A sustainable meal plan filled with recipes for Earth Day

April 19, 2019 by  
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Not all food is created equal, and not all foods are healthy for the planet. You’ve seen the headlines. Manufacturing plants suck up water, pollute with chemicals and damage the surrounding landscape. Raising cattle and other livestock is also associated with earth-damaging consequences. Most environmentalists agree that plant-based products offer the best balance of nutrition and sustainability. Earth Day is right around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to focus on foods that show our love for the planet. If you’d like to curate a meal plan incorporating plant-based ingredients, seasonal goods and limited waste, here are some recipes to inspire you. Breakfast Spring offerings make for a delightfully fresh breakfast. Eggs with asparagus and spinach 1. Broil a thick slice of rustic or sourdough bread on both sides. 2. Create an indent in the center of the bread. If applicable to your diet, add prosciutto around the edges of the bread. Fill the indent with a layer of cheese (your choice) and a generous layer of spinach . Arrange small, tender pieces of asparagus around the center. Then, gently break an egg into the spinach nest. 3. Cook at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes until the eggs are set and the vegetables are tender. Add a side of sliced apricot or avocado . Related: 12 delicious and crowd-pleasing vegan brunch ideas Lunch Vegetable-waste bowl Well that doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it? Maybe we should call it, “Keep from Wasting Vegetables Bowl” instead. The goal here is to use up whatever is in the fridge , so dig deep. 1. Roast whatever veggies you have. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peppers, turnip, parsnip, asparagus, beans … all of them! Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake in the oven until tender. 2. In the meantime, make a cup of your favorite grain. Quinoa, brown rice, white rice, buckwheat, barley, farrow or amaranth are great options. 3. Mix it all together, and stir in your choice of beans : pinto, kidney, garbanzo, black, etc. Top with cheese, a squirt of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil or your preferred dressing. Dinner Salad starter Spring is a great time to enjoy young greens and cool-weather lettuce along with other seasonal fruits and vegetables. There are so many combinations to try, so feel free to mix it up any way you like! 1. Start with a base of arugula, green and red lettuce, romaine and/or spinach. 2. With your leafy greens in place, choose your veggies. Many of your favorites are likely in season right now. Consider beets (shredded), carrots of all colors (shredded or sliced), radishes (thinly sliced), peas (snow, snap and garden) and broccoli florets. 3. Add some fruit. Many people forget to consider fruit when putting together a salad , but early-season strawberries and spring apricots add the perfect zing to the mix. 4. For dressing, go with a vinaigrette. They are plant-based and easy to whip up, plus there are many flavor options to create. For example, a soy/mustard combination includes: 1/4 cup tamari 1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar 2 tsp Dijon mustard While a traditional berry vinaigrette is made up of: 4 large strawberries or 1/3 cup raspberries or other berry of choice 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 2 tbsp agave syrup Pinch of freshly ground black pepper 5. Top with nuts. The options are endless here too. Shaved almonds, cashews, roasted filberts, pine nuts and sunflower seeds are all excellent choices. Related: How to make a meal out of leftover veggies Easy homemade dinner pizza If you are avoiding grains, create a cauliflower-crust instead of the one here. Choose any toppings that make you happy, but this recipe focuses on light spring eats. Note: The dough performs better if made the day before. Crust: 2 tbsp agave 3 cups warm water 2 packages dry active yeast 7 cups of flour 1/4 cup olive oil 3 tbsp kosher salt 1. Combine agave, yeast and water in a bowl, and allow it to sit until it becomes foamy, about five to 10 minutes. 2. Stir in the flour, olive oil and salt. 3. Knead the mixture until smooth. 4. Coat the dough with oil, place in a bowl and cover, allowing it to rise until it doubles, about one hour. 5. Divide the dough into four balls and lay these on a sheet with space between them. Cover and refrigerate overnight. You can still use the dough without this rest period with pretty good results. 6. Warm your grill. You will be using indirect heat, so heat it up and then turn off half the flames on a gas grill or move coals to one side for charcoal. 7. Roll out one ball of dough and transfer it to the grill. Make sure your toppings are prepared and nearby. Stay close to your pizza while it cooks. Transfer the stretched-out dough to the grill. Don’t worry if it is not perfectly rounded; the handmade look adds a rustic appeal. Cook the dough for one or two minutes, then flip. Move it to indirect heat for an additional one to two minutes. Continue moving it back and forth, flipping frequently until it is bubbled and cooked through. 8. Add your favorite cheese and other toppings, and continue to cook the pizza until the cheese melts, keeping it off of direct high heat. The options for toppings are endless, but our favorite combination is toasted pine nuts, spinach, fresh basil, garlic and olives. Fresh spring flavors include arugula, fennel bulbs, peas, artichoke hearts and asparagus. Dessert Vegan strawberry ice cream No meal is complete without dessert, especially when you’re honoring the Earth. We’ll give credit to our friends over at Loving it Vegan for this sweet, plant-based option. Enjoy! 1 14oz (400ml) can coconut cream 1 14oz (400ml) can coconut milk 1/2 cup (100g) white granulated sugar 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup 1 cup (232g) strawberry puree 1 tbsp strawberry extract 1/2 tsp salt 1. Add a can of coconut milk , a can of coconut cream, sugar and maple syrup to a pot. 2. Bring that to a simmer, stirring constantly. 3. As soon as it simmers, remove the pot from the heat and add in strawberries puree, salt and strawberry extract. 4. Blend everything until smooth. 5. Next, put the mixture into a storage container and place into the fridge to chill overnight. If you are in a hurry, place the mixture in the freezer for an hour or so. 6. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker until it reaches your desired consistency. This can take about 20 minutes to 45 minutes. The best way to celebrate the planet is through your stomach. With the right ingredients, that’s a win-win! Images via Shutterstock

