Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Quinoa For Breakfast?

Quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.

It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" native to South America, quinoa was once called "the gold of the Incas," who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa's amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Go here to learn more!

Pumpkin Breakfast Quinoa

1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 almond milk (sub. coconut milk or cows milk)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp Mila (or Chia Seeds or Ground Flax)
1 tsp. maple syrup
Dash of cinnamon

Soak quinoa for 5 minutes in water, drain and add to pot with milk. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Let cook for 10-15 minutes or until the milk is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Stir in the remaining ingredients and transfer to serving bowl. Add toppings, then eat!

chunky apple sauce (recipe here)
chopped walnuts
splash of almond milk

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Goodbye for a month, but we will be back!

As the fall semester comes to a close, all of us at Food Justice Alliance are studiously ace-ing our finals : ) Please excuse the scarcity of posts in the last few days and the rest of this week! While this final exam buildup makes the winter break that much sweeter, some of the Food Justice members are taking a different path. Instead of chillin at home with mom and dad, we are doing something called WWOOF. For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym, it stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms...or Willing Workers On Organic Farms. Either way, through WWOOF, you can travel to any country in the world and work for your stay on an organic farm. The idea is to learn and spread knowledge of organic farming because it transcends cultural differences. We all need to eat and most of what we eat has origins in the ground, thus, connecting everyone on this very basic level.
Erin McCluskey and I are going to Panama for the winter break to work on a farm that focuses on organic permaculture. Permaculture is an ancient practice of farming in harmony with nature that is making a comeback these days. Ellie Smith will be WWOOFing in Puerto Rico on a GW Alternative Winter Break Program.
WWOOFing is an excellent affordable way to travel as it is just airfare that you are responsible for. In addition, you get to learn about organic farming and connect with a family or community anywhere in the world. Stay tuned to hear about our experiences and see photos of our trips!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Free Store Event

Reduce with Reuse

Recycling is great, but reusing and reducing is better.
Reuse matters because tons of trash (and dollars) can really add up. Each time
you choose used over new, you’re helping to redirect materials from landfills, and
you’re extending the life cycles of natural resources already in circulation.

One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Take part in the Free Store Event this
Friday December 10th 12-4pm in the Fishbowl, sponsored by The Food Justice
Alliance and GW Roots & Shoots.

As you’re thinking of packing up for home, maybe you are studying abroad,
or you just can’t find your textbooks under all the clutter… this is your chance
to purge some of the items you no longer need or want. Bring your gently
used clothing, household items, books or any other odds and ends and give
someone else a change to enjoy them rather than throwing them out. You can
drop off what you don’t want or need and pick up any items that catch your eye!
Everything is FREE!

All leftover items will be donated. Contact with
any questions.

Screening of Fresh the film!

Fresh is a film that explores the re-invention of America's food system by featuring farmers, activists, and business people. It's a beautiful and exciting celebration of the change we can make!

Join the Food Justice Alliance to watch this great movie!
Wednesday December 8th at 8pm
Elliot School Building Room B 117

Check out more info on the movie here:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Enter: Hand

Peter Krsko, of Albus Cavus Mural Painters, chose the GroW Community Garden as a host to a sculpture of a hand as a part of the Give Me a Vote Campaign. Check out the campaign here and thanks Albus Cavus for thinking of us!

Shout out to Leticia Banful for being an awesome volunteer and baring the cold with us too!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food Safety Modernization Act, or S.510, passed the Senate yesterday. The bill will attempt to force food manufacturers to stop food safety issues (such as the egg, spinach and peanut butter recalls we've had) before they occur by requiring the manufactures to have a "food safety plan" and by empowering the FDA, reports the New York Times and Food Safety News.

