Friday, December 31, 2010

Meatless Monday Recipe-Sweet Potatoes with Coconut, Pomegranate and Lime

Happy New Year Everyone! From my family to yours we wish you a safe and wonderful holiday!

In honor of the holiday I chose this recipe because of all of the beautiful jewel tones.....

Sweet Potatoes with Coconut, Pomegranate and Lime
15 min. prep.; 45 min. bake time; vegan

4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup light coconut milk (divided)
1/4 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 cup pomegranate seeds
2 limes cut into wedges
Kosher salt or sea salt (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Arrange sweet potatoes, pricked with a fork, on rimmed baking sheet and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. To toast coconut flakes: heat a pan on medium heat and toss in flakes, stirring until they turn golden and become fragrant.

2. Slice tops and mash sweet potatoes with a fork. Divide coconut milk, toasted coconut flakes, cilantro and pomegranate seeds among the sweet potatoes.

3. Season with salt if using. Garnish with additional sprigs of cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Per Serving: 272 cal.; 8 grams sat. fat; 1 gram unsat. fat; 0 mg chol.; 44 grams carbs.; 58 mg sod.; 5 grams prot.; 9 grams fiber.

Found: Whole Living December 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

The amazing ancient modern building material that improves the environment every time it is used

Architect Stephen Colley, coordinator for San Antonio Sustainable Living spoke at the 2010 TEDx San Antonio.  In his talk he introduces the audience to adobe and compressed earth block.  He explains how the words adobe and shack connect the material to its historic roots.

He shows how adobe and compressed earth block allows for deeply green, environmentally and physically friendly building. He explains the phase change that makes adobe homes cooler in the summer and introduces the so called "Mexican green roof" which insulates, protects and cools.

"Put the Grease in the Bin" : a message for Londoners that applies to San Antonians equally if not more

San Antonio Water System is wrestling with EPA over sewage spills.  The current SAWS "Don't feed the grease monster" campaign is part of an effort to control sewage spills.  When the fat congeals it clogs the pipes.  When the pipes get clogged, they overflow.  This is a problem where ever there are sewers.

In San Antonio Water Systems and the EPA are negotiating on a solution to all too frequent sewer discharges into area rivers and streams.  Grease diversion is believed to play a major role in preventing sewer overflows.

If you care enough about the environment to not litter and to recycle then add diverting grease to your list.

The video below features London sewer workers on location with a message in song concerning keeping the fat out of the drain.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Meatless Monday Recipe-Cashew Nut Roast with Herb Stuffing

Cashew Nut Roast With Herb Stuffing

Serve with a colorful salad!

For the Roast:
1 cup margarine
2 large onions, finely chopped
3 cups unroasted cashews
1 1/2 cups white bread, crusts removed
3 large cloves of garlic
1 cup water or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

For the Stuffing:
3 cups bread crumbs
1 cup margarine
2 small onions, grated
1/2 Tsp. each thyme and majoram
3 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a greased 1-lb. loaf pan with a long strip of greased nonstick paper.

2. Melt margarine in a medium-sized saucepan, add the onion and sauté until tender. Remove from heat.

3. Grind the cashews in a food processor with the bread and garlic and add to the onion, together with the water or stock, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and lemon juice, to taste.
Mix all stuffing ingredients together.

4. Put half the cashew mixture into the prepared pan, top with the stuffing, then spoon the rest of the nut mixture on top. Dot with margarine.

5. Stand the pan in another pan to catch drippings and bake for about 30 minutes or until firm and lightly browned (cover the roast with foil if it gets too brown before then).

6. Cool for a minute or two, then slip a knife around the sides, turn roast out, and strip off the paper.

Makes 8 Servings

Found: PETA

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Council Approves mandatory availability of recycling for multi-family residents unanimously. Votes down delay in enforcement by 6 to 4

Figure 14-43.1 Showing acceptable and unacceptable recycling center locations
The San Antonio City Council unanimously voted to require apartment owners to offer recycling to their residents.  However Justin Rodriguez, John Clamp, Elisa Chan, and Philip Cortez voted to delay the enforcement of the ordinance.  Their attempt failed by a vote of 6 to 4. 

Beginning July 2011, the operators of the largest apartment complexes will need to provide for recycling.  Triplexes and fourplex owners will need to provide recycling by April 2012.  The ordinance includes diagrams showing that the recycling centers will need to be co-located with the garbage collection centers so that residents will not need to take their garbage to one location while having to travel further to drop of recyclables.

The ordinance in its entirety appears below:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Where should San Antonio’s residential focus be?

by Randy Bear, Concerned Citizens,

As many of you probably know I’m a resident of downtown San Antonio and have been for over a year now. I moved into the urban core as an experiment to see how living downtown might be. It’s been a good experience so far but, after living here for a while, I’m starting to see where the real focus of residential living should be for downtown and it’s probably not in the core. While San Antonio has aspirations to be a big city like many other urban areas across the country at its heart San Antonio is really a bunch of collective small towns linked by freeways and streets. So what should the focus be?

After participating in the last SA 2020 public forum and talking to some architectural leaders in San Antonio I have come to the conclusion that the real focus should be on the small ring of neighborhoods right around the urban core. In the public forum one of the key indicators listed for Neighborhoods and Growth was the number of pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods in the city, something that would be difficult to achieve in the urban core of San Antonio.

In a blog entry in Kevin Harris’ Neighbourhoods blog he cites 13 points of a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood as defined by US planning/architects DPZ. Of those points are things like a variety of dwelling types such as houses, rowhouses, and apartments, an elementary school close enough children can walk to it, and a small playground accessible to every dwelling. There are several other points listed that the urban core might meet but if you’re really talking about building a thriving and vibrant neighborhood with some longevity you need children, something the urban core is not very friendly to.

But if you look to the areas surrounding the urban core you start to find opportunities for growth in many areas. Just to the north are neighborhoods like Alta Vista and Tobin Hill with existing homes and opportunities for new development such as apartments and condominiums. To the east is Dignowity Hill and Government Hill. South has SoFlo and the Nogalitos/South Zarzamora area. The west has the Guadalupe/Westside neighborhood. Each has its own culture and attractions but, more importantly, all are easily accessible to downtown by both streets and transit.

Recently Ben Olivo of the Express-News’ Downtown blog featured the Cevallos Street Lofts and talked about the developing area located south of downtown. In that area are several schools and parks as well as opportunities for small groceries and other amenities needed by a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood. With other development planned and its proximity to downtown and Southtown the SoFlo area could really become a great walkable neighborhood and close to the urban core.

In seeing how San Antonio rates regarding walkable neighborhoods I put my own address into their Walk Score tool and came up with a 91 out of 100 (you should try it out yourself for your neighborhood). Overall San Antonio rates at about 49 (pretty low) but comparable with most of Texas (Austin is a 51 and Dallas is a 49). Looking at the areas surrounding downtown most walk scores for the neighborhoods rank in the top 10 areas of the city. That means there’s not much gap to cover to turn them into a true pedestrian-oriented neighborhood.

Right now the city is starting to set the plans for our future through the SA 2020 plan process. While much focus has been to really develop downtown into a residential neighborhood I would contend that based on the feedback from the public, the amount of work it would take to make the urban core resident-friendly, and the limited resources the city will have to work with in the coming years maybe the focus should be on the ring of neighborhoods surrounding downtown.

By building up the infrastructure for these areas such as improved public transportation, more business investment and better streets and parks the areas will become attractive places for people of all ages to relocate to and still achieve a goal of avoiding urban sprawl. It also allows the growth to continue inward as market demand increases. It creates new opportunities for growth that don’t overly tax our cities public infrastructure such as public safety and works. It just seems like the right thing to do.

Randy Bear is an observer and participant in San Antonio politics and business.  His December 20, 2010 post in his blog, Concerned Citizens, is re-posted here with his permission.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Meatless Monday Recipe-Garbanzo Salad Sandwich

Garbanzo Salad Sandwich
Makes 4 sandwiches

Garbanzo beans make a delicious and very nutritious sandwich filling.

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1 stalk celery, finely sliced
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Tofu Mayo or other vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
8 slices whole wheat bread
4 lettuce leaves
4 tomato slices

1. Mash garbanzo beans with a fork or potato masher, leaving some chunks. Add sliced celery, chopped onion, Tofu Mayo, and pickle relish.

