Recycle. Use reusable bags for groceries. Grow own herb garden. Buy local produce. These are the things I do everyday that help me reduce my carbon footprint & contribute to a sustainable lifestyle. As you guys know, I believe every little action matters when it comes to the environment. This is the reason I’m a vegetarian — I want to do my part in preserving our environment. It’s also the reason why I love fuel economy cars, here in Florida we drive everywhere so having a car that saves on gas is high on my book. So when I was offered a chance to test drive the eco-friendly Ford Escape (green & fuel efficient) & interview Dr. Ellen Lee, Technical Expert in Plastics Research for Ford Motor Company, I jumped at the chance.
Let me tell you all the ways the Ford Escape scores an A in sustainability. For starters, it’s 85 % recyclable: it’s made with 100 percent recycled tires & recycled plastics, as well as renewable materials like soy foam, coconut fibers & wheat straw. You read that right: the seats are made with soy foam, the lip gate with coconut fibers & it has wheat straw all throughout the car in order to make it lighter & reduce the use of plastics — how cool is that? Ford has been commited to sustainability from its roots; Henry Ford himself paid close attention to what farmers in the area were growing in hopes he could use the materials. Since then, Ford has been on the leading edge of using sustainable materials & technology in their vehicles. The soy based technology that makes it possible to use soy foams in the seats, for example, was developed in Ford & has reduced their carbon dioxide ommissions significantly. I am impressed with Ford‘s commitment to the environment & even more impressed with the Ford Escape because it’s awesome!
Not only is is it sustainable, it has some really cool features. I loved the back-up camera which lets you know when you’re too close to a vehicle. It has blind spot lights on the side view mirrors that let you know when someone’s in your blind spot. And coolest of all, it has a handsfree lift gate (trunk) that opens by the wave of your foot – talk about convenient. I loved that I didn’t have to fumble for my keys on my trip to the grocery store, even though I had my hands full with groceries I was able to easily open the trunk due to Ford‘s handsfree lift gate technology. Amazing!
I loved test driving the Ford Escape, so much so I am sharing a Ford Escape inspired recipe with you all today, using some of the materials used in the Escape: Soy & Wheat. Today I’m sharing with you an Italian staple, Carbonara Pasta. This creamy, hearty dish is typically made with pancetta or bacon , but here at The Peas we like to make it with tempeh. I love this dish because it’s simple & let’s the flavors really speak for themselves; you can’t go wrong with this Carbonara Pasta recipe!
Carbonara Pasta Ingredients (makes 6 servings)
1 box wheat pasta of your choice (I like penne because it holds the sauce really well)
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 strips bacon-flavored tempeh, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 tablespoon Italian parsley
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil & cook the pasta for 8 – 9 minutes (follow packet instructions). Save 1/2 cup of the pasta water & drain the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat then add the tempeh & cook for 3 minutes until tempeh is crispy. Add the minced garlic & cook for a minute.
In a bowl, mix the egg & parmesan cheese & set aside.
After cooking the garlic, add the pasta & toss then remove the pan from heat. This step is crucial, remove the pan from heat before adding the eggs so they don’t scramble. Also crucial: make sure the pasta is hot when you add the eggs, the heat from the pasta will cook the eggs through. Add the egg/parmesan mixture & parsley & toss until sauce is creamy all the way through. If you like your sauce a little saucier/looser, add the 1/2 cup pasta water you reserved & mix — you now have creamy, delicious carbonara pasta!
Serve it with your favorite sides (made from local produce, if possible) & a dusting of parmesan for a little more creaminess. Enjoy!
Have you tried carbonara pasta before? What’s your favorite pasta dish?
Full disclosure: I was offered to test drive the Ford Escape free of charge, but was not required to give it a positive review. All opinions are my own.