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A sustainable meal plan filled with recipes for Earth Day

Get Seasonal: Spring Recipes You’ll Love

April 4, 2019 by  
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To celebrate the season, we’re getting creative with the three As of spring: Asparagus, artichokes and arugula. The post Get Seasonal: Spring Recipes You’ll Love appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Get Seasonal: Spring Recipes You’ll Love

How to make a meal out of leftover veggies

February 1, 2019 by  
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Hate seeing that half of an onion go to waste ? What about when you get a little too excited at the farmers market and come home with more veggies than you know what to do with? The U.S. wastes a whopping 30-40 percent of food every year. That’s right, in 2010 the USDA reported that the country threw away 133 billion pounds (or $161 billion worth) of food. You might just be surprised, however, at how many fun, satisfying dishes you can make with tools you already have in the fridge. Inhabitat has compiled a guide for what to do with all of those leftover vegetables in your kitchen, so don’t be afraid to get a little creative. Blend or juice Walk into a kitchen with a good juicer or blender, and the possibilities are truly endless! Save your leftover ends from veggies like carrots, beets or cucumbers to make into a delicious juice for later. The colorful vegetable peels pack a big nutritious punch. When you’ve got leftover leafy greens like spinach or kale, follow this guide for a flawless green smoothie: 1 portion liquid (something like apple juice, orange juice or almond milk) 1 portion greens ½ portion base (plain yogurt or a frozen banana works well) 1 portion of fruit Optional sprinkle of fiber like chia or flax seeds Sweetener to taste (raw honey or agave syrup) Related: Fight food waste with these 11 ways to use leftover greens before they spoil There’s nothing better than a warm bowl of soup when it starts to get chilly outside. Skip the trip to the grocery store (you don’t want to go out in the cold anyway), and throw together a hearty soup with some leftover veggies. Go with the traditional tomato or mushroom soup, or get outside the box with celery , cold asparagus or vegan broccoli cheddar . Follow Alton Brown’s recipe for this healthy mixed vegetable soup, or get creative with your own combination. Basic tomato soup recipe : Chop up some garlic, onion, red bell pepper and tomatoes, toss in olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Roast in the oven together until cooked through and soft. Combine with vegetable broth and use a hand blender to blend everything together. Add herbs, cream or whatever toppings you want! Skewer Grab a wooden or reusable metal skewer and chop up any combination of leftover zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, mushrooms, bell peppers and tomatoes. It will be both colorful and delicious. For even more flavor, marinate the vegetables for 30 minutes to an hour before putting them on kabobs. Break out the food processor Chickpeas, tahini, salt, lemon and olive oil — basic hummus is surprisingly simple to make, and it’s easy to jazz up with other leftover veggies like beets, carrots, peas or sweet potato. Check out this Bon Appetit arsenal of fun hummus recipes for inspiration. Pesto is super versatile. You can add things like roasted tomatoes, pumpkin , zucchini or squash for a unique twist. For a basic recipe, combine basil, garlic, salt/pepper, olive oil, Parmesan cheese (or other hard cheese or nutritional yeast) and any type of nut (traditionally pine nuts are used, but it is just as good with pecans, walnuts and even macadamia nuts). This is the perfect solution for when you buy a whole bunch of basil just to garnish dinner on the night before. Toss the pesto in some pasta, or spread onto a flatbread to make a meal out of it. Related: How to make homemade pesto in gourmet-looking recycled glass jars Bake Another great option is to use the leftover veggies for a healthy(ish) dessert. Grab the grater for some delicious zucchini bread or carrot cake . If you want to go even sweeter, try this recipe for chocolate avocado brownies from Tasty (technically avocado is a fruit, but we felt inclined to give it an honorable mention). Crack an egg For a nutritious breakfast (or dinner, there are no rules), a vegetarian omelet is definitely the way to go. Chop up leftover veggies from the night before, and whisk up some eggs to create the perfect omelet or scramble. If the vegetables are already cooked from dinner last night, even better! If not, saute up the veggies