Friday, September 24, 2010

Meatless Monday Recipe-Vegetable Paella with Tofu

Vegetable Paella with Tofu

Ingredient List

Serves 6
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 7-oz. pkgs. spicy marinated tofu, finely diced
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 14-oz. can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 1/8 tsp. saffron, crumbled
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish


1. Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat. Add tofu when ripples appear in oil, and season with salt. Sauté 10 minutes, or until tofu is browned, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes, or until mushrooms release liquid and begin to brown.
2. Stir in carrots, corn, tomatoes, and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes more. Stir in rice, 2 1/4 cups water, and saffron. Bring paella to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with wok lid, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Add peas on surface (do not stir yet), cover, and allow peas to steam 1 to 2 minutes. Remove wok from heat, and stir in lemon juice and green onions. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information

Per : Calories: 375, Protein: 22g, Total fat: 12.5g, Saturated fat: 2g, Carbs: 45g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 569mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 5g

Found: Vegetarian Times September 2008

Sunday, September 19, 2010

October 21 - 22, 2010 Transporation Electrification conference features exhibit hall open to the public free of charge

Thursday October 21 and Friday October 22, 2010 the exhibit hall of the Electrification of Transportation Conference will be open to the public free of charge. 

The latest electric vehicles, chargers and other EV related items will be on display from 4 to 8 pm on Thursday and 9 am to 2 pm on Friday at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

Registration for the conference, October 22, 2010 from 8:30 to 4:30 is only $25.

Here is the full press release:

Advancing Transportation Choices and Economic Development

On October 21-22, 2010, the Alamo Area Council of Governments Clean Cities Coalition, in partnership with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, will conduct the first ever Advancing the Choice event on electrified transportation. The title of this year’s event is: Electrification of Transportation: Advancing Transportation Choices and Economic Development.

This event is being held to continue the steps towards building a region-wide alternative fuel infrastructure. By developing alternative fuel infrastructure we will create greater Texas energy security, job creation, and improvements in air quality. To maintain the momentum from previous years, this conference will educate local governments, utilities, businesses, the media, and the general public on the benefits of electrified transportation. With fuel prices back on the rise it is important that we demonstrate the potential cost savings of these new technologies to vehicle fleets and general public in the Alamo Area.

The event will provide attendees with a comprehensive overview of the following topics:

    * Economic, environmental and energy security drivers shifting the market’s move to electrified transportation
    * Which fleets are best candidates for successful electrified transportation programs
    * Information on rebates, tax credits, and grant programs for electric vehicles
    * Expected growth in electrification of transportation and related economic development opportunities
    * Overview of electric vehicles and electric vehicle supply equipment
    * Overview of electrified transit, bikes, personal vehicles, and fleet vehicles
    * Large exhibit hall to view the newest electric vehicles on the market!
    * Electrification of transportation update throughout the Texas cities

Record-high gas and diesel prices are compelling businesses and organizations to explore how to rein in fuel costs.  Besides saving green, many companies are also interested in driving green.  Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) fill the bill on both counts.  Utilizing electric transportation promotes energy security by reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.  Electric vehicles are domestically abundant and are becoming commercially available at a growing number of areas throughout the country.

Electrification of Transportation is a two-day, interactive event that provides a comprehensive overview on the economic, environmental and energy security rationale for using electrified transportation.  Available vehicles, funding opportunities, success stories and fuel station development will also be addressed. The event includes lunch and light refreshments, written materials and a large exhibit hall full of electric vehicles. The event is located in downtown San Antonio on the beautiful River Walk at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Meatless Monday Recipe-Farfalle with Tomato-Goat Cheese Sauce