Senator Coburn (R-Oklahoma) opposes the bill fiercely, arguing that it would increase the price of food. The foodie world has been buzzing about this bill, with many afraid it would put overwhelming pressures on small farms. But Senator Tester (D- Montana) was able to tack on an amendment that allows producers that sell under $500,000 annually and sell most produce locally to be exempt from the legislation. Famous foodies Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser backed the amendment, saying it would make the bill "even more effective". (The rest of the amendments to make up the Senate approved Manager's amendment can be found here.)

The bill is now floundering in the House due to an error over a "set of fees" that are technically taxes and thus must originate in the House, not the Senate. Follow updates of the bill on Food Safety New's twitter.

Update: Click here for a great video explaining more about the bill, thanks to one of our readers!

Friday, November 19, 2010

FJA 1st Annual Fall Food Cook OFF

cream cheese frosting

 Students For Fair Trade

pumpkin soup with sage from the GroW Community Garden
the best pumpkin seeds I have ever tasted, brown sugar, cayenne, rosemary

 Jess with SAFI
 Israeli couscous w/ veggies

 students tasting and voting

Justin, Melissa and Caroline

the prizes were bags filled with jams, butters, apples, breads and cookies from the farmers market
and the winners are....
 Third Place: SOFI
 Second Place: Students for Fair Trade
First Place: Caroline

 oh no, it's time to go to harry potter
 things always manage to get silly...

Big THANK YOU to everyone who participated!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Benefits of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Some of us in FJA take 2 tablespoons of raw organic apple cider vinegar every morning, personally I have seen a difference in my energy level and it has aided with digestion. Time will tell if my skins texture and tone evens out and if it helps boost my immune system. We shall see. Melissa's family swears by it and I'm starting to see why!

Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, is made by fermenting apples in a wood barrel. It can be a powerful, healthy, weapon in your arsenal. It can help you battle a variety of illnesses and flush out toxins.

The truly useful apple cider vinegar is not the clear vinegar you find in many stores. There's no health benefit from clear vinegar. The powerful benefits are found in the natural organic apple cider vinegar with a brownish tinge to it and floating stuff inside. The floating matter is called "mother" and is formed from the pectin and apple residue. This brown vinegar is the one creating all the buzz, the one with the minerals, amino acids and vitamins.

What's Good About Apple Cider Vinegar?

Several ingredients found in Apple Cider Vinegar serve to enhance its reputation as a true health benefit. Calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, malic acid and pectin are several of the minerals which it has in perfectly balanced amounts, which gets most people's attention.
  • Potassium – to avoid runny nose, hair loss, brittle teeth
  • Malic Acid – to fight infections from harmful bacteria and fungus
  • Acetic Acid - accounts for the sour taste of vinegar; lowers the blood's pH levels thereby creating an inhospitable intestinal environment for bacterial & fungal infections.
  • Pectin – facilitates regulation of blood pressure and removal of bad cholesterol

How Should I Drink Raw Orgnaic Apple Cider Vinegar?

Drinking Raw Apple Cider Vinegar first thing in the morning will invigorate you.
Bragg's Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • You could drink Apple Cider Vinegar straight, but you need to be careful of your teeth, since the acid in the vinegar can damage your teeth. It's best to mix with a small amount of purified water.
  • Mix Apple Cider Vinegar with water and raw honey or nectar for a refreshing morning drink; the honey is also beneficial to your immune system and provides energy.
  • You can use Apple Cider Vinegar when you're making a salad.
  • If you like to pickle fruits & vegetables, raw apple cider vinegar is a very healthy choice.
  • Add Apple Cider Vinegar to your regular blend of herbs & spices when you mix marinades for meats.

The Benefits Of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

See for yourself if there is any reason you should use apple cider vinegar in your daily routine. Try some of the recipes above. See if you don't notice a difference in your skin & your overall health. Adding Raw Apple Cider Vinegar to your daily routine:
  • Smoothes skin texture and tone.
  • Promotes a healthy immune system.
  • Improves digestion and helps expel body toxins.
  • Can help soothe neck, shoulder and back pain.
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar helps clear skin irritations, like acne & contact dermatitis.
  • Helps with weight control – Raw Apple Cider Vinegar taken before meals will speed up the metabolism.
  • Can be applied shoulders, neck and forehead to feel rejuvenated (only for 30 minutes per session and shower after).
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar has even been known to help relieve the symptoms of constipation.


