Oh comfort food. Since I get home from Baja today (though I’m writing this the night before I leave because I’m up all nervous and jittery anyways), I figure I’ll be about ready for some homemade macaroni or some other comfort food like that. Therefore, I’m giving you a recipe for one of my favorites: Sweet Potatoes. You can do so much with them: baking, boiling, broiling, grilling, etc. And they’re so versatile: going from sweet to savory so easily. This recipe, however, is seriously one of the best. I recommend it for a dessert even because of how sweet it is (and a healthy dessert at that!)
Pumpkin Spiced Sweet Potato Puree
Feeds 1 as a Meal, 2 as a Side
- 1 Sweet Potato
- Dash of Salt
- A couple shakes each of: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger
- 1 tbsp. Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp. Grapeseed Oil
Bake the sweet potato for ~45 minutes at 400 or until you can easily pierce through the potato with a fork. When it is no longer too hot to handle, take off the skin, place in the food processor with all other ingredients and blend until smooth. If you don’t like any chunks, you can push it through a wire mesh strainer. If you like it chunkier, just use a potato masher or a fork to mash it up. (I topped mine with vanilla greek yogurt more for the photographic quality than the flavor though it was very good).
- You can bake these at the same time you’re baking something else. If the other thing is baking at a different temperature, just change the cooking time accordingly. Yay for cutting back on energy use!
- Organic sweet potatoes and local can decrease transportation and pesticides!
Posted in Dessert, Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Tagged allspice, cinnamon, ginger, grapeseed oil, maple syrup, nutmeg, salt, sweet potato
Sauces. They really do make or break a meal. That’s why a saucier is so important in commercial kitchens. But how to eco-up something that can have a ton of ingredients? Easy. Make sure the ingredients (as many as you may want) are as “green” as you can get.
Here’s a recipe for an apricot barbecue sauce. I think the sauce tastes absolutely great (I happened to eat it on fish) and I think it could be really good on chicken (organic and free-range of course), seitan, or tofu. You could also sub the apricots for other seasonal fruits such as peaches.
Apricot Barbecue Sauce
- 1/2 small Yellow Onion, chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 3-4 Apricots, pitted and sliced
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Broth
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
- 1/4 tsp. Ground Coriander
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 1/8 cup Molasses
- 1 tbsp. Maple Syrup
- 3 tbsp. Tomato Sauce
- 2 tbsp. Tamari Soy Sauce
Saute the onions until brown. Then add the garlic. Deglaze the pan with the veggie broth. Add the apricots, ginger, and coriander and bring to a boil. Cover and lower to a simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 10 more minutes and then transfer to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Top your chicken, tofu, seitan, or fish with it. Yum yum!
- Using seasonal, local produce (like the apricots) leads to tastier products that are better for the environment. Win win!
- Buying organic spices and vegetables helps to alleviate pesticides from poisoning our watersheds.
- Vegetable broth is a great alternative to chicken stock if you’re trying to avoid using so many animal products.
- The fruit salad I had on the side of the dish is a hodge podge. You can really make it with any fruit you’re trying to rid your refrigerator of.
- If you’re using fish, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch List to know which fish are sustainable and which you should be avoiding due to overfishing.
Posted in Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Tagged apricot, coriander, garlic, ginger, maple syrup, molasses, onion, pepper, salt, soy sauce, tamari, tomato sauce, vegetable broth
Ok. I officially realize that I’ve been making a lot of vegan recipes lately and I also realize that all of you out there are not vegan. For that reason, I’m going to make a conscious effort to make some vegetarian, fish, and even some meat recipes for your reading pleasure. This, however, is not one of them because I had not realized how much vegan goodness I’d been cooking up until this recipe. I promise I’ll do better from now on.
I was having a craving for pineapple when I came across a recipe for a pineapple stir-fry. I redid the recipe to fit what I had in my refrigerator (why make a whole trip to the store if you don’t need to) and it totally warped my view on how pineapple should be used in cooking. I’ve always been one of those “pineapple is better by itself or in a dessert than as a savory ingredient” types of people and I was definitely put in my place with this. Maybe it’ll change your view too?
- 1/2 cup Quinoa
- 1/2 cup Macadamia Nuts
- 2 tbsp. Tamari Soy Sauce
- 1/3 of a Pineapple, cored and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
- 1 Scallion, white and green part chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 1/2 inch Ginger, minced
- Cayenne, to taste
- Mint, to taste, chopped
Boil 1 cup of water and then add quinoa, turning down the heat and covering. Let simmer for ~10 minutes or until all of the water has been soaked up. Set quinoa aside. Place the macadamia nuts in a pan that has NOT been oiled. Toast them to a golden brown. In a bag, marinate the pineapple chunks in the tamari. In a separate pan, saute the red bell pepper, garlic, and finger in oil until tender. Add the scallions and let brown a little. Add the pineapple and saute until just turning brown. Mix in the cayenne. Add the macadamia nuts and mint to heat/reheat and mix in. Place the mix over the quinoa and you’re finished! (I topped mine with some chia seeds too).
- Quinoa is a quick-cooking grain. It cooks much quicker than rice and is grown with less water. Because of that it is a great “greener” alternative to rice.
- Getting the veggies local and organic can cut back on food-miles and the use of no pesticides helps protect our land and waterways.
- Nuts are a great source of protein that help us avoid heavy foodprint proteins such as meat and fish.
- Vegan! Though I promise I’m not going to make everything vegan because that wouldn’t teach you anything about how to go greener with the food you’re always eating (unless you are vegan).
Posted in Dinner, Lunch
Tagged garlic, ginger, macadamia nuts, mint, pineapple, quinoa, red bell pepper, scallion, soy sauce, tamari
So let me tell you a little about my living situation at the moment… I’m living at my house with my dad and my dad’s friend’s son who has basically become a part of the family for the summer… and they’re both HUGE carnivores. As you all know by now, I’m a pescetarian, however, what you may not know about me is that I definitely do not try to change other people’s eating habits apart from telling them what are “greener” options. Therefore, when they decided to grill up some pork chops tonight, I decided to embrace the grill and make myself a vegan grilling alternative: a Portobello Mushroom Burger. Furthermore, as much as I talk about whole wheat being the “greener” alternative to white flour products, the boys had a TON of white burger buns and the greenest choice is to always make sure not to waste anything so that’s what I used for my burger. I also utilized a delicious seasonal vegetable that’s super easy to grill: CORN! During summer, it has such a delicious sweet flavor and it was really a great side. It doesn’t take much to make corn taste good–>we grilled it in its husk so it got a “smoky husky flavor” as my dad and Alex would say. Earlier this summer, my mom topped our corn with olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper while today I just buttered it a little. Either way, it really doesn’t take much. Regardless, here’s a great portobello mushroom burger recipe you’ll have to try! And if you’re more of a meat eater, the marinade would taste delicious on a regular burger as well!
Portobello Mushroom Burger
- 1/3 cup White Wine
- 2 tbsp. Tamari Soy Sauce
- 2 tbsp. White Balsamic Vinegar (or any other vinegar)
- 2 tsp. Ground Ginger
- A dash of Cayenne Pepper
- 1 large Portobello Mushroom
- Burger Bun (preferably whole wheat)
- 3 tbsp. Unrefined Sugar
- optional: Any veggies such as Roasted Pepper, Lettuce, Cabbage, Tomato, etc. that you have on hand.
Mix the white wine, tamari, vinegar, garlic, and cayenne together in a plastic bag. Place the portobello mushroom in the bag for 10 minutes or longer so it can marinate. Take the portobello out of the bag but DO NOT TRASH THE LIQUID. Grill for 3-5 minutes a side or until tender. Meanwhile, place leftover liquid and the sugar into a pot and reduce until it becomes syrupy. Toast bun. When portobello is off of the grill, place onto bun and top with the reduced liquid.
This is a super easy really delicious portobello burger so I hope you enjoy it!
- Grilling is super versatile! You can make an entire meal on a grill which means no extra energy from other appliances!
- Using a marinade as a topping means no waste and you definitely get the delicious flavor!
- Corn is in season and easy to find locally and organic. Plus it’s super delicious right now and doesn’t need much to make it delicious!
- Vegan cooking is great because you have no animal production wastes involved (which can lead to high greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, excess crop production, etc.)
- A lot of times if you use less ingredients in a recipe you have less packaging involved (which causes waste and can be energy-intensive).
So… the time has come where I’m answering the call for eco-friendly meat recipes… but first I’m gonna push the vegan thing one more time :). While my mom ate the Rosemary Garlic Chicken I made her last night, I ate this vegan deliciousness. And as I’ve stated, going vegan is the #1 way to reduce your foodprint. This is because you cut out all animal byproducts and animals take a lot of land, and the animals themselves eat a lot of veggies that you could have in your diet instead! Plus, a lot of time the meat is flown from all over to get to your plate. And don’t forget that cow flatulence contains methane which is a greenhouse gas 20x worse than carbon.
But… I’m gonna get off my high-horse. Tomorrow you’ll get information for how to be eco-friendly and eat chicken but today you’ll get a delicious vegan recipe:
Seitan With An Orange Ginger Teryaki
1 package Seitan: I used WestSoy’s Seitan Strips
1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce or Tamari
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup Water
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice (or any citrus fruit in season)
1 tbsp. Ginger, grated
This is a super easy recipe: Just place the soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, brown sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and ginger in a pot and bring it to a boil. Then lower it to a simmer for around 30 minutes or until it boils liquid off and thickens. It’ll taste REALLY strong. But trust me. When there’s only a little time left on the sauce, saute your seitan (I didn’t use any olive oil but you can if wanted) until warm. Top with the teryaki and munch :). I had mine with some brown rice and some asparagus and mushrooms (I’ll give you those recipes with your chicken tomorrow).
VEGAN Vegan vegan…
Using seasonal citrus fruits allows you to buy them tastier and with less food miles attached.
