#7: Eating in Season

My enthusiasm for discovering where my food comes from lingers on.

As I move from Skinny Bitch to The Omnivore’s Dilemma, my enthusiasm for discovering where my food comes from lingers on. So far I’m learning a lot about corn, and how pretty much everything non-plant that we eat contains some form of it. Which is interesting since there is very little of nutritional value in corn. Hmm.

What I’m excited about this year that’s new in my life is eating according to the seasons. Since we started taking the vegetable basket at our doorstep once a week, we’ve been sort of forced into it. Not only do we find the challenge of finding recipes for all of these vegetables we’ve never tried (or sometimes even heard of) exciting, but we also love learning about what is growing now—and in our region. In other words, even though you can buy pineapple at the grocery store in the cold winter months, it’s not in season, and therefore our bodies don’t need it. That is what is eye-opening for me. Our bodies are in great harmony with the earth. We sleep when it’s dark and rise when it’s light. Why fight the earth when it comes to eating what it provides? We have to go with it. So if you don’t like leafy greens, the winters will be long for you!

Continue reading “#7: Eating in Season”

#6: How You Can Save the World While You Work!

Don’t say there’s nothing you can do. Speak up, and things can change.

I am trying so hard to save this planet for my children. I’m always looking for MORE ways I can conserve, renew, reuse, contribute, learn, share…. My husband rode his bike to work today. It’s a long ride through a big city—so he’s been talking about it for a while, but today he really did it. I was so proud, but so nervous. All those people driving while blabbing on their phones—I love the earth, but I love Mike more, and I begged him to be on hyper-alert for hazardous situations the entire way. This is a man who didn’t know he cared so much about the environment until we met 8 years ago. Now he heads up the “green team” at his office.

Do NOT say there’s nothing you can do. Speak up, and things can change. In most cases, people simply haven’t yet thought of the things you might suggest. We’re too busy to initiate change. But all it takes is starting a conversation. Mike went to his HR person and set up a meeting. He brought up all the points and ideas we had come up with in one fail swoop, and what do you know? HR said, hey, yeah, we could definitely put a few of these things into action… Let’s give you a budget and see what we can do. Being “green” is HIP now. Offices WANT to appear to care.

Continue reading “#6: How You Can Save the World While You Work!”

#5: Nut Burgers!

A high point in our quest for a kinder diet.

If you haven’t already heard me raving about these, hear me now. These nut burgers are fantastic (thank you, Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian!). As Mike said, “I can’t believe how long this recipe has been sitting in our house unmade!!”

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews—whatever nut tickles your fancy (we use walnuts and they are awesome)
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice or raw rolled oats
  • 2 T ketchup, miso, tomato paste, nut butter, or tahini (we use tahini)
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2T EV olive oil (or other neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn)

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Chop the onion in a food processor. Add the nuts and rice or oats and pulse to chop, but not too finely. Add the binder (ketchup, etc.), spices, and egg. Process briefly. Add a little liquid (e.g., water, stock, soy sauce, or wine) if necessary; mixture should be moist but not loose.
  2. Let the mixture sit a few minutes if you have the time, then shape it into 4 to 6 patties. Put the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the burgers to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, more or less undisturbed, then turn. Lower the heat a bit and cook on the other side 3 or 4 more minutes, or until firm.
  3. Serve on buns, with your sauce or fixings of choice! (We use a raspberry chipotle sauce—yum!)

Vary these by substituting up to ½ cup sesame, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds for half of the nuts. Or make it vegan by omitting the egg and adding a ½ sheet of crumbled Nori Chips to the food processor (use miso or nut butter instead of ketchup, and soy sauce for the liquid).