1. Meatless Mondays – Eggless Salad

    Posted on July 30, 2012 by Allie

    The Greenists are on vacation.  Please enjoy this recycled post.

    Only bloggers will understand the odd urge to photograph your lunch before you eat it so you can share with your readers.  Last night, I had a half-brick of tofu left over from dinner, and decided to whip up some eggless salad.  As I was sitting down to eat it just now, I thought, “Oh!  I should write about this,” so I snapped a picture (the light is terrible today, so please excuse the cruddy picture) and here I am writing about my lunch, while it sits on the kitchen table waiting for me.

     

    This isn’t any sort of formal recipe, just something I remember making as a kid.  There is a slight lingering tofu taste, so if you don’t like tofu, you probably won’t love this, but it’s a super easy alternative to egg-salad — no boiling required — and a great way to use up leftover tofu.

    I had the food processor out already, so I dropped the tofu in there to mash it up, but you can use a fork to mash it.  Add about 1/2 a teaspoon of curry powder, 1/2 a teaspoon of dried dill, 2-3 tablespoons of canola oil mayo, and salt and pepper to taste.  You can add other spices like cumin, coriander powder, or basil, if you’d like.  Mix well and serve as you would traditional egg salad. I like to make it the night before, so the tofu has time to really absorb the spices.

    I decided to hollow out the seeds of a tomato from our CSA bag and scoop it in there.  I’ll only eat half of it today, and save the rest for lunch tomorrow, because I probably don’t need to eat half a brick of tofu in one sitting.

    Okay, I’m going to eat lunch now.  :)

  2. Seed Saving

    Posted on July 26, 2012 by Howling Hill

    The Greenists are on vacation.  Please enjoy this recycled post.

    One bonuses of participating in any CSA is the availability and access to seeds that are not genetically modified or altered. Thus, I have been seeding some of the bounty from my CSA. So far I have two types of tomato (above), yellow watermelon, honeydew melon, and a couple different types of squash and peppers. All were locally and organically grown here in New Hampshire. I also have all the seeds I ordered earlier this year but didn’t plant because of The Move to Boston.

    Seeding the vegetables and fruits is an excellent way to preserve harvests, genetic diversity, and to save some money.

    To seed a vegetable isn’t particularly difficult. Most times all one has to do is put seeds aside — making sure each seed is devoid of any vegetable matter — when cutting one open. Tomatoes, however, can pose a particular challenge for first time seeders. It took me a while to learn the process. I share it with you my fellow Greenists because I’m awesome (and contrite =)

    First, cut open the tomato(es) and scoop out the seeds. Pull as much of the goo away from the seeds as possible. Then take the seeds and put them in a glass jar (plastic would work but then you get the plastic chemicals leeching problem…) with some water. Let the seeds sit in the sun for a week or two until the goo pulls away from the seeds and the seeds sink to the bottom. Go ahead and agitate the jar on occasion. Once the seeds have separated from the goo, carefully pour out the water and place the seeds on a towel to dry out. Once dry, put them in a bag for the next year after labeling the seeds. If you have more than one variety you are seeding this is very important unless you like surprises.

    Knowing Wolf and I are moving from our beloved Howling Hill to the urban jungle makes my soul cringe. I am not a city person but I will adapt as I have to other changes. I am, after all, human. And humans adapt. And so do plants. We all adapt quite well, actually. I assume that’s why we (plants, animals, and everything else) are alive today: because we adapted to the changes and made the best of present conditions. To bring part of my CSA with me is a comfort. To know I can grow some of the lushness of the food I ate this summer is a fantastic way to bring Howling Hill to Boston. It connects me to the land, connects me to Mother Earth, and connects me to the CSA.

    On a completely unrelated note, our well went dry. Follow our waterless journey at Howling Hill.

  3. Meatless Mondays – Mixing Bowl Salad

    Posted on July 23, 2012 by Allie

    The Greenists are on vacation.  Please enjoy this recycled post.

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    Meat-Free Monday doesn’t have to involve a fancy recipe or a lot of work.  Sometimes, it’s nice to just have a simple, throw together meal.  Back in my single days, my favorite easy meal was what I called mixing bowl salad.

    Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like — a salad so big that it’s made and served in a mixing bowl.

    Mixing bowl salad varies depending on mood, and the contents of the fridge, but (in addition to lettuce) can include any combo of the following:

    • roasted red peppers
    • fresh peppers
    • tomatoes
    • avocados
    • left over veggies, quinoa or rice
    • olives
    • walnuts
    • slivered almonds
    • the broken bits from the bottom of a bag of tortilla chips
    • crumbled hard boiled egg
    • cheese
    • sun dried tomatoes
    • dried cranberries
    • sunflower seeds
    • beans

    My favorite dressing combo is some oil and vinegar mixed with a little sea salt, pepper, and tons of oregano.

    The point is to make a salad that you can totally pig out on.  I promise, you won’t miss the meat.

  4. Beer Review: Fuller’s Organic Honey Dew

    Posted on July 20, 2012 by Jacob

    The Greenists are on vacation. Please enjoy this recycled post.

    Image credit: thebeernut.blogspot.com

    I should warn you, my being new to the Greenists and all, that I am a beer geek. I see a Guinness and think “light beer.” (It’s actually lower in alcohol and calories than Budweiser.) I’ve taken notes on every single new beer I’ve ever tasted.  I once spent a week working in the brew house of a brewpub for free just so I could see what it was like.

    That being said, I’m not a jerk, so I’m not going to belittle your beer choices. Heck, I even accept my uncle’s offers of Miller High Life on occasion. Just because I like the finer ales in life doesn’t mean I have to be an antisocial blowhard about it. I’m also going to refrain from beer geek speak in this review. Honestly, a lot of beer geek jargon, like the phrasing you see in wine reviews, comes across sounding like gibberish to almost everyone outside of a small subculture of people.

    Okay, enough of the warnings and explanations. The beer is Fuller’s Organic Honey Dew. The brewery describes this as being 100 percent organic, meaning every ingredient and all of every ingredient was organic. From what I’ve gleaned from some of the brewers I’ve talked to, this is actually a big deal as a beer is actually allowed to be labeled “organic” even when not all of the ingredients are organic. This originally was intended to make allowances for the fact that organic ingredients for beer were not always easy to come by, although according to several brewers I’ve talked to, the selection is quickly increasing and the quality is rather good.

    When I was assigned this review (Greenists Julie and Courtney are friends of mine and aware of my obsessive-compulsive love of craft beer), I was pretty sure that what I was going to taste was going to be decent, at least. Fuller’s, from an American perspective anyway, is British beer, and unlike their cuisine, the Brits are known for being able to brew up a tasty beer. Honey Dew did not disappoint.

    The Honey Dew is a golden ale, the lightest (in flavor and color) beer style outside of pale lagers like Budweiser and European Pilsners. They’re also lower in bitterness and easy drinkers. This beer definitely lives up to that standard. This is going to be richer than your typical American-style lager (although it’s exactly the same in alcoholic strength) but I don’t think anyone who can handle a Newcastle Brown or Budweiser American Ale is going to have the slightest bit of trouble knocking back a Honey Dew. In most honey ales I’ve had there’s a slight honey to the aroma and maybe a little sweetness in the flavor, but that’s usually it. The Honey Dew, on the other hand, really shows off the Argentinean honey in the aroma and the flavor. Honestly, there are moments when it seems like I’m drinking a mead, a traditional alcoholic drink made by fermenting honey mixed with water. Honestly, because there are some similarities in flavor between meads and wines, there’s a chance that people who are more comfortable with wine than beer could use this as a crossover beverage. Just don’t forget that in the end that this is first and foremost a beer.

    Fuller’s Organic Honey Dew is expected to hit the shelves sometime this month and is has a suggested price range of $3.49 and $4.49. That’s a little pricier than the average beer, but, like other Fuller’s products, it will be in 16.9 oz. bottles instead of the standard 12 oz. bottles that are standard in American breweries.

  5. Meatless Mondays – Vegetarian Chilaquiles

    Posted on July 16, 2012 by Allie

    The Greenists are on vacation.  Please enjoy this recycled post.

