Kale Caesar Salad (Plant-Based): Recipe #242

We eat some variation of superfood salad every day for lunch, so one day we decided to do something crazy. A different plate of raw greens! With grapes!! Shocking. Actually, this kale caesar salad turned out to be pretty fantastic. Why not give it a spin?

Thanks to Isa for inspiration, and to all of you for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family! 😍

Ingredients ($7 for 3 lunch-sized salads)

4 cloves of garlic, peeled – $0.15
3/4 cup cashews, soaked – $1.50
1/4 cup nutritional yeast – $0.40
1 lemon, squeezed for juice – $0.20
3/4 cup water – free
1 tsp of spicy brown or dijon mustard – $0.08
1 tsp salt – $0.05
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch lacinato kale, washed, stems removed, and chopped into bite-sized pieces – $1.99
1 bunch Thompson green grapes, washed, stems removed – $2.99

Directions for Kale Caesar Salad

1. If you have time, soak the cashews in water overnight first. If not, cover them in water and microwave for 2 minutes, then soak for 15 minutes at room temperature. This will make them easier to blend into a nice, creamy sauce. Next, use your blender to chop up the garlic cloves with several high-speed pulses. Add in the soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon, water, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until it’s very smooth.

2. In a large bowl, mix the washed kale with the dressing and massage the dressing into the kale with your hands for a couple of minutes – this is the super fun part, and it will also soften the kale leaves so they’re not chewy to eat raw. And voila! Couldn’t be easier. Serve your kale caesar salad in lovely bowls and top with the grapes for a bit of sweetness. Happy lunching! 🥗

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 1 = <4 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Coconut Rice and Beans: Recipe #241

We were inspired by a national dish of Belize to make this coconut rice and beans dinner. Belize is a beautiful coastal country in Central America between Mexico and the Caribbean, with jungles and beaches and coral reefs. Not to mention delicious food! Hope you enjoy this little culinary trip to a wonderful new land without having to leave your kitchen.

Thanks to National Foods for global cuisine ideas, and to all of you for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family! 😍

Ingredients ($5.50 for a potful)

9 small handfuls of dry pinto beans (about 4 cups) – $0.32
5 cloves of garlic, 1 of them crushed – $0.20
1 tbsp coconut oil – $0.55
1 large onion, chopped – $0.50
1/2 bunch kale, chopped – $0.90
1 red pepper, diced – $0.79
1 tbsp minced basil leaves – free from garden
3 mini cans coconut milk (161 mL each) – $1.49
1 1/2 cups dry rice – $0.53
2 cups water – free
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Coconut Rice and Beans

1. If you have time, soak the beans in water overnight first. Then, whether or not they’ve been soaked, put the beans in a large pot filled with water. Drop in 4 whole, peeled garlic cloves. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium and boil gently for at least 3-4 hours (if dry) or 1 hour (if pre-soaked). When the beans are tender and not crunchy, drain and rinse them in cool water and set aside.

In the same large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, crushed garlic clove, red pepper, kale, and minced basil leaves. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions and peppers are soft.

2. Add the beans back into the pot with the vegetables, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Next, add the dry rice, coconut milk, and water. Stir to combine everything thoroughly, and bring back to a boil. Then cover the pot, turn down to medium low heat, and let it simmer for 45 minutes until the rice is cooked and everything has come together nicely into a thick and creamy dish.

Serve the coconut rice and beans with your favorite side dish, or eat it as a complete meal in itself. Enjoy your tropical getaway! 🌴

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine: Recipe #235

Today I learned about the Buddhist practice of “no waiting.” It means you don’t have to wait for some future thing to happen in order to find happiness and peace in this present moment, right here and now. Maybe you can be grateful to be alive, and breathing, with a comfortable place to sleep. Or if you make this Moroccan vegetable tagine, it’s pretty much happiness in a bowl. Thanks to Suzy for inspiration!

