Happy Earth Day?
These days, the fight to protect the environment has had some setbacks. To put it mildly. But rather than throw your hands up in despair, I believe it is time to double down. Keep doing whatever you can to reduce your carbon footprint, because it matters. Going meatless is a powerful action that helps reduce the toll our lifestyle takes on the environment. For Earth Day, try the Meatless Monday approach.
While you’re at it, you can try my recipe to help reduce food waste. We can all help with saving the Earth just by eating everything we buy (which is harder than it sounds!)
Rather than quoting a bunch of numbers for you here, I’ll just give you a link to the Meatless Monday website, where you can dig deeper into the statistics. Suffice to say, we need to make some changes to how we live on the Earth.
For my part, may I suggest that you explore the delicious world of plant-based cuisine? It’s been my life’s work to create recipes that entice even die-hard meat lovers to have a bite. Then another, then another. Why stop?
Here’s me on TV, making meatless monday dishes.This episode was all about the Year of Pulses, and featured two delicious bean soups with breads to pair them with!
Cut Back on Food Waste for Earth Day
So, to show you just how easy it can be, I’m going to drag out the funky, wilted, embarrassing veggies in the back of my vegetable drawer. Yes, like you, I buy produce, cook parts of it, and then end up with perfectly good veggies languishing in the darkness. So, to prevent food waste, we all need a few strategies for using these precious resources up before they go to the landfill.
Here is my sad little pile of vegetables that have seen better days:
And here are the trimmed veggies, chopped for a quick stir-fry:
The trimmings go into the compost bin. I’ve been using compostable bags to stash my trims so that I can donate them to our city-side compost pick up, because my compost bin is full and I’m giving it time to finish rotting for this summer’s garden.
Millet, Edamame, and Tahini
For a low-impact stir fry, I dug out some frozen, American grown edamame. Then, I cooked some millet. Millet is an ancient grain, one that grows with little water, on poor soil, with very little need for any application of fertilizers. It’s grown in the USA, and if we all ate more of it, it would be grown somewhere near you, so let’s get into it.
Then, I made a super simple tahini sauce, just because you probably have a jar of tahini in the fridge, and it is a tasty way to make some leftover veggies appealing. I spiked it with turmeric for a lively color and because my brain needs all the help it can get.
A few minutes in a hot pan, and suddenly these funky, nearly spent vegetables became a delicious, colorful meal.
So, go meatless for Earth Day, and while you are at it, clear out that veggie drawer before you add more stuff to the landfill. I feel better knowing that all the energy that went into growing that wilted celery and slightly wrinkly jalapeno didn’t go to waste.
Happy Earth Day.
Use-It-Up Veggie Stir Fry with Edamame over Spiced Millet
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion, shallot or other allium
- 1 large garlic clove chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup millet
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups water
Tahini Stir-fry Sauce
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 cups chopped vegetables
- 1 cup edamame shelled, thawed
- 1 pinch salt
- Sriracha as needed
- For millet: In a 1 quart pot, heat the oil over medium heat, and add the onion or shallot and stir. When softened, add the garlic and stir for a minute, then add the paprika and millet and stir until the millet is hot and fragrant. Add the salt and water and raise the heat to bring to a boil. Cover tightly, and cook for 25 minutes. When all the water is absorbed, take off the heat and let stand for at least 5 minutes.
- For the sauce, combine the ingredients and stir, adding enough water to make a pourable sauce.
- For the stir-fry, heat a wok or saute pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and tilt the pan to coat the bottom. Add the vegetables and edamame and stir constantly until the veggies are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and stir.
- Serve over millet, drizzled with tahini sauce. Alternatively, you can toss the veggies with sauce before serving. Drizzle with Sriracha or other hot sauce as desired.