Thursday, February 16, 2012

Of Food Waste, Earth-friendly Dating and Bean Salad

Vocabulary lesson today--
food waste.

Food waste is food loss occurring during the retail and final consumption stages due to the behavior of retailers and consumers – that is, the throwing away of food.

Consumers, meaning you and me.  I learned from my readings and watching many documentaries that we waste tonsa tonsa amount of food daily, making it the third largest waste stream after paper and yard waste.  And get this, 27% of that waste is available for consumption; yet, 14.5% (or 1 in every 7) of every household is food insecure.  This freaking blows my mind!  I won't ramble on the subject; instead, I urge you to visit and read Jonathan Bloom's blog, since he has a wealth of information on this issue (after you finish mine of course).  His book, American Wasteland, is a great read.

On a lighter note--

a cup of chocolate Italian Meringue frosting
a cup of Tempranillo reduction
half a jar of Brussels sprouts pickled in balsamic vinegar
3 pieces of anchovies, and
a chunk of parmegiano-reggiano. 

Random??  Not really.

A couple of weeks ago, while listening to my Saturday radio show on NPR, The Splendid Table, the host Lynn Rossetto Kasper mentioned about an earth-friendly internet dating service in Sweden that aims to spark romance between the like-minded, eco-conscious people by sharing their leftovers.  At Restdejting (that's the name of the site) website, suitors are invited to enter five ingredients left in their fridge, which then gets published on facebook for other Restdejting singleton (Bridget Jones’s Diary, hello?) to see.  That right there, is genius!  Will someone make a US version please?

I part with you today by sharing this beautiful Bean Salad recipe.  This salad is a hit to whomever I share it with.  You can served with leafy greens for a light lunch or dinner, with some tortilla for a filling snack or as a side dish.  Beans are good winter food--high in proteins and fiber, low in fat and a great alternative to meat.  

Bean Salad

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 red onion, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
juice from 1 lime
1 T lemon juice + zest from the lemon
2 T white sugar
1 T salt
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 T ground cumin
1 t ground black pepper
1/2 t chili powder
a dash of hot pepper sauce

In a large bowl, combine beans, bell peppers, red onion and cilantro.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, salt, garlic, cumin, black pepper, hot sauce and chili powder.  Pour olive oil dressing over vegetables and mix well. Chill thoroughly and serve cold.

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