Hope you enjoy, and thanks for being part of our delicious planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($11 total for a large pot of stew)

3 tbsp olive oil – $0.30
1 onion, peeled and chopped – $0.50
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped – $0.15
1 tbsp chili powder – $0.70
1 tsp ground cumin – $0.28
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon – $0.14
1 tsp ground turmeric – $0.28
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed – $0.75
Salt and pepper to taste
1 x 28oz can crushed tomatoes – $2.69
1/3 cup apricot jam – $0.85
2 cups miso ginger broth – $1.00
2 cups cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans, canned or boiled from dry – $1.58
1 lime, juiced – $0.20
1/4 bag chopped kale – $0.49
Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn up – $1.10

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 5 minutes to begin to soften the onion. Next, add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, salt and pepper. Mix well and stir for another 5 minutes to release all the flavor from the spices as they warm up.

Then add the chopped potatoes, tomatoes, jam, broth, and chick peas / garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Finally, add in the kale and lime juice, and simmer for 5 more minutes to wilt the kale.

2. Taste for seasonings. Adjust with salt/pepper/lime juice/brown sugar if needed to make it taste exactly how you want it to taste in this moment.

Serve the Moroccan vegetable tagine hot with a hunk of fresh bread like our crusty two-tier artisan bread, garnish with the torn basil leaves, and enjoy your bowl of happiness. ❤️

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Coconut Tofu Curry: Recipe #234

I’m finally getting more comfortable with curries, where I can just cook and invent and adjust without following a recipe. I can do this for Italian and British cooking, since that’s what I grew up with, but expanding my repertoire is wonderful too. For this take on Thai curry we played with broccoli, mushrooms, kale, tofu, and coconut milk to make some culinary magic.

Hope you enjoy, and thanks for being part of our delicious planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($14 total)

1 tbsp coconut oil – $0.55
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 garlic, minced – $0.15
1 tbsp curry powder – $0.70
1 tsp each cumin and ginger – $0.56
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp flour – $0.02
2 cups miso ginger broth or vegetable broth – $1.00
1 head broccoli, chopped – $3.49
5-6 mushrooms, chopped – $1.25
1/4 bag chopped kale, destemmed and chopped – $0.49
2 x 5 oz cans coconut milk – $0.67
1/4 cup crushed tomatoes – $0.40
1 lime, juiced – $0.20
1 package teriyaki baked tofu, chopped up – $3.69
3 cups cooked rice – $0.35

Directions

1. Chop and prepare all your ingredients, and start the rice cooking. I had some lovely help for this part!

Then, in a large pan, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, curry powder, cumin, ginger, salt and pepper. Stirfry for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and the spices smell incredible.

2. Next, stir in the flour into the onions and cook for 2 minutes to thicken, then gradually stir in the broth. Add in the broccoli, mushrooms, and kale, followed by the coconut milk, crushed tomatoes, lime juice, and tofu. Simmer over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until broccoli is tender but still bright green.

Serve the coconut tofu curry hot over rice, and enjoy your bowl of curried comfort. ❤️

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Pasta with Cheezy Lentil Sauce: Recipe #230

Everyone here loves pasta. But as delicious as it is, I can get bored making the same tomato sauce, beans, and greens variety all the time. So I keep trying to come up with variations that are interesting and totally yummy, like this cashew-cheezy, hearty-lentilly pasta dish of comfort for any family dinner. It’s inspired by Isa Does It‘s Lentil-a-roni.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours, because if we don’t have a planet to live on, nothing else matters.

Ingredients ($9 for a large pot)

3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water for extra creaminess – $1.50
1 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils – $0.69
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth – $0.75
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped – $0.15
1 tsp salt – $0.05
1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil – $0.56
Black pepper to taste
28-oz can crushed tomatoes, blended for extra smoothness – $1.59
1 tbsp brown sugar – $0.03
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (optional) – $0.10
1-2 lbs green and yellow beans – we picked these free from the farm
1 lb of your favorite pasta – $2.99

Directions

1. Prepare your ingredients. Soak the cashews overnight (or for at least 2 hours) in water at room temperature, then drain the water. This will make the cashews soft and easy to blend.

