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!
- 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
- 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).
- 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.
- Because this doesn’t call for specific vegetables, you can pick those that you can find local and in season.
- 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.
- Whole wheat tortillas take less processing than their refined flour counterparts.
Posted in Dinner, Lunch
Tagged basil, bell pepper, cayenne, cheese, chili powder, cumin, garlic, onion, oregano, paprika, salsa, tomato sauce, water, whole wheat tortillas
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
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
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
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.
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!
The chicken’s coating used whole wheat flour instead of regular all-purpose bleached flour.
The asparagus and mushrooms are in season and I bought them local and organic!
The chicken was organic and free-range (I didn’t buy it local although that would’ve been an added plus point).
Posted in Dinner, Lunch
Tagged asparagus, chicken, garlic, lemon, mushrooms, paprika, parmesean, pepper, rosemary, salt, whole wheat flour
So. I know I’ve beat the fish issue into the ground. For that reason, and because I have a paper to write and a house to clean (we threw a party last night and our apartment was trashed… but it was fun!–>I’ll give you some green party tips at the end of this post) I’m not going to tell you the same things again. If you’re looking for a more sustainable way to eat fish check out my other posts about it: Fish: What Practices are Actually Sustainable and Overfishing. For now, I’m just going to give you another delicious sustainable fish recipe. Fish tacos! And believe me… this is absolutely delicious.
- USA Farm Raised Tilapia filet (not a carnivorous fish, safe)
- 1/2 cup Whole wheat flour
- Herbs, chopped (I chose rosemary and thyme because I found them organic and they’re my favorite)
- A splash of cheap Beer (leftover from your kegger?)
- 1 tbsp Vegenaise or Canola Mayonnaise (if you prefer non-vegan)
- 1 tbsp Organic Salsa
- squirt of Lime or Lemon Juice
- Cabbage, shredded
- optional: Organic Cheese
- Whole wheat tortilla
Either chop the tilapia into bite sized pieces, or leave it as a whole filet. Mix flour, herbs, and paprika. Add just enough beer for the mix to become gooey. Dredge the fish in the beer mix. Pan fry the fish. Meanwhile, mix the Vegenaise, Organic Salsa, and citrus juice. Heat tortilla until warm via any means you want: stovetop, microwave, oven… Top the tortilla with the fish, cabbage, salsa mixture, and cheese if wanted. I realize it’s not the healthiest thing I’ve made… but I promise it’s a family favorite at my house. Use organic and vegan options for the ingredients, and it can be eco-friendly too!
“Green” Party Options:
- Just remember I’m talking about a college kegger. Not a classy dinner party here. So I’m sorry ahead of time… I’m just a college student.
- Buy a keg! Kegs are reusable, and do not involve all of the packaging that comes with multiple thirty racks. No cans!
- If you have red cups for your beer, put them all in the dishwasher when the party is done and clean them up for next time–>washing dishes in a full dishwasher load is way better than hand-washing that many dishes.
- Recycle any cans, handles, or red cups (that are beyond cleaning). Recycling is one of the most important things you can do for the environment!
- Even better would be to ask people to bring their own cups to parties (but that’s not really an option at college).
- No smoking! Aside from health effects for you, they have huge environmental impacts! Check out these sites to find out more about how cigarettes cause deforestation, water pollution, and the effects of your cigarette butts. And if you didn’t know, cigarettes are the #1 most littered substance.
Posted in Dinner, Lunch
Tagged beer, canola mayonnaise, herbs, keg, kegger, lemon juice, lime juice, paprika, rosemary, salsa, thyme, tilapia, vegenaise, whole wheat flour
Let’s talk tofu:
It’s one of those foods that most people grow up making fun of, dreading, or even refusing to eat. In a few cultures, however, it is a staple. In these cultures, there is no mistaking tofu as bland or gross. I’d like to prove to you that didn’t grow up eating tofu how delicious it can be.
First though, here are some of the environmental benefits of tofu:
- If you replace meat with tofu once a month, you’ll save 20,000 gallons of water a year. That’s because cows drink water and eat food that requires water to grow. (Bon Appetit)
- I can’t say it enough: plant protein is way more eco-friendly than animal protein.
- Adding tofu to a dish will not change the flavor but it will add protein that will help fill you up letting you eat less which is awesome for you and the environment! Saving resources!
- Soybeans are fed to cattle. It takes 7lbs of grain and soy products to produce 1lb of meat. If this was used toward human consumption, 7x more people could have food to eat.
- Reduce deforestation (which takes place for cattle raising in other countries–> the #1 cause)
- Less methane emissions from cattle–>less cattle = less methane emissions.
- Less water pollution–> cattle sewage seeps into ground water and washes into rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans.
