Those recyclable, reusable tote bags, forgotten in your pantry, are the bags that can bear the burden!” –LGBG
A little less than a year ago, Live Green Be Green by PMD United set out to assist Lori Robinson and Africa Inside in her magnificent effort to eliminate the plastic pollution that affects many African Nations. We are happy to say that we have concluded this first project with great success. Through the combined efforts of LGBG, Africa Inside, and Pati Arsenau’s class at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School located in Blufton South Carolina, enough bags were collected as incentives for the Samburu Women of Northern Kenya’s cleanup effort.
We have hundreds more women for this than we expected. –Shivani Bhalia
Women came in droves with the deadly plastic that they eagerly collected from the countryside, to offer in exchange for the totes. It is truly amazing to see how such a small, and often-overlooked item, can make such a monumental impact on the lives of these women. Samburu women, for now, will no longer have to travel with thin, mangled, unsustainable plastic bags, that most certainly would make their way to the precious fields and grasslands. They can now go to the markets with confidence that their staples (sugar, flour, spices) will return home with them safely and securely. Just as importantly, the impact that this effort has on the environment is tremendous. Any reduction in plastic that makes its way to the countryside means less plastic for the precious wildlife to come in contact with and for an all around more aesthetically beautiful country.
We, at Live Green Be Green, have learned so much from this project and could not have done it without the wonderful people in our communities. This project went from zero to sixty almost over night. Right from the start, we received major support from friends, family, friends of family and strangers who got wind. We received support from religious groups, senior centers and even a lobby firm! Much to our surprise, we had major companies such as target and Wegman’s join the effort. To all of you, we say thank you and we look forward to working with you in the very near future
We have already begun working with Lori on what will be the largest bag collection effort ever! It is set to take place in Kenya, in August of this year. No matter where you are in the world, if you would like to participate please contact Patrick Halligan or Lori Robinson.
We also invite you to watch this youtube video a past collection executed by Lori and Africa Inside.
Everytime I’ve done this project, I’m touched by the enthusiastic response to our shopping totes from America. And I am motivated to re-evaluate how much I take for granted here in my country. –Lori Robinson
Over the past years, the Oscars and sustainability have proven to be an award-winning combination. On Sunday, people globally will tune in to the 86th Academy Awards presentation to celebrate the best movies over the past year. It is important to salute the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Academy) for its commitment to “green” living.
It does not come as a surprise that the organization would have sustainability as part of its agenda considering that so many of its members are outspoken supporters of the green movement, and they often lend their faces and financial support to environmental, health and social concerns. The popularity of many of these celebrities, including, but not limited to George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Orlando Bloom and Selma Hayak, goes a long way to raise awareness of and garner support for environmental, health and social issues.
The commitment of the Academy to raise awareness of environmental issues and garner support through example also is noteworthy. This effort begins with the selection of the Dolby Theater, formerly the Kodak Theater, as the venue for the annual event. With this long-term agreement to be the home of the Oscars, Dolby is committed to environmental sustainability.
Global Green Oscar Week Kickoff
The Academy validated its commitment to sustainability with its annual kickoff by Global Green USA. This year the celebration was “dedicated to rebuilding communities subject to environmental degradation.” This organization now is the green event of Oscar week. It seeks to raise “conscience” about energy conservation, and this year included celebrities speaking about driving to the Oscar celebration in hybrid cars. This party featured a zero-waste plant-based dinner followed by a live auction that raised more than $20,000 to support its causes.
Red Carpet Green Dress
Second only to the actual awards ceremony, the highlight of Oscar night is the fashion displayed on the red carpet, and here some designers are featuring green dresses. Perhaps the most notable is Red Carpet Green Dress, who is marking its fifth anniversary for this event. This organization is the brainchild of Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of James Cameron, who, during press tours for Avatar (a Cameron film), sought to draw attention to the importance of sustainability in the fashion industry. Mrs. Cameron notes that “[w]hile there are still great strides to be made, it’s important to point out that there are a greater number of sustainable resources available to designers today than there were five years ago.” This year’s Oscars Red Carpet will feature actress Olga Kurylenko wearing the design by this organization. Olga’s accessories also are selected with concern for ethical consumerism. Her limited edition vegan Red Carpet shoes are supplied as a result of a collaboration between PETA and Beyond Skin.
Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Kellan Lutz (Legend of Hercules) will be wearing the first sustainable tuxedo for Red Carpet Green Dress. This tuxedo was designed by Jomnarn Dul for H Brothers and was constructed from recycled materials.
Dining with a Conscience
This year’s Governor’s Ball, the official dinner held following the award ceremony, will be created and officiated by Wolfgang Puck (celebrating 20 years in this role). To the delight of the green movement, the theme will be the transcendent wonder of nature, with a display of lush vertical gardens under the stars that invite guests to mingle and celebrate nature. The menu includes a prominent focus on vegan dishes. All of the food will range from one-bite hors d’oeuvres to small-plate entrees. Once again, these choices are indicative of the Academy’s concern and focus on the need to raise awareness of the environment and sustainability.
The Academy Awards is one of the most popular events globally and is viewed by many people, thereby creating an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about green initiatives and sustainability. We are proud to present background information on the efforts of the Academy to make a difference in the movement for sustainability.
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Today is Valentine’s Day and we hope that each of you will celebrate green. Many of you reading this post have not finalized your plans for Valentine’s Day celebrations. Although some people procrastinate in making plans until the actual day, this year is different. The severe weather occurrences with heavy snow and ice storms over most of the United States for the past week considerably hampered many people’s ability to get out and shop. A lot of families are still snowed in with no power. Additionally, gifts that were supposed to be delivered by mail may not come in time for the holiday.
The most important thing to remember is that Valentine’s day is about love, and materialism is not necessary to convey love. While Valentine’s Day often is criticized as being a man-made holiday, it still is important to us as humans. As we journey towards sustainable lifestyles, we learn that while investment in the environment is important, it is crucial that we include the investment in human lives as essential to achieving full sustainability.
The History of Valentine’s Day
In reality, this “lovely” holiday evolved from a very violent history. Valentine’s Day is named after a Roman priest under Emperor Claudius II during the third century. In this tumultuous era, the Roman Empire was divided into three competing states, with constant threats of invasion by one faction or another. The survival of the Empire became so threatened that Claudius struggled to maintain war power. Under the belief that unmarried soldiers fought better than their married counterparts, Claudius banned marriage among young people. However, the priest Valentine, held high marriage as a God-given sacrament and began officiating these unions in secret. He eventually was discovered, imprisoned and then beheaded. Later Valentine was martyred by the Church for giving up his life to perform the sacrament. Thus, Valentine’s Day is about love– love of God and love for each other.
Celebrate the spirit of Valentine’s Day.
The true spirit of Valentine’s Day should be reflected in our celebratory choices, and sustainability should be a driving concern in making these choices. Why buy chocolate candies produced by workers who are underpaid and treated unfairly when we can purchase guaranteed fair trade products? Why buy cut flowers that wilt and die in a matter of days when we can purchase potted plants and flowers that can be maintained in containers or transplanted outside to thrive and be enjoyed for years to come? Why spend long hours working to make money to buy “stuff” that creates clutter, especially when most families are starved for time together?
Green is the way to go.
So as you ponder ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, please be sure to remember that the day is about love and sustainability. Celebrate a green Valentine’s Day. To do so is to live green, be green.
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Now that Super Bowl 2014 is over, it is time to do a sustainability assessment. It is important to do this because the super bowl is the largest annual event held in America, and effort must be undertaken continuously to ensure that all aspects of this event are sustainable in terms of environmental and human impact.
Venue: MetLife Stadium
The NFL’s selection of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey was appropriate in terms of the facility in and of itself. MetLife Stadium is the home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets. It is deemed “the greenest stadium in the US.” This stadium was constructed on a parking lot between the old Giants stadium and Meadowlands Raceway. The construction of MetLife Stadium had absolutely no impact on greenfield land or natural habitats. MetLife Stadium seats 82,000 people and has 13,000 parking spaces, each costing $150 a piece for Super Bowl 2014.
MetLife Stadium has excellent public transportation links (for normal Giants or Jets game day traffic), and a considerable percentage of football fans use public rail and bus networks to travel to and from the stadium on game days or to attend special events, i.e., concerts.
MetLife Stadium’s 82,000 seats are constructed from 80% recycled cast iron and 20% recycled plastic. There are 2100 HD monitors throughout the facility with a sound system that boasts 2,500 speakers.