before folding them into the eggs. Pretty much anything goes here in the ingredients department: spinach, tomato, mushroom, squash, asparagus, diced carrot, broccoli, eggplant — you can’t go wrong. Pickle Pickling is a tasty way to add flavor to sandwiches or salads, and you can even eat them by themselves (also a great solution to those pesky recipes that only ask for half an onion). Some options for pickling include onions, heart of palm, peppers, carrots and cucumbers. To make pickling liquid, just heat up some white vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar dissolves. Toss veggies into a heatproof container like a mason jar, and add enough pickling liquid to cover completely. You can also add some extra flavor like dill, peppercorns or bay leaves; just throw them in with the veggies. Make sure everything’s cooled before eating. Related: Preparing pickled and fermented foods Stir fry Simple, satisfying and fast, stir-fry is one of the easiest ways to tackle those leftover veggies. Just fire up the stove, chop, stir and eat. Combine with some soy sauce or hoisin sauce for extra seasoning. If you’ve got some leftover veggies and leftover rice then you’re in luck — leftover rice is preferred when it comes to fried rice (freshly-cooked rice will turn out too soggy). You don’t necessarily have to go with the traditional fried rice vegetables, either. This recipe uses kale and cauliflower. Make Buddha bowls If you’ve been on Pinterest in the last few years, chances are you’ve already come across a picture of a Buddha bowl . Basically, it’s a combination of vegetables, plant-based protein and whole grains, often brightly colored and Instagram-worthy. Use leftover veggies like cucumber, sweet potato, beans, spinach, cabbage, corn, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots or whatever else you have on hand to create one. Check out this collection of yummy Buddha bowl recipes from Buzzfeed. Add a tortilla Throw your leftover veggies in a warm tortilla to make a vegetarian taco. Add a dash (or more) of hot sauce, or sprinkle on some cheese for an extra kick. More hearty vegetables like carrots and peppers work better in a burrito or a quesadilla. Check out these recipes from ohmyveggies for some inspiration. Images via Konstantin Kolosov , Carla Monson , Dagny Walter , Arinaja , Candace Towner and Shutterstock

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How to make a meal out of leftover veggies

Disconnect in this serene tiny home tucked into a coastal sheep farm in New Zealand

February 1, 2019 by  
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Tiny homes around the world offer guests stunning views and relaxing atmospheres, but this studio-style tiny retreat in New Zealand is right up the alley for anyone looking to reconnect with nature. Located in Akara, South Island, the compact, pitched-roof cabin has a floor-to-ceiling glass wall to provide stunning views of the rolling green landscape that leads out to the sea. If that’s not enough, the open-air front patio features a large cedar hot tub for watching the sun go down after a nice day of surfing in the bay. Located just 30 minutes from Akara, South Island, this charming tiny cottage is tucked into a coastal sheep farm just steps away from beautiful Little Akaloa Bay. To get to the property, guests must make their way on a five-minute stroll through scenic native bush. Nestled into the tall trees and rolling green landscape, the tiny home is a welcoming beacon. Related: This geometric cabin in Slovenia is a perfect romantic getaway for nature-lovers The tiny studio sleeps just two people, with a double-sized bed that folds up when not in use. There is a small kitchenette and bathroom. The home is kept warm and toasty during the chilly months thanks to a wood-burning stove. The massive, floor-to-ceiling glass wall looks out from the interior, providing stunning, unobstructed views all day long. Of course, at the heart of the retreat is the outdoor space, which includes an open-air deck. There’s a barbecue grill and small dinette set for meals, as well as plenty of seating and a hammock for just taking in the views. However, the best place to relax in and around the tiny cabin is definitely the round cedar hot tub. The picturesque area is the perfect spot for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts or those simply wanting a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Guests will be able to enjoy the beautiful remote bays that surround the beautiful property by renting the surfboards, paddle boards and fishing equipment available. + Glamping Hub Tiny Home Rental Via Tiny House Talk Images via Glamping Hub  