Fall Love in a Bowl

 a beautiful bowl of fall flavors

Sauteed Kale and Apple with Dried Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts & Goat Cheese
Serves 2
  • bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
  • goat cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil over medium heat, once pan is warm at apples and sautee until tender. Add kale, salt and pepper. Once kale is wilted and soft at toasted walnuts and cranberries. Remove from heat and crumble goat cheese on top.

I like this over red quinoa to make it a complete meal, or as a side dish.

Roasted Acorn Squash
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • accorn squash
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds, cut into half moons and coat with olive oil salt and pepper. Place on a cookie sheet and roast for 15 minutes, flip them and roast for another 15 minutes or until tender and caramelized. I eat the skins, but if you have trouble digesting them just spoon out the inside.

And yes, that is a tiny piece of Atwater Bakery's Cranberry Walnut Sourdough on the side there, yum!

Super Easy Week-Night Dinner

This is so so easy to make and super tasty and satisfying. Whether you have a full kitchen or not, all you need is a microwave and you can make this dish. I love Mexican flavors and heat so variations of this dish are a staple on my week-night dinner menu. I started making this burrito when I first arrived at college and only had a microwave to work with, now, even though I have a full kitchen (even though it's tiny) I still make these for dinner when I am looking or something super quick.

Re-fried Bean Burritos
  • 1 can re-fried beans
  • whole wheat tortillas
  • mexican cheese blend, or cheddar
  • handful of spinach
  • corn salsa
  • fresh tomato salsa
Microwave (or heat on stove top) the beans until warmed through, wrap tortillas in moist paper towels and warm in the microwave (about 10 seconds), put a handful of spinach, a dollop of re-fried beans, cheese, and salsas in the tortilla and enjoy.

Sometimes I add avocado, or other random veggies I have on hand, roasted butternut squash, sauteed kale or cabbage, whatever tastes good. Don't be afraid to use a different kind of bean either!

If you are a GW student thinking of replicating this dish, I bought all of the things needed for this dish at Trader Joes. The corn salsa is with the other canned salsas, the fresh salsa is in the refrigerator section, and they have 3 different kinds of re-fried beans to choose from, pick whichever you like.

Another wonderful variation of this dish is a rice bowl, I start with a base of brown rice then I add beans (black, kidney, or re-fied) and add my toppings. So easy, so tasty.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Check out our friends over at GW Progressive Student Union... they were inspired by our blog and now they have their own!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The latest in jobs pertaining to food!

First Peacecorps...then FOODCORPS!! For all you out there, like me, who is shortly entering the job world and is interested in changing this country's outlook on food, look not further that Foodcorps.

The vision for FoodCorps is to recruit young adults for a yearlong term of public service in school food systems. Once stationed, FoodCorps members will build Farm to School supply chains, expand food system and nutrition education programs, and build and tend school food gardens.

The ultimate goal of the project is to increase the health and prosperity of vulnerable children, while investing in the next generation of farmers.

A 16-month planning process to develop FoodCorps began in January 2010. A summit of 60 interested stakeholders took place in Detroit May 19-20. Open conference calls to discuss the program are held on the first Thursday of every month at 5pm ET. For information about how to join the open calls and reminders on when they're being held, sign up here.

The planning process is building toward submission of a proposal to implement the FoodCorps concept, to be submitted to AmeriCorps and program partners in January 2011.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Photos from Service Excellence Awards

The famous Jessica McConnell Burt took these photos of us at the Service Excellence Awards Ceremony.

Service Excellence in Sustainability

Student Choice Award

Jenny and me rockin' our certificates.