MetLife Stadium’s partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency successfully crafted a facility worthy of the designation as one of the most energy-efficient stadiums in the U.S. MetLife Stadium also owns bragging rights to the first certified green restaurant in the world. Some key green facts about MetLife Stadium are:
- Water: Reduced annual water consumption (in comparison to the old Giants stadium) by 25% with savings derived from low flow toilets and waterless urinals, synthetic turf and natural plants.
- Power: Its solar ring has produced 350,000 kilowatts of energy as of February 2013, and it uses 30% less energy by employing Energy Star equipment, automated lighting, efficient windows and biodegradable fuels with reusable fluids in outdoor transformers.
- Construction materials. Made from 80% recycled cast iron and 20% recycled plastic.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Since opening in 2009, MetLife Stadium has avoided 3,176,250 vehicle miles and reduced its carbon footprint by 268,828 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Drawbacks and problems
MetLife Stadium is a state-of-the-art facility. Perhaps its biggest drawback in terms of hosting an event of the magnitude of Super Bowl 2014 is its physical location. The NFL dodged a bullet Sunday for the Super Bowl with clear, unseasonably warm weather for the game (temperature at game time was 49 degrees). Bad weather did move in by the end of the game, with rain, sleet, snow and icy roads making travel on Monday a horrific experience for many of the fans. Many people found themselves stuck in the New York area as a large number of flights were cancelled. Hopefully, the reality of climate change in planning huge events will become a major consideration of the NFL.
Secondly and perhaps most important, the location of Super Bowl 2014 in New Jersey with reliance on public transportation to move people proved to be an epic failure. The public rails and buses were ill-equipped to deal with commuter demand. Additionally, the high level of security warranted for an event of this magnitude severely hampered the flow of people into MetLife Stadium, even to the point of people collapsing from exhaustion during excessive wait times at Secaucus Junction.
Super bowls clearly are momentous events in the United States, and as such, the NFL must incorporate sustainability in the planning of this annual event. To date, the NFL has proven that it can deliver an environmentally sustainable product in terms of facility or “stuff,” as witnessed by MetLife Stadium. However, the human components of sustainability must be given equal consideration. In its attempt to host the first mass transit Super Bowl, the NFL had a duty to thoroughly evaluate the human factors and to have contingency plans in place to avoid a transportation debacle. Also, the NFL’s Fan Express pre-ticket coach bus program plan needs to be evaluated and fine tuned to flawlessly control people movement.
In conclusion, with all the hoopla about Super Bowl 2014, proponents of the green movement really would have appreciated it if the NFL had done more to showcase its efforts at sustainability. With 111.5 million viewers tuned in, it would have been nice to see commercials highlighting the NFL’s commitment to commitment to green business and sustainability. This really presented a teachable movement to younger viewers.
Now the NFL will go back to the drawing board and incorporate lessons learned from Super Bowl 2014 in its plans for future super bowls. Hopefully, in its plans, green keywords, such as climate change, environmental impact, transportation, people moving, etc., will be central in the dialogue. To ensure the sustainability of future super bowls is to live green, be green.
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Most viewers of the 2014 State of the Union address, delivered last night by President Barrack Obama, should be praised for having the wherewithal to persevere through such a sleep-inducing collection of strung together sentences — although, among the mind-numbing were a fair share of surprisingly spritely, humorous notes.
Regardless, for those green enthusiasts out there, hoping to learn more about initiatives in the way of sustainability, clean energy, and alternative fuels, there was relatively little mention of such, and with even less value behind it. Far from a laughing matter.
View the enhanced speech on demand –which is by far better than the
live broadcast– if you don’t believe me (tune in around the 15:40 mark).
Unfortunately, the most prolific takeaway for such enthusiasts was a regurgitation of the All-Of-The-Above Energy Strategy, originally introduced several years prior. And let me be clear (pun intended) — by “regurgitation” I don’t mean Mr. Obama repeated himself per se, but I do mean that it was just a simple spewing of what “we” have already accomplished over the past several years’ time.
Some of the facts and statistics used in the accompanying supplemental presentation seem randomly curated and desperately included, almost in some form of a last-ditch attempt to appear arguably progressive. And be careful not to blink when watching the address, you may miss the just-over-four minutes the Pres took to speak to the notions of this All-Of-The-Above plan.
