Because I like natural resource conservation and related programs, people send me articles, books, messages by letter and email. Interestingly enough, I also receive recipes that are “green” to the core. This could mean that they use little water in preparation and cleanup or it refers to the nature of the ingredients. I have enjoyed many fruit and vegetables smoothies, healthy pizzas, fat-burning stews, and no-calorie desserts. Some are pretty good. Some are better than that.
I like the idea that a significant number of these green recipes are easy to make and don’t require a lot of utensils and appliances. A good hand mixer like one of these comes in handy, a good immersion blender (go read some reviews), sometimes a food processor—and I am ready to roll. Get out my best knife and slicer machine. I don’t know why I decided to try some of the more appealing ones, but I have with good results. I’m no chef, but who doesn’t like to eat well?
A nice feature is that restoring the kitchen to normal is not a big issue. I don’t waste a lot of water using the dishwasher or even scrubbing pots and pans by hand. Some recipes are only one bowl or one appliance. So this is an added plus—ecology and water economy all rolled into one. I am not sure if this is what everyone had in mind, but I am going with it.
Some of the tastier temptations use dates and raisons in homemade corn bread. I also love muesli with dried apricots or prunes. It’s a great breakfast alternative. Fresh apples and bananas blend well with papaya and blueberries. Avocado is the miracle fruit and sweet melon is sublime. I started to become imaginative on my own after a while. Citrus salads are a personal preference with bibb lettuce and orange or grapefruit segments. Chicken à la Morocco is festive and fun piled over couscous and garnished with figs.
Here is a recipe for four from my heart (and brain) based on a compilation of a few favorites. Try it on friends or family, especially the non-meat eaters in your life. They will ask for more of your culinary offerings and perhaps spawn a new career.
Greek Vegetarian Delight
4 c. medium zucchini in ½ inch slices
4 c. medium size peeled eggplant cut into small cubes
Medium size red bell pepper cut into strips
½ c chopped medium to large onion
8 oz whole mushrooms cut into fourths (they can be packaged)
1 clove finely-chopped garlic
28 oz can of tomato purée in its original liquid
2 1/4 oz can sliced, drained ripe olives
2 tsps salt
2 tsps basil leaves (preferably dried)
½ tsp dried thyme leaves (not in the form powder)
Dash pepper to taste
Place the ingredients in a slow cooker and combine them well.
Cover and cook on low heat for about 7-8 hours until the mixture is just tender.
Remove and serve hot with rice, garnished with fruit, or as you wish. Enjoy.