Enjoy a Meatless Day

 

Start this week with a meatless Monday. Cooking meatless gives you a new fun challenge.

Meatless uses less carbon
In solidarity for a meatless day.

I love meatless Monday. It forces me to think about something different, and Monday is a good day to try a new vegetarian dish.  Today I am making a delicious split pea vegan soup. See the recipe here. It would be a miracle if you had the ingredients, but if you have some carrots, celery and beans or lentils you can create something rich using this recipe. We are all into substitutions right now and you can do this! Be creative and have fun, and give yourself something new to think about.

Beans and lentils cause 34 times LESS climate pollution than beef, and they are healthier for you! Read at NRDC.

It has been amazing how popular beans have been in this crisis. I hope you are enjoying and making healthy food choices. During this coronavirus crisis we need to be keeping our immune systems strong. Make a big deal out of what you are making for dinner, and enjoy a meatless day!

 

 

Earth Day Kindness

earth dayNature is not cancelled, pollinators are not cancelled, blooming trees and plants are not cancelled. There is a whole world of beauty outside our homes and from our windows. On this fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, celebrations are going virtual, but as individuals I hope we can each think about what our wonderful world means to us. We are all connected and our collective action against Coronavirus is working.  Let the healing of our Earth and our people begin, and lets put our collective action together to make a better world. Because we are all connected let’s come out of this crisis stronger as a people and stronger as a society.  Our resilience will get us through this.
I have a daily activity for everyday as we celebrate and count down to Earth Day. I hope you will join me. Please have fun, connect to nature, experience the hope of spring, be kind, and be part of a healing world!


Meatless Monday

vegan food
Quinoa Vegetable Stew

Collective action to reduce our meat consumption*** can make a big difference. Monday is a good day to try a new vegetarian dish. Find a recipe for Lentil Cacciatore here.  It has been amazing how popular beans have been in this crisis. The grocery store shelves for beans are still empty, and I hope we are cooking and making healthy food choices. Enjoy a meatless day!

 

Plastic-free/Zero waste Tuesday

end food waste
Help the environment by reducing food waste

Spending the day at home makes it easy to be plastic-free. Always use real dishes, utensils and glasses/cups. Make Tuesday the day to use up food left-overs from the week. Create wraps, soups or a stew from your left overs. Before the Coronavirus  40% of food was wasted in the United States. With so many hanging out at home I suspect that number is now lower. Let’s save water, labor and energy and continue to reduce food waste.

 
Water Wednesday

poster for clean water
What can we do to keep our water clean?

Clean water and water use have become crucial  topics. Flooding and droughts are happening everyday, and we all have a right to clean drinking water. Become aware of your water usage and how lucky you are to have inexpensive clean drinking water. Water Wednesday is to concentrate on our water usage. It is a day to pick up litter, sweep our sidewalks, and clean debris from our storm drains. Redirect your drainspouts onto your lawn, and figure where you could plant a raingarden?Is there a place in your yard or porch/balcony you could add some native plants the bees and butterflies love?  Collective positive energy works!


Thoughtful Thursday
Everyday should be kind and thoughtful, but make a special effort today. Our collective actions for kindness can make a difference. Put water in your bird baths, fill your bird feeders, check-in with someone you haven’t seen or heard from in awhile. Be kind and smile.


Friday Fun

Common Wood-nymph

Become totally engaged in your surroundings. Create a scavenger hunt: look for sidewalk art, a butterfly, a beautiful tree. Look for blooming flowers, a bird building a nest, something that surprises you or a special cloud. Everyone that finds something new wins!


Singing Saturday
What sounds of nature catch your attention? I have birds singing outside my window. Ducks are flying overhead, frogs and crickets will sing soon. Maybe the wind or a rushing creek give you peace.  Listen for an enjoyable sound, or maybe listen for complete quiet. Find peace in nature.

Spiritual Sunday

find beauty
Collective action can create a healthier and happier world.

What ever your spiritual practice, nature can heal us. Today find beauty and love whether through the gospel, through a poem or picture, time outside or a meditation. Dare to dream. Spend the day focusing on what you love and finding beauty in your day. If the weather permits go for a long walk. What do you love, how can you have more of what you love in your life? Find quiet beauty from your walk or from your window. Wishing you peace.

***”Now is the time to try out any plant-based recipes you’ve saved. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants that keep your immune system strong, and they have a lower carbon footprint, too. For example, beef is about 34 times more climate pollution–intensive than beans and lentils, pound for pound. If you’re finding it hard to keep your produce fresh given your newly limited shopping habits, get creative. Whir brown bananas into smoothies, or simmer soft tomatoes into sauce. There are plenty of ways to salvage fruits and veggies slightly past their prime. So boost your repertoire. Share recipes with friends. And come out on the other side of this crisis a climate-friendly chef.” NRDC

I have a diet for you!

Planet Earth Diet

A Seven Day Diet Challenge!

Get ready for Monday, the best day of the week to plan for sustainable food. Instead of trying this diet and that diet, how about considering the Planet Earth Diet when you choose your meals and purchase groceries. Monday is the best day to start! An international panel of scientists has just finished their study on what is needed for health and sustainable diets. We need to change our eating habits, reduce food waste and improve the way we produce food. “The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently getting this seriously wrong,” said Tim Lang, a food scientist at the City University of London, and one of the authors.

