Thursday, September 29, 2011

Celebrate World Vegetarian Day!

World Vegetarian Day is Saturday, October ,1 kicking off Vegetarian Awareness Month, which culminates in World Vegan Day on November 1! For those not already vegetarian or vegan, Saturday would be a good day to give it a try! Even if you're not ready to make a lifetime or even month-long commitment, one day without meat is a great place to begin. If you start with the right recipes, you will never even miss the meat! You can start right here on this blog, we list Meatless Monday recipes every, you guessed it, Monday! Except that one time when we accidentally posted on Tuesday...Meatless Monday is a movement that has gained a lot of ground since its start in 2003 and is now practiced in 21 countries and growing. The idea is "cut out meat one day a week." If every person on the planet ate a vegetarian diet one day a week, it would be equivalent to taking 5.7 million cars off of the road each year or planting 4.5 billion trees. Every little bit really does make a difference, but imagine the impact if if it was more than once a week! Plus, in the process, you may discover all kinds of new and delicious foods that you have never had before. These days there are also a multitude of meat alternatives to try, far more than your traditional veggie burger. Healthy Home Market is a great resource for all things vegetarian! Get your friends, family and coworkers involved in Vegetarian Awareness Month...not only will it be easier and more fun to do together, not to mention, healthier for everyone involved and the planet, but participants can win $1000! Click here to take the pledge. Happy meatless eating everyone! Your body, the Earth and animals everywhere will thank you!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meatless Monday: Vegan "Tuna" Casserole


4 tablespoons vegan margarine, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
10 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 cup flour
2 cups veggie broth
1 1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk (I use soy)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and mashed
8 ounces fusilli pasta
1/2 cup crushed plain potato chips
1/2 cup French fried onions


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and prepare an 8x8" glass baking dish with a quick spray of cooking oil. Heat 1 tablespoon vegan margarine in a pan. Add onion, celery and mushrooms and saute for a few minutes. When mushrooms give off liquid, add soy sauce. Keep cooking until all vegetables are tender, turn off heat.
2. In a medium soup pot, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons vegan margarine over low heat. Stir in the flour and whisk for a few minutes. It will get thick. Start adding the broth bit by bit, whisking all the while and bring to a boil. Add the milk little by little and continue to stir and simmer.
3. Add the mushroom/celery/onion mixture and lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Add the mashed chickpeas a spoonful at a time to break it up evenly throughout the sauce.
4. Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente, approximately 9 minutes. Drain and return it to the pot. Add the mushroom sauce to the pasta and stir gently to combine. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
5. Uncover the dish and sprinkle crushed chips and French fried onions on top and bake for another 5-6 minutes or so or until the top is browned and crispy.
Serves: 8, Preparation time: 20-30 minute


Thursday, September 22, 2011

"I'm just one person. What can I do to help the environment?" Part II

A few more of our daily favorites from eco-expert Danny Seo of "Do Just One Thing!"

Did you know that the average shower gel takes up to 200 to 300 years to biodegrade once the sudsy mess has gone down your shower's drain? Wash up in the shower with truly organic body washes, shampoos and soaps. "Natural" smelling soaps and cleansers are usually made with non-organic chemical formulations and synthetic fragrances. Fortunately, some truly green skin-care companies are offering products that work great and are affordably priced. 

In the market for new sneakers? Be sure to recycle your old ones. Bring any old pair of sneakers to any Niketown store; they'll be recycled as part of their reuse-a-shoe program that grinds them down to be used in playing fields and playgrounds. Learn more at

Because of the recent reports on the dangers of non-stick cooking pans, consider choosing a long-lasting alternative: cast iron. While the actual health risks associated with cooking with non-stick pans are still being debated, why take chances? Cast iron pans are easy to cook with, durable and can be used on the stove and inside the oven. Some cast iron pans even add iron to the food cooked in the pan. Flea markets and your mother's attic may turn up a treasure trove of vintage cast iron cookware.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and....Repair? This is the fourth "R" that many of us have long forgotten. When a TV, vacuum or kitchen appliance breaks, the normal reaction is to throw it away and buy a new one. But sometimes a simple repair will fix your broken appliance and make it almost as good as new. When something breaks, look in the phone book for local businesses that can repair it. Many chain stores also have repair centers to help you with everything from computers to lamps. Repairing will also save you money: On average, fixing a broken item costs significantly less than buying it brand new.