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Disconnect in this serene tiny home tucked into a coastal sheep farm in New Zealand

10 Sustainable Snack Recipes for an Active Lifestyle

January 2, 2019 by  
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You’re bound to get a little peckish throughout the workday, … The post 10 Sustainable Snack Recipes for an Active Lifestyle appeared first on Earth911.com.

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10 Sustainable Snack Recipes for an Active Lifestyle

12 delicious and crowd-pleasing vegan brunch ideas

December 27, 2018 by  
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Believe it or not, you don’t need eggs or bacon to put together an amazing brunch. If you follow a plant-based diet and are looking for some delicious brunch entrees for a late-morning get-together this weekend, there are plenty of vegan brunch ideas that you can easily make and customize to your tastes. Here are some of our favorite vegan brunch recipes. Pancakes Yes, you can make pancakes from scratch without milk and eggs. Just ask Alex at Delish Knowledge. Her recipe for vegan chia pancakes with peanut syrup capitalizes on the amazing taste combination of peanut butter and bananas. When you add maple syrup to the mix, the flavor combo goes to the next level. The chia seeds in the recipe hold the pancakes together while giving them some texture and crunch. If you don’t want to get that fancy with your vegan pancakes, there are several other recipes you can find online, and many of them are super easy yet delicious. Tofu scramble When you crumble firm tofu , it has the same look and texture of scrambled eggs. The downside is that it doesn’t taste the same. But  this recipe from Abby Langer Nutrition has fixed that problem with the addition of Himalayan black salt. This type of salt has a sulfuric smell and taste. That sulfur smell and taste equals an egg-like smell and taste. This tiny little ingredient will boost the flavor of your tofu once you add it to the pan with veggies and other spices. You might not be able to find black salt in your grocery store, but you can easily find it online. Vegan donuts If you have some serious kitchen skills , you can try making these grain-free vegan blueberry lime cake donuts from Gretchen at Kumquat. These sweet, light and delicious treats are made with flax meal, almond flour, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, blueberries and lime juice and rinds. If you aren’t into fruity donuts or would like to have a variety at your brunch, there are also recipes for other options like baked apple cider, baked chocolate and maple bacon donuts. Avocado toast No matter if you are vegan or not, avocado toast is a must at any brunch. It’s been popping up on menus all over the country. Luckily, you don’t have to pay 10 bucks for it a restaurant, because you can easily put it together at home for much less. Waffles There are so many vegan waffle options to choose from, and they each have a different flavor. You can try vegan French toast waffles, banana bread waffles, mashed potato waffles or maybe even chili cornbread waffles. The possibilities are endless, but no matter which one you choose, waffles will be a hit at your vegan brunch. Fruit buffet This idea is pretty obvious, but at a vegan brunch, you will want to have plenty of fruit options available. You can’t go wrong with berries, bananas and citrus. Stick with local, seasonal produce for the freshest flavors. Baked goods The options are endless when it comes to vegan baked goods at your brunch. Some recipes to consider are strawberries and cream scones , banana gingerbread muffins , zucchini bread  or morning glory breakfast cookies . French toast You don’t have to pass on French toast when you are vegan. All you need is some chickpea flour and non-dairy milk to make the vegan version of the dish. When you stuff it with a delicious filling like caramelized apples tossed in date-based caramel sauce, this option is even more amazing. Breakfast tacos Breakfast tacos are a warm and savory addition to your brunch. We especially enjoy these sweet potato and tofu tacos from Veganosity. The best part about serving vegan tacos at brunch is that each guest can customize the tacos to their liking with whatever veggies and other fillings are available. Breakfast sandwiches You don’t have to make your biscuits from scratch (unless you really want to!). Instead, you can get ready-made organic options at the grocery store, and then make breakfast sandwiches with whatever ingredients you desire. You can have a lot of fun with this recipe for vegan biscuit and gravy sandwiches from Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen, or you can choose English muffins for your sandwich like Sam at It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. Quiche Recipes for vegan quiche are extremely flexible , and they make good use of vegan bacon. It’s easy to add a variety of organic veggies to this dish, and it pairs well with a side of leafy greens. No matter which recipe you decide to use, this dish will be a popular one at your brunch. Omelettes Can you make an omelette without eggs ? The answer is yes. Chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, olive oil and a few spices will help you make a delicious vegan omelette. Plus, you can fill it up with whatever veggies you like — we recommend mushrooms and spinach. Images via Ina Burkardt , Bart Everson , Vegan Baking , Anna Pelzer , Lindsay Moe , Silvia , Pexels , Joseph Gonzalez , Stephanie , Miroro , Melissa Walker Horn , Igor Miske and Shutterstock