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    While there are a glut of bad Italian restaurants in our neighborhood, there was only one good Mexican Restaurant on our side of town.  Last week, when we went to grab dinner, IT WAS CLOSED!  FOR GOOD!  I guess I’ll have to make my own chilaquiles.

    I found a great recipe for Vegetarian Chilaquiles on Emily Skinner’s website.   I don’t crush the chips when I make chilaquiles.  I make layers out of the full chips.

    Make it in a glass casserole dish for  more efficient cooking.

  6. Green Guilt: Just Let It Go

    Posted on July 12, 2012 by Melissa

    The Greenists are on vacation.  Please enjoy this recycled post.

    Roof over their heads or organic food in their tummies? You know my answer.

    Last night, I threw out a glass spaghetti sauce jar. The day before that, I bought two new Pack & Play sheets (buy one, get one – plus I had a 20% off coupon) without checking Craigslist first. Last week when I went grocery shopping, I didn’t buy any organic food AND I bought generic Dawn instead of my usual Seventh Generation. Oh, and I’m currently using Tide instead of a natural brand of laundry detergent. Are you shocked yet? Gasping for air and shouting to yourself, “And you call yourself a Greenist?” Well, I do call myself a Greenist…and yes, I’m experiencing a lot of green guilt right now – that feeling of I know I can do better. I know I can do more. But allow me to explain . . . It came down to money. My family recently moved to another state and I am currently staying at home with my two children. With our new single salary household, I find myself having to sacrifice some green luxuries. Organic veggies, for example, are typically $1.00-$5.00 more than conventional vegetables. Do I prefer organic food? Yes! I know it is better for my body and for the environment. But I need to watch my spending; I can get more fruits and vegetables if I choose the less expensive alternative. Do I want to pollute with generic dish soap? No way! But how do I explain to my kids that I can’t buy them apple juice because I chose to spend the $3.00 on natural dish soap instead? Not to mention, I hardly ever find coupons for green products in the Sunday paper (search for them on manufacturer’s webpages instead).

    My husband and I were discussing this situation the other night and in my complaints of having to let go of some of my favorite green products (like a $20 baby wash), I accused him of not supporting the green movement. He replied with, “I do support the green movement! But I have to support my family first.” His statement got me thinking about my priorities, the first of which are my children. I want to do all I can to build them a better world – they are the entire reason I became more green in the first place. My husband must have sensed my conflict because he rushed in and pointed out all of the little things we do to help the environment. “We can’t recycle right now. There is no curbside recycling in our new neighborhood and there is a fee to use the recycling center. But you are reusing things more, like the glass sauce and salad dressing containers.” He pointed out a few other things:

    1) If I think I can make it or bake it, I don’t buy it. I’ve been bakinghomemade breads, pitas, bagels, sweets, and tortillas. I’ve been whipping together salad dressings and granola and even made a little homemade peanut butter the other day! So much cheaper, greener (no packaging waste), and tastier! Additionally, now that I’m baking more I’ve been able to eliminate spending on scented soy candles – the house ALWAYS smells like something good! Now, if only I could figure out how to bake Cheerios . . .

    Homemade Amish White Bread

     

    2) We are still using cloth diapers and cloth wipes. I wash them with 1/4 cup of Tide. I’ve found that natural detergents just don’t clean diapers as well as Tide does. Read any diaper board . . . the parents who use natural detergents seem to be continually stripping their diapers and complaining that they still smell after washing – what a waste of water, energy, detergent, time and money.

    3) I stopped buying lotions and creams. Everyone gets to use (or choose not to use) the Coconut Oil now!

    4) The boys share a bath. Not to mention, now that I’m a stay at home Mom, I don’t have the time to take a long shower (if I’m lucky enough to get one at all!).

    5) Now that I’m no longer commuting to work for 1 hour/day, I only need to fill up my gas tank every other week, instead of every week.

    6) All of our dish rags vanished during our move! Instead of buying new ones, I’m knitting rags from leftover cotton yarn from a previous knitting project.

    7) We still rock the reusable shopping bags, napkins, and homemade cleaning products. As well as a lot of other tiny things that might just be making a difference (like using Mason Jars for drinking glasses . . . and for storing homemade jam!).

