Yo, did you know today is Earth Day?
If you’ve checked Facebook or googled anything then chances are you probably do. But besides another reason/excuse to update your social media or pimp out a themed blog post, Earth Day is the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon ensued. Today 192 countries and more than 1 billion people get down on Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world (holla!)
ED’s 2014 focus is mobilizing a global movement towards efficiency and renewable energy (aka “green cities.”) So- what exactly does Earth Day have to do with a vegan recipe? Quite a lot, actually. I’m gonna break it down for you, and trust you want to read this as you’ll sound totes smart and like a member of the Peace Corps when you tell people just exactly how you’re helping to save the environment.
It goes something like this- as the transportation and availability of meat has become easier, more and more people have started consuming large quantities of meat (global meat consumption has tripled over the last four decades). All this extra meat comes at an extreme cost to our planet. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions (36 billion tons of greenhouse gases annually) that are accelerating climate change worldwide – more than the entire transportation sector! OMFG- that is INSANE! How about the fact that unless we can get greenhouse gases under control, we can only continue to expect more of the dramatic changes we’ve seen in recent years, such as melting ice caps, heat waves, heavy rain and rising ocean temperatures?!
If that doesn’t resonate with you, I’d just like to point out that we also expound a huge amount of resources to our livestock (in the US 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef and 50% of corn produced in the USA is used as feed for the animals) !!!!
I mean seriously, think of how much carbon and resources we could save if we ate less meat?! Even just eating meat one less day a year would make a difference.
Earth Day Network was kind enough to break it down for me (basic math, what?). So, for instance, if over the course of a year you:
- Ate one less burger a week, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for 320 miles.
- Skip meat and cheese one day a week with your family, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for five weeks – or reducing everyone’s daily showers by 3 minutes.
- Skip steak once a week with your family, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for nearly three months.
- And if the entire U.S. did not eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
As you can see, the impact of not eating meat can really add up (not to mention help you to eat healthier, feel better and probably shed some additional lbs). Thus by making my amazingly delicious Earth Day Buddha Bowl once a week you’re also making a serious dent in the world’s carbon footprint and reducing your own personal footprint (or basically riding your bike to work for three months which let’s be honest lots of us could never do in real-life). You can also formally take action and join me in pledging to not eat meat once a week.
So now that I’ve showed you how easy it is to #savetheenvironment, let’s get to how good it tastes.
By now I think my obsession with Buddha Bowls has been made quite apparent. I mean really though- what’s not to like about Buddha Bowls? Whole grains? Good. Roasted veggies? Good. Lean protein? Good. Bomb.com sauce? GOOOOOOOOD. They’re nourishing, healthy, filling and freaking delicious, and this #earthday bowl is no exception. In fact it’s one of both my and the MLB’s ultimate faves. The BBQ chickpeas will satisfy any meat craving and mix perfectly with the ranch hummus (ya know, like BBQ/Ranch?) You can really add in any veggie but roasted broccolini and cauliflower are two of my faves and in season right now. Add some fresh greens, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, avocado and chives and you got yourself the makings of a Buddha Bowl that dominates Earth Day.
Earth Day BBQ Chickpea Ranch Hummus Buddha Bowl
(inspired by Half Baked Harvest)
- 1 can organic chickpeas (or 1 ½ cups), drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 heaping tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons coconut greek yogurt or vegan sour cream (I think the vegan sour cream adds
- that really ranch like flavor)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried or fresh chives
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- additional water for thinning, if needed
- 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
- 1 bottle organic BBQ sauce such as Annie’s Organic Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
- 1 tbsp creole seasoning
- 1 head cauliflower, rinsed, dried and chopped into florets
- 1 bunch broccolini, rinsed and dried
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- black pepper to taste
Additional Bowl Ingredients
- fresh salad greens for the base
- sliced cucumber
- chopped cherry tomatoes
- sliced avocado
- fresh chives, diced
- Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss your chopped cauliflower florets and broccolini with the olive oil, sea salt, minced garlic and black pepper. Place in a parchment lined pan and roast for 20-30 minutes (I like to roast the broccolini and cauliflower in separate pans as the broccolini takes about 20 minutes vs. 30 minutes to cook the cauli perfectly).
- While your veggies are roasting toss all hummus ingredients (minus the olive oil) together in a high speed blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, then add in olive oil slowly until mixed well. BOOM- you’re done. set aside in the fridge to chill until ready to eat.
- Onto your BBQ chickpeas. Coat a large pan with the tbsp olive oil and heat over medium on the stove. Add in the chickpeas, seasoning and good amount of BBQ sauce (up to your discretion) and saute for about 5-10 minutes, or until thick and sticky. Remove from head and stir in additional BBQ sauce (I like it saucy).
- Assemble your additional bowl ingredients. When ready, top greens with hummus, bbq chickpeas, roasted veggies and chopped fresh veggies. Sprinkle with chives and drizzle with additional BBQ sauce (for good measure).
You’re welcome, Earth.