Monday, December 6, 2010

Which is more environmentally friendly, a real Christmas tree or an artificial one?

Imitation Christmas trees seem more environmentally friendly. They can be reused, after all, and don’t involve cutting down trees. But the idea that artificial trees are more earth friendly is mainly a myth.

Fake trees, although they can be reused, are mostly made of PVC and polyethylene. Although some claim to be recyclable, most models are not, and end up in the dumpster. Furthermore, 80% of these trees come from factories in China, which greatly increases travel distance and thus carbon footprint. A 2004 study found the many of the older models contain toxic amounts of lead.

Real Christmas trees generally come from tree farms, not forests, so they do not contribute to deforestation. Most cities have in place a tree-recycling program, by which the trees become mulch. Many of the farms are domestic, and production consumes CO2

Between Artificial and cut Christmas trees, the latter is the lesser of two evils. But issues of allergens and pesticides can still deter people from tree lots. For the truly dedicated, potted trees can provide a guilt-free Christmas. Potted trees provide all the benefits of cut trees, with the added benefits of keeping the tree around to continue soaking up CO2. You can pick one up at your local nursery and plant it in your backyard after Christmas. If planting the tree isn’t a feasible solution, many companies are cropping up that will rent out live trees and then collect them after Christmas. For the more artsy among us, making a recycled Christmas tree can show your holiday spirit and your eco-ingenuity.

Happy Holidays and good luck!
-Dr. Green

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Slippery Slope of Green Skiing

Is skiing environmentally damaging?

Skiing is a large, carbon-intensive industry that requires a lot of space, a lot of equipment, and a lot of energy, so it has the potential to be very environmentally disruptive. Resorts that use a lot of snow machines consume large amounts of energy and water. Due to global climate change, chemicals called snow inducers are increasingly used to help freeze snow at lower temperatures. In a way, it’s a vicious cycle: emissions from snow machines fuel global warming, which means higher temperatures and increased need for snow machines. Despite low growth in the total number of skiers, the total acreage of resorts has greatly increased, meaning more deforestation and more energy-sucking ski lifts.

But like any industry, ski resorts are realizing that consumers are demanding a more environmentally friendly experience, and that their industry depends on stopping global warming. Some resorts are investing in green technology, renewable energy, and are committed to limiting devegetation and water depletion.

Luckily, we don’t have to spend hours investigating our favorite ski spots. Ski Area Citizens Commission, an organization dedicated to monitoring the eco-frienliness of the ski industry, gives resorts across the country a letter grade on greenness, factoring in criteria such as habitat protection, energy conservation, and water management. For example, Squaw Valley gets an A, while Heavenly has a C overall, and an F in protecting watersheds.

To see how your favorite spot ranks, visit
I've set up a new email account for the blog, so email me your questions at

Have a good Thanksgiving and stay green!
-Dr. Green

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Meg Whitman

"After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains." ~ Another Whitman

There’s been lots of buzz lately about a certain Ms. Whitman. Amidst talk of housekeepers and vicious attack ads, the environment has gotten less of the spotlight. Whitman claims she will make the environment a top priority. However, she is in favor of scrapping certain regulation to help attract business.

Whitman promises to:
*better enforce pollution laws
*support clean transportation
*cut red tape inhibiting new green industries
*halt offshore drilling until new technologies can minimize environmental impact
*oppose prop 23, a ballot measure that would suspend certain greenhouse gas regulations until *unemployment drops

*suspend AB 32, the law under fire by prop 23, for at least a year
*increase water flow from the delta (albeit with a new system she said will protect the smelt and other wildlife)
*lower environmental regulation to create jobs

Whitman seems to espouse the popular idea that environmental regulation and economic recovery are not only at odds, but perhaps mutually exclusive. California has long been a pioneer in government-backed environmental protection, and it seems that Whitman might not share Schwarzenegger’s environmental zeal. That said, it seems that she has given more than a token commitment to ecological issues.

Who do you support in the gubernatorial race?
Do you think Whitman’s environmental promises are sincere?
Housekeepers: important political issue, or most important political issue?

Comment below or shoot me an email at

Monday, September 20, 2010

Getting Motivated

As an "environmentalist," I sometimes feel it's my duty to portray being eco-friendly as easy, pain-free, and fun. The sad truth is that in between school, work, and everything else, being earth-friendly sometimes slips to the bottom of the totem pole. It's difficult to care deeply about food waste or unplugging chargers after four hours of sleep. The devil on my shoulder whispers, does it really matter that much if you recycle that bottle?

