Tag Archives: onion

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.

Veggie Enchiladas

As an ode to the fact that at this moment I’m in Bahia de Los Angeles in Baja, Mexico, here’s a recipe for enchiladas! And make extra! I ate my two and wanted more. They were so delicious!

Vegetable Enchiladas

For sauce

  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small Yellow Onion, chopped (as small as possible)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
  • A couple shakes each: dried oregano, dried basil leaves, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin
  • 1/4 cup Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Salsa
  • 3 tbsp. Water

For enchilada:

  • 2 Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • Organic Mexican Cheese
  • Veggies, chopped (I used bell pepper and onion but that’s all I had)

Cook the sauce first by sauteing the garlic and onion until the onion is just starting to brown. Add the tomato sauce, salsa, and water and turn heat to a simmer. Add all of the spices and let simmer for at least 5 minutes (the longer the better). Meanwhile, saute the vegetables you will be using in your enchilada. Place them in the tortillas and roll up. Place them into a pan (fold side down). Top with the sauce and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes (or until heated through). Top with cheese and bake until it melts (about 2 minutes).

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. Using vegetables allows you to cut back on the amount of cheese you need to get a great flavor (same with all of the spices). Plus you can get spices and vegetables organic.
  2. Because this doesn’t call for specific vegetables, you can pick those that you can find local and in season.
  3. The sauce gives the same heartiness to the enchilada that you get with meat enchiladas without the meat! I recommend making it with extra chili powder if you can handle it! And topping it with organic local avocado can help cut back on the heat from the chili powder if you can’t.
  4. Whole wheat tortillas take less processing than their refined flour counterparts.

Eggs

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.

Curried Eggs

  • 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
  • Paprika
  • 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. 🙂

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!