Saturday, April 19, 2014

Earth Day 2014

Earth Day is coming up on Tuesday, 22 April! Have you decided how you will mark the occasion? I have a few ideas for you!

My friend and colleague, Michael Broadhead, publishes a cookbook which is updated with a new edition each Earth Day. I urge you to go download a free copy from his website.

Earth Day gives us a chance to think about how what we do affects the earth and what we can do to be better stewards of our world. One key way to do this is to eat less meat. Or no meat at all. I want to encourage you to try a meatless month or week. Many people do a once-a-week meatless day on "Meatless Mondays". Another idea is to restrict animal products to one meal or item a day. One popular version of this is often called "Vegan before 6pm".

This year I was honoured to be the first guest recipe contributor to Michael's recipe book! I have a page on which I share a delicious vegan recipe for frozen banana cream pie. But my recipe is not the reason you should download Michael's book. Here are the recipes that caught my eye that I'm sure you will like.

Michael's Twist on Tacos (find it on page 20) is an amazing recipe which I have tried at lunch in our staff room. The filling is a delicious, raw mixture of walnuts and sun dried tomatoes, processed with spices. It can be used as a filling for tacos with Michael's guacamole recipe. But I like the way he often goes grain-free by piling the filling into hollowed out red pepper halves. Other times he uses boat-shaped romaine lettuce leaves as wraps for the taco filling. Every time I see him eating this at lunch I ask for a bite! I want to make these tacos for my husband because he is a confirmed meat lover and I suspect he will love this and it will generate some good discussion for us.

The Cashew Ranch dressing recipe (page 10) has been on my mind for a while. This simple recipe is just a blended mixture of cashew nuts, vinegar, a little sweetener, and some onion and dill. Homemade dressings are infinitely better tasting than store-bought ones and so if you are going to make your own, why not make it vegan? (It's certainly not any more difficult.) I stopped buying bottled salad dressings several years ago and there is a hole in my dressing rotation for a good ranch dressing. Now I have found the recipe to fill that hole.

I am also keen to make Michael's raw Carrot Cupcakes with Vanilla Orange Icing (found on page 64 of his book). Michael describes them as "amazing bundles of awesome". I'm inspired by the classic flavours of carrot, dates, pecans, cinnamon, and ginger together with a frosting made with cashews, vanilla, and freshly-squeezed orange juice. My mouth wants to eat them as soon as possible.

Please go get your free cookbook from Michael's website. And then let's compare notes. Let me know how it inspires you!

Have you tried or would you like to try a vegan diet?

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