Vegan Chili (composed of Veracruz Sauce, Tomato sauce, and toppings together)

How to read this recipe:

– Look at all ingredients for Veracruz Sauce, Tomato Sauce, and prepare them all as dictated before starting.

– Ensure that you have 1 large stock pot, a blender or a hand-blender, and one sauce pan.

– Follow the order as written.

– If you need more salt, add more miso, soy sauce, or salt before serving.

Veracruz Sauce

Needs: Stovetop burner

8 Roma tomatoes (optional) sliced in half with cores removed

2 Red Bell peppers – Deseed and cut into large halves

2-3 Jalapenos – Deseed if you don’t want this too be too spicy

1 large yellow onion (or 2 small ones) – Cut in half

Instructions

– On your stove top burners, place the jalapenos, tomatoes (optional), onions, and red bell peppers over the flame.

– Place until relatively charred and blistered then rotate. Repeat until there is decent blistering over each ingredient.

– Reserve the veggies on the side

– Gentle note: Please open your windows and allow the air ventilation to prevent your home from becoming too smoky.

Tomato Sauce
Needs: One large stock pot for chili, one sautee pan for garlic

– 1 large can of crushed tomatoes/whole peeled tomatoes/diced tomatoes

– 1 spoonful of tomato puree

– 6 – 8 cloves of garlic crushed and minced

– 3 – 5 tablespoons of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom but not drown ingredients in 2 pots)

3 – 5 large spoonfuls of miso paste

2-3 Bay leaves

Instructions: Stockpot

– Pour some of the olive oil into a stockpot.

– Pour in the reserved ingredients from the Veracruz sauce into your stockpot.

– Add a spoonful of tomato puree

– Cook for 5 – 10 minutes on high heat. Mix the veggies

– Add the large can of tomatoes. Then place a lid on top of the stockpot.

– When it starts to bubble, mix and lower to medium heat

– Add your 3-5 spoonfuls of miso (Remember, if you want more salt, you can always add more miso later)

– Set aside your pot off the burner onto a stable platform. Place a mitten to prevent the hot pot from damaging your surface. Please be careful with your pot.

Instructions: Sautee pan (Do this while waiting for those 5 – 10 minutes)

– Add some olive oil into a pan and place on medium heat

– Add your garlic

– Wait until the garlic is browned (1-3 minutes

– Pour the olive oil and browned garlic into the stock pot

Blend the soup
Instructions:

Needs: hand blender or blender

– When the sauce is HOT, move the entire pot onto a stable surface.

– Use a hand blender to blend the ingredients in the pot (you can pour the ingredients into a blender too). Please hold onto the handle of the stock pot to prevent the pot from flying out

– Return the pot to the stovetop and heat on medium heat.

– Add your bay leaves.

Toppings:

– 1-2 small cans of black beans (washed with cold water until it runs clear)

– 1-2 small cans of pinto beans (washed and dried)

Optional: 4 Diced dried tofu (dou gan) blocks

Instructions:

– Add all ingredients into Pot One. Then place on medium high heat. When bubbly, reduce to low to medium-low.

– Stir and scrape the bottom to prevent burning.

– Cook and reduce for about 30 minutes to 1 ½ hours.

– Taste repeatedly to see if the salt levels are correct. If it needs more
– salt, add salt or miso. If it needs less salt, add a touch of water.

– Serve

Annual Report

Every year, Grades of Green conducts an audit to track where the dollars donated to Grades of Green go. We strive to build trust with our donors by holding ourselves accountable with our finances. We are always to happy to share our findings, but we are particularly enthusiastic about this year’s report. The 2018 annual report shows that for every 1 dollar donated to Grades of Green, 86 cents goes directly into student programs.

What Does That Mean?

This means that 86% of all donations go DIRECTLY into programs that teach students- this includes the expansion of programs like our ongoing Waste Campaign. You can feel good about donating to our students as we help them fight environmental issues together. Click here to donate!

New Year, New Habits

Want to make 2019 the most eco-friendly one yet? Follow these tips and try any of these activities for this year! Get your friends to join you in one of these activities so you can all go green together!

Green Year’s Resolutions

– Bring your own bags and containers to stores and restaurants for shopping and leftovers. Also, don’t forget your bags and containers at home!

– Take the time to recycle at home and at work.

– Don’t litter. By buying less and using less, you can drastically reduced your impact and litter from using packaging material.