I realized that in order to continue my environmental fervor, I'd need a little more motavation. Thus, I present to you three simple reasons Why it Matters:

#1: This picture ^

#2:"Sea-level rise will increase risks of erosion, storm surge damage, and flooding for coastal communities, especially in the Southeast and parts of Alaska. Reduced snowpack and earlier snow melt will alter the timing and amount of water supplies, exacerbating water scarcity in the West" -US Global Change Research

#3: It wasn't the Exxon Valdez captain's driving that caused the Alaskan oil spill. It was yours. ~Greenpeace advertisement, New York Times, 25 February 1990 (as true for BP's oil spill as it was for Exxon's)

Nothing like a good old fashioned sense of desperation to cure apathy.

~Dr. Green K

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Dr. Green

Greetings all,
The Dr. Green torch has officially been passed. I'm Jessie Kathan, aka Dr. Green K. I'm very excited about taking up this position and continuing the blog.

A little bit about me:
I just started my junior year in high school in Moraga, an extremely small suburb in the Bay Area. When I'm not staring at my computer screen, I enjoy reading, hiking, and cooking (badly).

I've been writing for the Green News for a couple of years, and right now I'm on the Editorial Board. I'm passionate about saving the environment, but by no means do I claim to be the epitome of environmental consciousness; I freely admit that much of my food is inorganic, and ocacasionally - very occasionally - I use an unreusable water bottle (Al Gore have mercy). However, I'm enthusiastic about making my own lifestyle more environmentally friendly, and educating others along the way.

I'm eager to explore new ways this blog can grow, and I want a major part of it to involve you, the readers. Please comment on any of my posts and, if you are in need of any environmental advice or have topics like to see covered, email me at

~Dr. Green K

Friday, August 27, 2010

Goodbye, Dr. Green T!

Hello everyone,

I'm hoping you're all enjoying what's left of summer vacation; however, if you're back in school, then I wish you a wonderful academic year! Starting this Fall 2010, I will begin my education at the University of California-Berkeley as a Business Administration major in the Haas School of Business. Unfortunately, this new pathway from community college will be a lot more stressful, tiring, and time-consuming on my life. With this being said, I will be stepping down as Dr. Green T from The Green News.

It has been a fantastic last two years serving The Green News. I began as a regular writer of this online newsletter, submitting monthly articles on environmental subjects that interested me. Within 6 months, I was given the opportunity to take on the role of Dr. Green T for The Green News. What an honor. I feel this responsibility and committment has been truly wonderful as I've been presented a canvas in which to create my own works for the general public to read and acknowledge.

I'm excited to see Dr. Green's Blog move forward with each and every person who decides to take on the role. It is absolutely a fantastic experience and I thank The Green News for letting me be the one to grow from it. :) Stay green, everyone!

Dr. Green T

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Community Supported Agriculture

Hello Everyone,

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), ever heard of it? I hadn't until just today when my Internship Coordinator pulled out a fresh piece of corn from her lunch bag, and explained how much great produce she was receiving this summer! Let me explain briefly. CSA has become a convenient and popular way for consumers to purchase local, organic produce from a farmer directly over the last 20 years. Basically, a farmer will offer a box of fruits and vegetables that are in season for which a consumer will pay a weekly charge for a nutritious and environmentally-friendly goody bag.

If you check out this site here, you can learn more about the advantages to both consumers and farmers, the shared risk, variations, and more!

My Internship Coordinator explained how she purchases from "River Dog Farms" which is located in Capay Valley; however, they deliver their produce to farmer's markets all over the Bay Area for you to pick up from and enjoy. They pride themselves on growing organic food as their site explains what is organic food, why choose organic, and how to sign up for their veggie box deliveries. Click Here if you're interested to learn more and check out their beautiful photo gallery for a better idea of the concept! :)

In addition to "River Dog Farms," there's the "Full Belly Farms" which is the one I'm signing up for because they have farmer's markets near my apartment and a cheaper, more flexible rate for the veggie box deliveries than "River Dog Farms." However, "River Dog Farms" does have its own qualities that "Full Belly Farms" does not, but my vote still goes to "Full Belly Farms." Anyways, "Full Belly Farms" is also located in Capay Valley, and they sell to both restaurants and farmer's markets. "Full Belly is also home to many outreach activities, including educational tours, school group visits, and the much-acclaimed annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival." Interested in signing up for this veggie box delivery? Click Here.

