Friday, April 29, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe-Zucchini Pesto

Zucchini Pesto

Since I'm seeing lots of zucchinis at the farmers markets I thought this would be a great recipe to share. If you like an added kick, add (depending on taste) 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper.

Pesto is a delicious topping for steamed vegetables.

2 small zucchini or other summer squash
1 medium garlic clove
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cut zucchini into 1-inch chunks (you should have about 2 cups). Steam chunks over boiling water for about 5 minutes, or until it is just tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
Place garlic and basil into a food professor fitted with a metal blade and chop until fine. Add zucchini, oil, and salt. Pulse until everything is finely chopped.

Per 1 tablespoon

Calories: 17; Fat: 1.2 g; Saturated Fat: 0.2 g; Calories from Fat: 62.4%; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Protein: 0.5 g; Carbohydrates: 1.6 g; Sugar: 0.5 g; Fiber: 0.8 g; Sodium: 75 mg; Calcium: 20 mg; Iron: 0.4 mg; Vitamin C: 3.2 mg; Beta Carotene: 454 mcg; Vitamin E: 0.2 mg

Source: Foods That Fight Pain by Neal Barnard, M.D.; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Waste Collection as a Resource and a Way of Life: Garbage, Recycling, Community and Egypt's ultra efficient trash sorters, the Zabaleen.

In his TEDxYYC (Calagary, Canada) talk, James Furniss sets out to convince us that we can learn more about recycling from the Zabaleen of Egypt than from Singapore (who represents the extreme of the western model of trash removal). He says that the most dynamic developments in the world of waste are happening in the developing world by people who are not environmentalists.

The Zabaleen collect trash from city streets of Egypt and recycle it through hand sorting, claiming to recycle 80% of what they collect.  In his talk, Furniss brings up the conflict between the "Sanitary Landfill" method of trash handling which is about rapid removal of material to distant places and the Zabaleen's trash as a resource method.  He points out that the reason the reason most of the recyclers are Christians is that Christians are free to raise pigs which are excellent converters of food waste into meat.

Unfortunately in 2009, Egyptian officials slaughtered as many of the country's 300,000 garbage eating pigs due to a mix of religious prejudice and unfounded fear of a swine flue epidemic.  The loss of pigs caused organic waste to pile up which caused officials to see the flaws in their plan according to this Mother Earth Network article.

While Furniss's talk includes some excellent images of the Zabaleen community, the trailer for Lauren McCarthy's film "Zabaleen" brings out the beauty of their neighborhoods and people.  The details of Egyptian vernacular rascuachismo design amid the garbage is striking.

Zabaleen: A Documentary Film by Lauren McCarthy TEASER from Zabaleen on Vimeo.

A more melancholy point of view is found in the film "Garbage Dreams".  A major political problem for the Zabaleen involves Egypt's attempts to implement the western solution for hiding trash rather than reusing it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe-Spring Rooted Vegetable Bake

Spring Rooted Vegetable Bake
Vegan; 15-20 min prep. time; 1 hour bake time
Serves 6-8

In my quest to invoke the flavors of spring, I found the perfect recipe the other day. I used small, farmers market fresh veggies, so please modify and enjoy to suite your taste! Serve with some crusty bread and on a bead of arugula. P. S.-This is perfect for Easter! Happy Easter and Earth Day Everyone.....

4 beets, diced (tear the beet tops to add-about 4)
2 turnips, diced
5-6 carrots, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, diced
6-8 red potatoes, diced
1 15-oz. can black beans (rinsed or you can make your own)
1/3 cup white wine (I used Bonterra-Chardonnay)
1 Tbs. thyme
1 Tbs. fresh mint leaves torn
2 pinches of rosemary (I did large pinches since I like rosemary)
vegetable broth drizzled over the vegetables (I think 1/3 cup)
extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the dish)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9x13-3quart casserole dish with olive oil.

2. Place all of the diced/chopped vegetables in the dish and pour in the wine, mint, rosemary, thyme and beet tops and stir together until coated with the olive oil. (Add more if needed.) Drizzle with the vegetable broth and stir again.

3. Bake for 45 minutes to and hour; the veggies should be tender to a fork pierce. (The time will vary depending on how large or small you dice the veggies.) Allow to cool, but serve warm.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A sustainable hamburger? Max Hamburgers in Sweden thinks they have it

Can a fast food hamburger be healthy and sustainable? Here from TEDxPresidio is a video featuring Par Larshans, Chief Sustainability Officer for Max Hamburgers of Sweden. Beginning in 2003 they began to add menu items with low fat and low sugar and to include high fiber in their breads.

In response to "An Inconvenient Truth" they began to look at the sustainability of their products. They found that over 70% of their carbon emissions were due to their beef. They began to list the carbon impact of their products on their menus and to plant trees in Africa to offset their carbon emissions.

Meatless Monday Recipe-Southwestern Breakfast Hash

Southwestern Breakfast Hash
Vegan; Serves 4

Okay, so I know what you are thinking. But, sometimes you want breakfast for dinner or just need a really yummy idea for any meal.

2 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 Tbs. canola oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
3 scallions, cut into 1/4-inch slices (reserve 1 for garnish)
8 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved (I kept them whole to cut on time)
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. nutritional yeast seasoning
1 8 oz. package plain, pasteurized organic temph, crumbled
1 medium avocado, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring potatoes to a boil in a pot of salted water. Cook until tender, about 6 minutes.

2. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

3. Heat remaining oil over medium heat. Cook jalapeno, scallions, tomatoes, beans, yeast, and temph, stirring until tomatoes begin to break down, 5 to 7 minutes. Add potatoes and cook until heated through. Remove pan from heat and gently stir in avocado. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with reserved scallion.

Per Serving: 457 cal.; 24 grams fat (3 grams sat. fat); 0 mg chol.; 46 grams carbs.; 100 mg sod.; 19 grams prot.; 11 grams fiber

Found: Whole Living April 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Open Hardware Design: 50 robust, efficient machines to make a farm or village and transcend artificial scarcity, and that's just the start of Marcin Jakubowski's vision

I've been reading through various versions of the Open Source Ecology website for several years previously known as  My interest has been drawn to it repeatedly by my interest in compressed earth block construction. (The first machine they focused on is an open source compressed earth block machine.)  I seem to recall that I was intrigued but skeptical.  It sounded too ambitious to be true.  But it seems to be coming true, at least Chris Anderson, the curator for TED thinks so.

Marcin aims to create designs for fifty essential machines (apparently up from forty mentioned on one video). He intends the machines to be repairable, modular, robust, highly efficient, long lasting and cost much lower than other their closed source competitors. The machines are meant to be bolted together when possible so that they can be broken down for transport.

Among the fifty machines, those which have been at least been prototyped are a compressed earth block machine (the Liberator) , a drill press, a general power unit aka the Power Cube, a big tractor known as the Life Trac and a walk behind version called the Micro Trac, and a Torch Table a digitally controlled cutter for shaping metal.  Other machines including a sSawmill, an agricultural spader, a micro combine, a hammer mill, a well drilling rig, energy production devices, a lathe and bakery machinery are to come. This FAQ from their wiki is quite informative as is this brochure.

The designs are to be open sourced meaning that others can add to them and use them without payment, though the exact licensing terms haven't been worked out.  The intention is that people will be able to build modify and improve these devices for resale.  Though the designs will be open source, significant mechanical skills are required to create them just as substantial programming skills are required to work on open source programming projects.

Here is video that appears on the website which explains more about the Marcin's goals.  There are lots of other videos there, but this is one with much higher production values making it easier to watch.

Global Village Construction Set in 2 Minutes from Open Source Ecology on Vimeo.

Here is a 41 minute talk Marcin gave in San Francisco in July 2010 which conveys an even more expansive vision.

Marcin Jakubowski - part 1 from East Bay Pictures on Vimeo.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe-Spicy Spinach Frittata

Spicy Spinach Frittata
Serves 8; Vegan

Frittatas are a popular menu item for breakfast and brunch. Have your own dining-out experience by making this dish at home. It's hearty, filling, and can easily be doubled for family or friends. Feel free to substitute the spinach for kale as it contains more bioavailable calcium.


1 pound raw spinach, kale, or other leafy greens
1/4 cup soy creamer or other nondairy milk
1/3 cup vegetable broth
2 medium potatoes, chopped into 1/2" cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 16-ounce package of extra-firm tofu, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder


Remove spinach leaves from stems. Reduce spinach until it is thoroughly wilted by sautéing in a large pan on medium heat with the soy creamer and vegetable broth. Once spinach is reduced, add potatoes and garlic. Cook until potatoes are soft.

Preheat oven to 375 F while potatoes and garlic are cooking.
Purée half the tofu with turmeric, salt, black pepper, and chipotle powder in a food processor. Crumble the other half. Combine puréed tofu, remaining crumbled tofu, and spinach-potato mixture in a 6"x6" baking dish and mix thoroughly. Bake for 20 minutes.

Allow frittata to set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information | Per 1 cup serving

calories: 108; fat: 4 g; saturated fat: 0.4 g; calories from fat: 31.2%; cholesterol: 0 mg; protein: 7.6 g; carbohydrates: 12.6 g; sugar: 1.7 g; fiber: 2.3 g; sodium: 110 mg; calcium: 160 mg; iron: 3.2 mg; vitamin C: 10 mg; beta-carotene: 2198 mcg; vitamin E: 0.8 mg

Recipe from The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook by Dr. Neal Barnard and Robyn Webb


Please feel free to tailor PCRM recipes to suit your individual dietary needs.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Where in the world is the USA? Collected statistics related to the environment compare the USA to other nations.