As an added benefit, tofu is way less expensive than animal protein. With the economy in the state it’s in right now, that’s a added reason to switch to tofu for some meals!
Strawberry Orange Smoothie Bowl
- 1 frozen banana
- Carton organic strawberries
- Orange juice
- Firm tofu
- Granola (I used a delicious granola with flax seed in it)
- Agave Nectar
- Optional: maca
Blend all ingredients. Pour into a bowl and top with granola and agave.
Tofu Scramble Burrito
- Two cloves garlic, sliced
- Tofu (I had firm so that’s what I used, but silk is better for scrambles)
- Garlic salt
- Black beans
- Local salsa
- Wheat tortilla
Saute the garlic and tofu together. If using silk, scramble it like an egg. If using firm, brown the tofu. Sprinkle with garlic salt and paprika and add black beans to the hot pan. Cook until hot. Meanwhile, warm tortilla. Place the mix in the tortilla and top with salsa.
- You can add any veggies you’d like to this as well.
- It kinda takes the place of a breakfast burrito.
- This is a super good source of protein between the beans and the tofu! Check out The Magical Fruit to learn about beans eco implications.
- It doesn’t look super scrumptious but it is!
“I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?” -Robert Redford
Posted in Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Tagged agave nectar, banana, black beans, garlic, garlic salt, granola, maca, orange juice, paprika, salsa, strawberry, tofu, wheat tortilla
Alright. I know I’ve told you guys about Overfishing.org and the Monterey Bay Aquarium sustainable fish sites. And I still hold to the fact that those are the best sites to look at before you decide which fish you’ll be cooking. There are, however, soooo many more ways to practice sustainable cooking when it comes to fish. This post will go a little more into those practices.
- This site tells you all about the environmental pros and cons of the different forms of fishing and farm fishing. It is not super detailed, however, it gives the basic information you should know.
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium site also talks about what to think/ask about when considering farmed fish. These are: use of marine resources, fish that are carnivorous and have to be fed other wild species, risk of escaped fish to wild stocks, risk of disease and parasite transfer to wild stocks, risk of pollution and habitat effects, and effectiveness of the management regime.
- Think about eating lower on the food chain. Smaller fish species, such as anchovies, herring, mackerel, and sardines, do not need as long to reach full maturity and reproduce. Therefore, they tend to be found in larger, more sustainable numbers. Larger fish, such as tuna, reproduce at a much older age and take a very long time to mature. Therefore, they are being overfished and are not maintaining their numbers. Fish lower on the food chain also have less toxins because of reduced biomagnification.
- Make sure that the fisheries you’re buying from don’t have high bycatch numbers–> the amount of fish species being caught that are unintended.
- Avoid fish caught by trawling–>this involves dragging a net along the bottom of the water and can cause irreparable ecosystem damage.
- Try to avoid fish flown overnight to get to your plate: ask questions. This can involve a lot of fossil fuels.
- Maybe try fishing yourself: hook and line fishing is the most sustainable type.
- Wild or farmed, fish include a lot of transportation, packaging it on ice, processing, and other energy costs.
- “Organic” means nothing when it comes to fish. There are no regulations set by the USDA. This doesn’t help the eco-cost at all.
- The U.S. has the strictest regulations. For example, shrimp from Asia are destroying mangrove swamps.
- Take advantage of the Blue Ocean Institute’s FishPhone: Text the message FISH followed by a type of fish to 30644 when you’re in the supermarket and you can find out about whether a certain type of fish is sustainable.
Overfishing is a problem. No one is disagreeing with that… check out this BBC News Report or this Times article. So, now that I’ve let you know a few more sustainable fishing choices and options, here are some recipes utilizing those options:
Scallops with Wild Rice
- 1/4 cup wild rice
- 2 cups water
- 2 scallops
- balsamic vinegar
So this is a super easy, super yummy recipe. It serves one for lunch. Boil the water, add rice and reduce to simmer for 40 minutes (or until the rice is soft). Drain any excess water. Meanwhile, cook the scallops in a little bit of olive oil to brown. In a separate pot, reduce the balsamic vinegar until it thickens. Top the rice with the scallops, and the scallops with the reduced balsamic vinegar.
- Note: be really really scarce on the anchovy. They have a very strong taste. I made this mistake because I haven’t cooked anchovies in a long time and it was a fishy experience (but the flavor was still good).
- A couple of anchovies (canned in olive oil).
- A clove of garlic, minced
- Parsley, coarsely chopped
- Linguini (any type of pasta works)
While the pasta is boiling, brown the garlic in a pan and then add the anchovy. Cook until the anchovies melt. Add the paprika, dill, and coarsely chopped parsley. Mix into the pasta when cooked (I mixed mine in after taking the picture).