Hope this blog was educational for many of you because buying from local, organic farms decreases carbon emissions from the trip of delivering produce and prevents the risk of obtaining a disease from pesticides sprayed on your fruit and vegetables. Maybe now I'll see some of you guys at a local farmer's market purchasing veggie boxes! In any case, have a wonderful summer, everyone! :D

Dr. Green T

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Hey everyone,

You know what's so great about the Bay Area that many people seem to take for granted? Our Bay Area Rapid Transit also known as BART. It's pretty amazing that we have this piece of public transportation that extends from San Francisco Airport all the way to Pittsburg/Bay Point, Richmond, and even Fremont.

I know some people are afraid to take BART because it can seem confusing, but if you go onto their website here, then you can quickly check train arrival and departure times to best map out your BART adventure! Once you become a regular BART attendee, the whole process of purchasing a ticket, finding which train to take, and knowing where to get off will be easy as pie.

It's interesting how much of a positive difference taking public transportation can do for not only our environment, but our wallets too! A roundtrip ticket from Lafayette to San Francisco is $8.90 which is amazing considering how much it would be to drive with the cost of gas, bridge toll, and pollution to take into acount. TO figure out how much it would cost for you to take BART everyday, Click Here.

We are fortunate enough to have this amazing piece of public transportation at our disposal as it stretches across the Bay Area to cities many of us have never even been to. It's also exciting to notice how all these Bay Area cities are all connected by one thing: Bay Area Rapid Transit, BART.

Dr. Green T

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Leaf Paper

Hello everyone!!

Hopefully, you're all getting prepared for school to begin session! However, are you ready for more note-taking in your classes, wasting countless pieces of paper? It's interesting how many people don't pay attention to the fact that we're using up vital resources everyday without a care in the world.

Did you know that "China, India and the rest of Asia are the fastest growing per-capita users of paper, but they still rank far behind Eastern Europe and Latin America (about 100 pounds per person per year), Australia (about 300 pounds per person per year) and Western Europe (more than 400 pounds per person per year)"? (Shapley) It's crazy, but there is something we can all do to help!

I have recently discovered this site called, New Leaf Paper, where they off a wide selection of coated, uncoated and office paper, many with 100% post-consumer recycled content and Forest Stewardship Council certification. New Leaf Paper was also first to market with 100% post-consumer papers of unparalleled brightness and printing specifications, including the first-ever 100% post-consumer recycled coated papers, book publishing papers and more.

You don't necessarily have to order New Leaf Paper products because there are plenty of others companies out there that are manufacturing recycled, environmentally-friendly paper for your writing needs. Just do some research, but if you're still unsure as to why to switch to recycled paper, then Click Here to learn more about "15 Facts About the Paper Industry, Global Warming and the Environment." Hope you all are having a wonderful summer vacation! :)

Dr. Green T

Works Cited:
Shapley, Dan. "15 Facts About the Paper Industry, Global Warming and the Environment." thedailygreen. Hearst Communications, Inc., 02 Oct 2007. Web. 10 Aug 2010.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Wonders of Biking

Hello Everyone!!

Hopefully you had an exciting month of July considering that August is right around the corner. Most of us understand what August entails...a new session of school. Now how can one go about starting off their school year in the most eco-friendly way possible? By biking to school!

I plan to start off this year right, and by that I mean living a more environmental lifestyle. By biking to school everyday, you will receive countless benefits for not only our Earth, but for ourselves too. Here are some of the many advantages that come with riding a bike...

1. A bicycle has virtually NO carbon footprint. Unfortunately, we generate massive amounts of carbon dioxide which enter our Earth's atmosphere and meddle with the natural balance. Interested in comparing your carbon footprint from before you begin your biking lifestyle with after? Then Click Here.

2. Regular bicycling helps with personal weight management -- new full-time bicycle commuters can expect to lose an average 13 pounds their first year of bicycle commuting if they maintain the same eating habits.

3. Bicycles are a great means to see the world. Ever truly notice the architecture of a building you pass by everyday when you're driving? When you slow down your life, you get a better chance of experiencing every single moment to the fullest. Riding a bike will open your eyes to the little treasures our world offers.

