Tag Archives: maple syrup

Whole Wheat and Cornmeal Blueberry Pancakes

While I was in Nashville, way back in the day, my mom made me delicious cornmeal blueberry pancakes. They were the inspiration for this dish 🙂 which is a great breakfast to get you up and at em’ in the morning.

Whole Wheat Cornmeal Blueberry Pancakes

Serves 3-4

  • 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 cup Cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Canola Oil
  • 1 1/4 cup Soy Milk
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup Blueberries

Mix together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Combine all other ingredients separately (except for the blueberries). Add wet to dry and mix until combined. Fold in the blueberries (very carefully). Cook pancakes :). Top with more maple syrup. So good.

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. Whole wheat flour means less energy than normal white flour (you don’t need to enrich it and bleach it, etc.)
  2. Get your blueberries organic, local, and seasonal. No pesticides, less transportation, and no extra energy put into growing them at that time of year.
  3. Vegan means never having to say you’re sorry. (Sorry. I’ve never even seen Love Story but I’ve seen Now and Then enough to know the line :)–>and I figure if you’ve read my blog at all I’ve probably beaten the vegan thing to death by now haha).

Pumpkin Spiced Sweet Potato Puree

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).

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. 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!
  2. Organic sweet potatoes and local can decrease transportation and pesticides!

Apricot BBQ Sauce

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!

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. Using seasonal, local produce (like the apricots) leads to tastier products that are better for the environment. Win win!
  2. Buying organic spices and vegetables helps to alleviate pesticides from poisoning our watersheds.
  3. Vegetable broth is a great alternative to chicken stock if you’re trying to avoid using so many animal products.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Leftover Fish Tacoritos

So… I know I’ve given you guys a delicious fish taco recipe already but let’s be honest: it was not the healthiest of fish taco recipes. And though this is a blog about being more eco-friendly in the way you eat, I’ve begun to realize that doing so is pretty linked with eating healthier. Plus, this fish recipe is for a tacorito… not a taco.

Here’s a little backstory: my mom is an amazing cook and we made dinner together the other night. Shrimp and a delicious fruit salad (see recipe below). Between the two of us, however, we could not finish off the shrimp. The next day for lunch I came up with these bad boys. Super easy yet super addicting and delicious. I call them a tacorito because with so much yummins inside of the tortilla, they were too large to be a taco but too small to be a burrito. Here’s what I did:

Shrimp Tacorito

  • Whole Wheat Tortilla
  • Leftover Shrimp–>3-4 per taco (ours had been marinated in bourbon, teriyaki, maple syrup, dijon mustard, and chili powder)
  • Any Salsa or Pico de Gallo you have sitting around
  • 1/4 Bell Pepper per taco (any color) chopped
  • Shredded Cabbage
  • 1 tsp. per taco Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 avocado per taco, sliced
  • optional: Organic Shredded Cheese

Place some EVOO in a medium pan and saute the bell pepper until just warm–>keep it crunchy for a good texture! At the same time, in a different part of the pan heat up the shrimp. When warm, take out with a slotted spatula leaving the EVOO over some heat. Place the tortilla in pan. Top with cheese (if used) until just melty and then add the shrimp, bell pepper, and salsa. Take off heat and top with all other ingredients. Fold it up for a delicious tacorito!

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. It’s a great and easy way to use up leftover ingredients. One of the worst eco-faux paus is letting good food go to waste!
  2. Check this out for which shrimp is most sustainable because some are best choice for sustainable fish eating and some are avoid.
  3. Seasonal vegetables are convenient to buy locally and organically because they’re everywhere! (It’s bell pepper season).
  4. You can use any fish in this recipe for a filling leftover lunch or dinner.

Fruit Salad

(Recipe courtesy of my mom)

  • Cantalope balls
  • Watermelon balls (you can use any melon)
  • Simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water in the microwave for 3 minutes)
  • Mint, chopped

Place the mint in the hot simple sugar and let steep. Place in the refrigerator until cold. Pour through a fine strainer to get rid of the mint leaves. Place melon balls in the infused simple syrup.

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. Melons are all in season in summer!
  2. You only need a few ingredients which means less packaging which means greater sustainability!

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!