People ask why I started Gratitude Gourmet in addition to doing Green Tech and other startups. I'm a data-driven person and the answer is: 18%+ Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from Animal Agriculture & 2% GHG from Information Computing Tech (ICT).
I didn't know anything about the food business but I started Gratitude Gourmet because the 18%+GHG Animal Agriculture Issue was important to address & very few people were addressing it! Starting in May '08 I helped get the word out - i.e. Speaking, and as WRI Advisor I requested Agriculture be included in Carbon Accounting Protocols - there wasn't much action at the time, but now there are 'tons' of food, water, and ag. sustainability/planning conferences, and the WRI and Companies are addressing it more now. I've been introducing UN Rio+20 officials and USDA Representatives to great CEO Leaders who have been reducing meat and cheese in their operations by 20% because of the climate change report data. Water is increasingly a major topic of discussion. It takes more than 2400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. In October 2008, a person on my Women in Technology Silicon Valley Technology Panel (from Tech to Green Tech) led a startup in this area. At a Stanford Food, Energy, Water, and Climate conference last week, a powerful developing nation was mentioned as leasing farmland globally now and there's increasing meat consumption. There needs to be a serious decrease in meat consumption worldwide.
The Picture in this article is from last week's Stanford conference discussing 21st century water trends: Increasing Water Demand, Water Scarcity and Unsustainable Supply, Declining Water Quality, Unmet Environmental Social Economic Needs, Changing Expectations, and Climate Change.
Thank you all for your great support so far in my work with Gratitude Gourmet. I've met alot of great leaders along the way and they inspire me everyday, and some of them are you!
If you have examples/ideas on how you have helped address these issues in your companies/orgs/communities, please let me/us know.
It must take every one of us to act now.
National Park Week is April 21-29, and ALL 397 of our US parks will offer free admission, all week long! The National Park Service is again joining with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, to present National Park Week. Find a Park by Name, Location, Topic here.
Which Park Will You Visit, and what food and drink will you bring on your picnics and hikes?
Mary on the Stanford Blender Bike
Time to bring on the Margaritas!!
Stanford is celebrating its Earth Day today, and I stopped by the celebration during lunchtime.
Most of us like Smoothies, and mine was made-to-order with Bananas, Blueberries, and Strawberries.
All I needed to do was power-up the blender using the Stanford Blender Bike - yes, you 'heard' me right :)
Instead of plugging the blender into an electric socket, the blender is attached to the bike and uses people-power!!
I bet after the event, they'll bring on the Tequila for those Margaritas :)
I love this Stanford Blender Bike!!
What are you planning to do for Earth Week(end)?
I have mentioned to Erica Weirich MD, Director, Global Health Research Foundation www.ghrf.org and Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine, that she will win a Nobel Prize someday.
In this video, you will see her recent visit to Bhutan and Nepal sharing the 'Patient Outcomes and Environmental Monitoring System', a community-based program bringing straightforward and culturally appropriate mobile technology tools to Ranger and Health partners in Nepal and Bhutan. This project is a collaborative effort - Global Health Research Foundation is providing tools, World Wildlife Fund and the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, as well as the community providers, are providing infrastructure and oversight. There is a description of how pesticides affect mosquitos, frogs, small animals, and the few remaining tigers as well as cost-saving examples of using these mobile technologies.
In Nepal, even though there is significant deforestation, the villages are committed to keeping their Valley Poacher-Free. There are only 3,200 Tigers left in the wild (there are more Tigers in captivity then in the wild today). The Government has taken a creative measure by paying Poachers more as a Tour Guide using their tracking skills, then what they would be making as Poachers. Mobile devices are also being used to alert people if there are Poachers in the area.
There's a Women's Foot Patrol Group whose sole purpose is to keep their sacred wildlife alive. Per the Video: " It's so important for people to see how interconnected Health and the Environment really are: that's what our purpose here was. In Nepal we saw not only the best of Nature, but of Human Nature as well. When people take care of Nature, Nature takes care of them."
I was lucky to visit Nepal in 1999, including Chitwan National Forest where we saw protected Rhinos and learned more about the Tigers' plight due to poaching.
Enjoy this Powerful Video produced by 19-year old Madeleine Traver.
In The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude, Brian Patton shares 100 vegan recipes, including cocktails, breakfast sandwiches, Bourbon Tempeh Sliders, and desserts such as Sailor Peanut Rum Ice Cream. There are appetizers and nachos, pizza and tuna-like sandwiches as well as plenty of salads, pasta, and main dish choices.
Just note the book's language is a bit racy... so it's a cookbook for adults.
As for a recipe I'm featuring on this article, I love SPICY and FLAVORFUL food so I've included Brian's Jambalaya Recipe at the end of this article.
Check out Brian's Story:
Patton taught himself the craft of cooking by preparing meals for his parents and his culinary education continued when he moved to Los Angeles and found a cooking job where he learned the ins and outs of professional cooking. From there, he was hired by Veggin' Out, a vegan home delivery service, where he eventually was promoted to the Executive Chef position he enjoys today.
