With Earth Day on the horizon there’s no better way to support the environment and your health then eating greens, and more specifically eating vegetarian. Shifting our way of thinking and actions on trying to reverse our reliance on fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is most certainly important and a great idea for greening our community. But the world’s best chance for achieving timely, disaster-averting climate change may actually be e
ating less meat or a vegetarian diet, according to a recent report in World Watch Magazine.
The report states that “The entire goal of today’s international climate objectives can be achieved by replacing just one-fourth of today’s least eco-friendly food products with better alternatives”. The report estimated that 18% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions were attributable to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, pigs and poultry. While it may seem daunting to adopt a vegetarian diet overnight, you can try eating vegetarian meals for breakfast and lunch, as well as one full day a week. To kick off your new going-greener diet check out the below recipe that will have all your meat eating family members feeling satisfied and wanting seconds. And remember when shopping for your produce – local and organic products are best as they contain fewer to no pesticides and higher nutritional value, as well as few greenhouse gases are emitted from farm-to-table.
Polenta with ramps and peas
4 cups filtered water
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
1 cup corn grits
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling.
½ cup sliced ramp stems (1/2 inch pieces), rinse well
2 cups chopped ramp leaves (1 inch pieces), rinse well
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh goat cheese, about 3 ounces
To add a little heartiness to this meal top with a fried or poached egg.
Add the water, bay leaves, rosemary and ½ a teaspoon of salt to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and rosemary, raise heat and return to a boil. Slowly pour the corn grits in, whisking as you go. Continue whisking, once mixture is boiling, lower heat and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is thick and creamy. To prevent lumps and the mixture sticking to the pot, whisk every couple of minutes.
Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and additional salt to taste. Cover pot while you cook the ramps and peas.
In a skillet or frying pan, warm remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ramp stems and a pinch of salt and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in ramp leaves and peas and continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes or until leaves are wilted and peas are heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon polenta into bowls and divide the ramps and peas between the bowls. Top with crumbled goat cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with a generous side salad.