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12 delicious and crowd-pleasing vegan brunch ideas

How to host a zero-waste Thanksgiving dinner

November 19, 2018 by  
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Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for friends and family can be an overwhelming task. When you are providing a meal for a group of people, it is tempting to opt for things like pre-cut fruits and veggies, snack portions of cheese, store-bought pie and other modern conveniences to make it easier to get through the day. However, using these items can come at a price. When you buy things that are packaged in single-use plastic, it wreaks havoc on the environment. This year, instead of just focusing on eating all of the delicious food during the celebration, focus on the preparation, and commit to a zero-waste Thanksgiving. Here is how to do it. Choose recipes and menu items wisely A zero-waste Thanksgiving always starts with your grocery list, so when you are planning your Thanksgiving dinner, go through your recipes and choose menu items that will use up whole veggies and full containers of things like broth, cream or soup. For example, if you have a recipe that uses half of an onion, find another recipe that will use the other half. If you are using recipes that have special ingredients that you don’t use often, like buttermilk or fresh herbs, have a plan to use up all of these ingredients. If you aren’t going to use them entirely for Thanksgiving, do some research on how to store the items for the long-term, like freezing, or find some post-holiday recipes where you can use the remainder of the ingredients instead of throwing them away. Shop local Opting for the local farmer’s market to purchase your ingredients instead of a supermarket will get you off to a good start for a zero-waste Thanksgiving. Food at farmer’s markets is often unpackaged, and it is usually organic , meaning you can steer clear of harmful pesticide residue. If you do not have access to a local farmer’s market, choose a grocery store that sells unpackaged produce. Avoid buying anything that is already prepared. Whether you visit the market or the grocery, don’t forget your reusable produce and shopping bags to keep every step of your Thanksgiving feast free from waste. Cook from scratch When you are deciding on a menu, make sure to plan ahead to cook everything from scratch. If you have a small kitchen or don’t feel like you are going to have the time to cook everything on the menu, don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family members to each bring a dish. If you do this, get specific about what each person will bring, so you don’t end up with several green bean casseroles. Related: Make your own tasty vegetarian turkey for Thanksgiving with this recipe If you don’t have the patience or time to plan out everything ahead of time, chances are you will end up with leftovers or unused items. If this is the case, throw some cooked turkey, veggies and herbs into some extra broth or stock and freeze the mixture to use later. You can also keep your scraps while you are cooking, and use those trimmings, bones and peelings for homemade stock. Encourage smaller portions It is very easy to load up your plate during Thanksgiving dinner and have food leftover, because you can’t eat it all in one sitting. To stop food from going into the trash, set out smaller plates and serving spoons to encourage smaller portions. You could also supply storage containers (or, better yet, ask guests to bring their own!) that your guests can use to package their leftovers and take home. Be sure to use real plates, utensils, glasses and cookware, and if possible, use cloth napkins. This will greatly reduce your Thanksgiving waste and keep your garbage can from overflowing. Make your own decorations Instead of purchasing Thanksgiving decorations from a store, get crafty and make your own centerpieces and decorations. You can reuse your Halloween pumpkins and other gourds for a beautiful centerpiece, or buy new ones to use as flower vases or candle holders. You can also use tiny pumpkins in place settings. You can cook or compost the pumpkins after the holiday. Be a gracious guest If you are not hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, you can still be a mindful guest. Be prepared with your own reusable containers for leftovers, and avoid bringing dishes in disposable plastic containers or foil. Having a zero-waste Thanksgiving is all about intention. You can’t do everything all of the time, but if you have the mindset to start with one holiday, you can bring those ideas into your everyday life and start to really make a difference. Via Care2 , Mind Body Green and Sustainable America Images via Chinh Le Duc , Ja Ma , Pablo Lancaster Jones , Jess Watters , Priscilla Du Preez and Shutterstock

