Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day, Health, $15 Challenge

Today is Earth Day and I hope everyone will remember to do something to celebrate that fact. Not just today, but for the rest of the year. Replacing light bulbs with CFLs (the curly ones) is one of the easiest changes to make and so very effective plus helping your pocket by not having to buy bulbs so often. On GMA this morning there was a segment about Upcycling click here with a very enterprising young man, Tom Szaky, has found a way to use garbage and turn it into something else. He will also pay kids for collecting garbage. This young man is going to make a lot of money and all power to his elbow, I wish him much success and anyone else who tries to do something which is so ecologically sound. OK, I admit it, I'm a scaredy cat. I had never, but never had a mammogram. I was told that if I wanted to know what it was like, to close my boob into the fridge door or lie down on the garage and let someone drive over it. What a lot of nonsense, yesterday I had one and it wasn't bad at all, so if you are like me and have been scared witless about what people tell you, hie you to your nearest lab and get one done. it really is nothing much at all. Would you believe it was a doctor who first scared me away from it. This morning I finally found the collection of recipes which are being made from the $15 worth of groceries being provided to well known chefs. Today it was Cat Cora with whom I am not familiar although I gather she is on Iron Chef. The ingredients she was given were:
  • Eat Smart Vegetable Medley (Cauliflower/Carrots/Broccoli)
  • Gold Quality White Fresh Button Mushrooms
  • Fresh Grapes
  • 2 Pears
  • Fresh Shrimp
  • America's Choice Pasta
  • Vanilla Ice Cream Breyer's
  • and she basically cooked African food with what she was given. Her recipes, which looked really good, are not yet posted, but they will be soon on www.abcnews.com/recipes where you will also find the recipes from the other challenges. Tomorrow it will be one of my favourite chefs, Wolfgang Puck, so I will be interested to see what he comes up with. Emeril Lagasse came up with a delicious salad yesterday which he called Emeril's Organic Tomato, Spinach and Pinto Bean Salad a la Champion (Sam Champion being the chooser of that day's groceries) and I thought I would steal his idea for you today. Emeril's Organic Tomato, Spinach and Pinto Bean Salad a la Champion *Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse
  • 1/2 pound dried pinto beans
  • 2 quarts of chicken stock
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 5 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoonss red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Rinse and pick through beans. Soak overnight.

    Rinse soaked beans and put into a 3-quart pot. Add one quart of water and one quart of chicken stock, simmer beans until tender, but not breaking apart. About one hour.

    In another 3-quart pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion, garlic, carrot, celery and saute over high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Pour cooked beans with cooking liquid into the pot with the vegetables. Add cumin and simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed. Drain beans, reserving the liquid for another use, if desired.

    Meanwhile, wash and dry spinach. Place half of the spinach on a large serving platter.

    Put remaining spinach in a large bowl and fold hot beans into it, to wilt. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and toss with tomatoes.

    Serve immediately.

    serves 8 as a first course

    Serves 4-6 as a main dish

    My Note: Not being part of the challenge, we can use canned beans to make this dish.

    Have a great day.


    1. There was an America president who hated broccoli. I think it was Bush, but maybe it was Ronald Reagan.

    2. I'm pretty sure it was Bush senior.