For some of their thoughts on how we can be healthier and more sustainable. the  researchers have prescribed a new diet for the planet: more vegetables, less meat, fresh fruit, whole grains, give up sugar, and waste less.

Below are some good ideas from the Seattle Times:

Reduce meat and dairy. Reduce doesn’t have to mean eliminate. Meat and dairy are excellent sources of protein and essential nutrients, so if you enjoy these foods and feel good when you eat them, continue to include them in your diet. But many people eat more red meat than is recommended for good health. If all — or most — typical eaters reduced their meat and dairy intake by swapping a few servings a week for plant-based protein foods with low-carbon footprints — like beans, lentils and soy foods — we could have a large collective impact. So if you’ve been meaning to observe “Meatless Monday” but never quite followed through, there’s no time like the present.

More fruits and vegetables

Eat more fruits and vegetables. Local is best, but not the easiest in the winter.

Reduce packaging. Broccoli has a small carbon footprint, but broccoli florets packaged in a bag or plastic container have a much larger footprint than a whole head of broccoli. It’s the packaging that makes a difference.

Reduce food waste. In this country, we waste about 40 percent of the food produced. Meal planning can help.

Give it a seven day challenge. Good luck!

Good tips on eating sugar-free here.

It’s Monday, Go Meatless!

It’s Meatless Monday
Animal protein production requires more than eight times as much fossil-fuel energy than production of plant protein. Meat and cheese production also requires large amounts of pesticides, chemical fertilizer, fuel and water. The animals generate toxic manure and wastewater that can pollute our groundwater, rivers, lakes and streams. The number one way you can reduce your carbon food print is by eating less meat and less dairy.” Do It Green Minnesota

Reduce your meat consumption, and also reduce your food waste. If everyone does a small amount it can make a big difference!

Meatless Monday, Think Climate and Waste!

Climatarian diet involves choosing what you eat based on the carbon footprint of the 13086949_1065267483539895_4417987934062182771_ofood, and using your power as a consumer to drive down the production of beef and lamb which have the biggest impact on our climate.  A climatarian is about eating local food to reduce transportation and reducing food waste.

 

 

 

My easy suggestions on being a Climatarian:

  • Walk or take the bus to purchase groceries.
  • Participate in Meatless Monday, and go meatless other days, also!
  • Eliminate beef and reduce cheese consumption.
  • Work to reduce all food waste and compost any food waste you have.
  • Choose minimal packaging, and recycle as much as possible.
  • Use real dishes, and reuse jars and products.
  • I love “clean out” the refrigerator stir fry and ideas from Tom Colicchio
  • Thoughts from Huffington Post
  • Shop food co-ops and eat locally grown foods, and grow and preserve your own food.

 

 

 

Climatarian, A New Resolution!

Lentil Stew for Meatless Monday
Lentil Stew for Meatless Monday (lentils from Montana, carrots and onions grown in Minnesota)

My series on reducing waste continues, #31daysoflesswaste

What is a Climatarian?

A Climatarian diet involves choosing what you eat based on the carbon footprint of the food, and using your power as a consumer to drive down the production of beef and lamb which have the biggest impact on our climate.  A climatarian is about eating local food to reduce transportation and reducing food waste.

Climatarian defined in NYT’s top food words 2015: http://nyti.ms/1SZ0jFc see http://bit.ly/goclimatarian for more info

What on Earth is a climatarian?

http://www.climates.network/climatarian

https://health4earth.com/meatless-mondays/

My easy suggestions to become a Climatarian

  • Celebrate Meatless Monday, and a few other days also
  • Shop food co-ops and eat locally grown foods.  Even in December I can find foods  grown in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  • Walk or take the bus shopping, and grow and preserve your own food
  • Eliminate beef and reduce cheese consumption
  • Compost all food waste

 

Cut food waste day 12, Meatless Monday

My series, 31 days of less waste continues:

I love risoto
I love risotto

Clean out the Refrigerator Risotto
Food waste is a waste of energy. Growing shipping and packaging of products takes lots of energy. What are your ways to reduce food waste?
I have always been intimidated by risotto, but after my recent trip to Eastern Europe and many delicious meals, I knew I could become good at making risotto.
This is my vegan, Meatless Monday recipe. Serve with fruit, salad and a veggie patty. Top with whatever nuts you might have, the garnish of cheese will make it vegetarian, not vegan.

Clean out the Refrigerator Risotto
– 1 small onion or leftover onion
– 1 cup rice (I use brown, white rice is easier and faster)
– 2 cups of water or more
– 1 clove garlic (optional)
– vegetables or leftovers to use up (I used collard greens , parsley, celery, and carrots)
– 1 tsp. salt
– garnish with nuts (optional)
– oil for browning onions and veggies. I use olive or coconut.
Process:
Stir fry onion in oil until it starts to brown, add vegetables and continue to stir fry for few minutes, next add rice for about 3 minutes and salt. Throw in any other left overs. Next, I add about 1/2 cup of warm water, stirring every few minutes, and adding more warm water as the water is absorbed. When the rice is soft and creamy, it is ready to serve. About 30-35 minutes.
Easier method:
After the rice and vegetables are slightly browned add the 2 cups water and place in an oven dish in the oven @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!