As the only meat eater when he first started working at Vegin’ Out, Patton decided to see what would happen if he became vegan for one month. “After this animal product–free month, I had more energy and I lost about eight pounds, so I thought I’d give it another month, and then another month,” writes Patton. “My energy continued to skyrocket. I was becoming healthy on the inside, which was beginning to show on the outside: my complexion improved, the whites of my eyes got whiter, and after ten months, I’d lost sixty pounds!”
Patton has been a vegan ever since, but as a regular dude he still wanted to eat sandwiches, sliders, onion rings, pizza, and to enjoy a cocktail or two, so he started compiling easy, failure-proof vegan recipes that worked with his lifestyle. Then in late 2006, he began sharing them on his very own cooking demonstration show on YouTube called the Sexy Vegan, where his fun and lively style quickly developed a large and loyal fan base. You can visit Brian online and watch his fun cooking videos here: http://www.thesexyvegan.com.
Enjoy the JAMBALAYA Recipe thanks to Brian!
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 Pretend Chipotle Sausages (see recipe)
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish
In a pot, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the celery, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the veggies are soft. Add the thyme, cayenne, oregano, onion powder, and paprika, and stir to coat the veggies. Cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a grill, grill pan, or medium skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the sausages with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, and place on the hot grill or skillet. Let brown for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. Cut the sausages on the diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick
slices. When the sauce is done, season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, place rice in the bottom of each bowl, ladle some sauce over the rice, and top with the sausages. Garnish with the parsley.
PRETEND ITALIAN SAUSAGES
Toss these with some Tomato Killer and sauteed peppers and onions, and throw them on a crusty Italian roll. Classic.
Makes 8 sausages
1/2 pound russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup vital wheat gluten flour (see WTF, page 24)
2 tablespoons Seitan Seasoning (see recipe, page 208)
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon chickpea flour or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup low-sodium tamari or soy sauce (see WTF, page 25)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup drained freshly cooked or rinsed canned white beans (cannellini, navy, etc.)
Extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
In a small pot, cover the potatoes with cold water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the chunks easily fall apart when you put a fork through them. Drain the potatoes well and, while they’re still hot, gently mash with a fork until there are no chunks left, or pass through a potato ricer. Set aside to cool. In a bowl, whisk together the wheat gluten, seitan seasoning, chili flakes, fennel seeds, and chickpea flour. In a food processor or blender, puree the tamari, water, onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and beans. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, add them and the bean mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mash it all together with your hands to form a soft dough,making sure there are no dry parts remaining. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before using. You can also wrap it in plastic and store it in the refrigerator for later use. It will last for 5 days. Form the dough into a loaf-like shape and cut it in half. Then cut those halves in half. Finally, cut the halves of the halves into five-sixteenths...just kidding, cut them in half. Now you’ll have 8 portions. Roll them into cigar-like shapes, 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Loosely roll each portion in foil and twist the ends of the foil to seal the packet. Remember to leave some room for expansion. Using a steamer basket, steam for 1 hour. If you want crispier outsides, after the sausages have steamed, fry them in a skillet or grill them with a little olive oil for a couple of minutes, until browned.
VARIATION: Pretend Chipotle Sausages
Omit the chili flakes and add 1 or 2 chipotle peppers (depending on how hot you like it) to the food processor or blender before you puree the wet ingredients.
Excerpted with permission from The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude ©2012 by Brian Patton. Published with permission of New World Library http://www.newworldlibrary.com
Gratitude Gourmet Chocolate
Looking for a Gourmet Mother's Day Gift that's Fair Trade and Made in the United States? By popular demand, we've expanded some of our Gratitude Gourmet Chocolate Boxes from 6 pieces to 12 pieces just in time for Mother's Day, along with special pricing!
Check out the NEW 12 Piece Chocolate Boxes here - We have many Vegan Chocolates too including our 12 Piece Chocolate Peanut Butter and Jelly! - All Chocolate is freshly-made-to-order so ensure you place your order here in time for Mother's Day.
Gratitude Gourmet (tm) 12-piece Chocolate Sampler in merlot-color gift box
Chocolates include Lavennise, Citrus Chipotle, Berries Passion, Hazel Praline, Cafe Latte, Almond toffee, Salted Caramel. Freshly Made in California USA with Fair Trade Chocolate.
Gratitude Gourmet (tm) 12-piece Truffle Collection in merlot-color gift box
12 Piece Collection consists of Lavennise, Citrus Chipotle, Berries Passion, Hazel Praline, Cafe Latte, and Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut-Berry in merlot-color box and gold stretched cord ribbon. Vegetarian. Freshly Made in California USA with Fair Trade Chocolate.
Gratitude Gourmet (tm) 12 Piece Salted Caramel in merlot-color gift box
12 piece creamy vanilla caramels infused with Mediterranean Sea Salt dipped in dark chocolate. Freshly Made in California USA with Fair Trade Chocolate.
Gratitude Gourmet (tm) 12 Piece Almond Toffee & Salted Caramel in merlot color gift box
Six pieces crumbly hard toffees infused with vanilla and almonds, dipped in dark chocolate and rolled in diced almonds and Six pieces creamy vanilla caramels infused with Mediterranean Sea Salt dipped in dark chocolate.