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How to host a zero-waste Thanksgiving dinner

1960s home remodeled with energy-efficient and non-toxic hempcrete

November 19, 2018 by  
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When homeowner Pam Bosch was looking for ways to remodel her 1960s home in Bellingham, Washington, she was determined to renovate the older home with energy efficient and non toxic materials. Through her research into various potential sustainable materials, she found that hempcrete, a hemp-based render made out of a mixture of hemp, lime and water, would be the best option. Working in collaboration with Matthew Mead from Hempitecture , the now solar-powered Highland Hemp House was reborn and constructed with an insulative hempcrete thermal envelope. When inspired to renovate her home using sustainable , eco-friendly and non-toxic materials, Bosch decided to work with hempcrete, a bioaggregate building material that is derived from the woody core of the industrial hemp stalk. When combined with hydrated lime and water, it solidifies by absorbing carbon dioxide, resulting in a concrete-like material. However, when compared to concrete, hempcrete is a more sustainable and affordable material, which is estimated to absorb about seven pounds of CO2 per cubic foot. Related: The tiny solar-powered hemp home with a green roof To begin the process of remodeling the three-story home , Mead worked with local contractors to create a new framework suited for a hempcrete wall system. Once the home was primed for its new envelope, the next step was to create the hempcrete material by mixing 12,000 pounds of hemp aggregate with 23,000 of lime binder. When mixed at a specific ratio, the material solidifies, creating a concrete-like texture. The material was then cast around the home’s frame, forming a monolithic wall. From a distance, the home’s construction process may look like any other home renovation. However, in working with hempcrete , Pam Bosch’s madeover Highland Hemp House is insulated with a material that is fireproof, breathable, resistant to mold, pests, and regulates moisture. Additionally, the new thermal envelope of the home is estimated to sequester about 15,372 pounds of CO2. + Hempitecture Images via Hempitecture

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1960s home remodeled with energy-efficient and non-toxic hempcrete

12 plant-based recipes for a vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner

November 15, 2018 by  
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For many people, Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without a turkey on the table. But with diet trends turning toward vegetarianism, veganism and flexitarianism , people are starting to break away from the traditional turkey dinner for health, animal welfare or environmental reasons. Luckily, there are amazing plant-based dishes that you can prepare for a mouth-watering Thanksgiving feast, making it easier than ever to skip the turkey. Here are some ideas for main dishes that will replace the turkey on your table, plus some side dish and dessert ideas that will keep the food at your celebration completely plant-based. Main dishes Classic seitan roast Forget the tofurkey — try this basic meat substitute for a savory, meaty main dish that you can use for Thanksgiving day, and any extras will be perfect as salad toppers or sandwich fillings. This recipe comes from One Green Planet , and it does have an involved process. But the results are totally worth it. Seitan pot roast Another idea from One Green Planet , this recipe is not the traditional pot roast your mom would make, but it is the perfect recipe for a large Thanksgiving dinner. The biggest plus about this dish is that you make it in a slow cooker. Just throw everything in the pot, and let it cook while you make your other dishes. Related: 6 vegan and vegetarian turkey alternatives for Thanksgiving Lentil shepherd’s pie This recipe from Plant Based Cooking is perfect for picky eaters, vegan or not. Lentil shepherd’s pie is loaded with mushrooms, carrots, peas and garlic mashed potatoes, and you can easily refrigerate or freeze it. Vegan lentil loaf with gravy Perfect for the holiday season, this recipe from Vegan Heaven is easy to make, super healthy and beyond delicious. You will impress your family with this main dish, which takes a little over an hour to make and bake. Vegducken This is a vegetable main dish that will have your family and friends talking long after Thanksgiving is over. This recipe features roasted butternut squash stuffed with eggplant, zucchini and whole scallions. Then, you layer it with a puree of sautéed mushrooms, red onion, chickpeas, scallions, red lentils and gluten-free breadcrumbs. Side dishes Thanksgiving cornbread stuffing with gravy You might be able to skip turkey at Thanksgiving, but no one can live without the stuffing. This delicious vegan recipe from One Green Planet takes a little time to make, so you might want to prepare it a day in advance. Vegan pumpkin biscuits Free of dairy , egg, corn, soy and yeast, these pumpkin biscuits from Vegan Richa are easy to make and perfect for any guest at your Thanksgiving dinner. They feature fresh sage and thyme, and they are a savory side dish that is crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Buttermilk vegan mashed potatoes Who says you need dairy products to make fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes? This recipe from The Vegan 8 calls for just eight ingredients to make creamy mashed potatoes that are full of flavor with a buttery taste that comes from apple cider vinegar. They will be one of the most-loved dishes at your Thanksgiving dinner. Smokey maple roasted carrots with lemon thyme drizzle If you are looking for an easy side dish that you can throw together, try this recipe from Veggies Don’t Bite . Not only is this carrot dish loaded with flavor, but the lemon thyme sauce will make you want to lick your plate clean. Related: The best in-season veggies to buy at your local market for Thanksgiving dinner Vegan green bean casserole This casserole is so creamy that you won’t believe it doesn’t contain dairy. Using raw cashews, unsweetened almond milk, bread crumbs, onions, garlic, flour, EVOO, mushrooms, white wine, soy sauce, salt and black pepper, this dish from Hummusapien will be so good, no one will know its vegan. Desserts Vegan pecan pie This recipe from the Center for Nutrition Studies is a healthy, vegan alternative to the popular holiday dessert . It is decadent, but not too sweet, and it is gluten-free and soy-free. Chocolate ganache mousse pie If you want to add a chocolate dessert to your menu, here is a delicious option that has a cookie crust and light filling that will make any chocolate lover happy. Images via Pixabay and Shutterstock