4. Reduces deforestation for planting of rubber plantations and bio-fuel crops, because bicycles use very little rubber and fuel/lubricants. :)

5. Reduces noise pollution -- even without a muffler bikes are quiet, creating a quieter community.

6. Reduces water pollution -- bikes don't drip brake fluid, anti-freeze, transmission fluid, toxic dust, etc.

There are so many more qualities a bike can offer that a car can not. These are only a few of the countless benefits, and if you're interested on reading more on these advantages, then go to the link in the Works Cited section of this blog to check them out! :D

Dr. Green T

Works Cited:
Mozer, David. "60+ Benefits (Advantages) of Bicycling." International Bicycle Fund. ThinkHost, 2010. Web. 30 Jul 2010.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Red, White & Blueberries!

Hello everyone,

What's coming up in about 3 days? Independence Day! That wonderful holiday that reminds us every year of how lucky we are to live in a free country. With this in mind, what do you believe will be a great way to celebrate this festive occasion? With some delicious treats made with in-season fruits, an eco-friendly idea because it allows you to utilize local produce which reduces CO2 emissions from the travel.

A fun dessert to create for your Independence Day experience is the Food Network's "Red, White, and Blue Trifle" and "Flag Cake." Both of these treats consist of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, in season summer berries for your liking.

Red, White, and Blue Trifle

● 1 box red velvet cake mix, about 18 ounces (if you can't find red velvet cake use 1 box chocolate cake plus a bottle of red food coloring)
● 1 (16-ounce) tub whipped topping
● 2 pints blueberries
● 1 pint strawberries, tops removed

Prepare the Red Velvet Cake mix as instructed on the packaging, and allow to cool afterwards. With a knife, cut the cake into 1-inch square pieces and line the bottom of the trifle bowl with half of the cake squares.

With a spatula, spread about a 2-inch layer of whipped topping on top of the cake squares. Layer about 1 1/2 pints of the blueberries on top of whipped topping. Layer the remaining cake pieces on top of the blueberries forming a second layer of cake.

Using a spatula, spread remaining whipped topping over the cakes pieces. Decorate the perimeter with the strawberries; placing the strawberries cut side down. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries on top of the trifle inside the strawberry perimeter. Voila! A decadent treat for the whole family to enjoy. :)

Flag Cake

● 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
● 3 cups sugar
● 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
● 1 cup sour cream at room temperature
● 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
● 3 cups flour
● 1/3 cup cornstarch
● 1 teaspoon kosher salt
● 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the icing:
● 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
● 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
● 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
● 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To assemble:
● 2 half-pints blueberries
● 3 half-pints raspberries

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 18 by 13 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.

For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing just until smooth.

Spread three-fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake. Outline the flag on the top of the cake with a toothpick. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries. Place 2 rows of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe. Put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe two rows of white stripes below the raspberries. Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is completed. Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.

I serve this cake right in the pan. If you want to turn it out onto a board before frosting, use parchment paper when you grease and flour the pan.

Hope you all enjoy these wonderful 4th of July treats!! Happy Independence Day. :)

Dr. Green T

Works Cited:
Garten, Ina. "Flag Cake." Food Network, n.d. Web. 1 Jul 2010.

Lee, Sandra. "Red, White, and Blue Trifle." Food Network, n.d. Web. 1 Jul 2010.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Green Cleaning Tips

Hello all,

It may not be Spring Cleaning time anymore, but that doesn't mean you're going to withold from cleaning for almost a year, right? Now, don't go running to that Swiffer and Windex just yet! Here are some Green Cleaning Tips from "ReadyMade" to polish up your household in the most environmental ways possible. :)

Ever have problems with flies? Of course you have. Instead of reaching for that fly swatter or the nearest tossable object, drive them away with a potted basil plant. These annoying insects find the aroma of these herbs repulsive, and therefore will keep you spending less time killing flies and more time enjoying your bug-free home.

Did you know that houseplants can significantly reduce biological and synthetic pollutants in the air? Well, they can! Some of the more popular potted plants with this benefit are gerber daisies, chrysanthemums, ficus, peace lilies, and devil's ivy.

In order to clean up those scuff marks from leather furniture, gently rub the eraser end of a pencil over the affected areas. "It's a toxin- and fume-free way to make imperfections disappear."

For polishing off the metal fixtures in your home, use non-gel toothpaste to help in keeping them "clean, sparkly, and tarnish-free."