When buying office paper for your home or office printer, think 100% post-consumer recycled paper. It's easier than ever before to find recycled paper reams at major office supply stores. This paper is made from old paper that we've put out for recycling and recycled into new paper. And if you think recycled paper means it's dark and gray, think again: The new papers are treated to look almost just as white as virgin stock. the best part? Price. recycled paper is competitively priced and sometimes less than non-recycled.

Make a healthy treat that's good for you too. Popsicle molds are readily available in the kitchen supply section of most stores. Fill the molds with fresh juice or vitamin-fortified drinks; add liquid B-12 vitamin for an extra dose of energy. insert sticks and freeze. It's good for the environment since the popsicles aren't wrapped in plastic packaging and didn't have to be shipped frozen from the manufacturer to the store to the freezer. it's good for you because it's free of excess sugar and artificial color and flavorings.

While drinking tap water is the greenest, least wasteful alternative to bottled water, many people remain skeptical. And sometimes you have the right to be. To find out exactly what's in your tap water, request a free water report from your public utility. It'll list exactly what's in your water and outline the quality of your water. Call the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791 to learn more.

Did you know that we're wasting 147 million gallons of gas because of improperly sealed gas caps? It is literally evaporating away. You can help put an end to this by making sure you seal your gas cap and hear a clicking sound at least three times. This will prevent gas from literally evaporating into thin air.

Use an old toothbrush to buff your scratchy CDs with toothpaste. Be sure to use creamy paste (not gel) and rub the scratches out by running the brush from the center out, not around the CD. Be sure to clean the CD well with warm water and dry witha lint-free dish towel. Works great on DVDs too.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"I'm just one person. What can I do to help the environment?" Part I

For eco-expert Danny Seo, the answer is simple: "Do Just One Thing." This daily feature, which offers Danny's simple, convenient tips on eco-friendly living, reminds readers that caring for the environment doesn't have to be expensive or complicated.

We have chosen some our favorite daily tips to share with you! Enjoy!

No need to be too picky when donating clothes to charity. Only about 10% of donated clothes ever end up for resale in thrift shops; the rest are sold to textile recyclers. Ripped jeans, way too faded t-shirts and other worn out clothes are recycled into cleaning cloths and other industrial items by recyclers. They pay charitable organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army a fee for the old clothes, which adds up to a significant amount of money for their charitable works. So, clear your closets clean and give away!

Consider replacing your inefficient showerhead with a more water-saving (and sometimes more luxurious) one. Did you know that your daily shower accounts for 1/5 of all indoor water use in your home? An aerating showerhead, which adds air to the water so that pressure is just as good - can cut bathroom use by as much as 50 % and save you money in the long run. Any home improvement store will have the latest, most stylish water-saving devices for you to choose from, many offering spa-like features to turn your bathroom into the ultimate sanctuary.

Small marks, scratches and scuffs on your wooden table, chair or dresser can be covered up with a trip to your pantry. Simply rub a walnut into the scratch; the natural oils in the nut will conceal the scratch marks.

It pays to shop early for the holidays. When buying gifts online, elect for ground shipping instead of overnight/air shipping. Not only does ground shipping use less fuel, but it usually costs less too. Also, have the items shipped to where delivery trucks already go on a regular basis, like your office.

Bring your old eyeglasses to any Lenscrafters store. They will fix them up and give them to visually impaired people in Third World countries as part of their Gift of Sight program. Learn more at

To balance out an uneven chair or table, turn to the junk drawer. Use a sharp knife to slice off a sliver from a wine cork. Glue to the shorter leg of the table or chair to balance it out. You can also make the bottoms of furniture scratchproof with cork too: Just slice four identical slivers of cork and glue them to the bottom of the legs of a sofa, armoire or bed. The cork is soft and will buffer the furniture from scratching the floor when moved around.