Farfalle with Tomato-Goat Cheese Sauce
Serves 6; 30 minutes or fewer
Mild goat cheese lends a sophisticated tang to this creamy, orange-hued sauce. Tossed with tiny green peas, toasted pine nuts, and festive bow ties (it's fabulous with fettuccine and gnocchi too), the resulting dish is wonderfully easy and original. If your not a fan of goat cheese, try the recipe with Boson or low-fat cream cheese. You can also add a grating of Parmesan cheese before serving, if desired.
Now, I used an organic Cheddar cheese and hemp milk for the half-and-half, and the recipe came out so yummy! (for lack of a better word.) To make the recipe vegan, switch the dairy cheese for a non-dairy cheese and use the "creamy" hemp milk. Happy Eating!
12 oz. farfalle pasta (I used whatever pasta I had on hand)
1 cup frozen petite peas
2 Tbs. pine nuts
1/2 Tbs. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
1 1/4 cups prepared creamy tomato soup (I used 2 small canned "plain" tomato sauce)
1/4 cup non-fat or regular half-and-half
1 Tbs. dry white wine (optional)
3 oz. creamy mild goat cheese (6 Tbs.)
If using tomato sauce and hemp milk add 2 teaspoons of flour to help thicken the sauce
1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions until al dente, adding peas during the last three minutes of cooking. Drain in a colander, and set aside. Quickly return empty pot to same burner (with the heat off). Wait a few seconds until pot looks dry, then add pine nuts. Cook over medium heat 1 minute, or until lightly fragrant and lightly toasted. Transfer nuts to plate.
2. Add oil to a pot, and saute garlic over medium heat for 15 seconds, or until just beginning to brow. Stir in soup, half-and-half and wine, if using; bring to a brisk simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently 3 minutes, or until mixture is slightly reduced and begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. (If using hemp milk- add 2 teaspoons of flour to sauce to help thicken. I sifted the flour, so the sauce wouldn't be clumpy.) Add cheese, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the cheese is completely melted into sauce, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. Stir pasta, peas, pine nuts into sauce; toss well, and serve.
Per 1 cup serving: 341 cal.; 11 grams prot.; 7 grams total fat (3 grams sat. fat); 57 grams carb.; 7 mg chol.; 283 mg sod.; 3 grams fiber; 4 grams sugars
Found: Vegetarian Times October 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

"History will revere this kind of project" says Sologen Systems president. Moving forward to produce clean, less costly electrical power from certain abandoned natural gas wells.

In April 2010 we published a cryptic but popular article on Sologen Systems LLC"s plans to develop power from the heat and pressure found at the bottom of certain abandoned natural gas wells.   Although at the time Sologen's president, Frank Smith did talk to local groups and investors his company did not seek to hype the project though a typical public relations blitz. 

Our article hinted at the potential of the project but gave few details due to Mr. Smith's own restraint in avoiding splashy comments.  While the company still doesn't seem to be engaged in a major public information campaign, on September 7, 2010  Sologen's partner Green Well Power did issue a press release concerning a new agreement with Sologen.  This press release features Frank Smith's most expansive published statement on the potential of the project to date.

His statement on the potential place of the work in history is the sort of thing that seemed apparent as we listened to him in April but since he was not saying such things to the wider public at the time, our article remained circumspect.

Green Well Power's press release also goes into more detail about the project.  It explains that the project will include the harvesting of methane and the re-injection of water into ground formations as well as the harvesting of energy geo pressure and heat.  Our earlier article stated that the wells were in excess of 10,000 feet deep while this release specifies that the wells in question are at least 14,000 feet deep.

If this project works out it really may be seen as a pivotal one in movement toward truly renewable energy production.

Here is the release
Vancouver, Canada, 7 September 2010: Green Well Renewable Power Corp, (GWP) is pleased to report that it has agreed to a non exclusive license for its Total Flow Energy Conversion Technology (TFEC) by San Antonio based Sologen Systems LLC. Terms of the agreement require Sologen to undertake and complete the engineering,construction and testing of the commercial scale technology. In addition, Sologen will provide GreenWell with a 20% Net Profits interest in all projects where the technology is deployed.

Sologen Systems is engaged in the development of geopressured/geothermal (GPGR) energy resources found, in deep aquifers along the onshore US Gulf Coast. GPGR reservoirs are essentially subsurface reservoirs (+- 14,000 ft) containing hot pressurized brine saturated with dissolved methane (natural gas). Importantly, they contain three forms of energy:

(1) Chemical: methane gas dissolved in brine. Once separated from the brine it is then combusted to produce electricity in a gas turbine;
(2) Thermal: hot brines with temperatures reaching 350F can be used to produce electricity using proven Organic Rankine Cycle technology;
(3) Mechanical: high brine flow rates (over 20,000 barrels per day) and high wellhead pressures can be used to power GreenWell’s own TFEC technology to generate electricity.
Sologen plans to acquire and re-engineer wellbores in Texas where all three forms of energy can be harnessed. A U.S. Department of Energy Study confirmed that the recoverable energy potential of a GPGR well, based on flow rates of 20,000 bbls/day, are as follows: Chemical (2 Mw), Thermal (1 Mw) and Mechanical (500 Kw) ( approximate value: $250,000 per month). Once the energy has been extracted the water is re-injected into a lower pressure rock formation in the earth. Sologen expects to commission their first project in Q2, 2011.

Mr. Frank Smith, President of Sologen Systems LLC comments: “Sologen Systems is thrilled by this opportunity to take the Total Flow Energy Conversion Technology from prototype to commercial deployment. . The potential to generate megawatts of baseload renewable power from end-of-life wells along the U.S. Gulf Coast and elsewhere is immense. I believe history will revere this kind of project as a pivotal stepping stone on the path to a truly renewable energy driven society.”

Sologen systems LLC, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas was organized in 2008 to finance and develop solar, geothermal and geopressured energy resources in order to produce and sell clean, green electricity. For more information contact Frank Smith at 210-544-5452 or visit

GreenWell Renewable Power is a leading-edge alternative energy developer that is pioneering the production of electricity from depleted or end-of-life oil and gas wells. For more information contact Malcolm Bell at 604.921.2510 or Robert Young at 604.682.5123 or visit

On Behalf of the Board
Green Well Renewable Power Corp

J. Malcolm Bell, President and Director

Meatless Monday Recipe-Paprika Cauliflower Pita Pockets

Paprika Cauliflower Pita Pockets

Serves 4

  • 1 head cauliflower (2 lb.), cut into bite-size florets
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 small red onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 4 pita bread rounds, halved and warmed


  1. Steam cauliflower 7 to 9 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Heat oil, paprika, pepper, and salt in nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, 2 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes more. Stir in broth and cauliflower, and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice. Serve with pita halves.

Per SERVING: Calories: 318, Protein: 9g, Total fat: 11.5g, Saturated fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 46g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 663mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 6g

Found: Vegetarian Times- September 2007

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Scooter Cheatham to again teach legendary "Weedfeed" course starting September 24, 2010

Scooter Cheatham is one of those amazing Austinites. He found his life's work in 1974 and has been working on it ever since. He also teaches the Weedfeed. He used to teach it regularly but these days the work on his life's work takes up so much of his time that he doesn't get around to teaching it. This is the first time he has taught it in at least 2 years.

So, if you have the time and money this is the time to do it.

Here is the text of their pdf which I can't locate at the moment.

Weedfeed is Scooter Cheatham's legendary class on the Edible, Medicinal, and Otherwise Useful Wild Plants of Texas. The Fall Weed­feed and Spring Weedfeed classes are seven weeks packed with slide shows, field trips, native plants, wildflowers, food, the Weedfeed Ban­quet, and fun. The Speedy Weedfeeds are the half-day teaser/toe-in-the-water/refresher version. What it ain’t is about fertilizing your lawn or garden. In fact, after a healthy dose of Weedfeed, you’ll never look at your weeds (or any other plant) the same way again.

Scooter Cheatham is, among other things, the founder and director of The Useful Wild Plants Project, so he knows of what he speaks. He started teaching this class in 1974 not long after he founded the Useful Wild Plants Project (see below).

The Useful Wild Plants Project is a monumental research and publishing project on the economic botany of the southern United States and northern Mexico titled The Useful Wild Plants of Texas, the Southeastern and South­western United States, the Southern Plains, and Northern Mexico. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 are out and Volume 4 is on the way. The 15 volumes will cover 4,000 species (give or take a few). The treatments include botanical descriptions (we're told that they contain good Scrabble words), color pictures, range maps, common names, and thousands of uses beginning with archeological evidence and exploring the historic and current uses of these plants for foods, medicines, utilitarian applications, landscape uses, new crops, and more.

The class is 6 consecutive weeks of slide lectures, field trips, and campouts. Week 7 is the Weedfeed Banquet. There will be four or five Austin-area field trips (anywhere from a vacant lot in the middle of downtown to a park 40 or so miles away) and one or two weekend camping trips to distant lands (for a total of six). So if you sign up for the class, plan for a weekend or two out of town.

The slide lectures are Fridays at 7:00 p.m. at 4700 Loyola Lane, Suite 104 (corner of Manor Rd. and Loyola Lane). They cover the plants for the week in detail, with pictures, identification, and uses.

