Everyday Environmental

The Scramblog

  Jan 15, 2015   Everyday Environmental, Recipes

Avoid Food Waste: Salvage SupperClub Recipes

If you cringe at the idea of wasted food, check out two recipes that you'll likely embrace.  Not only are they delicious and full of healthy ingredients, but also they will use up every last bit of the carrots and the kale you may have languishing in your fridge.  These recipes come from holistic chef Celia Lam who works magic with ingredients that might otherwise go to waste.  She is the culinary braun behind the Salvage SupperClub.  After preparing these tasty recipes, you'll likely think twice before tossing produce that you assumed was no longer good to eat.  What a scrumptious way to avoid wasted food!Roasted Carrot Hummus Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes Yield: 6 servingsIngredients: • 4 medium carrots (keep peels intact, if organic) • 2 cloves garlic, peeled • 2 Tbsp olive oil + additional to drizzle • 1 ½ cup chickpeas, cooked (or 1 can of chickpeas) • 3 Tbsp tahini • 1 lemon,...
  Oct 6, 2014   Everyday Environmental

One Bag of Trash

How many bags of trash do you typically fill in your kitchen each week? Ever since we started composting, combined with weekly meal planning and vigilant recycling, we fill less than 1 tall kitchen bag of trash each week.  Why does it matter?• It means we’re wasting less food• We’re saving energy because less trash has to be hauled from our curb• We’re saving ourselves effort because we only take the trash out once a week (then again, we’re sacrificing steps to help us reach our Nike Fuel or Fit Bit goal…)• I suppose we’re saving a few dollars a year on trash bagsIf you’re a devout meal planner and Scrambler, you may have noticed that you are wasting a lot less food now that you shop with a list and a purpose. Hopefully you’re also finding that you’re saving money by wasting less food and eating home-cooked meals more often.Scramble member Amy Westcott also has minimal waste: “We do a lot of recycling here and I compost as...
  Sep 9, 2014   Everyday Environmental

I Have a Healthy EGO—You Can, Too! EGO Mower Cuts the Grass and Pollution

I was surprised to learn that mowing our lawns with gas mowers is a big source of air pollution, which is a significant factor in climate change. I suspect that in the future, many of us may move away from lawns altogether, as families in drought-prone states like California and Arizona have already done, toward more water-efficient landscaping.  However, in my neighborhood, as I’m sure in many of yours, the hum of mowers fills the air on weekend mornings as we all try to stay a cut ahead of our growing grass.After our old gas mower broke, Andrew and I searched for something more efficient and less polluting. First we bought an old-fashioned manual reel mower. But after one sweaty go around the lawn, we returned it because it was laborious to use, jammed easily, and didn’t cut the grass evenly.After consulting neighbors, friends and searching online reviews, we finally invested in an EGO cordless...
  Jun 22, 2014   Everyday Environmental 6

Can I Share My Environmental Pet Peeve? Turn Off Your Car!

As some of you Scramblers know, I’m a bit of a nutty environmentalist. I worry all the time about what we can do to protect our fragile planet, and I obsess over things like people taking 2 paper towels instead of 1 in a public restroom, kids taking 3 pieces of chicken from a buffet then only eating 2, our daughter Celia‘s long showers, and people throwing out plastic utensils at a picnic rather than washing and reusing them. I realize I can be pretty irritating, but I usually keep my thoughts about these things to myself.But the thing that lately makes my blood boil the most is when people idle their cars for long periods, polluting the environment and wasting resources, including the money in their own wallets!We spend a lot of time at soccer fields watching our daughter and her team play.  We have had one of the most beautiful springs I can remember in the DC area, with plenty of sunny, breezy days with temps in the 70s. ...
  Apr 9, 2014   Everyday Environmental 1

Why I Only Drink Organic Tea

Do you try to limit the chemicals and pesticides you and your family consume? Of course, chemicals are ubiquitous and there is no way, short of enclosing ourselves in a bubble (I just hope there are some raspberries, dark chocolate, good books and Netflix in there), to avoid them completely in the air we breathe, what we apply to our skin, or in our diets.But given the choice, I always opt for pesticide-free or certified organic products. My hope is that it will protect my family’s health, the health of the people who grow and produce them, and ultimately will positively impact our fragile environment.I drink green tea every morning and in the past I wasn’t too particular about the type I bought. That was, until I learned from my friend Seth Goldman, founder of Honest Tea (seriously, the absolute best organic iced tea on the planet other than homemade), that tea leaves are normally sprayed with pesticides in the fields and NOT rinsed before being dried and packaged and...

