Gracious Green

Zucchini Fritter

My journey into "green living" has not been without its challenges. I'm sure I've bothered people with my opinions at times, opinions held strongly and communicated without enough tact. It is never easy to be both passionate and full of grace.

But how does one get to that combined place of passionate truth and grace? (A Jesus place, for he was, as John 1:14 says, "full of grace and truth".)

This is something I've been trying to muse over. Maybe it will take me a few posts to flesh it out. Maybe I'll lose steam. Maybe I won't be able to answer my own question.

Today, I'm thinking simply about the importance of celebration. Celebration is exciting. It's positive. It's inviting. I remember the goal of Alice Waters from Chez Panisse... to woo people into wanting fresh, organic foods by letting them experience these foods for themselves at her restaurant.

That's what I've tried to do at my vegetarian table. To make it an inviting place, a celebratory place, a delicious and happy place. I suppose this has worked to some small degree (this blog began partly to meet repeated requests for my 30-Day Vegetarian Meal Plan, for instance).

Bringing this air of celebration to discussions of scaling down, or cleaning up, or saving the mountains... I'm still working on this. It's not as simple as inviting someone into my bright golden dining room and handing them a Turkish zucchini fritter, with a side of sumptuous chickpea salad. It's not as tasty, as sensuous. Maybe, though, that is also where a blog like this comes in. A small place to celebrate creation, from the rivers to the mountains to the seas.

Zucchini Fritters...

• 2 or 3 small zucchinis, shredded
• small onion, chopped
• 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
• 3 eggs, scrambled
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp pepper
• 1 TB paprika
• large handful dill, chopped fine
• 1 cp whole wheat flour

Mix all, then drop large spoonfuls into saute pan coated with plenty of canola oil. Saute until golden brown.

Chickpea Salad

• 2 cans chickpeas or 2 cups dried chickpeas, cooked until tender
• small red onion, chopped
• 2 garlic, minced
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 2 tsp paprika
• 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne
• 1/2 to 1 whole lemon, juice only
• small handful parsley, chopped
• 1-2 tomatoes, chopped
• salt and pepper to taste
• generous amount of olive oil

Mix all and let flavors blend about half an hour.

These recipes were modified from recipes provided in The Sultan's Kitchen, a non-vegetarian cookbook.

About chickpeas...About 15 grams protein in 1 cup. High in potassium, calcium and vitamin A. Among other legumes, this golden, nut-shaped legume stands tallest in iron. Some research has shown cholesterol reduction with increase in chickpea consumption.

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Wordless Wednesday: Seasons

Thorn Berry

Autumn bleeds
fragrant, I cannot
close my senses.

Thorn photo by J. Barkat. Used by permission.

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Wordless Wednesday: Edible Seeds

Butternut Squash Seeds

I remember childhood autumns, when mother baked pumpkin seeds. And now I know that all squash seeds are edible. Butternut squash seeds are plumper than pumpkin seeds. Delicious with chili powder, salt and pepper, a little brown sugar, a pour of canola oil, baked at 350 for about 20 minutes. I eat them, and I am a child again, delighting in autumn's gifts.

Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds photo, by L.L. Barkat.

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Black-Eyed Susan

How lovely the rain,
come at last.

And the earth,
how greedy its draught.

Oh my soul knows,
knows of this.

Susan after the Rain photo, by L.L. Barkat.

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Wordless Wednesday: Eggthenticity

Free-Range Eggs

The dark orange centers of these beautiful eggs speak of their authenticity. True free-range eggs boast this lovely color. And they have less cholesterol and more nutrients too.

Free-Range Egg photo, by L.L. Barkat.

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