Back to the Kitchen: Celebrate Earth Day All Year With “Green” Recipes

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Earth Day, which was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970, was first organized  to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet, as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution.

Here are the 2013 Earth Day Actions.  Do what you can to make a commitment to our planet and enjoy the recipes below inspired by Mother Earth.

I will stop using plastic bags and start using reusable bags when shopping.

I will breastfeed my children to cut down on the need to produce/package/ship/dispose of formula.

I will take shorter showers and use a water-saving showerhead….

I will abstain from meat at least one day a week to curb carbon emissions from the livestock industry….

I will use environmentally friendly cleaning products….

I will pay my bills online instead of receiving bills in the mail….

I will use environmentally friendly cleaning products….

I will use a reusable water bottle and bring a mug to the coffee shop….

I will shop at a farmer’s market and buy local and organic food….

I will abstain from meat at least one day a week to curb carbon emissions from the livestock industry….

I will walk, ride my bike, and take public transportation instead of driving….

I use a metal reusable bottle every day instead of store-bought bottled water!

I will continue my Green in 2013 challenge and do one green thing each day of the year!

Emma’s Morning Smoothie

2 cups strawberries

1 banana

½ cup kale

½ avocado

1-teaspoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons mint

1 cup almond milk

Handful of ice

Using a blender add all of the ingredients except the ice and blend until well mixed. Then add the ice and blend until smooth. Makes 2 shakes and can easily be doubled.

Rafe’s Mean Green Smoothie

2 cups pineapple

2 cups kale

2 cups spinach

1 banana

2 tablespoons ginger

2 cups almond milk

Handful of ice

Using a blender add all of the ingredients except the ice and blend until well mixed. Then add the ice and blend until smooth. Makes 2 shakes and can easily be doubled.

Grandma Kay’s Pina Colada

2 cups pineapple

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups almond milk

Using a blender add all of the ingredients except the ice and blend until well mixed. Then add the ice and blend until smooth. Makes 2 shakes and can easily be doubled.

Skip’s Peace Kale Salad

This is a wonderful way of eating raw greens. When Skip brings it to me he has to double the recipe. I can’t stop eating it!

1 cup organic kale, finely chopped

1 cup collard greens, finely chopped

½ cup napa cabbage, finely chopped

½ cup red cabbage, finely chopped

¼ cup red onion, diced

1 cup cooked black eyed peas

½ cup raw almonds, diced

½ cup cranberries

Blood Orange Vinaigrette

1/2-cup blood orange juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1-cup olive oil

1/4-teaspoon salt

1/4-teaspoon pepper

Whisk together juice, shallots, and mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil in a steady stream until combined. Season with salt and pepper and toss together with the greens ingredients.

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Buttermilk Balsamic

1 bunch asparagus

1 zucchini

2 yellow squash

1 eggplant

1 red pepper, seeded

2 ears corn

1 small jicama, chopped

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 bunch arugula

1 head romaine

Salt and pepper

Lightly coat asparagus, zucchini, squash, eggplant, pepper and corn with olive oil.. Heat cast iron grill pan over high heat. Grill vegetables until tender. Toss arugula and romaine leaves with jicama and Tomatoes. With buttermilk balsamic dressing e in a bowl. Arrange on platter and top with grilled vegetables. You can top with ground pepper, shaved Parmesan or crumbled goat cheese.

Buttermilk Balsamic Dressing

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1-cup well-shaken low-fat buttermilk

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup balsamic

1-cup olive oil

Whisk together all ingredients until well mixed. Let stand for one hour.

Soybean and Corn Salad

6 cups edemame, shelled and cooked

5 cups corn, off the cob cooked and cut or frozen, cooked

2 red bell peppers, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 bunch cilantro,  chopped

3/4-cup limejuice

1 tablespoon cumin

Salt to taste

Mix all together. Taste. Adjust the lime. Unfortunately limes vary greatly in their flavor and juiciness, so I always buy a few more than needed.

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

6 large heirloom tomatoes, all varieties and colors, seeded and diced into 1/4-inch cubes

1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

4 Parisian cucumbers or 1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and diced into1/4 inch cubes

2 purple bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 lemon, juiced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

In a blender or food processor combine tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and peppers. Add cilantro, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and jalapeno. Add a few pinches of salt and black pepper. Process vegetables into a juicy soup, leaving it nice and chunky. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Raw Chocolate Bars

1/2 cups coconut oil

1/2 cups Cacao powder

1/2-cup rice syrup

1-teaspoon  vanilla extract

½ cups chopped hazelnuts

Beat liquid ingredients until super smooth. You can add more sweetener or more chocolate to suit your tastes. Transfer mixture to separate bowl and stir in chopped hazelnuts. Spread on a plastic wrap lined plate or dish and place in freezer to cool.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

8 ounces 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips

1 pound strawberries with stem, washed and dried completely

3 ounces white chocolate (to garnish half)

Place chocolate in heatproof pan. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowl of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth.

Once the chocolates are melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip the fruit into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set strawberries on the parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Melt the white chocolate the same way and with a fork drizzle over half of the strawberries for a lovely presentation.

Chocolate Basil Cake with Chocolate Cream Frosting

1-cup sugar

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves (plus addition leaves for garnish)

8 tablespoons butter

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 large eggs

1/2-teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4-teaspoon salt

3/4-cup all-purpose flour

1/2-cup hot water

1 cup 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips

1 recipe chocolate cream, frosting (below)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with Bakers Joy. Place the sugar and basil in a food processor. Process until basil is chopped fine and uniformly green in color (it will look slightly wet). In a large bowl whisk the melted butter, cocoa powder and basil sugar until well blended. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, until blended and smooth. Stir in the baking soda, vanilla, and salt.

Gradually add flour to bowl, stirring just until blended (do not over stir). Add hot water to mixture, stirring just until blended. Add chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 22-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into squares. Cool completely, Prepare sour cream frosting. Spread over cake and garnish with basil leaves.

Chocolate Cream

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

6 tablespoons butter, softened

½ cup 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips

1-teaspoon vanilla

In a medium bowl whisk the powdered sugar and cocoa powder; set aside. In a separate medium bowl beat the butter and melted chocolate with an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Gradually add sugar mixture to the butter mixture, beating at low speed until well blended. Add vanilla and beat well for 1 minute until very smooth and creamy.

Gwen Kenneally is the owner of Back to the Kitchen, Full Service Catering and Party Planning. She is the co-founder and master baker at Magpie Gourmet Mini Pies.  

CLICK HERE to Learn from Gwen through her instructional videos featured on EHow.

Check out her websites and  Her Sweet and Savory Cookbook is available through AMAZON .

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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