For Earth Day this year, I suggest keeping it simple. Pack a handful of your nearest and dearest in a roomy auto and go road-tripping. It could even be more fun if you have no particular destination in mind. You can call on the directions to help guide you to a beneficial place for all. There really are only a few prerequisites to make for the optimum road experience: gas, tunes, and snacks.
To be fair, why not have each rider pitch in with a playlist of road-worthy songs and take turns playing them? Speaking of pitching in, if you're not the driver, don't forget to offer some cash for fuel. The other kind of fuel you require is of course, munchies. You should cover sweet, salty, crunchy, protein-rich, and throw in something healthy if you can. Veggie Straws, celery and carrots, apples, grapes, cheese, hummus, trail mix, and fair trade dark chocolate all make my list. These don't really require a cooler, either. The other thing you don't want to be without is beverages. Water, iced tea or coffee drinks, and juice are all good bets.
Try to get rolling by high-noon so that you still have plenty of daylight to get out and go for a hike, if you choose. Crank the windows down, sing along, and let the good times roll. There is a lot of gorgeous green earth still out there. Get out and enjoy her while you can.
COLLEEN'S CRAZY TRAIL MIX
A perfect blend of salty, sweet and spicy.
organic dark chocolate-covered cranberries
organic Dried Turkish Figs
sesame sticks (Cajun)
brown rice miso crackers
roasted, salted Peanuts
organic raw pumpkin seeds
Greek yogurt-covered pretzels
All of these items should be available in your friendly neighborhood bulk foods section. You can use equal parts of each, or go heavy on your favorites to create your own mix!
(Recipe concocted by Colleen DuVall, due to the tree-nut heavy trail-mixes already out there)
Start to finish: 20 minutes
This hummus is a vibrant bright pink thanks to the addition of steamed beets.
1 beet (small, trimmed and peeled, cut into chunks)
1 1⁄2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 clove garlic (coarsely chopped)
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1⁄4 cup water (plus up to a 1/4 cup more if needed)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons cumin
1⁄2 teaspoons salt
Place the beet in a steamer basket above simmering water and steam, covered, until tender, up to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the beet pieces.
Place the garlic and chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the tahini, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of water, cumin, salt, and cooked beets, and process until smooth and creamy, adding more water, a couple tablespoons at a time, to reach the desired consistency.
(Recipe adapted from www.dailyburn.com by Willy Street Co-op in Madison)
Photo by ponsulak at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net