Here's a nice trick for those cosmetic junkies, instead of tossing your used-up mascara brushes, keep them for "cleaning small nooks and crannies. Simply shampoo the bristles, allow them to dry, and get to work."

For more Green Cleaning Tips, check out the "ReadyMade" website where they have a whole list of interesting, eco-ways to tidy up your home. :)

Dr. Green T

Works Cited:
"GREEN CLEANING TIPS." ReadyMade, n.d. Web. 23 Jun 2010.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Global Warming?

Happy Summer Vacation!!
Hope you're all enjoying your time away from school like I am.

Quick question, why are we in a fight to reduce global warming? Unfortunately, many people don't know the cause behind this environmental movement nor do they understand the importance in taking action now.

To put it quite simply, our atmosphere consists of gases, both human-caused and naturally occurring, which either absorb or emit radiation. Ultraviolet radiation from our sun hits the Earth with most of it being reflected back into space by cloud, the ozone layer, and ice. About 25% is absorbed by the planet, and then re-emitted as infrared radiation.

However, some of the re-emitted radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases in our atmosphere which excite the molecules and cause them to emit radiation back onto Earth as heat. The more of these gas molecules we have in our atmosphere, the more infrared radiation is absorbed and sent back to the Earth's surface.

"The greenhouse gases that we have the widest understanding about are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs, used for aerosols). CO2 currently contributes the most to the greenhouse effect – the amount of radiation being trapped and re-emitted by greenhouse gases – but the other gases combined will soon be as important to the greenhouse effect as CO2" (Yahoo! Green).

So nobody becomes overly paranoid by this, you should know greenhouse gases are not necessarily a bad thing. They actually help in making our planet livable as the average temperature would be slightly below zero degrees Fahrenheit without them! With them, the average temperature is 59 degrees Fahrenheit, but the growing concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere will make this subject to change. This is why we are fighting to prevent our Earth from global warming, to keep our planet from increasing its average temperature to degrees that may threaten the livelihood of mankind on Earth.

With that, have a great summer and be sure to live Green! :)

Dr. Green T

Works Cited:
"Yahoo! Green." Yahoo! Inc., 2010. Web. 19 Jun 2010.

Friday, April 9, 2010

April's Apple Walnut Cake!!

Happy April to all!!

It is finally the time of Spring when all new fruits, vegetables, and flowers are blossoming to meet the beautiful weather that has come upon us. During this time of rebirth, I've decided to present a delectable dessert that can be found at any local farmer's market considering they're now in season. Yay! :D

The dessert of choice is the Apple Walnut Cake with both main ingredients falling under the category of "in season." Let's begin with collecting the items required in creating this wonderful treat.

-1/2 cup of butter or margarine
-2 cups of sugar
-2 large eggs, beaten
-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
-2 teaspoons of baking soda
-1 teaspoon of salt
-2 cups of all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
-4 cups of apples, peeled and thinly sliced
-1 cup of black walnuts, chopped
-Whipped cream (optional)

Now, this is quite a simple recipe to prepare. First mix the butter and sugar in a bowl, and gradually add in the beaten eggs and vanilla extract while blending them all together.

Next combine the baking soda, salt, flour and ground cinnamon in a separate bowl. Add the egg mixture into this separate bowl and beat until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Now include the apple slices and chopped walnuts in the batter, and blend just enough to spread them throughout.

Finally, grease and flour a pan (I usually use bunt cake pans), and pour the batter in to be baked in a 325°F (160°C) oven for 55-60 minutes. Serve warm or cold with some whipped cream and your set for a delicious after-meal delight. Hope you all enjoy! :]

Dr. Green T

Works Cited:
"Apple Walnut Cake recipe." Walnut Recipes. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Apr 2010.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Plastic is NOT Fantastic!

How many of you ever grab that plastic water bottle from your refridgerator and feel a sense of guilt knowing that "roughly 1.5 million tons of plastic are expended in the bottling of 89 billion liters of water each year"? Probably feeling some guilt there by now, huh?

It's ok though! I was once a plastic-water-bottle-user, but I have overcome this serious environmental as well as health hazard toward a better lifestyle in H2O consumption. "Scientists in Germany have found that PET plastics -- the kind used to make water bottles, among many other common products -- may also harbor hormone-disrupting chemicals that leach into the water." Crazy, right?! How about we NOT drink from plastic bottles that have hormone-disrupting chemicals?

