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Nov 072010
 

(Portions of this report originally appeared Nov. 18, 2009)

By Melissa Segrest
Green Right Now

What if we could reinvent Thanksgiving Day’s traditional dishes?

Could we replace baked yams topped with melty marshmallows with something natural and organic? Could we convert Mom’s canned green bean casserole into a healthier, Earth-friendly dish – complete with crunchy onion bits on top?

What if we asked some of the best-selling organic cookbook writers in the country to overhaul our Thanksgiving table?

We asked, and they answered. Our lineup of top green cooks have whipped up a great alternative menu for Thanksgiving. (OK, we did turn to one expert vegetarian cookbook, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food, by Mark Bittman, for a stuffing recipe.)

Myra Goodman is a founder of Earthbound Farm

Myra Goodman is a founder of Earthbound Farm

And no, we didn’t talk turkey. We’ll leave that up to you non-veggie types. Here’s what’s cooking, and who is cooking it:

THE CRANBERRY SAUCE:

Myra Goodman and her husband, Drew, started Earthbound Farm in 1984. What began as a small farm producing organic items became the first company to launch pre-washed salads for retail sale. Today, 150 farmers grow Earthbound Farm’s more than 100 varieties of organic salads, fruits and vegetables.

Myra has been creating her own recipes and cooking with their organic food since she baked and sold raspberry muffins at their first roadside stand. The Goodmans have been featured in People, The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Redbook and more. Her first book is Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook (Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbk). Her newest book, The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet, was released earlier this year.

THE GRAVY:

Jackie Newgent is a registered dietitian, an eco-cuisine expert, chef/instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, and author of Big Green Cookbook (Wiley, 2009) and The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook. Her Web sites are JackieNewgent.com and BigGreenCookbook.com. Follow her on Twitter @jackienewgent.

Her dish for our T-day table is a yummy alternative to heavy flour and turkey-dripping based gravy:

THE VEGGIE DRESSING:

Thanksgiving seems to demand a dollop of bread stuffing seasoned with sage. The question is: Can we tinker with this tradition, lower the carb wallop, but still fulfill our need for comfort food? Looking for something a little lighter, but still filling, found us perusing Mark Bittman recipes from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, a award-winning cookbook that rescues vegetarian cooking from the tofu/faux meat/Asian stir-fry rut. Bittman, an omnivore who recognizes the value of a mostly veg diet has been a professional food writer for 30 years, serving up recipes at Cook’s and The New York Times. He’s best known as the author of How to Cook Everything and for his “minimalist” column at The Times.

THE ‘GREENER’ GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE:

The green team at Organic Gardening Magazine is always thinking seasonal, natural and healthy. Abigail Poulette, one of the pros there, has a fresh take on a Thanksgiving day dish that is usually anything but natural. Here is her suggestion to turn fall’s fresh, seasonal items into a healthier version of Mom’s green bean casserole.

Jesse Ziff Cool is the author of 7 books, the latest is 'Simply Organic'

Jesse Ziff Cool is the author of 7 books, the latest is 'Simply Organic'

THE YAM CASSEROLE, REBORN:

Jesse Ziff Cool has been dedicated to sustainable agriculture and cuisine since 1975. She is a writer, restaurateur, spokesperson and consultant for eco-conscious food service, waste management and social and corporate responsibility in the food industry. She is the author of seven cookbooks, including Simply Organic. She operates three restaurants and a catering company.   She works with Stanford University education students to build a curriculum around simple, healthy food. She helps guide Stanford Hospital toward organic, healthy food for patients.

THE REINVENTED PUMPKIN PIE:

Myra Goodman again lends a hand in our virtual green kitchen with her natural recipe for a perfect Thanksgiving Day pie – Pumpkin and Winter Squash Pie:

THE ‘GREEN’ APPLE PIE:

Anna Lappé is a bestselling author and speaker on food politics, sustainable agriculture, globalization, and social change. She was named one of Time’s “Eco” Who’s Who. Lappé has been featured in The New York Times, Gourmet, O-The Oprah Magazine and more.

The co-founder of the Small Planet Fund and Small Planet Institute, she lectures and is co-host of public TV’s The Endless Feast. Her first book, Hope’s Edge, written with her mother Frances Moore Lappé, chronicles courageous social movements around the world. (You may recall her mother’s bestselling book , Diet for a Small Planet.) Anna’s second book, Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen (Tarcher/Penguin 2006) written with chef Bryant Terry, has ideas, tools and menus for healthier lives. Her latest book is Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It (Bloomsbury).

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