Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


April 21, 2014

Lee Ward: Earth day theme strikes the food world: 4/11/14

ASHLAND — I was just curious, so I began looking online for food related to Earth Day. To my surprise, there are many recipes that apply.

I can’t wait to make Earth Day Bars, which look like a perfect on-the-go breakfast.


11⁄2 cups baking mix (such as Bisquick)

11⁄2 cups instant oats

1 cup packed brown sugar

1⁄2 cup softened butter

1 egg

1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon


Coconut flakes

Chocolate chips

Chopped dried pineapple


Chopped Brazil nuts

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the baking mix, oats, brown sugar, butter, egg and cinnamon.

Stir the mix with a wooden spoon until you have a crumbly dough. Next, customize your international treats by folding in 1 cup total of the add-ins of your choice.

Press the dough into an ungreased 9-by-13 pan and bake for 17 minutes or until the center is set and the bars are slightly brown. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Makes 11⁄2 dozen 2-by-3 bars.


Here’s some background info about the add-ins:

Raisins: California, the only place in the United States that harvests the grapes used to make raisins, is the world’s No. 1 supplier.

Pineapple: Thailand produces approximately 20 percent of the world’s pineapple crop, surpassing the Hawaiian Islands.

Brazil nuts: The complex growing environment this tree crop requires prevents it from being grown on farms. Instead, it’s harvested directly from the rain forests of Brazil, Peru and other South American countries.

Chocolate: Africa’s Ivory Coast is the largest producer of cocoa beans, the ingredient that gives chocolate its unique, irresistible flavor.

Coconut: The Philippines and Indonesia are the world’s leading producers of copra, or coconut meat.


1 small banana

1⁄2 cup chunky peanut butter

1⁄2 cup toasted wheat germ

Finely chopped peanuts, mini-chocolate chips, or shredded coconut for coating

In a medium bowl, mash together the banana and the peanut butter.

Stir in the wheat germ. Roll individual tablespoons of the mixture into balls, then roll the balls in one, or a mix, of the coatings listed above. Chill until firm. Makes 14 balls.

Variation: For a peanut-free version, substitute sunflower-seed or soy-nut butter for the peanut butter, and omit the peanuts and chocolate chips (which can contain traces of peanut).


21⁄2 to 3 cups white icing

1 baked 13-by-9 cake

4 baked cupcakes

5 baked mini cupcakes

1⁄4 cup green icing

Green gel icing (optional)

Candy for decorations, such as spearmint leaves, colored sugar, colored nonpareils, LifeSavers Gummies, sour rings, jujubes, M&Ms Minis and Jujyfruits.

First, frost the 13-by-9 cake with the white icing. (Tester’s tip: To avoid dark crumbs in the light-colored icing, we used a white cake and cupcakes.) Arrange the cupcakes and mini cupcakes (you can cut them in half horizontally for thinner flowers if you wish) on top of the cake, wherever you’d like a flower. Cover them with the white icing as well, including the sides.

Using a pastry bag (or a plastic bag with one small corner cut off), pipe a green icing stem for each flower. If you'd like, you can also add green gel icing grass. Place spearmint leaves along the icing stems, then decorate the cupcakes with colored sugar and candies to create a garden of colorful blooms. You can also pipe on dollops of icing, as we did with some of our flowers.


This one comes from allrecipes.com and is one of several celebrating Earth Day.


2 tablespoons olive oil

4 (8 ounce) salmon fillets

4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced

2 large red onions, sliced into rings

1 jarred roasted red pepper, drained and cut into strips

8 ounces portobello mushrooms

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the bottom of a 9-by-13 baking dish generously with olive oil.

Arrange potato slices in a layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Season with a little salt and pepper. Place a layer of onions over the potatoes, then a layer of roasted peppers, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper as desired. Place salmon fillets over the vegetables in the dish, and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place whole mushrooms over the fillets, and drizzle them with sesame oil.

Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Fish should flake easily with a fork, and potatoes should be tender.


While I don’t claim to be an

expert cook, I do like to cook and love to eat. Readers are encouraged to send questions about food and cooking; I’ll try to find the answers. Also, if you’re

looking for a specific recipe, send your request, or if you can offer a recipe to someone looking for something specific, please send email to lward@dailyindependent.com.


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