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12 plant-based recipes for a vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner

5 simple ways to reduce your food waste right now

October 30, 2018 by  
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Food waste is a huge problem worldwide, with one-third of all globally produced food ending up wasted. Americans throw away about 43 percent of the food they buy, and the organic matter in landfills emits methane, which is a major factor in climate change . We are enticed into wanting our food to look perfect, and we also don’t want to spend much on it. Americans generally spend less on their food compared to other nations, and because of that, many people don’t value it or think much about throwing it out. So what can the average person do to fight back? Here is a list of ways that you can reduce your food waste right now. Start meal planning This may seem like common sense, but it is one of the easiest and most important things to do. Plan out your meals in advance, and then make a detailed list of ingredients you will need. Then, when you get to the store, stick with the plan. This will help you avoid buying too much food. Plus, it also saves you time and money at the store. If you buy only what you expect to use, you will be more likely to keep it fresh and use it all. Also, be sure to check your cupboards and refrigerator before going to the grocery store or farmers market , so you don’t buy things you already have on hand. Store and prep properly It is easy to buy fruits, vegetables and other perishable items and then forget about them. But if you store and prep everything properly, it can significantly help you reduce your food waste. When you get home from the market, take the time to wash and prep your fresh food, then store it in containers for easy  cooking  and snacking. Put items you plan to use in the next day or two in the fridge, and put the surplus in the freezer. Eat leftovers If you cook too much or have extra after going out for dinner or enjoying takeout, save your leftovers to enjoy later. Invest in quality food storage containers, because they will keep your food fresh for longer. Come up with a labeling system to help you keep track of how long the leftovers have been in your fridge. Almost half of extra restaurant food alone is thrown in the trash instead of boxed up and taken home, so learn to love leftovers for the sake of minimizing food waste. Watch your portions Speaking of restaurant leftovers … they occur because restaurant portion sizes are significantly larger than they should be. You can’t force restaurants to give you a smaller portion (although you can embrace the leftovers), but you can control your portions at home. Large portions have made their way into many kitchens, leaving more opportunities for food waste. Use smaller plates when you prepare food at home, and then save the leftovers for later. If you notice that you are constantly making too much food, cut down your recipes. Ignore expiration dates Expiration dates contribute to tons of wasted food each year, but you might be surprised to learn that expiration dates on food mean absolutely nothing to consumers. Except for baby food, expiration dates, sell-by dates, guaranteed fresh dates and use-by dates are all used by manufacturers and have nothing to do with government regulation or any kind of set standard. This means that a lot of food isn’t spoiled, even though it has gone past the expiration date. Trust your senses of smell, sight and taste. Unless the food has obviously spoiled, don’t be so quick to throw it out. Most people don’t realize just how much food they throw away on a daily basis. By taking just a few easy steps, you can reduce your food waste , make a major impact and help conserve resources for future generations. Via Mashable , Time and Stop Food Waste Images via Shutterstock

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5 simple ways to reduce your food waste right now

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