Living in Vermont impacted my life in many ways. Vermont taught me how to live a whole life, to care for the world around me, and to understand and wrap my arms around people no matter how different they are from me.
My Aunt Danielle has also made a huge impact on my understanding of how my habits affect the world around me and how by living a greener life I can influence my future in a positive way as well as the world around me.
One movement that has caught on is to have Meatless Mondays each week. By restricting your consumption of meat you can reduce your carbon footprint and make an impact on the goal to reduce climate change.
Here are some great websites about Meatless Monday
Another great way to impact the earth around you is to look for ways to become more eco friendly. This was never really something I thought about until I spoke with my Aunt about the effects of my habits. I changed habits such as…
- Turning off all of my electronics when I’m not using them and unplugging them
- Walking more instead of using my car
- Minimizing the use of my air conditioner and heater (I try to make it to Christmas before using my heater)
- Limit use of paper towels (which has been tough since getting Theodore but I’m sure I can figure out another way to clean up his accidents while still being sterile)
- Throw a sustainable party (or in my case, a sustainable FIESTA!)
Last night my friend Katy came over for a Mexican Fiesta gone green!
Using Lightlife products, I threw together a sustainable garden party fiesta for Neal, Katy, and I using reusable plates, cups, and silverware, organic vegetables, and meat free products.
To start, I served tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa cream (combining Greek yogurt and salsa).
“Salsa cream” is a family favorite (thanks Mom) and I love swapping greek yogurt for sour cream! While we munched on our appetizers, I got cooking!
Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna
Lightlife Gimme Lean Beef
1 onion chopped
3 T chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
dash of onion and garlic powder
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce or salsa
1 can Mexicorn
1 can Black Beans
I pkg corn tortillas
1 large pkg Mexican cheese
1. Dice one large onion and add it to a pan with 1 tbsp of oil.
2. After 10 minutes, add Lightlife’s Gimme Lean Beef. It will take a while to break down the veggie product, but just be patient, the product cooks really well.
3. Once the “meat” and onions are cooked through add the spices and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes. Side note: If you want it a bit more saucy, add one can on tomato sauce or one small jar of salsa when you add the can of tomatoes.
4. Next add the corn and beans and simmer for another 5 minutes.
5. With your “meat” sauce prepared, it’s time to create your Mexican lasagna. Start with a layer of sauce and then top with a layer of corn tortillas and cheese (I used blue corn tortillas). Your layers will look like this… sauce, tortillas, sauce, cheese, tortilla, sauce, cheese.
6. Lastly, bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve!
We all loved the dish and the incorporation of Lightlife’s products in place of ground turkey or ground beef. The real question was whether Neal would like the dish…. and he did!
Though I did love his reaction when I told him it was a soy product… WHAAAAT??
All in all it was an awesome sustainable garden party (fiesta). I can’t wait to throw another party next spring and to actually hold it outside and/or in a garden! Be sure to check out Lightlife’s other products. I’m on a mad hunt for their new veggie burgers!
As a part of the DailyBuzz Food Tastemaker program, Lightlife provided me with a stipend and product for sampling.