
  • An easy recipe to follow is to buy locally. There may be times (like with the tomato) that this may include some energy intensive process, however, more often than not this is going to be the easiest way to “green” up your produce. In times that it is not, at least you’re getting fresh produce that is normally in peak season (when all produce tastes better and includes all of its nutrients).
  • Even though canned and frozen produce increase transportation and packaging, they’re still better than not eating produce. Plus, much packaging is recyclable which can help offset the eco-costs of producing this packaging.

If anyone is out there and curious about anything in particular, let me know! I’d love to hear from you! And you’re all always welcome to question my statements. Like I said, I’m not always right. I do my research but I make mistakes like anyone else.

This site will help you find local food in your area.

And… as an addition to yesterday’s post, check out this site to get your carbon foodprint (it’s a very limited version but still fun).

The Cost of Oil

I know we’ve all realized the price of gas these days. I know that when the price of gas started getting towards $5 a gallon we freaked out and pushed for new modes of transport, “greener” fuels, and new technologies. I also realize that when the price per gallon started to decline, people stopped their eco-push. When the price was more manageable, people once again hopped into their SUVs and put their hybrids into the garage.

Let me tell you why the cost of gas is not the only factor that should be determining how hard we push for eco-friendly variations in fuel and technology… oil has a really large cost that cannot be seen by looking at the price at the pump.

If you don’t believe me, just check out this Times article and read some about the devastation happening in the Gulf of Mexico. The devastation is worse than anticipated. This oil spill is the largest oil disaster ever.

Oil also has a large carbon footprint which makes it a factor in the climate change.

This site talks of other effects oil can have on the environment… and let me tell you… none of them are good.

So… what are we supposed to do?

  1. Push for change. Our votes elected the government representatives. Let’s tell them what we would like them to accomplish.
  2. When you’re driving, try running all of your errands at once. This allows you to get your errands done quicker, and you use less gas!
  3. Carpool.
  4. When you’re cooking, use one appliance. Try not to grill one thing, bake another, and boil a third. If you’re going to boil things, boil them all (you can even reuse the water that way). And if the oven or grill are on, it’s less cost for you to use that for everything!
  5. In the upcoming summer months, invest in a screen door and keep your door open. Or (if you’re in a humid place), try only turning on your AC when you’re at home–>there’s no use paying for unused air conditioning.

As I’ve told you all, one of my goals for this blog is to teach myself about “greener” eating. Therefore, I’ve been researching a ton. I’ve learned so many interesting things that I hadn’t even thought about (that I promise I’ll share with you). For instance, did you know that “The average American diet creates 2.8 tons of CO2 emissions each year per person, which has now surpassed the 2.2 tons generated by American driving” (Go Green Get Lean, Kate Geagan). This includes the “production, transport, processing, packaging, storage, and preparation” (Geagan) of our foods. That’s CRAZY! 2.8 TONS of CO2 per person just for eating! “The amount of fossil fuel going into our food choices has outstripped the actual amount of energy in the food itself” (Geagan).

Well, today I’m giving you a couple of recipes that will hopefully get your diet to a “greener” level.

  • For today, each of these recipes are going to be using local, organic produce –> if you do not have a local farmers market or food co-op to find these at, check out Whole Foods (they have signs telling where your produce is coming from–> get something coming from the closest location if you are not in a produce-farming location).
  • If you would like to have meat in your dish, try buying lower on the food-chain. This is an easy way to tell which meat has more energy going into it–> more on that in another blog post.
  • Each of these recipes is going to use one appliance. It saves energy!
  • Take a hint from Kate Geagan’s Go Green Get Lean: Use the acronym L.E.A.N: Is the food local or global? (Local is greener), Energy used to bring it to your plate? (This includes transport, processing, packaging, and temperature food must be kept at–> having to use your refrigerator v. freezer), Animal or Plant? (Plants are the greener choice), Necessary? (Is it critical for you to eat this for your health?–> i.e. If you refuse to eat soy/tofu/nuts, you’ll probably need some sort of animal product in your diet to get enough protein).

Bulgar with Sun-dried Tomato, Feta, and Kalamata Olives

  • Find the original recipe here
  • I’ve cut it down since I’m just one person.
  • 1/4 cup bulgar wheat (find in the bulk section of your local supermarket–>cuts down on packaging!)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced (take it out or buy pitted)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled  (if you want this recipe to be vegan you can withhold this ingredient)
  • 1/4 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley, minced (I love this flavor and found it locally grown so I added extra. You can add less if you don’t love parsley)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (the recipe called for red wine vinegar but I had a local balsamic vinegar at my hands that I lovvvve)
  • juice of 1/4 lemon (add zest for extra lemony goodness)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring the water to a boil, add the bulgar and cover (turn down to a simmer) for 30 minutes. Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, parsley, shallot, and feta in one bowl. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Drain the water from the bulgar and pat dry. Add the sun-dried tomato mixture and cover with the liquid dressing. Stir it all together and you have a delicious lunch!

Local Produce Stir-Fry

  • This year I became involved in a movement called “Food Not Bombs”. It’s an all-vegan group that cooks for local houseless people (or whoever would like to eat for free). The local farmers market donates all of their extra produce at the end of their Sunday market and we use it to cook for these persons.
  • One thing this has taught me is how easy it is to make a delicious veggie stir-fry regardless of the greens given to you.
  • All you need is some veggies, a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil, and a pan with a top to help steam and cook the veggies.
  • My newest love is this map from epicurious that tells you (by location) the seasonal produce in your area.
  • My stir-fry was an asparagus, mushroom, cauliflower, sugar snap pea, kale, red bell pepper stir-fry but you will find different local produce wherever you go.
  • I added some extra flavor with a kick of cayenne and some cumin and paprika, but that is up to you.
  • I also used soy sauce instead of salt for this dish. It gives it a little extra liquid and I think the flavor adds to the dish nicely.

I’m telling you this dish is idiot-proof. Turn on some heat, coat the pan with your EVOO, and then put in your veggies (time for cooking varies on how hard your veggies are and how little they have been cut so put in your hardest and largest veggies first–> add the others after those have cooked for a while), place the lid over your pan to help steam the veggies and VOILA, deliciousness.

Throw together some locally grown, organic, in-season veggies for a quick easy DELICIOUS dinner!

If you’d like some added protein, I suggest adding some peanuts to this dish (but make sure to cook them for a little as well). YUMMY!

Lessons Learned

  • Food is adding to climate change more than driving! This is due to the production, transportation, processing, packaging, storage, and preparation of the food.
  • There are ways to make better choices!
  • Use the acronym L.E.A.N when choosing your foods.

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!