To read the article on GW Today about the Awards Ceremony, click here.

Polluted Drinking Water from the Potomac River

Check out this NPR interview with Hendrick Smith about his PBS Frontline documentary Poisoned Waters, which details the widespread pollution of America's water ways.

Smith reports that untreated toxins and chemicals from urban sprawl and development are damaging or destroying natural habitats in the Chesapeake Bay and the Puget Sound. In the Potomac River, chemical compounds are causing mutations in the genitalia of frogs, while high levels of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the Puget Sound have led to the endangerment of orca whales.

Yes, you read that correctly, they have found male frogs in the Potomac with ovaries.... SCARY

This affects people like you and me as residents of DC. Our drinking water comes from the Potomac River.

Take a listen, it's worth getting informed about!

C is for Cookie

Some FJAers asked for this cookie recipe, so here it is! I whipped these up for our meeting last night, they are super easy to make, vegan, not to sweet, healthy, and light tasting.

Adapted from Oh She Glows 

Pumpkin Pie Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 Flax ‘egg’  (2 tsp. ground flaxseed + 2 tablespoons water)
  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup agave (you could also use maple syrup)
  • 1 small banana, chopped
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin 

I might use 1/4 cup walnuts next time for a bit more crunch and maybe a tad more cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice might be nice in these also!

    Directions: Preheat the oven to 375F. Mix flax egg in a small bowl and set aside. Mix dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Mix wet ingredients in a small to medium sized bowl and then add flax or chia egg. Stir. Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients. Stir well and shape cookies onto a pan. Makes 12 large cookies. Cook for 13 minutes at 375F.

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Hoopmania on K st

    Food Justice, Progressive Student Union, and Epsilon Sigma Alpha all came out to the Farm at Walker Jones on Sunday to help build hoop houses for the baby spinach plants.

    Farmer John bending the hoops.

    Staking the hoops with rebar.

    Laying the cloth over the hoops. This cloth is really thin, but sturdy. It's the warm weather version of the plastic vinyl that common hoop houses use.

    All of our hard work.

    A project that would have taken John a day took him under 2 hours with our help! Thank you to all the volunteers that came out!

    Fair Trade Chocolate Campaign

    Food Justice Alliance teamed up with the Progressive Student Union to promote Fair Trade Chocolate and other products on campus. We had a bake sale using Fair Trade cocoa, we reverse trick-or-treated in Thurston, and showed the movie, The Dark Side of Chocolate.

    Tyler Somes, of Progressive Student Union!

    We gave these out to all the Freshmen in Thurston.

    FJA and PSU at the movie screening with reps from Fair Trade Federation and Labor Rights Campaign.

    Come See Jenna Norwood talk about her Documentary Super Charge Me! 30 Days Raw

    This is going to be a great event, be sure to check it out!

    Sunday, November 7, 2010


    In an effort to use up the rest of our CSA vegetables, a few of us got together to throw all of our slightly wilting fruits and veggies on a few pizzas.

    Caroline rolling the gluten-free dough

    Me rolling the whole wheat dough

    Caramelized onions and peppers on the left and white wine baby bella mushrooms on the right

    Pizza sauce on the GF dough

    Mozzarella, goat cheese, and feta

    Gluten free pizza with brussels sprouts, shallots, spinach, onions, peppers, mushrooms, many types of cheese and tomato sauce

    Greek pizza w spinach, feta, olive, red pepper flakes, and mozzarella. Brussels sprout pizza w shallots and fresh mozz. Caramelized onions, peppers and mushrooms with fresh mozz too.

    Pizzas all done!

    Topping to our dessert pizza--walnuts, pecans, cranberries, apples, honey goat cheese.

    Apples for the dessert pizza.

    Hungry eaters got to the pizza before the camera did!

    Enjoying yummy homemade pizza!

    Kathleen : )

    More pizzamania nights to come as the seasons and available foods change!