Tag Archives: carrot

Po’ Boy

I don’t know how many of you are in California, but this summer is bumming me out! Ever since I’ve been back from the South, it’s been gloomy and cold!  In some ways, however, it’s been a blessing as I now have a ton of time to cook with no distractions (like the beach)… which is nice because then I’ll be able to have some recipes pop up while I’m in Baja for two weeks (because I won’t be doing any blogging while I’m down there).

Ever since New Orleans I’ve been reminiscing about all of the delicious food and thinking about ways to make it a little bit greener. While I was there, my mom and I went out for po’ boys, however, as I said before, the BP oil spill in the gulf has made a lot of the seafood disappear from New Orleans. Our search for po’ boys took us to a couple of different shops before we finally found a place that still had the catfish and oyster po’ boys on their menu. They were deliciously crispy and oozing with goodness. Because of the oil spill disaster, and the overfishing problem that already exists, I decided to redo this Southern favorite with a tofu vegan version. It was super delicious and I really hope that you enjoy it as much as I did! In this recipe I used a great spice blend that I actually bought in New Orleans. Since I’m doubting you have it in your spice rack, a good alternative would be a mixture of cayenne pepper, garlic powder, allspice, and dried thyme.

New Orleans Style Tofu Po’ Boy

Makes 2

  • 1/2 pack Extra Firm Tofu, sliced in triangles and down the middle, drained, and pressed (place a heavy book on top of the tofu until excess liquid comes out)
  • 1/2 cup Soy Milk
  • 1 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. Lime Juice
  • 1/2 cup Cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp. Joe’s Stuff (or mix of spices shown above)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Coleslaw, recipe below
  • Bread of choice

While the tofu is being pressed, mix the soy milk, cornstarch, and lime juice in one bowl and the cornmeal, Joe’s Stuff, and salt and pepper in another bowl. Once the tofu is pressed, heat oil in a pan and dredge the tofu slices in the wet mix first then the dry mix. Heat for about 3 minutes a side, or until golden brown. Top the bread with the tofu and coleslaw and enjoy a vegan take on a New Orleans classic.

Vegan Coleslaw

  • 1/2 cup Cabbage, shredded
  • 1/3 Carrot, shredded
  • 2 tbsp. Vegenaise
  • 1 tbsp. Joe’s Stuff (or mix of spices shown above)
  • 1 tsp. Dried Mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice

Mix ingredients together. (If you like a sweeter coleslaw, I recommend adding agave nectar to sweeten it up).

Here’s a picture of Joe’s Stuff (since I’m obviously obsessed) 🙂

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. A completely vegan take on a normally heavy-on-the meat/animal byproducts recipe.
  2. Making your own coleslaw means picking your own ingredients–>organic, local products anyone?
  3. You save a lot of food miles if you make New Orleans classics at home instead of going there to try them. (Though I’m not one to talk).
  4. This isn’t an eco-benefit, however, this Po’ Boy recipe is about as healthy as Po’ Boy recipes come. Most times, going green means getting healthy!
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Things That Make Me Happy

Things that make me happy:

  • My roommates and I having late night crazy singing parties.
  • Roadtrips
  • Cooking
  • The environment
  • The ability to spread the things I’ve learned with others.
  • Days that all of these things come together.

Today was one of these days. My roommate, L, and two of my best friends, K and B, decided to go on an adventure to the home of the split pea soup. And after getting hopped up on sugar at a local Danish town, we stayed up late singing Eminem and Brandy You’re a Fine Girl. Tomorrow, I am in a sustainable cooking competition at my school. I hope to show everyone at the competition everything I’ve been learning through this project. I’ll let you guys know how it goes, but here is the recipe I’ll be using:

Thai Veggie Pasta with a Peanut Dressing

  • Whole buckwheat soba noodles
  • Red Bell Pepper, cut in skinny strips
  • Carrot (the SECRET ingredient), cut in skinny strips
  • Broccoli, cut into small florets
  • Cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Zucchini, cut in skinny strips
  • Peanut Butter
  • Sriracha
  • Maple Syrup
  • Sesame Seed Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Ginger
  • Ground coriander
  • Roughly chopped parsley, toasted sesame seeds, and grated carrot to top

Ok. I know there are a lot of ingredients, but they’re all local, organic, and seasonal. If these aren’t in season where you are, pretty much any vegetables can be used. Saute the vegetables in extra virgin olive oil while covered. Meanwhile cook the soba noodles per instructions. Mix the remaining ingredients (minus the parsley, sesame seeds, and grated carrot)–>I didn’t put portions for anything because if you like things spicy, you’ll want more sriracha, or if you like things sweet, more maple syrup (make sure to get 100% maple syrup). When the noodles are finished, mix in the veggies and the peanut sauce and top with the parsley, sesame seeds, and grated carrot. I recommend using a little less sesame seed oil than you might think because my first test was a little too peanuty and lessening the amount of sesame seed oil seemed to fix this problem.

Eco-Benefits

  1. It’s a vegan recipe! Check out Why Going Vegan is Like Riding a Bicycle to understand why this is awesome.
  2. All of the ingredients are local, in season, and organic. I’ve raved about these things in almost every post.
  3. Soba noodles take less time to cook so you’re using less fossil fuels! And covering the vegetables while you saute them cooks them faster as well!

The Magical Fruit

Lets talk “green” beans… green meaning eco-friendly… not actual green beans. I felt like I had to get to them eventually… they are in the title of my blog. So… what makes a bean eco-friendly?

  1. Eating less meat may be one of the most effective ways to fight global warming… and an easy way to cut back on meat (but keep up protein) is BEANS!!!!! (And as the song says: the more you eat…–> and who doesn’t want to stay regular?)
  2. Plant protein uses 1/10 of the fossil fuel than animal protein!
  3. Even when you buy beans in a can, you’re still eating at a much greener spot on the food chain.
  4. Less water is used in the production of beans (and all plant proteins) than animal proteins as well!!
  5. Beans have a super long storage life (canned or dried) so they won’t go bad!

And as an added bonus: the obesity rate among vegetarians is much lower than the average American (only 0-6% as opposed to 2/3 people in the normal population).

So yay for beans BEANS the magical fruit!

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

  • This recipe serves like 4-6 people (I made it for me and my roommates) so keep that in mind if you need to cut it back.
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large finely grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 can organic, vegetarian, refried black beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • cumin
  • garlic salt
  • cayenne pepper
  • curry powder
  • extra virgin olive oil

Cook the quinoa by boiling the 2 cups of water. Then add the quinoa, lower to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes.

Mix the cooked quinoa with carrot, cilantro, and spices. Meanwhile, Saute the shallot and add the black beans.

Mix the shallot and the quinoa mixtures together. Add the egg and flour. When everything is mixed together, make into uniform-sized balls. Place olive oil in a pan, flatten the balls and fry until cooked through. You can also bake them in the oven if you prefer.

Topped with salsa and placed on cracked wheat bread, black bean quinoa burgers are great for lunch or dinner!

I topped my burger with salsa, but the original recipe called for topping with guacamole. My roommate, L, topped hers with ketchup and said that the burger was better than her frozen TexMex (individually wrapped) vegan burgers–> they’re more sustainable as well!!

Lessons Learned

  • Beans are a great plant protein alternative to animal proteins.
  • Although they come in packaging, they will not go bad and the savings in fossil fuels by avoiding the animal protein is worth it.
  • Less water usage!
  • If you want to stay regular you know what the magical fruit is 🙂

2 Updates

  1. I made this recipe again for dinner but wrapped it up in a tortilla and it was so good!
  2. I also used the leftover black beans on top of a piece of wheat naan, added cheese and salsa and had a Mexican pizza! (I think I was craving that sort of food today).