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Go green with plant-based food for Earth Day

Posted: April 15, 2014 - 2:13pm  |  Updated: April 16, 2014 - 7:47am

Vegetarian eating is an effective and positive way to help animals, go green and adapt a healthier lifestyle. For some, it’s a way of living, for others it’s a part-time endeavor in which folks participate in Meatless Mondays –a once-a-week movement launched in 2003 in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. As a way to “help save the planet” and place the environment in the forefront, Meatless Mondays have become popular around the globe, with many organizations and communities supporting Meatless Monday programs in their schools, hospitals, work places and restaurants. Organizations such as Washington, D.C.-based The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the largest nonprofit organization advocating animal rights in the world, does much to support us in our efforts to make meatless meal choices, which, of course, makes a difference not only for animals, but for our environment, as well. In addition to using an excess of land and water, researchers report that the raising of animals destined for our dinner plates produce more greenhouse gas emissions than are generated by either industry or transportation. The HSUS staffers and friends make going meatless on Mondays deliciously simple by sharing some of their favorite recipes, a few of which you’ll find here. In addition to Meatless Monday, any of them would make fine eating on Earth Day, celebrated on April 22 since its founding in 1970. For more information on the work of The HSUS, including how to get a free copy of their Guide to Meat-Free Meals, visit http://www.humanesociety.org.

 

Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at kitchenade@yahoo.com.

Avocado, Quinoa and Edamame Salad

Recipe and photo courtesy Humane Society of the United States, adapted from "The New Vegan Cookbook" by Lorna Sass

1 cup quinoa

1 pound (3 cups) shelled edamame (fresh or frozen)

2 medium lemons

2 small, ripe avocados

1-2 garlic cloves, crushed, to taste

2 bunches radishes, halved

1 cup microgreens or basil

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon chili flakes

Salt and black pepper to taste

 

Prepare the quinoa by placing it in a saucepan with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 9 minutes. Drain in a fine sieve, rinse under cold water, and leave to dry. Throw the edamame into a pan of boiling water, bring back to a boil, and immediately drain in a colander. Refresh with cold water and leave to dry. Take the lemons and use a small sharp knife to slice off the top and base. Stand each one on a chopping board and cut down the sides, following the natural curve, to remove the skin and white pith. Over a large mixing bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the individual segments into the bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl with the segments.

 

(The goal is to get as much of the fruit and the juice—minus the peel and membrane—into the bowl.) Peel and stone the avocados. Slice them thinly, then add them to the bowl and toss to cover them in the lemon juice. Once the quinoa is dry, transfer it to the bowl with the avocados. Add the edamame, garlic, radishes, half the microgreens (or basil), cumin, olive oil, chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Toss very gently, without breaking the avocado. Add more salt and pepper as needed. Plate and garnish with the remaining microgreens or basil. Variations: You can also use fava beans instead of edamame. Prepare as above, but remove the skins of each bean after cooking by gently pressing each bean with your fingers to remove the skins. Serves 6

 

Nutrition

All figures are per serving (assumes 6 servings)

Calories: 354

Fat: 18 g

Carbs: 35 g

Fiber: 11 g

Protein: 14 g

Sodium: 78 mg

Black Bean, Mango and Avocado Salad

Recipe and photo courtesy Humane Society of the United States. This relish-like salad is delicious and festive and goes well with southwestern-style tortilla or corn dishes. Recipe adapted from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas.

1 (15- or 16-ounce can) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 medium avocado, cut into ¼-inch dice

1 mango, cut into ¼-inch dice*

½ red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice

1 to 2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

Minced fresh cilantro to taste, optional

 

Combine all the ingredients in a serving container. Stir together and serve. Serves 6.

 

*Note: If fresh mango isn’t available, look for mango in the frozen foods section of your supermarket. Let thaw overnight before using.

Nutrition

All figures are per serving (assumes 6 servings)

Protein: 4 grams

Calories: 154

Fat: 9 grams

Fiber: 5 grams

Carbs: 18 grams

 

For even more vegetarian recipes, check out VegRecipes.org.

Mike's Spicy Tomato Soup

Recipe courtesy Humane Society of the United States, http://www.humanesociety.org. Recipe by Mike Olds, Kingston, Wash. - honorable mention in The Humane Society of the United States' All Animals Meatless Monday Recipe Contest, 2013.

3 tablespoons olive oil

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

½ medium yellow onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, minced

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

½ cup red wine

2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes

Ample handful fresh basil, chopped into medium-sized pieces

1 cup low-salt vegetable broth

Crusty artisan bread or rolls for serving

Add the oil to a pan over medium heat and sauté the garlic, onion and celery until the garlic is golden and the vegetables are translucent. Add the red pepper, thyme, marjoram and wine, and cook until the mixture is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes with their juice and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, add most of the basil, and let it simmer for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. For a less chunky soup, carefully transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender, leaving space at the top, and puree it while holding down the lid. Return the mixture to the pan, add the vegetable broth, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a few more minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the remaining basil, and serve with crusty artisan bread or rolls. Serves 4.

 

Nutrition

All figures are per serving (assumes 4 servings)

Calories: 200

Fat: 14 g

Carbs: 20 g

Fiber: 4 g

Protein: 3 g

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