Written by Valaer Murray, The Daily Meal
Good times that are good for the planet? Yes, please! There are plenty of simple ways to share environmental awareness with family, friends, and neighbors, like cleaning up the block, supporting local farmers, and finding ways to reuse and recycle what you would ordinarily toss in the trash – plus, plenty of good eats along the way!
1. Cookware Swap
You’ve heard of a clothing swap, but this time it’s cleaning out the kitchen cabinets instead of the closet. That pasta maker that’s collecting dust may be perfect for an Italian food-fanatic friend. Whatever cookware is left over, the host can donate after the party.
A swap can be action-packed, so bite-sized apps work best. Serve a few dips like this Lemon-Mint Hummus and Simple Tzatziki with pita bread. Meat on a stick is pretty portable, and this Chicken Satay with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce goes perfectly with a brightly colored Gin Kimchi Cocktail.
2. Meatless Monday Dinner Party
Meatless Mondays have been a great way to promote sustainable eating, so sharing it with friends ups everyone’s carbon offsets. A truly elegant vegetarian feast won’t leave anyone pining for beef or thinking of tie-dye and patchouli oil.
Kick off the party with Mini Corn and Leek Flautas and Champagne Margaritas. Once everyone’s seated, ladle out this Butternut Squash Soup with Chickpeas and then serve a platter of Broiled Tofu with a Spicy Mango Sauce and a side of brown rice. Pass bowls of a Beet and Blood Orange Salad and a zesty White Carrot Saladaround the table so everyone can serve themselves.
3. Herb Potting Party
This party takes a little planning. First stop: The plant store to pick up a range of herbs, soil, and small potting pebbles — plan on three plants per person. Next, tell the guests to bring their own clay pots. Find a big bucket or something to hold the soil and some large spoons. Whether you’re inside or outside, it may make sense to put the herbs and bucket of soil on a table with newspaper underneath (that you can recycle). Then people can gather around to pot their herbs.
In keeping with the theme, use some fresh herbs to make a homemade salsa and serve with an assortment of chips. Fresh Tomato Bruschetta and Goat Cheese with Honey are also good warm-weather complements to this equally refreshing Winthrop Gimlet Cocktail.