Go Green With Recipes for a Healthier Planet

Posted: April 21, 2022 10:34 am

Once again on April 22, the world will commemorate Earth Day, a day to bring awareness of the perils of the planet and mark the anniversary of the environmental movement in 1970. It’s a day to get into simple yet impactful habits that benefit our planet and ourselves.

Celebrate Earth Day in the kitchen this year with green foods for Earth Day. Look for recipes with sustainable foods like grass-fed beef, locally-sourced ingredients, low or no-cook recipes, and recipes that use parts from vegetables we usually throw away.

Check out our Earth Day menu ideas and give back to the planet this year.

Sautéed Zucchini with Garlic and Herbs

Zucchini is a versatile and healthy green food that’s used in hundreds of recipes, from main dishes to sides. It’s classified as a fruit, but treated as a vegetable. You’ll find a plethora of low or no-cook recipes like spiraled zucchini noodles (zoodles) and quick and easy stir-fries.

Sauteed Zucchini With Garlic and Herbs is prepared with zucchini coins (slices,) garlic, and scallions sauteed in extra-virgin olive oil just until the zucchini is tender. After adding vegetable stock, a little Knorr garlic and herb sauce mix, and finely-chopped parsley impart enticing flavors.

Green and White Pizza

Did you know that animal agriculture is responsible for about 15 percent of all greenhouse gases? If everyone participated in Meatless Mondays alone, it would go a long way in reducing our carbon footprint. Make it easy with recipes for a healthier planet like this restaurant-style Green and White Pizza. As attractive as it is delectable, this classy version of vegetarian pizza uses broccoli rabe sautéed in fragrant garlic. Broccoli rabe is a calciferous vegetable that resembles broccoli. Since all parts of the plant are edible, it’s great for use in sustainable recipes.

The sauteed mixture is spread on top of store-bought pizza dough. A dollop of crème fraîche and plenty of mozzarella and Parmesean add layers of cheesy flavor. Chopped walnuts and crushed red pepper flakes sprinkled on after baking adds crunch and zing. Make it even yummier by drizzling on olive oil and sprinkling with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pappardelle Pasta with Fresh Rosemary and Portobello Mushrooms

It’s natural to crave the taste of meat. We get it from our ancestors. Mushrooms like portobello and porcini have a meat-like quality that satisfies the “meatsies” in main dishes like Pappardelle Pasta with Fresh Rosemary and Portobello Mushrooms, one of our favorite recipes for Earth Day.

Serve this dish with a fresh spring salad such as Kale and Sugar Snap Pea Salad. Dried apricots and tangy rice vinegar and ginger-based dressing included in the recipe make it especially delicious.

Tofu and Black Bean Stir Fry

Removing the meat from a meal takes away most of the protein. Replace it with sustainable foods high in protein such as black beans and tofu. Add this Tofu and Black Bean Stir Fry to your list of Earth Day menu ideas. It’s a sweet and spicy dish seasoned with finely chopped ginger, spring onions, soy sauce, and other sweet and savory seasonings you’ll want to prepare again and again. Fresh cut green beans add a healthy crunch.

This dish is served with soba noodles for an authentic Japanese experience. Using noodles instead of rice in stir fry recipes is much more earth-friendly. That’s because according to the World Atlas, rice paddies are the largest source of methane gas on the planet!

Lentil Bolognese

Show kindness to the planet with vegan foods in your Earth Day menu ideas. This recipe for Lentil Bolognese proves that vegan doesn’t have to be boring. Black caviar lentils form the base for this hardy dish. Garlic, onions, and fresh or dried Italian spices add depth of flavor, carrots and celery add crunchy sweetness, and fresh tomatoes and red wine add richness and complexity.

Serve Lentil Bolognese tossed with your favorite pasta or spoon it over creamy polenta. For extra crunch and flavor, sprinkle with a dash of balsamic vinegar and toasted walnuts.

Cream of Spinach Soup

Go green in color and sustainability with green recipes for Earth Day like this easy recipe for Cream of Spinach Soup. In addition to being earth-friendly and packed with nutrition, it can be served hot or cold since April weather can vary.

Several options make this a versatile soup. You can use fresh-in-season spinach and new potatoes or frozen spinach and russet potatoes peeled and cubed. Make it with chicken or vegetable broth and chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes. Half-and-half and butter add rich creaminess.

Broccoli Stem Noodles with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Turning vegetables into noodles with a spiralizer is a trendy thing to do for earth-friendly no-waste recipes. Serve Broccoli Stem Noodles with Sesame Ginger Dressing as a side for any of your recipes for Earth Day.

Use the fresh brocolli stems that you usually throw away. Brocolli stems are crunchy and have a more neutral flavor than the florets. Keep them in the fridge until you have enough to make “broodles.” Use them as a base for marinara sauce or with freshly-made sesame ginger dressing with toasted sesmae oil, apple cider vinegar. Soy sauce, minced garlic, and grated ginger impart a delightful Asian flavor.

No spiralizer? No worries. You can also use a potato peeler.

Smoothie Recipes

We would be remiss not to add a healthy green smoothie to our recipes for Earth Day. Since cow milk production results in almost ten times the amount of carbon emitted, use almond, soy or coconut milk in your smoothie recipes.

Make this Almond Milk Green Smoothie your go-to for a quick, healthy breakfast or snack. A blend of almond milk, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, spinach leaves, and a banana will keep you full and satisfied for hours.

Some may find green smoothies a bit off-putting, especially kids that have been force-fed vegetables. In that case, turn to this dairy-free Creamy Coconut Milk Smoothie made with frozen strawberries, banana, and full fat coconut milk. Take advantage of in-season berries if available and freeze them. It’s rich, nutritious and bursting with berry flavor.



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