– Time your showers. Try to set a record, but don’t forget to clean behind your ears.

– Try to drive even less year this year! Plan some social events with a carpool, with a bike, or with public transportation. This is a great way for kids to learn about using public transportation, it’s a great way for you to stay healthy, and it’s a good way to get together with friends and try new things.

– Plant something! Not only are plants therapeutic, but you can eat things like your own green onions and root vegetables.

– Don’t flush things that aren’t toilet paper or waste down the toilet. Clogging from these kind of materials can create infrastructural damage that reduces a city’s ability to dump water safely back into the environment.

– Try going vegetarian for a day or for a week. Many people around the world eat vegetarian dishes to celebrate an event! Try learning vegetarian recipes from people around the world!

The entire Grades of Green staff wishes you a happy new year! Let’s make this the greenest year yet!

The Community Creates

Cal State LA students created a series of community documentaries focusing on environmental efforts in Los Angeles. Grades of Green, Green Technology, and Communities for a Better Environment all worked with Cal State LA’s talented and passionate students throughout the semester to create videos showcasing their work. Many non-profits depend on the talented and compassionate volunteer work from teams like the CSU LA media team and we cannot thank them enough for their efforts!

Come Watch with Us

Grades of Green staff and board members will be watching these videos at their premier. Grades of Green’s video will be showcasing our semester long campaigns that tackle an issue like water issues. The showing is open to all audiences at no cost- join us by registering to join the event HERE

December 15, 2018

7:30 PM – 8:30 PM PST

Hauser & Wirth

901 East 3rd Street

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Remember to register to join the event and we will see you there!

Different Water Issues Requires Diverse Solutions

Water issues can come in different shapes and sizes around the world. In Grades of Green’s Water Campaign, students have the freedom to choose which issues that they want to address and tackle.

As a result, students around the world have been tackling an assortment of water issues in their own way!

Bottega Delle Arti Creative in Rome is a dance school that is addressing Rome’s serious water infrastructure issues. Rome is currently one of the largest water leaking cities in the entire world due to their aging piping infrastructure and lack of funds to address this issue. Through dance, the school is not only bringing awareness if this issue to citizens in Rome, but also to an international audience through online videos and seminars with guests hailing from around the world.

Unity Charter School in Morristown, New Jersey had a huge team of environmentalists this year. They decided to tackle all kinds of water issues based on their students’ interest. One of their students wanted to tackle the water quality issues affecting their beautiful beach. He planned to host communal cleanups along the beach to help his community not only appreciate the beauty of the nature but also respect it by encouraging event-goers to keep the beach beautiful by picking up litter.

St. Roza in Kampala, Uganda has been trying to conserve as much water as possible due to their area’s lack of water infrastructure and their inconsistent rainy and dry seasons. In addition to their newly built well, St. Roza is relying on a series of rain barrels to increase their water conservation efforts to prepare them for the upcoming dry season.

None of this would be possible without the generous help from our sponsors:

The Boeing Company

Sanitation District of Los Angeles County

Long Beach Water Department

Northrop Grumman

LAcarGUY

LA Kings Foundation

Subaru Pacific

County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

Carton Council

Downtown Manhattan Beach Business & Professionals Association

Johnson Ohana Foundation

West Coast Event Productions

Grand View PTA

Optima Energy

Continental Development

Klean Kanteen

Follow us on Social Media and let us know YOUR favorite way to save water!

With the holiday season approaching soon, we’re sure that you’ll be looking forward to eating a delicious meal with your friends and family. But what about dealing with the scraps and leftovers after friends and family are gone?

Instead of throwing your hard earned meal into the trash can, follow these recipes from Grades of Green Mentor and former chef, Jordan, to create new delicious dishes and memories.

Post-Holiday Soup

Soup is a versatile dish that can be used for many things. Soup can be eaten as-is, used as a base for noodles, it can be used to cook rice in a rice cooker, and it can be used to make risotto as well. Use it to make a ramen, pasta, or rice dish!

1 set of Turkey or Chicken Bones and poultry leftovers

Salt

Water

Any combination of the following leftovers you may have:

– 1 – 8 Celery stalks

– 1 – 4 Potatoes

– 1 – 4 Carrots

– 1 – 3 Onions

– 4 – 8 Cloves of Garlic

– 1 – 3 Large Tomatoes

– Up to 8 Sage leaves

Steps

– Optional: Roast the turkey bones at 400 F or 200 C for 30 minutes for more intense flavors

– Place bones and poultry leftovers into a large stock pot

– Place any leftovers into the pot

– Fill the pot with water ¾ of the way full or until you are satisfied. Do not fill above ¾ of the stock pot.