Now, you're probably thinking, "Dr. Green T, what CAN we drink our water out of?" Wonderful question! Your best bet is to go for reusable, stainless steel water bottles! Preferably the ones that are BPA-Free like Klean Kanteen which is known as being the healthiest and safest water bottle you can buy! They use toxin-free materials, 100% stainless steel, made to last a lifetime, have fair labor standards, and design their bottles to be as environmental as possible!

Klean Kanteen isn't the only plastic water bottle alternative out there. I currently use SIGG water bottles because they have more attractive designs to choose from. They have been making bottles since 1990, even though their aluminum processing company was established in 1908, and "are manufactured in an ecologically-friendly environment and are 100% recyclable after their very long lives. In fact, most SIGGs in Europe are still being used 10-20 years after purchase." Awesome, right?

With all of this new information being absorbed in your mind, don't you feel the urge to run down to a Sports Basement or open a new window on your computer to locate the best reusable water bottle you can buy! It's an investment you should seriously consider for not only the environment's sake, but for your health as well.

Dr. Green T

Works Cited:
"About Us." SIGG, 2006. Web. 19 Mar 2010.

Sohn, Emily. "Plastic Water Bottles May Pose Health Hazard." Discovery News. Discovery Channel, 28 Apr 2009. Web. 19 Mar 2010.

"The Effects of Bottled Water on the Environment.", 2004. Web. 19 Mar 2010.

"Why Klean Kanteen." Canvas Dreams, 2009. Web. 19 Mar 2010.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March Mushroom Madness

Hello, Environmental Crusaders!

Hopefully everyone has been enjoying the new year and accomplishing whatever New Year's Resolutions they may have set for themselves. I know I am working toward keeping my year-long streak of vegetarianism. It can get hard though, believe me. At times, I find myself craving that In-N-Out cheeseburger, but I find ways of coping. I remember I tried almost every veggie patty the local supermarket could conjure up between its frozen shelves, and to my dismay, none of them satisfied my cravings.

Fortunately, I came across what they call a Mushroom Burger! Now, for those who don't know, mushrooms are actually in season now. Therefore, all the better to indulge in this delectable meat substitute as much as possible before it's too late and they're out of season.

It's fine to go and order the Mushroom Burger when it's available at whatever restaurant you are at, but to make it at home and grill it yourself is all the more gratifying. I have picked out a great recipe to try out from "indobase," so be sure to try it out and experience the surprisingly delicious taste of a burger without any meat!

Mushroom Patties Recipe

• 450 gm Mushrooms.
• 6 tbsp Vegetable Oil
• 1 large Onion (cut into thin strips)
• 3/4 cup Two-Day-Old Bread (crusts removed)
• Salt to taste
• 2 Eggs (lightly beaten)
• 1 cup Bread Crumbs
• 3/4 cup Sour Cream

Now, take into account that this particular dish is steered more toward the vegetarians, but vegans can substitute eggs for egg beaters and simple veto the sour cream altogether. To start things off, wash the mushrooms and place them in a deep saucepan. We want to always clean our produce before use because even those that are organic carry the risk of containing harmful pesticides or bacteria.

Next add half a cup of water to the saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once the water ha begun to boil, immediately bring it to a simmer for 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. While this is cooking, pour 1 tablespoon of oil into a small skillet with the onions to be sauted for 7-8 minutes.

Tear the bread into pieces and soak it in cold water for 10 minutes. Now squeeze out all the excess liquid from the mushrooms and grind or blend them with the onions, bread, and salt. Add in the eggs (or egg beaters) and mix well. Next refrigerate for 1 hour to firm the mixture, then shape them into 12 oval patties about 3-4 inches long and dip them into the breadcrumbs.

Finally, take a large skillet, heat the remaining oil, add the patties, and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side or until their completely cooked through. You have the option to garnish with sour cream, but don't feel like you must stop there! Go crazy and add lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mustard, ketchup or anything you'd like. It'll all be worth it when you take a bite out of that mushroom burger and get a taste of heaven. :P

For a complete list of what's in or out of season depending on where you live and what month of the year it is, Click Here!

Peace & Love,
Dr. Green T

Works Cited:
"Mushroom Patties Recipe." Recipes. 10 Jan 2008. indobase, Web. 7 Mar 2010.

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