Earth day is less than a week away now, and if asked how your daily routine impacts the environment, what would you say? Many of us would likely consider our daily commute or perhaps even recycling habits to be the main contributors of our carbon footprint. While these are important factors to consider, have you ever thought about what you eat also has an impact on the environment?
Well, as it turns out, the majority of greenhouse gases that are emitted from food production come from methane emitted by ruminant animals during digestion as well as from nitrous oxide which is released from farmed land during tilling. In a culture that promotes meat as the main dish in most meals, you can imagine sustainability becomes difficult. So what are some better options?
In a research study published by Pablo Monsivais, an Associate Professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine’s Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, it was found that heart-healthy eating habits were associated with lower food-related greenhouse gases. The dietary pattern, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, is not specifically a vegetarian diet, but it does emphasize plant based, unprocessed foods like whole grains, vegetables, beans, and nuts – all food groups that have been shown to have a lower emissions association as opposed to red and processed meats.
So, in celebration of Earth day and of the significance the DASH diet brings to the planet, I wanted to offer you a healthy recipe this week that focuses on both while highlighting some in-season produce: the salmon and asparagus farro bowl.
Makes: 4 Servings
- ¾ Cup Farro, dry
- 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Leeks, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 Bunch Asparagus, ends trimmed and rest cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken or Veggie Broth
- 3 Tbs White Miso
- 1 ¼ lbs Wild Alaskan Salmon Fillet, skinned and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 Tbs Fresh Basil, thinly sliced
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- Add 3 cups of water and farro to a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until chewy (usually 30 min). Drain any leftover water from your pan.
- While cooking your farro, heat your oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the leeks and cook about 2 minutes until they begin to soften, being sure to stir often.
- Add in the asparagus and garlic to cook, continuing to stir often for 2 minutes until the asparagus is bright green.
- Add in your broth and increase the heat to high so the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and gently stir in salmon. Simmer for three minutes.
- While this is going on, in a small bowl, scoop a ladle full of the broth and add your miso. Stir until well-combined then add back into the pot. Adding the miso at this points prevents it from getting too hot and killing any good bacteria from the miso (it is great for your gut health!).
- Remove your pot from heat and stir in basil and pepper.
- Add farro to your serving bowls and top with the salmon stew for a nourishing and Earth friendly meal.
Nutritional Information (per 1.5 cup serving): Calories 407 / Carbohydrates 40g / Fat 11 g / Protein 37g / Sugar 4 g