Cook the lentils according to package directions (I would usually use a 3:1 ratio: boil 1 1/2 cups of water for 1/2 cup dry lentils). Wash and trim your green and yellow beans.

Blend the cashews and vegetable broth together in a blender until it’s very smooth with no chunks.

2. Make the sauce. In a large pan over medium high heat, cook the garlic, salt, oregano and basil together in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until the garlic starts to brown. Next, add the lentils and mix well. Use a fork to mash up some of the lentils.

Add in the blended tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add in the cashew mixture and keep cooking for 3-5 minutes more until it’s as thick as you like. Taste and adjust for salt/sugar/acid/pepper.

3. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add in your pasta. Set a timer according to package directions for how long the pasta will need to boil. When about 7 minutes of cooking time are left on the timer, add the green beans into the water with the pasta.

Drain the pasta and green beans, then pour the sauce over it and give it a good through mixing. Grab yourself a bowl of comforting, nourishing deliciousness!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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Pasta with Cheezy Lentil Sauce: Recipe #230

maitridojo
A totally yummy, cashew-cheezy, hearty-lentilly pasta dish of comfort for any family dinner.
Cook Time 1 hr
Plus soaking the cashews 1 d
Total Time 1 d 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews soaked overnight for extra creaminess
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt plus black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes blended for extra smoothness
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1-2 lbs green and yellow beans
  • 1 lb your favorite pasta

Instructions
 

  • Prepare your ingredients. Soak the cashews overnight (or for at least 2 hours) in water at room temperature, then drain the water. This will make the cashews soft and easy to blend.
    Cook the lentils according to package directions (I would usually boil 1 1/2 cups of water for 1/2 cup dry lentils). Wash and trim your green and yellow beans.
    Blend the cashews and vegetable broth together in a blender until it’s very smooth with no chunks.
  • Make the sauce. In a large pan over medium high heat, cook the garlic, salt, oregano and basil together in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until the garlic starts to brown. Next, add the lentils and mix well. Use a fork to mash up some of the lentils.
    Add in the blended tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add in the cashew mixture and keep cooking for 3-5 minutes more until it’s as thick as you like. Taste and adjust for salt/sugar/acid.
  • While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add in your pasta. Set a timer according to package directions for how long the pasta will need to boil. When about 7 minutes of cooking time are left on the timer, add the green beans into the water with the pasta.
    Drain the pasta and green beans, then pour the sauce over it and give it a good through mixing. Grab yourself a bowl of comforting, nourishing deliciousness!

Notes

 
Sustainability Score (explained here)
  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18
If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!
Keyword comfort food, dairy-free, pasta, plant-based

Split Pea Potato Soup: Recipe #220

Sometimes you just want a creamy, comforting soup to soothe your spirit. This split pea potato soup hits the spot and happens to be plant-based too for extra happiness. Hope you enjoy it when you need a warm, loving hug!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($6 for a large pot)

1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, chopped – $0.15
1 zucchini, chopped – $0.47
2 tsp rosemary – $0.56
1/2 tsp sage – $0.14
1/2 cup bourbon – $2.40
1 1/2 cups green split peas – $0.99
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped – $0.75
6 1/2 cups water – free (or you could use vegetable broth)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Split Pea Potato Soup

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes to start to soften the onion, then add in the zucchini, garlic, rosemary, and sage. Cook for another couple of minutes, stirring often.

Add the bourbon and mix well, making sure to scrape any onion bits off the bottom of the pan. Let the alcohol burn off for about 3-4 minutes. Then add in the split peas, potatoes, and water, with about 1 tsp of salt to start.

Bring to a boil, then cover the pot, turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 30 minutes until the potatoes and split peas are soft and tender.

2. Pour the soup into a blender in batches, and return it to a different pot to simmer and stay warm. Puree it until it’s nice and smooth, but a few chunks are ok too if you like the texture. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm and get cozy.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Vegan Potstickers/Gyoza/Mandu Dumplings: Recipe #214

Many cultures have a filled dumpling kind of food: samosas, empanadas, pierogies, ravioli, mochi, blueberry buns… Maybe we’re on a quest to try them all! In Japan and Korea these marvels are savory and can be filled with veggies like cabbage and mushrooms. They’re fun to cook, steamed on one side and fried on the other side, then dipped in a sesame soy based sauce. All the kids went back for seconds of these vegan potstickers. Hope you enjoy! Thanks to Bianca for inspiration.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($11 for about 12 gyoza)

Gyoza dough:
2 1/2 cups flour – $0.40
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
2/3 cup hot water – free
Cornstarch to dust

Filling:
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil – $0.40
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped – $0.15
1 tsp ginger – $0.28
1 leek, chopped – $1.49
1 package enoki mushrooms – $2.49
1 head savoy cabbage, chopped – $2.49
1 orange pepper, chopped – $1.69
2 tbsp soy sauce – $0.20
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar – $0.27
Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp canola oil for cooking – $0.04
1/4 cup water – free

Sauce:
3 tbsp soy sauce – $0.30
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar – $0.27
1 tbsp maple syrup – $0.24
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil – $0.04

Garnish (optional): tofu, sesame seeds, green onion

Directions for Vegan Potstickers

1. Make the dough: In a medium bowl, mix the flour and salt, then pour in the hot water while stirring until it comes together into a ball of dough. Knead with your hands for 5 minutes, then wrap it in cling wrap and refrigerate for 1/2 hour to 1 hour.

After that, roll it out on a board dusted with cornstarch to a round shape as thin as you can make it. Use a round cookie cutter about 3″ wide to cut out circles that will be used to wrap the dumplings.

2. Make the filling: In a large pan, heat the 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil over medium high heat, then add in the garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the garlic starts to turn golden, then add in the ginger and leeks and cook for 3-5 more minutes to soften the leeks.

Add in the mushrooms, cabbage, and pepper, followed by the 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. Cook for 5-7 more minutes until the cabbage is wilted and the liquid is mostly gone. Set aside to cool for the filling stage.

3. Assemble and cook the gyoza: Use your fingers to stretch a wrapper out a little bit more, then add a full teaspoon of filling to the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over the filling like a taco shell, working from one end and pinching the two sides along the edge in a diagonal overlapping pattern (see pictures below), or any pattern you like.

Heat up the canola oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the dumplings and cook for about 3 minutes until they get nice and golden on the bottom, then pour in the 1/4 cup water and cover the pot with a lid. Steam for about 8 minutes until the water has evaporated, then remove the potstickers carefully from the pot with a flapjack (they will be a lovely shade of brown after being nicely stuck to the pan).

Stir the sauce ingredients together, and serve with the gyoza/vegan potstickers, the leftover filling, tofu, and any garnishes you like. Enjoy hot from the pan!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Canadian Hodgepodge Stew: Recipe #210

Hodgepodge is a bit like taking whatever vegetables you have left from your garden and tossing them into a big, nourishing stew. I learned about it from the East Coast of Canada, but no doubt there are similar recipes wherever people grow food. It’s very rewarding to turn leftover things into delicious things, like this Canadian hodgepodge!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($9 for a large pot of stew)

2 tbsp coconut oil – $0.31
1 cup chopped onion – $0.50
1 tsp each oregano, garlic powder, and sage – $0.42
2 cups halved baby potatoes – $0.90
2 cups cooked pinto beans – $0.79
2 cups chopped snap peas – $2.29
2 cups chopped beet greens -$1.99
1 cup frozen corn – $1.00
1 cup unsweetened soy milk – $0.37
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar – $0.27

Directions for Canadian Hodgepodge Stew

1. In a large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium high heat, then add the onion, oregano, garlic powder and sage. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent, then add the potatoes and enough water to just cover them. Bring to a boil, then turn it down to a medium low simmer. Stir in the beans and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender to be easily poked with a fork.

