Everybody knows that conscious living means feeding your body, mind and soul with all the right stuff. Sounds fairly simple, but quite often it isn’t. If you need some guidance through your daily struggles of finding time to exercise and getting eco-friendly recipes to put a healthy dinner on the table, you should follow Gianna Ciaramello. Originally from New Jersey, this Los Angeles-based yogi was raised 100% Italian, which obviously means she grew up cooking and started helping her mom in the kitchen when she was just four years old. Food is her passion and that clearly shows in her colorful photos.
By now, she has changed her diet to be completely plant-based, as it is the eco-friendliest and most sustainable way to eat. If you think that vegan food is bland and boring you should check out her Instagram @gianna_ciaramello for vibrant photos of fresh produce grown in her garden, and her Facebook (Gianna Ciaramello) for eco-friendlyrecipes inspiration. Be prepared to get your mind blown!
And if her posts do not convince you to choose locally-grown produce over meat, fish, dairy and eggs you should watch Cowspiracy on YouTube that outlines the effects of factory farming on our environment. Did you know that the same amount of farmland can be used to grow 37,000 lbs of vegetables, but will only sustain cows that deliver 375 lbs of meat? Hopefully, future generations will be smarter than us and look at factory farming as a horrible mistake that now lies in the past.
My two favorite recipes eco-friendly recipes from Gianna’s collection can be found below. Mac n Cheese – what else??
Vegan Mac n Cheese
For the “cheese” sauce:
2c peeled cubed potato
1 carrotWater for boiling
4tbs coconut oil
1/2c unsweetened almond milk
3tsp lemon juice
1/2tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp onion powder
1tsp liquid aminos, tamari or low sodium soy
2c frozen peas
Gf pasta of choice or zucchini noodles
Boil the potatoes and carrots until tender then blend everything in a food processor or blender until totally smooth. Stir in the peas and serve hot!
Cauliflower “steaks” with Olive and Tomato
1 large head of cauliflower
1/2 pitted fresh olives, finely chopped
3 sundried tomatoes
3.5 tbs chopped parsley (flat leaf)
1tsp lemon juice
3 garlic cloves
2 plum tomatoes cored and quartered
1. Slice cauliflower into “steaks” from the center. reserve any loose pieces and finely chop 1/2 cup, reserve that in a bowl (chopped cauliflower) and add olives, sundried tomatoes, 1 tbs oil, parsley, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Preheat oven to 400, cook the steaks with a little olive oil until golden brown (about 2 min per side) in a skillet, adding more oil I necessary. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
3. While the cauliflower is roasting, sauté some garlic in a pan and add the tomatoes, cut side down. Cook until tomatoes brown then turn them and transfer to the oven. Roast until tender, about 12 minutes.
4. Transfer garlic and tomatoes to a blender and purée, season with salt and pepper. Pour over each cauliflower steak and top with “relish, cauliflower and olive mixture”