Freshly Made in California USA with Fair Trade Chocolate.
Herta Peju, Peju Province Winery (Credit H Peju)
Meet Herta Peju, Co-Founder and Matriarch of Napa Valley's Peju Province Winery.
Almost four years ago, I featured Peju Province Winery's Gourmet Vegetarian Appetizers and Wine Pairings.
In July 2011, I had the great pleasure of meeting Herta Peju and learned about her love of gardens and animals during our stroll in her beautiful Peju Province Winery and Private Gardens. She also introduced me to stories from her Austrian and Venezuelan roots, in addition to the Kohlrabi Vegetable.
Herta Peju is a beautiful and inspirational woman and I'm sure you'll enjoy meeting her through the videos and pictures below, and finding the tour of her Peju Province Winery and Gardens a magical experience.
Herta Peju -Peju Province Winery (MVincent)
Enjoy the Video Interviews, Garden Pictures, and a List of some of her Favorite Garden Flowers and Plants which you may want to plant this Spring and Summer.
Walking through her gardens is very peaceful and I hope you get the chance to visit soon. Herta has kindly shared two Kohlrabi Recipes with you, Gratitude Gourmet readers.
It's a great pleasure for me to introduce Herta Peju...
Peju Province Wine Garden
If you're interested in taking your own Peju Wine Garden Tour, pickup a one-page Peju Province Winery Garden Guide at the Winery. The one I referenced listed Garden Plants Blooming from May through November.
A Few Examples include:
Red Rose (Gate) - Altissimo and Blaze
Dahlias - Envy (Dinner plate red) Otto (xlg peach) Diane (lg pink)
Cape Fuchia (Moonraker)
Angels Trumpet (Brugmansia arborea)
Peju Current Wine Releases I Enjoyed
I've been a great fan of Peju Wines for years now thanks to our Friends' Recommendation, and these are the Wines I enjoyed during my July 2011 Peju Winery visit:
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
2007 Estate Syrah
2007 Fifty/Fifty, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Blend
Herta's Kohlrabi (Peju Winery)
1. HB’s Austrian Kohlrabi Stir-Fry
Serves 2 as a side dish - Courtesy of Herta Peju
4 small kohlrabi, roughly chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat olive oil over high heat until hot
2. Add onion, cook until almost translucent, 2-3 minutes
3. Add garlic, and just afterwards, add kohlrabi
4. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often
5. Add sugar and lemon juice, stir
6. Add salt and pepper to taste
7. Remove from heat, being sure not to overcook. Kohlrabi should still be firm.
2. Sauteed Kale with Kohlrabi
Serves 8 - Courtesy of Herta Peju
1 1/4 pound kohlrabi, bulbs peeled
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds kale (2 bunches), stems and center ribs discarded
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup salted roasted pistachios, chopped
1. Very thinly slice kohlrabi (with mandolin, if possible)
2. Whisk together lime zest and juice, half the oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large bowl.
3. Toss kohlrabi with dressing and set aside.
4. Finely chop kale. Heat remaining oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add garlic and sauté about 30 seconds. Add kale by the handful, turning and stirring with tongs until all the kale is wilted.
5. Sauté with 1/2 teaspoon salt until just tender, about 3 minutes.
6. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
7. Toss kale with kohlrabi and pistachios.
Peju Province Winery Pictures (photos by Mary Vincent)
Thanks again to my friend, Juliet, a great purveyor of great environmental news and science for sending this article to me from Conservation Magazine.
"A new analysis suggests that in Ecuador, farmers produce even more cocoa beans when they grow their crops under a canopy rich in local trees, providing a home for native animals in the process...b"ut many Ecuadorians may now be abandoning this agricultural practice, says a team of researchers from Ecuador, choosing to cut down trees to give their cocoa plants better access to sunlight."
It makes good economic and environmental sense for cocoa farmers to embrace their shade, they conclude. “Chocó cocoa therefore represents a rare case where yield and biodiversity could both benefit from a wildlife-friendly farming measure,” they write. “We term this a ‘partial win-win’ situation.” –Daniel Strain | March 18, 2012
Does anyone have any favorite Chocó Cocoa?
Thank you to my good friend Juliet Lamont for letting me know about Oakland Veg Week April 15-21 which will consist of vegan cooking demonstrations, talks on vegan nutrition by celebrated speakers Jack Norris (co-founder of Vegan Outreach) and Nathan Runkle (founder of Mercy for Animals); a free screening of Vegucated; and a grand finale celebration where attendees can sample some of the most delicious vegan fare available.
Oakland City Council member Nancy Nadel, Alameda County Supervisors Wilma Chan and Keith Carson, and Rep. Barbara Lee are all pledging to be veg for the week, and some of their staff are too. The city and county are both officially proclaiming April 15-21 to be Oakland Veg Week, and Oakland Unified School District will encourage students to try vegetarianism for the week.
This reminds me a bit of how I setup a Vegetarian Day in my Hungarian Peace Corps City during the first Earth Week I planned for the city. The School only served vegetarian meals that day - if you know Hungarian fare, that required some negotiation :)
Happy Oakland Veg Week!!