I have 4 tips to make your kitchen greener, and you'll be happy to know they all respect the other green category – money.
1) Eat greener. The lower you eat on the food chain, the better it is for the environment. It simply takes more land / energy / water to grow a pound of beef than it does to grow a pound of broccoli or eggplant.
2) Recycle those table scraps, so you can turn them into compost. Get a small container with a lid, maybe even an old diaper pail, and keep all that old plant matter left over from preparing and eating a meal. No animal products. Just veggie scraps. Phase two happens out in the yard when you turn the table scraps into plant food by making compost.
3) Use non-toxic cleaning products. Your food sat on that counter, for God's sake. AND, vinegar and water and baking soda are much cheaper than the harsh chemical alternatives.
4) Avoid single use plastic whenever possible. Store your leftovers in re-useable containers that last for many years and save some dough. Plastic bags cost a lot over time.
Ed Begley, Jr.’s Spicy Thai Basil Eggplant
1 lb eggplant
1½ Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Brown Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Tamari
1 Serrano chile (minced)
3 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
3 Tablespoons Chopped Basil
2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds (toasted)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Slash the eggplant in several places, so it won’t explode.
Bake for 30 minutes. Take out of oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove and discard skin. Chop up flesh.
While eggplant is cooking / cooling, make the sauce. Mix vinegar, sugar, soy and chiles together.
Heat wok over high heat and add oil. When oil is hot, add garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add eggplant, cook for 2 minutes.
Add sauce, cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add basil and top with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Ed Begley, Jr. is an acclaimed actor and ecological activist. He lives in a solar powered house in Studio City CA with his wife and daughter.
by Chef Mark Shoup