I’ve still got a few days to talk about Earth Day, right?
Sometimes I get it right for future post planning. Other times, not so much. Getting a round-up of appetizer favorites 2 weeks before the Superbowl? Excellent! The time I finally posted all my holiday favorites a day before Christmas… epic timing fail.
Well, here is another one to add to the list. My thoughts on Earth day and your diet, a good 5 days AFTER the holiday.
A dollar short and a day late. Or something like that.
Oh well, hopefully it’s not too late to chat about the subject because no matter what day it is, this is a pretty important topic.
I get asked about my dietary choices about 84329x per day so this is as good as a time as ever to chat about one of the biggest reasons I don’t do meat: planet earth.
Does it surprise you that our current food system is responsible for 1/3 of global greenhouse gas emissions?
I feel like this is one of those facts that we all “know”, we just don’t “know enough to change”. Or reduce. I’m not naive. While a good % of my clients are vegetarian, vegan or leaning that way- the rest are not. Not even close.
No worries, I don’t need to convert everyone to vegetarian or veganism. I don’t think that’s realistic and will lose the majority of folks on the way down. I am however a huge proponent of Meatless Monday, Tofukey Tuesday, or Vegan Before 6 campaigns. Simple ways that all of us can change our diets to help the earth, our health, and animals.
That’s really the main purpose of this blog/recipe corner. Making plant-based foods attractive, healthy and accessible. While reducing meat/cheese is one of the biggest impacts you can make to reduce your carbon footprint, it certainly isn’t the only one. In fact, our diets have just as much impact on the environment as the type of car we drive. Interested in decreasing your carbon footprint? Try one or all of the tips below:
- You bought it, you eat it.
About 25% of edible food is thrown away ever year! It’s enough to fill the Rose Bowl every single day. Planning ahead will help you reduce the amount of food you buy, so throw away less. If you find yourself with excess food, get creative! Most produce and made ahead meals can be frozen. You can throw extra produce into scrambles, stir-fry, pasta, or smoothies.
- Try to eat seasonally and regionally as often as you can.
Farmer’s Markets are a great source! If your food needs an airplane to get to you, it has a higher carbon footprint than local items. One of the biggest culprits: seafood and out of season produce. Not sure where your farmers market is located? Check out localharvest.org for a complete list of markets, CSA’s, and farm stands.
- Reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your consumption of beef and cheese.
Cows have a unique digestive system that generates methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 25% more powerful than carbon dioxide. Raising cattle also requires a significant amount of feed, water, and land. You don’t have to give up meat entirely to have an impact. If all Americans skipped meat and cheese once per week, it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
Not only are unprocessed foods better for you, they also contain less preservatives and wasteful packaging. Enjoy fruit, nuts, and seeds over processed snack mixes. Choose larger packaged options over small, individual sized servings. More bags, tags, and seals mean more waste in the landfills. A local co-op or bulk store is great for this! Bring mason jars or resuable bags and go to town on rice, quinoa, pasta, beans, and more. Not only do you save money in bulk, you also have the option to purchase only the amount you need. Perfect for trying out new recipes or tip #1!
What are your go-green tips? Let’s hear them!
Let’s have a drink, shall we?
I’m in full on vacation mode. We don’t leave for Europe for another 2 1/2 weeks (but who’s counting?) but I’ve already been practicing my phrases, eating dinner at 9, and enjoying lots of wine and gelato in between.
I mean, I need to prepare for the culture- right?
BL and I have split up the planning duties: he’s got transportation and activities, I have food and nightlife.
Clearly my sweetie understands me.
I have been pouring over trip advisor, Rick Steve podcasts, and countless books trying to figure out favorite local restaurants, picnic spots and cuisine of each region.
It’s been a tough few weeks.
(If you have any recommendations- let’s hear them!)
Since I will turn just about any event into a celebration, I’ve themed our weekend dinners- coinciding for each country we researched that day. Ah, life has been pretty fun lately.
Last weekend? Barcelona! Along with my Paella recipe (next week), I made this Sangria to sip on the porch Saturday night and then by the pool on Sunday.
If you’ve ever had Sangria, you understand the refreshing, addictive drink that it is. Red wine, fresh squeezed juice, lightly-sweetened, it’s easy to down a pitcher faster than you’d like.
This is my classic recipe, a simple version that I sometimes deviate from depending on the menu. It’s just as delicious with in-season berries, sliced plums, and peaches. I recommend allowing it to sit for at least 8 hours. If you don’t have that kind of time, be sure to serve it very-well chilled and muddle your fruit as you add it.
1 Bottle of red wine
2 medium oranges, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
2.5 tbsp. raw sugar
1 oz. brandy (or more if you like your Sangria a bit boozier)
2 Cups club soda, preferred but can use ginger ale or lemon-lime soda
Add 1 orange, 1/2 the lemon, sugar, and brandy to a pitcher. Lightly muddle until sugar is mostly dissolved and fruit is slightly broken down.
Add the red wine and remaining fruit. Chill for 6-8+ hours. To serve, add club soda and pour over ice. Garnish with fruit!
Now that temperatures have officially hit 90°, I’m more than ready to start introducing BBQ sandwiches into my diet again.
I’ve discussed my dilemma with most veggie burgers multiple times; most of the time they don’t live up to the hype and definitely don’t impress my omnivore friends. Thankfully, these BBQ sandwiches are not only perfect for a cookout, they are meaty and hearty as well. Tempeh is the perfect meat-alternative here. While I prefer making my own, store bought tempeh will do just fine. If your grocery store doesn’t stock tempeh- why not ask the produce manager? I couldn’t get it at our local Safeway so I asked the manager a few times and voila- they now stock it!
My stubbornness often works out.
No respectable BBQ sandwich is complete without coleslaw so I made this in batch in less than 10 minutes. Shredded coleslaw, carrots, little bit of Veganaise, splash of white vinegar, salt and pepper and you have homemade coleslaw by the time your tempeh is ready. If you want to make this dish even easier, thin out your favorite bottled BBQ sauce and pour over the chopped tempeh. Bake as directed below.
I liked this sandwich with big chunks of BBQ’ed tempeh but BL preferred the tempeh chopped even smaller. Oh that Midwest boy!
8 oz. tempeh
4 hamburger buns
1 recipe BBQ sauce, below
1 recipe Simple Coleslaw
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 tbsp. cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. chipotle powder
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1.5 tsp. cumin
Whisk all ingredients together.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Chop tempeh into whatever size you prefer. I slice it in 1/2, then in 1/2 width wise, then into strips. Lightly spray a glass pan. Add tempeh bits and pour BBQ sauce over, reserving 1/4 cup. Gently shake so that all tempeh pieces are covered.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until browned and caramelized. Remove tempeh from pan and toss with reserved 1/4 cup BBQ sauce.
Assemble the sammy! You know how to do this, right?
Are you excited for 50+ healthy cupcake recipes being posted today? Thank you Recipe Redux!
Today I am sharing with you one of my favorite cupcake flavors, Lemon Chia Poppyseed cupcakes.
I know that technically, citrus is a winter fruit but for some reason the smell of lemon always makes me thing of spring. I was gifted a huge bag of fresh lemons from a neighbors tree and thought these muffins would be the perfect way to use them up.
Because when life hands you lemons…. you make Lemon Chia Cupcakes!