– Place the heat on high and boil the pot.

– Once the pot reaches a boil, place a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to low.

– Simmer for at least 30 minutes. You can continue simmering for as long as there is enough water to prevent burning.

– Optional: Skim scum off of the top of the soup with a ladle or a wooden spoon during this time to create a clearer broth.


– Salt to taste

– Strain the bones and vegetables and place the soup into containers. Do not place the lid on while the soup is hot.

– When the soup is not radiating heat through the containers, you may place a lid on the containers and refrigerate or freeze.

– Please use or freeze the soup within 5 days.

Stuffing With Leftovers

Leftover Stuffing is a tasty way to get rid of your leftovers. By mixing leftover ingredients like pulled turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, into your stuffing, you can easily rebake another few meals.

– 1-2 quarts of leftover stuffing OR 2 loaves of bread cut into small cubes

– 1 cup of stock or water

– ½ stick of butter OR 6-7 tablespoons of olive oil

½ – 1 quart total of any of the following:

Turkey (pulled into small bite sized pieces)

Chopped Sausage

Vegetables

Mashed potatoes

Steps

– Preheat an oven to 350 F or 176 C

– Use ½ stick of butter or olive oil to coat a baking pan. Thoroughly grease the pan.

– Mix leftover stuffing OR cubed bread with leftover ingredients and stock. Place food in the baking pan and cover with a lid or aluminum foil.

– Bake for 30 – 40 minutes.

– Serve!

Vegan Demi-glace

Save your food scraps! Vegetable peels, ends, stems, skins, and washed roots are all used by chefs to create savory stocks to make risottos, sauces, and soup bases, among other things. So save your vegetable leftovers in containers in the fridge or freeze your leftovers until you have enough. These scraps can be used to create a Demi glace or jus- a savory, thick sauce that can act as a gravy that coats roasted vegetables, steaks, pastas, breads, mashed potatoes, or whatever you’d like. Traditionally, demi glaces and jus take a lot of space, time to reduce, and loads of meat. Vegetarian Demi Glace has the ability to impart as much flavor (and possibly even more) as a traditional demi glace because of the sheer amount of different umami compounds from different vegetable scraps without taking loads of space. With a little xanthan gum, pectin, or cornstarch, you can create the same texture as a gravy or slow cooked sauce in an instant.

– 4-5 quarts of veggie scraps (NOTE: mushrooms, eggplants, broccoli, garlic, celery, cauliflower are the best scraps to use for this. Please limit beets, carrots, onions, parsnips, beets to 2 quarts out of the 4-5 quarts to prevent the glace from being too sweet)

– 6 inches of dried kombu (thick dried seaweed)

– 1 tablespoon of tomato puree

– 6-7 tablespoons of olive oil

– 2 ½ quarts of water (or until the veggies in tray are covered)

– 1 teaspoons of pectin OR xanthan gum OR cornstarch*
(If using cornstarch, boil 1 cup of water and add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch before using).

– Salt

Steps

– Heat oven to 300 F or 149 C

– Mix all the veggie scraps, tomato puree, olive oil, and kombu very well in a tall baking tray. Spread out the veggies as well as you can for even cooking.

– Place the baking tray into the oven for 40 – 60 minutes. Check and stir the scraps every 20 minutes.

– Once the scraps look heavily browned or blackened. Place 2 1/2 quarts of water into the baking tray. Be careful and do not burn yourself.

– Roast the tray again for 30 – 40 minutes

– While the tray is roasting, mix your xanthan gum/pectin and salt. Stir well. *If using cornstarch, mix the cornstarch slushie with salt. Stir well.

– Remove the tray from the oven.
– Strain the sauce from the container into a pot. Use a ladle, pour, or a sieve. Please don’t burn yourself. The leftover vegetables can then be composted.

– On medium heat, reduce the sauce for 20 minutes.

– Add your xanthan gum/pectin/cornstarch and water mixture. Please only use one option here.

– Salt to taste and stir well. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon.

– Pour the sauce over your favorite foods and enjoy!

