I’m super excited because I’ve got 3 very special valentines. Perhaps they aren’t what you’d expect — handsome young men with flowers, jewelry, and chocolate — but they are very important to me. My valentines will be the Planet, Animals, and Myself. Okay… and one handsome man 🙂
V-Day is all about love, romantic or otherwise, so Sweet Potato Soul is choosing to honor a different kind of valentine. I’m going to show you how you can give love to the planet, its animals, and your beautiful self too!
Today we’re starting with loving the planet. Monday, the animals, and next Thursday is going to be all about loving yourself. Since food is my most favorite way to show love, expect recipes and tips for eating a love-filled diet! You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to show your love, all year round.
As you know, the planet is in peril. The population is growing quickly, and greenhouse gas emissions of developing countries are expected to dwarf ours. All the while, we’re experiencing the shocking effects of climate change first hand. A third of all man-made greenhouse gas comes from animal agriculture, more than that of all transportation combined.
Then there’s the water issue. Did you know that 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into producing 1 pound of beef? At about 10 times more than what’s used to produce a pound of tofu, is that sustainable? Factory farms also pollute the waterways around them, filling streams with drug-resistant, bacteria-laden excrement, and toxic chemicals.
With all of the landmass, water, and energy that go into raising animals for slaughter, we could be feeding millions of starving people, and building a healthier future for ourselves. You can call me a dreamer, but I call myself an optimist. Despite the bleak predictions, there is A LOT you and I can do to help make a difference.
How to love the planet & make a difference (it’s EASY!):
Step one: Eat vegan butternut squash enchiladas!
Step two: Commit to a plant-based diet.
Mother Earth is in need of your love. Eat like you care!
Butternut Squash Enchiladas
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and diced
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash sweet potato or zucchini
- 1 can kidney beans or any other bean
- 1½ tbsp cumin
- 1½ chili powder
- 1 cup cilantro leaves chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
For the sauce
- 3 tbsp coconut or olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1½ tablespoons ground cumin
- 1½ tablespoons chili powder
- 3 tbsp garbanzo flour or all-purpose flour optional
- 15 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 8 small corn or flour tortillas
- Heat your oil in a large skillet.
- Add the onions, and cook until translucent.
- Add the garlic jalepeño, water, and squash.
- Stir well, and cover with a lid.
- Cook for 15 minutes, until the squash is tender.
- Add the beans, followed by the cumin and chili powder.
- Stir well.
- Add the cilantro, then season to taste with salt and spices.
- Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.
- Add onions, garlic and jalapeños; cook until the onions are translucent.
- Add cumin, chili powder, and flour, whisking until browned and thickened.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, mixing well.
- Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove sauce from heat, and pour into a large food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
- Wrap the tortillas in some aluminum foil, and set in the oven to soften for 5 minutes.
- While tortillas are softening, pour ½ - 1 cup of enchilada sauce onto the bottom of a baking dish.
- Carefully remove the tortillas from the oven.
- Fill a tortilla with the butternut squash filling, then roll tightly, careful not to break it.
- Place fold side-down into the baking dish.
- Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling, placing each tortilla close to the other.
- Once they’re all rolled, pour the remaining enchilada sauce onto the tortillas.
- They should be completely smothered in sauce.
- Bake for 20 minutes.