Fish Substitutions When you Can’t Fish your Wish

Fish is an excellent lean protein source.  It is brimming with nutrients and is a natural source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which is vital because our bodies cannot make omega-3s on their own.  Some seafood has also been shown in scientific studies to give us a feeling of fullness or satiation after eating it, which can help us avoid overeating later. It’s also quick and easy to cook if you have the right recipes.I’m sure we’ve all been in the grocery store before and found the fish we were planning on preparing that night for dinner is unavailable, too pricey or just not looking its freshest.  That’s why we’ve compiled this handy list of potential fish substitutions for a variety of fish grouped by texture and color.  Even better, we’ve kept the most eco- and people-friendly fish at the top of each list (fish that are good for you and good for the planet!)White, Lean and Firm:  Catfish, Pacific Halibut, Alaska Pollock, Haddock, Pacific Cod, Pacific...

How to Make Fruits and Vegetables Last Longer

Each Friday morning, while I’m still sleeping, we get a basket of fresh and delicious local fruits and vegetables delivered to our doorstep.  No, I don’t have an incredibly generous (and sleep-deprived) secret admirer, but I do belong to a local service called From the Farmer that delivers fresh local produce throughout the year.What makes this service better than any CSA I’ve tried is that I know in advance what will be delivered and can swap out things I don’t want or skip weeks when I’m traveling or just don’t need a delivery.  Also, the produce is delivered to us, instead of me picking it up at a central (but never quite convenient) location each week, and almost all the food that comes are things I will actually use instead of obscure or bitter vegetables or greens. (By the way, if you are in the DC area and want to give From the Farmer a try, use the coupon code “THESCRAMBLE” to get 20% off your first 4 deliveries [new customers only.])Do you hate...

Smart Girl’s Guide to Going Vegetarian: Review and Giveaway

When our daughter Celia was 11 she abruptly decided to become a vegetarian. We were pretty surprised. Although our family doesn’t eat a lot of meat, Celia had always loved it and on the rare occasions when we went out to eat, she almost always ordered a steak. Celia has adjusted well to going vegetarian and 3 years later, she still hasn’t eaten any meat or fish. As a parent, I’ve been vigilant in trying to make sure she understands what constitutes a balanced diet and am constantly encouraging her to get enough nutrients from nuts, seeds and legumes (beans, etc.). I’m also cognizant of this when preparing meals and snacks for her and the family.  While I am a proponent of meatless or low meat diets, I know it can be a challenge for many vegetarians to get enough nutrients, especially if they don’t eat a varied diet.That’s why I was thrilled when my friend Rachel Meltzer Warren, who is a food and nutrition writer, a registered dietitian, and a vegetarian since the...
  Aug 10, 2013   Everyday Environmental, Family Dinner 2

Tired of Cooking? How about a Lazy Picnic Dinner?

I just hate wasting food.  It makes me so sad to see food that's been grown or manufactured, packaged, shipped, stocked on store shelves, and purchased with our precious dollars just to wind up in the trash. So I've devised a few strategies to use up odds and ends before I restock for the upcoming week.I've sometimes made what I call a 'Sixth Night Scramble', where I cook a pasta dish, a stir-fry, an omelet or frittata, or make a big salad with whatever vegetables, cheese, meat, etc. are left in the refrigerator at the end of the week.We've been enjoying a new family tradition, which we've deemed 'the lazy picnic dinner'. The lazy picnic dinner is in part inspired by a rotating tray (sometimes known as a Lazy Susan) made out of the top of a French wine barrel that my daughter Celia and I bought at a food and entertaining show.The name is also fitting because by the end of the week, after I have run through all my planned recipes, I sometimes feel too lazy to cook and...
  Jun 23, 2013   Everyday Environmental 2

8 Steps to Care-Free Composting

Composting is one of Mother Nature's miracles - it turns organic waste (like grass clippings, raked leaves, veggie peelings, fruit rinds and other produce leftovers) into rich soil.  And it is one of the easiest things the average family can do to reduce their footprint and help the environment naturally.   Just think, by turning everyday waste into compost, you can not only reduce the amount of garbage picked up curbside, hauled by fossil fuel operated trucks and dumped into landfills, but you will also gain free, 100 percent natural, organic fertilizer for your garden, flowerbeds and lawn. While many of us have heard about the benefits to composting, we have hesitated starting this project because we are afraid it is complicated, messy and yet another household chore that is unlikely to get done.   But in reality, there are easy ways to get started, and the benefits are vast.    Here are some tips for composting simply without the mess and fuss.  Also, take a look at my...