Nonetheless, a brief recap is in order, to point potential non-viewers in the direction of the few notions splayed upon last nights audiences:
- America is closer to energy independence today than we have been in decades. I hope this is self-explanatory.
- Natural gas is being extracted safely. This was an obvious reference to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, something we have written about in the past and something which environmentalists everywhere denounce.
- Companies are planning to build new plants that use natural gas. President Obama made clear the fact that he wants to promote this via tax and other programs for these manufacturers who indeed increasingly move toward natural gas as a replacement means of production (instead of oil).
- America will continue “strengthening protection of our air, our water, our communities,” and “protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations” to come. By definition, probably the closest we’ve come thus far to targeting sustainability, but still not compelling. This just seems like some general commentary that could have been used years ago to describe our state, and which seem to be added only because they sound better to the heart than to the mind, once processed.
- We are becoming a global leader in solar — “every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar.” This is a great stat, assuming its factually accurate. Bravo, Mr. President. And his use was impeccable, directly relating solar’s ongoing push to economic job growth by referencing that men (and women) physically installing pieces of such equipment is not outsource-able.
- GOAL: continue to invest in fuels of the future. Check. This should go unsaid — it’s something that would be done regardless of who is in office, be it oval or congressional. Next.
- We can continue to reduce energy we consume. He referenced the new standards for the auto industry, implemented after the bailout, to make vehicles more efficient. Good example, yes, but we have been there and done that, so where else could this be actionable moving forward? Another prospective example would have been beautifully refreshing.
- The US is the leading nation in reducing carbon footprints. Impressive, but how about we explore how we will maintain that role modeling… right?
- We need to legislate new standards on the amount of pollution our power plants are permitted to dump into the air. Air pollution is important, I get it. And as we’ve seen in places like Mexico City and eastern Chinese cities like Beijing, it can quickly get so out of hand as to realizably affect the day-to-day quality of life for area inhabitants. The future can only get worse, if not attended to, so let’s hope something of action can become of this verbiage.
- “The debate is settled: Climate Change Is A Fact!” Again, self explanatory, but a headline-grabbing quote all enthusiasts can be mildly happy about.
Now, that brief recap above contains literally every point I could imaginably pluck from the whole discussion of ecological sustainability, and most of it spoke solely of vague past accomplishments and emptily bottomless comments surrounding the overall direction we are headed. Personally, as someone truly interested in hearing what particulars could lay on the horizon, I was extremely underwhelmed by the President’s words, or complete lack thereof with respect to true governmental policy. This could have been a chance for Mr. Obama to openly target specific goals and initiatives on one of the broadest stages possible, to really put the pressure on Congress to do something about the potential headliners — an opportunity blown.
As one US News and World Report describes fairly well, the State of the Union was predicted to be and then turned out to be unsustainable. The article describes, quite adequately, that sustainability is the focus of making sure our living our lives does not hinder the ability of the generations to come from living theirs. While the State of the Union contained moments wherein the glimmer of hope for the future verged on addressing some social or economic sustainability, environmental sustainability was not allowed to shine in its full brilliance. There was clearly insufficient forethought and future initiatives relayed from the President — no true future plans were outlined for environmental policy.
All of this being said, I must concede that it is not all President Obama’s fault, that the entire State of the Union address seemed monotonous and archaically pointless. In actuality, it is just that, and by inevitability. The State of the Union was originally put into policy as a way for the President of the United States to relay his views on the current status and future agenda of the country to the US Congress. This is especially needless in today’s society of technological advancement, what with all the instantaneous newsfeeds at our constant disposal via push notices to our pocket devices.
Overall, Obama’s address was only half-baked, nearly ignoring future sustainability, clean energy, and alternative fuel plans altogether. But that’s just my opinion.
Simply put, The lions need us. More specifically, the West African Sub-species needs us. Desperately. It is estimated that less than 250 mature males exist in 17 countries from Senegal to Nigeria and they are continuing to decline rapidly.
Help Save this Beautiful Creature
Here is a map from PLOS One that illustrates the current presence of lion populations in West Africa.