Often in the midst of conversation, Lee Moore will throw out a cogent statistic or two related to the subject at hand. While some folks make up such statistics, Lee's interests have led him to compile reliable statistics on a wide range of subjects. Here are a number of lists largely related to environmental concerns from his personal collection.

Gasoline Prices: USD per gallon (2005)
Norway 6.2
Britain 6.0
Germany 6.0
Italy 5.9
France 5.7
Poland 5.0
Japan 4.4
Australia 3.7
USA 2.4
(Raw cost is everywhere $2/gal; the difference is tax to discourage consumption and fund mass transit.)

Gasoline Consumption : Gallons per person per year (1997)
USA 459
Germany 140
Japan 113
(Germany is the second largest consumer worldwide, so the USA really stands out.)

Fuel Economy : avg passenger vehicle mpg and average engine size (2005)
Japan 48 mpg
Europe 41 mpg 1.6 (avg engine size in liters)
Australia 32 mpg
Canada 28 mpg
USA 24 mpg 3.4 (avg engine size in liters)

Oil Consumption : barrels per person per year (1999)
USA 25
Japan 16
Europe  14
Latin Amer 4

Oil Reserves
Billions of barrels (2005)  and years remaining at current extraction rates. New fields will of course be found.
Saudi Arabia 260 billion barrels, 66 years at current rate
Iran 140 billion barrels, 93 years at current rate
Iraq 115 billion barrels, 100 years at current rate
Kuwait 100 billion barrels,100 years at current rate
UAE 100 billion barrels, 97 years at current rate
Venezuela 80 billion barrels, 73 years at current rate
Russia 75 billion barrels, 21 years at current rate
Kazakhstan 40 billion barrels, 80 years at current rate
Libya 40 billion barrels, 63 years at current rate
Nigeria 40 billion barrels, 38 years at current rate
USA 35 billion barrels, 12 years at current rate
Canada 20 billion barrels, 15 years at current rate
China 20 billion barrels, 12 years at current rate
Mexico 15 billion barrels, 10 years at current rate

Water Consumption: Cubic meters per person, includes agriculture (2002)
USA 1690
Canada 1430
Australia 940
Japan 720
Germany 710
France 700
Britain 200

CO2 Emissions : Tonnes per person (2002)
USA 20
Singapore 14
Czech Rep. 10
Russia 10
Japan 9
Poland 8
Hungary 6
Mexico 4
China 3
India 1.5

Organic Farmland: % agricultural land certified organic (2004)
Switzerland 10.3
Austria 9.8
Finland 7.1
Italy 7.0
Denmark 6.2
Sweden 6.0
Britain 4.2
Germany 4.1
Australia 2.6
Spain 2.5
Canada 0.9
Japan 0.7
USA 0.2

Environmental Taxes: Taxes on energy use, big cars, etc -- as % of total taxes. (2005)
Denmark 9.5
Holland 9.5
Germany 7.0
Britain 7.0
Japan 6.0
Poland 6.0
Spain 5.5
France 5.0
Canada 3.5
USA 3.0
(As total taxes are lowest in the USA, the actual environmental taxes are very low.)

Miscellaneous  Facts
  • In 2000 the Total National Energy Use in average BTUs per person per day was 48 in Europe and 368 in the USA.
  • The average American generates over 1600 pounds of garbage per year, more than twice that of the average European.
  • The average American consumes nearly 750 pounds of paper per year, by far the most in the world.
  • If the world's 6 billion people consumed like the average American, we would need at least 4 more planets to supply the resources and absorb the wastes.
  • In 2003 the average American consumed 53 times more resources than a Chinese, and 35 times more than an Indian.
  • American use of oil:  66% to all transportation, 40% to auto/truck gasoline.

Sources ‒ OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), US Census Bureau, Office of Economic Development, US Energy Information Adm., US Dept of Health, Justice Policy Institute, Standard and  Poor's, UNICEF, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Center for Education Statistics, Eurostat

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Meatless Monday Recipe-Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice

For extra protein in this quick side dish, stir in a can of rinsed, drained black beans just before serving.

** This is a good side dish for this Monday Meatless Monday Recipe**

Ingredient List
Serves 4

•1 Tbs. olive oil
•1 cup instant brown rice
•1 cup frozen corn
•1 cup frozen peas
•8 green onions, chopped (1/2 cup)
•3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
•1 tsp. ground cumin
•1/2 tsp. dried oregano
•2 Tbs. tomato paste


1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rice, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add corn, peas, green onions, garlic, cumin, and oregano, and sauté 1 minute.

2. Spoon tomato paste in 2-cup measuring cup. Add enough boiling water to make 2 cups, and stir to combine. Pour tomato paste mixture into rice, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and fluff with fork just before serving.
Nutritional Information
Per SERVING: Calories: 190, Protein: 6g, Total fat: 4.5g, Saturated fat: 0.5g, Carbs: 32g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 427mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 4g

Found: Vegetarian Times March 2008