Label: Recipes

April 18, 2011

This story is part of our ongoing Earth Week coverage.

  Today is Monday, and making a habit of "Meatless Mondays" is one thing that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint (which means to use fewer resources, create less waste, and generate fewer greenhouse gases). Do you remember our recent, very popular blog entry about Burping Cows? (how could you forget that picture?!).


Raising livestock to produce meat and dairy products creates 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions - more than planes, trains and automobiles combined. So some families have started practicing "Meatless Mondays." They commit to one day each week when they will not eat meat…..which helps to reduce their carbon footprint.

One of the hardest things about getting started on Meatless Mondays is that many people don’t have interesting, satisfying vegetarian recipes on hand….and you can only serve fish sticks so many Mondays in a row before your family gives up!

So, I am going to share a delicious, easy, meatless recipe. And, there are seven more equally tasty recipes available for you right here on, in the Educators & Families section. Click on Teacher Guides, Extra Resources to find a whole page of Meatless Monday recipes that you can download and make for your family. Saving the Earth and tasting good, too - that’s hard to beat!


(Serves: 6)




1 can (15 oz) Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz) Light Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz) Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 package baby spinach (fresh or frozen)

24 oz. vegetable broth

½ c. sun dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips

1 tsp. dried basil

crushed red pepper flakes

shredded Parmesan cheese

Can of Crispy French-fried onions


1.    In large stockpot over high heat, cook garlic and onion in olive oil, sauté until brown.

2.    Mix in spinach, sauté 2 minutes.

3.     Add beans, broth and spices, simmer 30 minutes. Salt & pepper to taste.

4.    While pot is simmering, make enough rice for your family.

5.    Serve over rice, top with cheese and fried onions.  


That’s it. Quick, easy, and delicious, too. Happy eating, Earthlings! 


What are you doing this Earth Week to contribute to the global effort to pledge a Billion Acts of Green? Click on “Comments,” at the bottom of this story, and tell us what you are doing. We will publish all your comments in one big article at the end of Earth Week, to honor each writer’s promise to protect our planet, and inspire other readers to do the same.




Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Earth Day 2011, Carbon Footprint, Greenhouse Gases, Recipes   •  Permalink (link to this article)

August 11, 2010



We keep talking about this week’s Perseid meteor shower because this is a particularly good year to see it. There is only a sliver of a moon, so the meteors will really pop against the dark sky. The best time for viewing the show will be the darkest hours before dawn on Friday morning (or very late Thursday night, depending on how you think about it). If the skies are clear where you live, you will be able to see dozens of meteors per hour. It’s about the most satisfying amateur astronomy experience you can have.

One August when my daughter was in elementary school, we planned a middle of the night Perseid party for her friends and their families. Everyone was invited to come at 3:30 am, with pajamas being acceptable attire! We asked them to bring a pillow for everyone and quilts that they didn’t mind laying in the dewey grass. I guided everyone via flashlight to the pitch dark meadow behind our house, and we laid together in the dark, ooh-ing and ah-ing as if it were a fireworks show. Then at 5am, as the rosy-fingered dawn started to illuminate the horizon, we brought everyone up to the house for a middle-of-the-night brunch. It was a memorable evening.

Of course, the trick to serving brunch in the middle of the night is to prepare everything in advance, so that you can sleep until the very last minute before guests arrive. I have a favorite quiche recipe which can be made in advance and quickly heated up in the oven or microwave. Cut up a fruit salad, set up the coffeemaker before you go to bed and you’re ready to go. For anyone who would like to try it this week, here’s my recipe. Enjoy it under the meteor shower!



1 box pie crust mix                                                                  1 cup (1/2 pt.) Light Cream

8oz. Gruyere or Swiss Cheese (.5 lb)                                   Nutmeg

3 eggs, beaten                                                                        Salt & pepper to taste

½ c. bacon, mushrooms or other fillings as you wish           1 TBL butter               

½  c. nonfat Milk         

Preheat oven to 450º. Cut the cheese into small cubes. Pre-cook any meat that you plan to put in the quiche and crumble into small pieces. If you are using vegetables (scallions, mushrooms, etc), cut them up and sauté in butter until they are nice and soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

Make a single piecrust, put it into a pie dish and prick all over with a fork (so it doesn’t blow up into a big balloon!). I usually put some tin foil over the top edges to hold it up against the sides. Cook the piecrust alone for 5 minutes at 450 degrees.

After the piecrust is pre-cooked, sprinkle your fillings (bacon, scallions, etc) on the bottom and cover them with the cubed cheese.

In a bowl, beat three eggs. Add cream, milk, dash of nutmeg, sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pour over the cheese.

Bake 15 minutes at 450º. Then, turn oven down to 350º and bake 10-15 minutes more,...

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Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Astronomy, Summer Vacation Science, Meteor, Recipes   •  Permalink (link to this article)