- At this very point in time, these genetically unique lions have lost 99% of their historic range due to land conversions for cotton plantations and crop farms
- A steep decline in prey populations resulting from unsustainable hunting and poaching
- Human and lion conflict
- Lack of funding for governments to maintain protective areas
The majority of this comes down to a lack of funding. Most of these West African nations are in the midst of extreme poverty and have zero funds to contribute to the conversation of these precious animals. Still though, for most of these countries, lions are held in the highest regard. They are a symbol of pride and appear on several countries’ coats of arms. In order for this subspecies to dodge extinction, the international community must step up.
African wildlife is the continent’s most precious natural resource. Protection of the wildlife, particularly the endangered species, is key to many African nations rising from poverty and becoming economically independent. The potential income from promotion and tourism that stands to be gained from the global interest in seeing lions and other wildlife will go a long way to provide funds for many causes, including education, health and infrastructure development, just to name a few. These beautiful lions are the face of African wildlife and deserved to be helped.
As always, when trying to make a difference, there must be a call to action. We along with the international community can do so much to help with this effort. You can donate at Panthera or simply share this post to help create awareness!
Size is a featured component of many topics of conversation, and in living green, the question as to whether or not size does really matter is entertained often.
Size is mentioned in discussions of many facets of life, including, but not limited to portion size, clothing size, family size, house size, sexual endowment and so on. In each case, the reference of size is important when it comes to living green.
Why is size important?
So many decisions that we make are influenced or should be influenced by size. The very size of a paycheck and budget determines an individual’s ability to live and function in society. The size of one’s indebtedness contributes to a person’s happiness, stability and the ability to raise a family, get an education and live a wholesome life. The size of a family’s food budget determines their ability to eat nutritious food. The size of one’s ego impacts his/her self perception.
Of course, we know that serving size is a very important component of a healthy diet. To that end, we can find specifications on the amount of food we should eat in a meal, as well as the actual size of the plate that should be used to limit the portion size. Consideration of portion size also can be applied to control the percentages of meat, vegetables and carbohydrates that should occupy our plates at any given time. The subject of size has led to a criticism by nutritionists of the fast food industry and its practice of advertising “super size meals” for a small additional price. Also, moviegoers are familiar with the policy at most theaters whereby the purchase of giant size bags of popcorn and drinks earn patrons free refills. The increase in the size of our meals has led to weight increase and ever-expanding abdominal girth in so many Americans, along with the accompanying adverse health consequences of obesity, diabetes, back and joint pain, infertility and hypertension.
Clothing size and body size also are major topics of conversation in the fashion industry. Shopping for clothes often is difficult because there is no uniformity in clothing sizes. Sizes of clothes, particularly for women, vary widely by brands. This forces consumers to spend considerable time, energy and fuel traveling to different stores trying to find clothes that fit. In that living green includes being healthy and stress free, the dilemma of clothes size negatively impacts those efforts.
Also, the issue of body size must be considered in any efforts to live green. Perception of a healthy body size is important, and we need realistic guidelines, both to achieve and maintain this. Unrealistic expectations for body size can be emotionally and physically damaging, leading to harmful practices such as unhealthy dieting, binging and purging, and even psychiatric problems of anorexia that can be fatal. As we are constantly bombarded with visual images of thin models and beautiful clothes only available in small sizes, many people struggle to achieve these looks and fit those clothes, not realizing that often the people depicted in these pictures are airbrushed and images are electronically altered to give an appearance that is false. It is important to accept that body size is important, but that we must be realistic and acknowledge the major contribution of genes to our appearance. We should adhere to a healthy diet, exercise and maintain a balanced weight but not go to extremes to look like models in the media.
Another area where size is a major concern is in the housing industry where builders keep constructing larger houses and mass marketing efforts constantly remind us that we need more living space in our dwellings. As a result, we cut down more trees to clear areas for houses. We build more roads and supporting structures for our new larger communities, reducing open green space. We assume larger mortgages to pay for our more expensive houses. We endure higher energy bills to heat and cool our super sized houses. We buy more furniture and objects to fill our houses. The bottom line is that we are drowning in debt and working longer hours to pay for all of this. Sometimes we feel like hamsters on treadmills, and that is neither healthy nor green. This is an instance where size does really matter. It can make the difference between a wholesome fulfilling lifestyle and sheer misery.
Family size is important in green living. In modern times, families are smaller than they were many years earlier. Increased housing and other costs of living have forced most families to rely on both parents as wage earners. As a result, people tend to have fewer children due to time and money constraints. Some countries, such as China, have legally enforced limits on family size for purposes of population control. Clearly when it comes to family, size does matter.