2. Add the chopped up snap peas and beet greens, then the frozen corn and soy milk. Mix thoroughly.

3. Cook for a few more minutes to combine all the flavors, then serve your Canadian hodgepodge stew warm in individual bowls. Enjoy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Garbanzo Broccoli Fritters: #200 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

You could make these veggie burgers with any kind of beans and greens, like lentils and zucchini, kidney beans and collard greens, etc. We made them with garbanzo beans and baby broccoli because that’s what we had on hand. The dill and basil give it a nice zing. Plus it’s recipe #200 today, so that’s a reason to celebrate! Hope you enjoy this savory lunchtime delicacy.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total for 10 fritters)

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans/chickpeas – $1.00
1 bunch baby broccoli – $2.79
1/2 onion, diced – $0.25
1 tbsp basil, chopped – $0.55
1 tbsp dill – $0.70
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced – $0.10
1 tsp dijon mustard – $0.08
1/2 cup flour – $0.08
2 eggs – $0.58
1 tsp baking powder – $0.02
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil for frying – $0.40

Directions

1. Make the fritter dough: mash up the cooked garbanzo beans in a bowl with a fork, then add the broccoli, onion, basil, dill, lemon juice/zest, mustard, flour, eggs, baking powder, salt and pepper. Mix well to make it into a thick batter – add a bit more flour if it’s too wet to hold together into patties.

2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Shape the patties with your hands and place them into the hot pan. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until they’re nice and crispy and golden brown. You’ll probably need to cook it in two batches.

3. Remove the cooked fritters from the pan with a spatula and let rest on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up some of the oil. Keep the first batch warm in a low temperature oven while you’re cooking the second batch, then serve hot for a yummy and nourishing lunch. They keep well in a sealed container in the fridge if you have leftovers for the next day.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact (eggs)
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish (fried)
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Summer Ratatouille: #190 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

We’ve watched the Pixar movie Ratatouille at least a dozen times, but have never worked up the courage to actually make the film’s signature dish. Finally, after 190 of these food experiments, Megan and I decided to give it a go. The hardest part is all the slicing of the vegetables. Other than that, it’s easy and fun to put together this healthy French delicacy.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($10.50 total)

Sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 green pepper, chopped – $0.69
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, blended – $1.59
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped – $1.10
Salt and pepper to taste

Veggies:
2 large zucchinis, sliced – $1.16
3 tomatoes, sliced – $2.97
6 small potatoes, sliced – $0.90

Herbed oil:
4 tbsp olive oil – $0.40
1 tsp thyme – $0.28
1/2 tsp oregano – $0.14
1/2 tsp basil – $0.14
1 tsp garlic powder or fresh chopped garlic – $0.28
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Make the sauce to go under the layered vegetables: In a large pan that will be safe going into the oven (no plastic handles), heat the 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Cool and stir occasionally until soft and a bit golden, about 5 minutes.

Add in the garlic and green pepper, and cook for a few minutes more. Then add in the blended tomatoes and basil, and stir to combine. Let it simmer gently for a few minutes, then remove from heat to cool a bit while you’re chopping up the vegetables.

2. Prepare the veggies: thinly slice the zucchini, potatoes, and tomatoes, and put them in a large bowl. Make the herbed oil by mixing together the 4 tbsp olive oil with the thyme, oregano, basil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small dish.

3. Assemble and bake: arrange the vegetables in mini staggered stacks of 3: one slice zucchini, one slice potato, one slice tomato, and repeat. Start around the edge of the pan to make a circle, then make another inner circle inside the outer circle, and so on until all the tomato sauce is covered up tightly by stacked vegetables. We added an extra slice of zucchini to each stack since we had leftovers.

Once you’re happy with the layout, spoon the herbed oil evenly over the top of all the vegetables. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375F for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 20 more minutes. The veggies should all be nice and soft. Cool for a few minutes and serve warm in bowls with fresh crusty bread. Bon appetit!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!