If you don’t want to buy packaged seitan (thus cutting back on packaging–>eco praise if you do this) you can totally make it yourself. Here’s a recipe
See you tomorrow for the chicken you’ve all been waiting for.
Posted in Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Tagged brown sugar, citrus, ginger, orange, orange juice, rice vinegar, seitan, soy sauce, tamari, water
So… I’ve talked about how animal proteins are worse for you than vegetable proteins. I know you know this. Therefore, when I do talk about animal protein I’m going to tell you how to keep them more eco-friendly for those days that you just want eggs.
I’ve been really longing eggs. There’s no way else to put it. And although I tried to put it off, the craving struck at midnight while I was finally trying to write my 8-10 page paper (luckily only the rough draft is due tomorrow). So… as a way to put off writing just a little bit longer (and as a hope that maybe my writers block would go away), I made myself a rosemary egg salad burrito. I’m definitely going to spare you the pictures (it wasn’t pretty–>and I didn’t want to wake up my roommate who had finished her paper just to get my camera) but it taught me a lesson (and it was pretty darn good)–> sometimes you can’t put off a craving because it’ll just get worse and worse and you’ll end up with a rosemary egg salad burrito. So… like I said: here are some ways to “green” up your eggs for the times you get those cravings–>and so you don’t put them off until it’s too late. (And I’ll even add my recipe at the bottom of this post after the ‘real’ recipes just in case someone out there is dying to try it… or just really gutsy.
- LOCAL AND ORGANIC!!!!! Especially in the case of animal proteins these are two key words you should follow! Head to the local farmers market. The eggs are so delicious too! You really don’t know what you’ve been missing.
- Organic eggs mean that the chicken hatching them has been fed a solely organic diet (and I know you know by now the environmental benefits of organic produce… no chemical fertilizers, etc.)–>if your organic eggs are flying from far away in the world, however, it’s probably better to settle for non-organic or else you’ll be part in the waste of a lot of fossil fuel.
- Get cardboard egg cartons instead of the styrofoam ones. Styrofoam is not biodegradable!
- Add extra vegetables to animal protein dishes so that less animal protein goes a long way.
- Cut back on animal products. You can definitely still eat them, eat a little less than you regularly eat. If you used to eat 5 eggs a week, eat 2 or 3.
- And good news: of animals, chickens are one of the greenest “in terms of manure waste and inputs” (Go Green Get Lean-Kate Geagan). Thank goodness we don’t get eggs from cows!
Here are some egg recipes for your tasting pleasure:
Veggie Frittata (w/ extra veggies)
- 1/4 Onion, chopped
- About a cup of any Vegetables you would like: I used Broccoli, Red Bell Pepper, and Zucchini.
- 2 Eggs
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- optional: Organic Cheese
Saute the onions until transparent and then add the other vegetables. Cook until tender. Meanwhile, beat the eggs with salt and pepper. If you want cheese add it to the eggs and beat again. When the vegetables are tender, cook them until almost dry and then pour eggs over the top and cook through. Flip over and finish cooking.
- 2 eggs, hard-boiled and quartered
- Coconut milk (I added a little too much but I love coconut so add to taste)
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp. fresh ginger, chopped
- ~6 almonds, chopped
- A dash of turmeric, cayenne, and coriander
- Curry powder
- 1 Tomato, diced
- 1 cup Wild Rice, cooked
Saute the onion until transparent and then add the ginger, garlic, almonds, turmeric cayenne, and coriander. Add a little bit of water so it’s a little bit pasty. Pour in coconut milk and then add tomatoes and eggs. Place on top of wild rice.
(It tasted good. Just forgive the picture)
Finally: What you’ve been waiting for: The Rosemary Egg Salad Burrito
- A hard-boiled ORGANIC egg, cut into cubes
- 1/2 sprig of organic Rosemary, chopped
- A squirt of Mustard
- A spoonful of Vegenaise
- A tiny squeeze of Lemon Juice
- Cabbage, chopped
- A Whole Wheat Tortilla
Mix the egg, rosemary, paprika, mustard, Vegenaise, and lemon juice in a bowl. Place on whole wheat tortilla and top with cabbage. Don’t judge me. The craving hit and I raided the fridge and it tasted darn good. 🙂
Posted in Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Tagged almonds, broccoli, cayenne, cheese, cocounut milk, coriander, curry powder, egg, garlic, ginger, onion, red bell pepper, tomato, turmeric, wild rice, zucchini
Things that make me happy:
- My roommates and I having late night crazy singing parties.
- 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
- Maple Syrup
- Sesame Seed Oil
- Soy Sauce
- 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.
- It’s a vegan recipe! Check out Why Going Vegan is Like Riding a Bicycle to understand why this is awesome.
- All of the ingredients are local, in season, and organic. I’ve raved about these things in almost every post.
- 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!
Posted in Dinner, Lunch
Tagged broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, ginger, green onion, ground coriander, maple syrup, parsley, peanut butter, red bell pepper, sesame seed oil, soba noodles, soy sauce, sriracha, toasted sesame seeds, zucchini