Tag Archives: salsa

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.

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!

Fish Tacos

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.

Fish Tacos

  • 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)
  • Paprika
  • 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.

Tofu… Not Just a Bland White Blob

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:

  1. 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)
  2. I can’t say it enough: plant protein is way more eco-friendly than animal protein.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. Reduce deforestation (which takes place for cattle raising in other countries–> the #1 cause)
  6. Less methane emissions from cattle–>less cattle = less methane emissions.
  7. 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
  • Paprika
  • 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

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).