    Even though I can’t afford to buy a new hybrid or spend $5-6/gallon on organic milk right now (oh, but it tastes so good!), I can still be a Greenist. It’s not my fault that the condo development we are renting in will not allow me to hang a clothesline or compost. I need to shake the green guilt and be proud of what I can do. I can support the green movement and my family – both of them will just have to sacrifice a little bit for now.

  7. Meatless Mondays – Tofu Tostadas

    Posted on July 9, 2012 by Allie

    The Greenists are on vacation.  Please enjoy this recycled post.

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    This is a great “intro to tofu” recipe. If you’ve tried tofu before and thought it tasted like feet, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I’ve included the brands I use, in case you’re curious.

    Ingredients:

    1. Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. Cook over medium-high heat in 2-3 tablespoons of canola oil until browned slightly.
    2. Add black beans
    3. Mix in taco seasoning and 2/3 cup water. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 9-10 minutes.
    4. Heat refried beans in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
    5. Spread refried beans on the tostada shells, then layer tofu & black bean mixture.
    6. Top with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, etc.

    When I made this, my husband and I pigged out on tostadas and still had enough to pig out again at lunch the next day, so I think this should serve four or five people easily. It’s quick and easy and I swear the tofu doesn’t taste at all like feet.

  8. Using Those Summer Fruits

    Posted on July 5, 2012 by Dianne

    The Greenists are on vacation.  Please enjoy this recycled post.

    During the summer I love to make desserts that are centered around fruit. You can even add fruit to salads. You can go really easy and simply enjoy the fruit on its own or perhaps with a little whipped cream. Or how about a little ice cream? There are so many things you can do with fresh fruit this time of year!

     

    Peaches are a particular favorite of mine to play around with this time of year. Also blueberries. In some areas you can even still find strawberries.Granita is a particular favorite that I like to make this time of year and can be made with many different fruits. It’s all about simply scraping the mixture as it freezes.

    Another thing I like to do when fruit is in season is to freeze some to use later. I freeze strawberry and rhubarb together, along with strawberries by themselves. I freeze blueberries and they are actually good as a frozen treat in and of themselves and perfect for use in blueberry muffins later. Peaches can be frozen too for cobbler or ice cream. These frozen fruits can be used to make smoothies, which make the perfect breakfast or snack on the go.

    What is available now where you live? What do you like to do with your summer fruits? Do you have an tips or ideas of how to use those summer fruits?

  9. Green Garden Hack

    Posted on July 2, 2012 by Jody

    The Greenists are on vacation.  Please enjoy this recycled post!

    Well, it’s the middle of July again and if your garden is anything like mine, you just can’t water enough.  And even if you do keep up with watering, it only takes one very hot day to destroy months of progress as your garden wilts in the sun.

    Of course, someone is always willing to sell you something to solve your problems, but why purchase something when you can simply re-purpose something you already have?

    What You’ll Need:

    1. wine bottle
    2. thirsty plants

    Simply fill the wine bottle with water, quickly flip it upside down and push the open end of the bottle into the dirt.  Depending on how hot it is, and how much your plants like water, this simple trick can save you a few (and sometimes several) days of watering.

    This trick works especially well with patio plants and seedlings you are trying to establish- I don’t think my tomato plants would have ever survived without it- but it also works well as a supplement for especially sunny areas that might need just a little more water than other areas in your garden.

    So okay, your garden may look like you hosted a wine party, but the bottles are often small enough to be hidden behind larger plants or you can pick only the green and brown wine bottles to better blend into your garden landscape.

    Wine bottles not your thing? If you are working on getting seeds started, check out this handy irrigation technique (scroll down near the bottom of the post)- I might have to start collecting 2 liter bottles for this very purpose!

    Happy Gardening!

  10. Meatless Mondays: Pasta Primavera

    Posted on June 25, 2012 by Courtney

    Ingredients:

    3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
    2 medium zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
    2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
    1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
    1/4 cup olive oil
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
    1 pound farfalle (bowtie pasta)
    15 cherry tomatoes, halved
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

    2. On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.

    3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

    4. Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

    Recipe courtesy of Food Network

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It

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According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.


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