The Saturday field trips start at 8:00 a.m. We visit various Austin-area locations (anywhere from the ever-relocating center of town to 40+ miles away). We visit parks, country roads, vacant lots, yards, gardens, alleys, flower beds, curbsides, wherever looks interesting.

Usually the third and sixth weeks are trips to some distant and different location, though this can vary depending on what the plants are doing that season. We've camped and plant-watched in Big Bend, the Big Thicket, the Gulf Coast, and other botanical wonderlands.

Yum! Each person brings a dish (plus a different one for each guest they invite) made from wild plants (tame ingredients allowed too).

You'll have even more fun than you think you will. And learn more too.

If you put it off now, you'll put it off later.

If you put it off now, we might not be doing it the year you decide to take it.

Six weeks really isn't that long and you don't really need to sleep late on Saturday morning.

Everybody misses a class or two; review is built in. So if you have to leave town to pick up your Nobel Peace Prize or go to cousin Lulu-Belle's third wedding or Uncle Buck’s sentencing, don't sweat it, you'll catch back up.

You'll learn a lot and can then regale others with your new-found knowledge.

The planet post-Weedfeed will be an even more interesting place that it is pre-Weedfeed.

The other people in the class are really nice and really interesting and they'll think the same about you.

You might need to know this stuff. Really.

Weedfeed is made up of an eclectic assortment of people with a wide variety of interests and a desire to learn about what is around them (no, you don't need to know anything about botany to take this class). It is also made up of an eclectic assortment of people who otherwise might not ever meet each other and find out how interesting they are, even if they did vote for the wrong political candidate and/or have blue hair (which these days can be found both on grandmother types and punkers, both of whom are part of the Weedfeed contingent, thank you). You must be 18 or over to take the class.

HOW MUCH is tuition?
Tuition for the seven week Fall Weedfeed of 2010 is $495 per person for early registration and rudely rises to $525 if you procrastinate and pay after 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 17, 2010. Speedy Weedfeed is $75 per person. Space is limited. Prices may change without notice in the future. Specifics are announced when a class is scheduled.

WHEN is the next class?
This class starts Friday, September 24, at 6:30 p.m.

We do the long class in the spring and fall, but sometimes skip a season or two (or three) because of the writing and photography for the volumes. Speedy Weedfeeds occur as time permits. Email or call 512.928.4441 to be put on the notification list.

Sign the two page in small type No Naked Smoking Dogs With Guns Weedfeed Rule and Policy Form and return it with your payment. Call Lynn at 512.928.4441 or send an email to if you need a form. We can take cash, checks, and money orders. We do not take credit cards, IOUs, Monopoly money, or your first born. Nor do we barter, trade, work out payment plans, or sign you up for half a class. Make your tuition check out to Lynn Marshall. If you make it out to any other name it will be returned to you for replacement. Mail it to Lynn Marshall at 4700 Loyola Lane, Suite 104, Austin, Texas, 78723.

Questions? Call Lynn at 512-928-4441 or
Here is an interview with Lynn and Scooter on the Useful Wild Plant project: 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Meatless Monday Recipe-Brown Rice, Vegetable & Herb Gratin

Brown Rice, Vegetable & Herb Gratin
Serves 4; Vegetarian; 1 hour
What is great about this recipe, is that you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. I used mushrooms and yellow squash for carrots and baby corn cobs. If you switch the cheese and butter to non-dairy ingredients-the recipe becomes vegan.
1/3 cup brown rice (I used 2/3 cups)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 zucchini, sliced
2 3/4 oz. baby corn cobs, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs (I used mint, basil, parsley and oregano)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons whole-wheat bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook the rice in a saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes. (It took mine about 35 minutes. Besides the baking, this is the longest part of the recipe.)
2. Lightly grease a 3 3/4 cup ovenproof dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Heat the butter in a skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until softened.
4. Add the garlic, carrot, zucchini, and corn cobs and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
5. Mix the rice with the sunflower seeds and mixed herbs and stir into the pan.
6. Stir in half of the mozzarella cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Spoon the mixture into the greased dish and top with the bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese begins to turn golden. Serve at once.
Variation: Use an alternative rice, such as basmati, and flavor the dish with curry spices, if desired.
Found: What's Cooking Vegetarian by Jenny Stacey