Halloween has long been known as one of the least environmentally-friendly holidays. Between countless candy wrappers, costumes made of harmful plastics, and decorations which burn a lot of energy; it can be hard to navigate a holiday which means so much to so many. Luckily, here’s Grades of Green’s Guide to an Environmentally-Friendly Hallo-green!

 

 

  1. Conscientious Costumes

Costumes sold at Halloween super-stores are often made of materials like PVC which contain phthalate. These materials may be flame-retardant but they end up in a landfill leaking toxic chemicals into the environment. In fact, extended exposure to these chemicals could have adverse health effects.

 

Host a costume swap! Just like with candy, everyone likes a little variety in their costumes! But rather than shell out cash for a new costume every year, host a costume swap with your friends and mix it up! If you’re unable to find friends in your size, join Grades of Green’s virtual costume closet!

 

Design your own costume using supplies you already have at home! Another way to save some green while going green, create your own hallo-green masterpiece from things around the house. Grades of Green’s Litter Monster is not only a great costume, but is a great way to raise awareness for waste reduction efforts.

 

You can also turn an old bridesmaid’s dress you’ll never wear into an undead party-goer with some homemade fake blood. Take an old yoga mat and turn it into a slice of pizza or a British telephone booth.

 

  1. Spooky Sustainable Decorations

Not only are the costumes and decorations comprised of materials which are non-combustible, the plastic packaging they come in only compounds their harmful impact. Rather than spend money on decorations which will likely be thrown out in November, recycle egg cartons into bats or make skeletons our of recycled milk jugs. Old stockings with tears can be made into spider webs, add a construction paper spider and your hallo-green party will be the talk of the town. The opportunities are endless and it can make for a creative DIY project for the whole family.

 

  1. Green Your Treats

While we would love to reduce waste, handing out candy which is not individually wrapped may not go over well with concerned parents. Instead, you can hand out organic goodies with a significantly smaller environmental footprint, like these organic lollipops.

 

  1. Potluck Party

Host a pot-luck hallo-green party and ask your friends to bring their contributions in re-usable containers. Halloween parties can be a huge perpetrator of environmental efforts due to single-use plastics. Hosting a potluck party using silverware instead of single use cutlery will significantly reduce the holiday’s environmental impact.

 

  1. Trick-or-Treat

Avoid hard plastic jack-o-lanterns that will never breakdown in a landfill. Instead using tote bags, reusable shopping bags, or a pillow case to collect goodies is an easy way to be environmentally-friendly.

 

Instead of driving to your trick-or-treat destination, walking will help reduce the number of dangerous pollutants we expel into the atmosphere. Not to mention that it will help burn off the countless calories consumed later that night!

 

  1. LED the Way!

Use solar panel lights to illuminate the path toward your haunted mansion.

 

Sweep your sidewalk when clearing a path for trick-or-treaters; you’ll be saving gallons of water by not using a hose.

 

  1. Pumped for Pumpkin!

Buy organic and shop local! You’ll protect water and reduce carbon emissions by picking up your pumpkin from your local farm. Click Here to locate your local family farm.

 

Save the seeds and pulp from your pumpkin to make delicious snacks and baked goods. By reusing or composting our unwanted pumpkin parts, we can reduce dangerous greenhouse gases. Check out our favorite recipes for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin Pie, and Pumpkin Soup.

 

Our Water Campaign Student Teams will tell you that eating a meat-less pumpkin based meal would be protecting water. By reusing the pumpkin seeds and pulp we reduce waste. For more fun ways to reuse, recycle and reduce waste, register for our Waste Campaign now!

 

 

 

 

For more DIY projects, green activities, and other ways to remain environmentally-friendly, visit www.GradesofGreen.org. Send your green solutions or pictures of your Hallo-green Holiday to @gradesofgreen or send us a message on Facebook!

Think about the number of single-use napkins that you use in a day.

A napkin at breakfast, an extra napkin for “just in case” that you know that you’ll never use, a napkin for lunch, a napkin for wiping your mess at lunch (might we suggest a sippy cup?), a napkin for blowing your nose, the list goes on!

Single-use napkins don’t grow on trees! They ARE trees!

Why not reduce your waste output and simply use a reusable napkin to pack lunches and wipe messes?

Earlier in the year, Grades of Green teamed up with Funkins to create these napkins! Grades of Green students around the world shared their eco-tips with Funkins for their custom reusable napkins. These napkins are designed for students to use for wrapping lunches, wiping down messes, and to use as placemats. With Grades of Green’s logo and facts, these beautiful napkins would not only reduce waste output, but they would also teach others how to be more environmentally conscious as well.