2. Spread on whole wheat bread and top with lettuce and sliced tomatoes.

Per sandwich: 268 calories; 12 g protein; 48 g carbohydrate; 4 g fat; 7 g fiber; 348 mg sodium; calories from protein: 17%; calories from carbohydrates: 69%; calories from fats: 14%<

Recipe from Healthy Eating for Life to Prevent and Treat Diabetes by Patricia Bertron, R.D.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

San Antonio to require Apartment owners to offer recycling if proposed ordinance passes

Although curbside one bin recycling has been a part of trash service provided to single family homes and some duplexes and tri and four plexes by the City of San Antonio' Solid Waste Management Department for several years, multi-family residents have not had access to recycling unless the apartment owner has made special arrangements with their trash hauler.

Since at least 25% of households in San Antonio live in apartments that's a lot of recyclables going into the landfill.

Now it looks like the city council is going to require multi-family complexes to offer recycling and to have their recycling plans approved by the city. According to the Express News some business interests are asking that the plan be delayed.

Below you can find the text of the supporting documents that were included in the council's 12/09/2010.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Meatless Monday Recipe-Butternut Squash Lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna

By Melissa Breyer, Care2 Green Living Producer

I replaced ricotta with an easy bechamel sauce made with milk for a lighter (that’s a relative term here) lasagna. If you want to skip the whisking, substitute ricotta for the sauce—two 15-ounce containers will do the trick.

For the Filling
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted for about 3 minutes at 350 degrees
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

For the Sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
5 cups organic milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper

For the Rest
8 ounces (about 2 cups) grated fresh (if available) mozzarella
3 ounces (about 3/4 cup) finely grated Parmesan cheese
12 fresh pasta sheets (you can use no boil pasta sheets, but they will work better if you are using sauce)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash in olive oil, maple syrup, and salt and roast on a baking sheet for 30 minutes, or until squash is lightly browned and tender.

2. Turn oven to 350 degrees. Remove squash, dump in a bowl and gently toss with raisins and pine nuts.

3. Saute garlic in butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium low heat, for 1 minute. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add milk in a stream, whisking. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in salt and cayenne and remove from heat.

4. Mix cheeses together.

5. In a buttered 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish spread 2/3 cup sauce and cover with pasta sheets. Spread with 2/3 cup sauce and 1/3 of filling, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layering 2 more times. Top with remaining 3 pasta sheets, remaining sauce, and remaining cheese.

6. Cover baking dish with foil and bake lasagna in middle of oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes more.

7. Always let lasagna sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Serves 8.

By Melissa Breyer, Care2 Green Living Producer

Read more:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Meatless Monday Recipe-Any Veggie Coconut Curry

Any Veggie Coconut Curry
Makes 6 servings; Vegan

The vegetables listed below are favorites, but any vegetables you have on hand can be used along with the coconut milk and spices. If you decide to use coconut milk, it is important to note that this product has a high fat content and should be used in moderation. Try lite coconut to get the sweet nutty coconut flavor without all the fat. Cauliflower, squash, and sweet potatoes are other tasty choices. This is a great way to use up “going-bad” fresh or frozen vegetables! Serve over rice or your favorite whole grain.

1 cup dry (uncooked) brown rice
2 cups water
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
3 large carrots, cut into rounds or diced
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
pinch cayenne pepper
1 medium potato, diced (peeling optional)
3 cups chopped kale
2 cups chopped broccoli florets, or 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped broccoli florets
8 mushrooms, sliced
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1 cup lite coconut milk, or 1 cup nondairy milk + 1 teaspoon coconut extract
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1. Bring rice and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed (about 30 minutes.)

2. In a large saucepan, sauté onion, garlic, and carrots in vegetable broth or water on medium-high heat until onion become translucent. Add curry, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring often. Add potato, kale, broccoli, mushrooms, beans, peas, and coconut milk or nondairy milk mixture. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potato can be pierced easily with a fork. Sprinkle with soy sauce before serving.

Note: This veggie curry will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. Transfer leftovers to a dish and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate.
Nutrition Information
Per serving (1/6 of recipe): 320 Calories; 5.2 g Fat; 2.5 g Saturated Fat; 14.7% Calories from Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 12.3 g Protein; 59.3 g Carbohydrate; 5.9 g Sugar; 12.3 g Fiber; 407 mg Sodium; 115 mg Calcium; 4.7 mg Iron; 37.7 mg Vitamin C; 6312 mcg Beta-Carotene; 1.7 mg Vitamin E

Found: The Cancer Project Sept. 2009