I had the fortune of covering this weekend's Green Festival in Washington, DC. The event, located in the capital's Convention Center, had vendors showcasing everything from hybrid car engines to environmentally friendly detergents, eco-friendly upholstery to vegan and vegetarian fare, 100% recycled clothing to disposable, compostable plates made from palm leaves. It was both amazing and inspiring, and there was truly something for everyone.
One of the things was very clear is that little steps make a big difference, and we can all do our part by making even one change. Like today ~ whether you are a vegan like me, a vegetarian, or even a proud meat eater, you can still participate in World Vegetarian Day. Choose one meal, or all three, and make it vegetarian. Replace your whole milk for a non-dairy version like almond or soy, have felafel or a veggie burger instead of a turkey & cheese sandwich, and have pasta with veggies and a salad or vegetable sushi instead of steak, seafood or poultry for dinner. If you want to try a new recipe for today, see what I whipped up last week using some of the most colorful and flavorful characters from this season's produce. I hope you enjoy!
4 large beets, washed, peeled, ends cut off, diced in large pieces (I used the candy cane variety)
1 fennel bulb, no shoots, rinsed and sliced (discard the hard center core)
2 Macintosh apples, washed, cored, and diced in large pieces
1/8 c grape seed oil
1 TBSP dried rosemary
1/2 tsp + 1 tsp kosher salt
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP butter (I use the vegan brands)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium sized baking dish place the beets, fennel and apples. Atop them drizzle the oil, rosemary and 1/2 tsp salt. Place the dish in the oven to bake for one hour.
At the hour mark, stir in the apple cider vinegar, remaining salt and brown sugar.
Bake another 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and stir in the butter to finish it off.
Allow the dish come to room temperature, letting the flavors continue to blend. Serve with a leafy green salad and, if you choose, a glass of crisp white wine.
Note: If you want the apples to be more firm, as they do break down quite a bit over the course of the hour, don't add them to the baking dish until after the first 30 minutes have passed.
For more vegan recipes, tips and suggestions about where to find the best in local vegan fare go to www.thetrendyvegan.com.