In addition, 5 dollars from EVERY Grades of Green Funkin purchased goes to Grades of Green! You won’t only help you and your friends become more environmentally conscious, but you will help those at Grades of Green help others make better environmental choices!

Check them out here!

Need a new show to watch?

Check out Insecure!, HBO’s revolutionary show based on Issa Rae’s webseries, “Awkward Black Girl” has been warmly received by several teachers working with Grades of Green. The show stars Issae Rae and Yvonne Orji, who play two up-and-coming women of color sharing their experiences and struggles in non-profit and professional working environments.

Featuring Your Favorite Non-Profit!

Grades of Green made a cameo in this week’s Insecure Episode, “Backwards-like.” The female protagonists, Issa and Molly attend a job fair hosting several non-profits, including yours truly! Moreover, two of Grades of Green’s interns were also featured in the episode helping with the Grades of Green booth at the event!

Look for us when you check out Season 3 of “Insecure!”

Sustainable Summer Recipes

Did you know that the choices that you make in the kitchen can help you be more eco friendly? Some foods use up more water and energy to produce and some foods are obtained through unsustainable means. Fret not! Ex-chef and Program Advisor Jordan has ways to help YOU make environmentally conscious choices with summer’s best ingredients! So try these summer recipes without guilt to impress your friends and fellow environmentalists! Let’s get cooking!

Corn Salsa

2 pounds of diced tomatoes

1/2 a red onion, diced

1 jalapeno de-seeded and membranes removed

1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped

Salt

Juice from 1 lime

1 – 2 corn cobs or 1 cup of frozen corn

Instructions:

-Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the corn cobs for about 10 minutes. Remove the cobs from the pot with tongs and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cob. Reserve in a bowl. If using frozen corn instead of fresh corn, simply microwave a bowl with frozen corn for 2-3 minutes. Reserve for later

EITHER blend the tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, lime juice in a blender for a few seconds and place in a bowl OR finely chop the tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, and cilantro and place the ingredients in a bowl

– add corn, cilantro, and lime juice to the salsa mixture. Then add salt to your desired taste.

The salsa can be served cold with chips or heated up and served as a flavorful tomato sauce over pasta.

Pan Fried Summer Squash

2 pounds of any of the following squash: crookneck, scallop, straightneck, or zucchini (feel free to mix and match!).

2-4 table spoons of peanut oil or olive oil (depends on the size of your pan)

Salt

Instructions:

– Use a sharp knife to cube the squash. Cutting at a bias into 2 inch “diamonds” can create better grill marks due to more surface area touching a pan or a grill.

-Turn on your kitchen fan or open a window and heat a pan to medium-high and add oil until the surface of your pan is completely covered. Wait for about 30 seconds or until the oil starts to shimmer.

– Make sure that the squash is not wet and add your squash and be careful of oil splatter. Move around the pan until so that the squash is touching the pan on not stacked on top of each other. Then leave on the pan for 4 minutes WITHOUT MOVING. Look for golden grill marks.

– After 4 minutes, rotate the squash so that the un-cooked surface is now touching the pan. Cook for 2 more minutes. Smaller pieces will take less time to cook and larger pieces will require more time, so adjust cooking times accordingly

– Salt to taste and serve!

This dish is perfect with salads, bread, and charcutterie!

Summer Pickles

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup rice-wine vinegar

6 tbsp sugar

2 1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt

1 table spoon of lemon or orange zest

2 cups of any combination of the following ingredients chopped into bite-sized pieces: shallots, green beans, cucumbers, beets, watermelon rinds. Make sure that the ingredients can fit in your jar.

Instructions:

– In a pot, bring water to a boil in a pot and blanch the shallots and green beans for 1 minute. Do not blanch cucumbers if using. OPTIONAL: chill the ingredients in an ice bath after blanching for improved texture.

– In a clean jar, pack in the shallots, green beans, and cucumbers.

– Pour the rice-wine vinegar, hot water, salt, sugar, and lemon/orange zest into the jar of pickles. Cover the vegetables entirely with this brine

– Place a lid on the jar and refrigerate. Wait for 4 days before serving.

These pickles should last for at least 6 weeks in the refrigerator!

Stay tuned for more environmentally recipes in near future!