One of the greenest gifts is no real gift at all: gift cards! If you have difficulty choosing a gift for someone who is impossible to shop for, avoid choosing the wrong gift, which may go unused or eventually be thrown away, and let them choose. A gift card is a green choice since the recipient can pick and choose exactly what they need or want. Tip: Unused gift cards can also be traded online at Gift Card Buy Back for cash. Go to

Car pool time. If you and your neighbors drop your kids off at the same school every day, why not try to set up a car pool schedule? The rule to avoid chaos? Keep it simple. Ask a neighbor to car pool first and split the schedule in half. If more parents want to join, add them one at a time to keep it manageable. Car pooling saves time and natural resources.

If you're shopping for a new computer, consider a refurbished model to save the environment and money too! Many major computer manufacturers often receive returns on computers due to minor technical glitches. Apple, for example, fixes these computers and puts them through a stringent process to restore them to as good as new. All glitches are fixed, all cords and cables are added, and the machines are cleaned, completely tested and come with a one-year warranty. Savings can be up to 50% off the retail price.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meatless Monday: Vegan Tempeh Reubens


Seasoned Tempeh
1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 small onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 8-oz. pkg. tempeh, sliced

Thousand Island Dressing
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
3 Tbs. relish
2 Tbs. ketchup

16 slices rye bread
5 oz. vegan Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
2 cups sauerkraut


1. To prepare Seasoned Tempeh: Combine liquid aminos, onion, garlic, bay leaf and 2 cups water in saucepan over medium heat. Add tempeh slices, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 20 minutes. Cover, and let tempeh cool in broth.
2. To make Thousand Island Dressing: Stir together mayonnaise, relish and ketchup in small bowl.
3. To make Sandwiches: Toast 8 slices bread. Set aside. Drain tempeh, and discard liquid, onion, garlic and bay leaf. Place 3 slices tempeh on each slice of remaining bread. Top with cheese slices. Toast or broil 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
4. Top each sandwich with 1/4 cup sauerkraut. Spread toasted bread slices with Thousand Island Dressing. Place tops on sandwiches, and slice in half.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tofu Tuesday: Coconut-Crusted Tofu with Peach-Lemongrass Salsa

Unfortunately, we missed Meatless Monday this week, so we thought we would make up for it with Tofu Tuesday!


3 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and diced
1-2 jalapenos, preferably red, seeded and minced
1 2-inch piece fresh lemongrass, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried (see Note)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 14-ounce package extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Set a wire rack on a large baking sheet.
2. Combine peaches, jalapenos, lemongrass, basil, brown sugar, vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; toss to combine.
3. Mix coconut, flour and cornstarch in a shallow dish. Cut the block of tofu lengthwise into 8 thin steaks. Pat the tofu slices dry with a paper towel, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, then press both sides of each tofu steak into the coconut mixture.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 tofu steaks and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent scorching. Transfer the tofu steaks to the rack-lined baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium-high heat; cook the remaining tofu steaks until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Serve the tofu with the peach salsa.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Meatless Monday: Nasi Goreng


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 zucchini, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
8 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cups cooked rice
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped


1.Heat half of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Swirl the beaten egg into the pan so that it coats the surface. Flip the egg after 30 seconds, and cook for an additional 20 seconds on the other side. Remove the egg from the pan and, when cool enough to handle, roll up on a cutting board. Slice the rolled egg to make thin strips and set aside.
2.Heat the remaining oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add the zucchini, carrot, and green onions. Stir fry for three minutes. Add the garlic, rice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili sauce; stir thoroughly.
3.Serve immediately, topped with the egg strips and chopped chive.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tasty Recipes for this Holiday Weekend

Whether you are entertaining at home or headed to a cook out at a friend's house, we have you covered with some delicious and healthy recipes to try! We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend! We will be open regular hours on Monday.