Creating Familiar Foods and Supporting the Climate Strike
The purpose of Green Being is a simple mission. Help people realize the environmental and potential health benefits of choosing a plant-based lifestyle. So it is both appropriate and fortunate to officially launch the business at Makers Workspaces on the eve of the Global Climate Strike last week.
There is plenty of research demonstrating that consuming more whole fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds than animal-based foods can help reduce our individual foodprints. Until there is political leadership to help move government and industry to action, we must rely on our individual choices to make up the difference.
Many people may not realize that consuming plant-based foods is more wholesome and filling than just eating a salad. At the launch event, I aimed to present foods that are familiar, healthy, and good for the planet.
Choosing to Celebrate the Foods We Love with Better Ingredients
What is more American than a cheese burger? (Okay, maybe a hot dog). But you can still enjoy this tradition as did many of the guests at the event except these burgers are made with lentils and brown rice. In fact, you can check out a version of the recipe and try them for yourself. Each of the patties were topped with balsamic-glazed red onions, soy-based cheese, lettuce and tomato.
Making Sweet Potatoes Sweeter
Roasted sweet potatoes are both delicious and filling. I decided to dress these up a bit with cilantro, fresh garlic, and maple syrup. Sure, the added sugar from the maple syrup is an indulgence, but the combination with the garlic and cilantro makes for a fun flavor combination to the ordinary sweet potato.
I’m Stuffed from these Mushrooms
Recently, I was reminded of my love for the flavor of sausage. Many times throughout my career I have stuffed mushrooms with pork sausage for appetizers like these. So what was stopping me from doing something similar with plant-based foods? Absolutely nothing.
By using tempeh, a food made from fermented soybeans, along with cashews, and herbs and spices such as cumin, smoked paprika, ground fennel seed, coriander, and parsley, I was able to create a filling remarkably similar in flavor to its animal-based counterpart. My guests agreed; they devoured these savory morsels as quickly as I presented them.
Showing Support at the Climate Strike
Walking the walk and talking the talk, otherwise known as leading by example, is important to me. I was impressed and inspired by the young people at the Climate Strike protest in Seattle. They understand the issues and challenges surrounding climate change better than most adults in my estimation. I was glad to be able to show my support by participating in the strike.
It is true. As a society, we have some tough challenges ahead of us. However, making changes with the foods we eat can be fun and enjoyable. As a chef, I can help you explore these alternatives in ways that are respectful of your food traditions and memories.