Lastly, size often comes up when discussing sexual relationships. Hollywood and popular culture have forced sexual endowment to the forefront of relationship issues. Living green includes healthy and satisfying interpersonal relationships. In choosing a mate, it is important that such selection include character, morals, values and compatibility and not just physical attributes such as sexual endowment, breast and hip size. Here size matters but should not be the primary consideration.
It is important that we learn to live green, and from the examples given, we can see that size does really matter. In our efforts to adopt a green lifestyle, we have a lot to consider. As we look at ways to live sustainably, we have to take time and size up the situation carefully. To do so is to live green, be green.
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As New Year’s Eve descends upon us, and we give serious thought to resolutions, we should try hard to commit to live green. The best reason to resolve to live green is that by doing this, so many of the other items on our “usual” lists will happen as an offshoot. Considering that most people’s list of resolutions include exercising, losing weight, eating healthy, reducing clutter, reducing stress, being more spiritual, and spending wisely, you will find that with the adoption of green initiatives, all or most of these goals will be accomplished in the process without the anxiety and trepidation often felt when focusing on these goals directly.
To get you started, we here at LGBG would like to offer some tips on green living.
Buy local to eat greener.
Buying local is important because it gives consumers more immediate access to fresher food, particularly fruits and vegetables. Additionally, local farms often are governed by very restrictive ordinances in terms of fertilization to prevent runoff of chemicals into rivers and streams. These farmers are members of the communities that they serve and are expected to endorse sustainable practices. On the other hand, large corporate factory farms are invisible to communities and often can obtain favorable legislation for their practices through lobbying efforts.
It also is important to note that locally grown food reduces the need for extended transportation to markets, thereby reducing the carbon footprint. You also will find fewer additives to maintain color or prolong freshness of the food products. Finally, buying from local businesses promotes reinvestment in the community. The big payoff here is that the consumer gets healthier, less expensive food and his/her purchases benefit the community. So for the New Year, make sure your green resolution starts with your diet.
Resolve to clean green in 2014.
Now is a great time to switch from toxic cleaning chemicals to eco-friendly products. There are so many green cleaning products on the market that will help you make your house spotless without contaminating the air in your house. Also, try stocking up on baking soda, vinegar and even castile soap for daily cleaning, along with reusable cleaning cloths. You can breathe easier and reduce spending on cleaning products. Simultaneously, you can apply some elbow grease and burn extra calories.
Walk, run, bike, play– Resolve to get moving.
Make this the year that you get off the couch and get moving to burn calories. Exercise, along with a healthy diet, will aid in weight reduction, healthier joints, lower blood pressure, improved heart rate, improved food digestion and improved sleep. This is a great chance to use the features of a smartphone. Download your favorite songs and create a playlist for exercise routines, reduce stress with motivational music and audiobooks or engage exercise apps to track your dietary record or exercise progress. Join a bowling league, softball team, tennis club, etc. Physical exercise is great for family time or to engage socially and make new friends. Make 2014 the year that you get moving.
Make green living a habit.
Unlike past years, this time around plan to make healthy green living a habit. Do not overload yourself or set a specific date to achieve a goal. Plan a lifestyle change. Be creative and involve the entire or family in green initiatives. Have fun, save money, and enjoy the health benefits that follow.
From all of us here at LGBG, we wish all of our readers a healthy, happy and green New Year!
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After a brief hiatus I’m happy to be back and cooking for the LGBG faithful. in the spirit of the holiday season, I’m proud to present this recipe created with the goal of sustainability. As we all know, and if my family is any indication, this time of the year awards us with a gluttonous amount of food, and more importantly leftovers. This recipe allows you to take your leftovers and efficiently transform them into a new and delicious meal. Side dishes such as peas, carrots, and corn are transformed into a great filling for the pot pie and affords you the ability to spend more time with the people who matter the most. So without further ado I present to you my recipe for leftover chicken pot pie.
- 3 cups leftover chicken
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 cup white wine of your choice
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 half-and-half milk
- 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
For the pastry:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock, white wine and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the mixture. In a large pot add the hot chicken stock and the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and half-and-half. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, and peas.
For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. In a food processor pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Divide the filling equally among 4 oven-proof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown.