Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recycling and Recipes

So I've spent a lot of time the past few days cooking and freezing some food in preparation for not having a kitchen for the next 12 weeks or so. I love to cook and I crank up the iPod and chop and boil and taste and dance my way around the room. In between, I did other stuff, including checking out the blog of this guy Dave who, instead of throwing it away, is saving all of his trash for a whole year. Yes, you read that correctly, he is SAVING all of his garbage for a whole year!!

He documents his trash each day and then puts it in his basement. And yes, he does have a worm composter for the food waste so he's not stinking up the whole house. Amazing! I keep thinking about this idea. Not that I want to try it per say, but I have been making a big effort for the past year or so to use less and pay more attention to the garbage our family produces and to try to reduce it. I realized I was recycling, but not so much. I would throw the plastic and glass and the newspapers in the bin, but I wasn't thinking about everything else that could be recycled.

I started cutting up all the boxes, large and small. I also started putting all the junk mail and the millions of papers that come home in the kid's backpacks every day in the bins. I already give my sister all the boys old clothes for my nephew, but I started calling the Salvation Army regularly to pick up toys and books and household items that we don't use anymore. I asked my mom to get me a composter for Christmas so that we have less food waste (I like the worm composter Dave uses and I think the boys will like it too!)

It just seems more urgent than ever to do our part to help the environment. I know we didn't necessarily create this mess we're in now, but it's hard to imagine that this is the legacy we're leaving our children and grandchildren. So I've changed all my lightbulbs to the energy savers. And I bought the reusable grocery/shopping bags. And I ride my bike, Daisy, around town as much as I can. And I make the boys walk to school no matter how loud they scream that they hate to walk and everyone else drives to school blah blah blah. And I try to think more about what I'm purchasing and why. It's not a lot, but I figure every little bit counts, right? What do you do to live more "green"?

Just for fun, I'm recycling a recipe that I cooked today. It's a favorite here in our family, and I thought I'd pass it along:

Spaghetti Pie

1/2 box whole grain spaghetti
1 egg
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 pound ground turkey
1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes or 1 jar of marinara sauce
1 12 oz container low fat ricotta cheese
1 package shredded low fat mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in pan. Add onion and garlic, cook until soft. Add basil and ground turkey. Cook until slightly browned. Add tomatoes or marinara sauce and simmer 15 minutes. In a large pot, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain well and put in large bowl. Mix in egg, butter and Parmesan cheese. Place mixture in a pie pan and form a "nest" or crust. Spread ricotta cheese over noodles. Spoon meat sauce over ricotta. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes until cheese and "crust" are lightly browned.


blushing bird said...

that recipe sounds delicious...so kind of you to share! and i agree, it does seem more urgent than ever to think about the environment. just today, i bought some eco-conscious cleaning products at target. it feels good to care.

jenica said...

green things.

we compost and use reusable bags (when i remember to bring them in!) we try to buy local... that was one i never really got before, but most of the petroleum is used for the shipping of goods. if we just bought everything locally we wouldn't be in this situation. along with that we try to garden, becoming more self sufficient.

i also never go anywhere during the day... reducing our car usage! haha.


Amy said...

all great suggestions. I am with Jenica...with a one year old, I don't get out much, so the car isn't used much either. Just to work and back and I try to use the bus when feasible.

I am also trying to reduce the waste where possible. I think if we all do little things, we can make a big difference.

kristen said...

this recipe sounds good.

i've been pretty good about recycling boxes, (get a perverse sense of pleasure in that cutting of cardboard), but i always forget my shopping bags. even though we take paper and then use that paper bag to hold the paper recycling, i'd still like to reduce.

we're going to walk to school on the days i don't work, that's it. you've inspired me!