How to Have an Eco-Friendly BBQ

So you’ve got your organic cotton apron and your bamboo utensils and you stopped buying plastic-bottled beverages a decade ago. You’re off to a stellar start! Here are a few more ways to turn your BBQ/cookout/tailgate/meet-and-eat into a sustainable Iron Chef spectacular.

SUSTAINABLE GRILLING

Gas vs. Charcoal – We’ll stay out of the flavor debate, but we’ll pass on the facts about these fuel sources: Charcoal briquettes are typically made from a combination of lighter fluid, sawdust, and other chemical additives; when burned, charcoal briquettes can produce 105 times more carbon than propane and nasty little air pollutants called VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Propane, on the other hand, does come from non-renewable fossil fuels but produces fewer and cleaner emissions. So propane is the way to go, BUT here’s the catch: if you can find true charcoal (generally called lump or chunk charcoal), this fuel is made from a non-additive hardwood material and burning it is carbon neutral.

Cookin’ With the Sun  – If you’re in the market for a zero emissions option, go for a solar grill or oven. Solar grills are a renewable take on the traditional “electric” grill, while solar ovens magnify and maximize sunlight to do the actual cooking. Science is so cool.

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FOOD & DRINK

Get Local – There are about a million and one reasons to buy local food. To name just a few, buying local: reduces your carbon footprint thanks to short-distance transportation, supports local farmers, stimulates biodiversity in your ecosystem, and generally sidesteps all that plastic packaging you find in chain grocery stores. Co-ops, farmer’s markets, farm carts, community gardens, local grocery stores… we’d bet there are tons of great options near you.

DIY Dips – Do you know how easy it is to make hummus? REALLY easy. Say buh-bye to single-use plastic tubs and hello to your new party trick. Google your favorite dip recipes (we like these for hummus, salsa, and green goddess dip) and put that food processor to work. Twice as much dip for half the cost and 0% the amount of plastic. Wins all around.

DIY Chips – Potato chips, pita chips, tortilla chips, bagel chips, kale chips…there is literally no end to what you can slice and bake. Pick your base, toss with olive oil and salt (or other spices if you’re feeling, well, spicy) and bake low n’ slow. (Addendum: If you’re like our copywriter, Daisy, and “just loooove Doritos,” just make sure to repurpose that empty Doritos bag and reuse it as a trash bag. But also, the internet even has a DIY Doritos recipe… so no excuses).

Chill Properly – This one is tricky, but we understand ice is useful (hello, margaritas). When buying ice, opt for one big bag instead of multiple smaller ones. Reuse the bag as a trash bag or dry out before recycling (BTW, here’s a quick rundown on what’s recyclable and what’s not). If you have a bucket or a cooler to keep cold, fill it with cold water and ice packs.

The Bottle and The Can – We know you know, but it’s a good reminder: Cans and bottles are the best materials to recycle, with clean plastic next, but avoid juice boxes or things that come in cartons – they’re coated with a thin film on the inside that renders them unrecyclable.

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SUPPLIES & MATERIALS

Plate & Wipe Responsibly – Skip single use plastic or styrofoam and look for paper plates and napkins that are made from recycled materials. When you’re done, toss in the compost or the fire. Don’t have a compost? Make one.

Get Real (With Real Utensils) ­– We challenge you to avoid single-use materials (even if they’re compostable and made out of corn oil…). Use the utensils you’ve got and ask a friend to bring all their utensils, too. If you host often, hit up a local thrift store and get a bunch of cheap utensils as a backup BBQ set.

Bees Have Your Back – Ditch plastic wrap if you know what’s good for ya! We’re big fans of reusable beeswax wraps that come in all different sizes and keep your leftovers just as fresh. You can find them in lots of stores now (even in Trader Joe’s), or you can make them yourself ­– just be sure to the get beeswax beads from a local store, not delivered via the interwebs!

Raise a Cup to Mother Nature –  Say it with us, “No more plastic cups!” Grab a 12-pack of mason jars (about $8 at the grocery store). Or just ask your friends to BYOC – tell them it’s just like camping.

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Spread the word with our No More Plastic Stainless Steel Pint

Happy BBQ-ing – save us some leftovers!

BBQ Bourbon Chipotle Oysters

In 1983 when Hog Island planted their first oyster seed, their motto was “Strong backs and weak minds.” Well, they were clearly sandbagging because today they’re considered one of the premier producers of certified sustainable shellfish harvesting over 3.5 million mouth-watering mollusks a year.

As a true testament to their commitment to their backyard they’re also a Certified B Corporation and California Benefit Corporation. Achieving such designations require meeting rigorous standards related to social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. We made sure to reserve a picnic table, order a bucket-o-beers and proceed to lay down a shuckin’ and grillin’ oyster fiesta.

BBQ Bourbon Chipotle Oysters

50 Hog Island Sweetwater oysters
1/2 lb (two sticks) unsalted softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup bourbon
3/4 cup finely chopped garlic
1/2 can of ten oz chopped chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

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Dissolve brown sugar into bourbon. Mix into butter, adding in garlic and chilies. Mix well and refrigerate an hour. When ready to party, fire grill to medium hot, shuck oysters and dollop spoonful of butter mix on each. Place on grill and wait for butter to bubble. Watch oysters sizzle for about one minute. Once the oysters are bubbling, remove from the grill, let cool and gobble.

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To keep it comfortable while shucking oysters, Julana is wearing the Namche Travel Scarf over the Indigo Skye Long Sleeve Shirt layered with the Sia Long Sleeve Tee, with the Heartfelt Sweater Skirt. Jade is wearing the Boxcan Sherpa Overshirt with the Windmere Dress and the Iona Modal Scarf.

Alex is wearing the Kennicott Shirtjac layered over the Indigo Flannel Slim with Rover Pants. Richard is wearing the Los Padres Fleece Jacket.

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The Invite Says “Bring a Side”

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Well folks, Cookout Season is upon us. We’ve dusted off the grills, pulled out the reusable wine glasses and spread our picnic blankets. Between Friday concerts in the park, Sunday BBQ’s and Tuesday family dinner we’re constantly whipping up a tasty side to share. So many activities, so little time. Here are some of our favorite dishes that will have you our the door and ready to party in no time!

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Photo and recipe courtesy of Team Toad

 Mint Mojito Fruit Salad 
3 cups strawberries, sliced
2 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries
1oz. St. Germain Liquor
2 limes, squeezed
A few sprigs of fresh mint, chopped

1. Wash fruit and layer in a big bowl.
2. In a cup, mix lime juice and liquor.
3. Pour lime juice over the fruit and mix. Sprinkle in fresh mint as you mix the fruit. Garnish with a few sprigs of mint and viola!

**Any seasonal fruit will do – we also like raspberries and watermelon!

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo and recipe courtesy of Luci’s Morsels

 

Lemon & Herb Potato Salad (Dairy Free) 
7-8 cups chopped golden potatoes
olive oil, salt and pepper for taste
2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup tarrgon, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup basil, chopped
2 lemons, bested
2 lemons, juice (approx. 1/3 cup)
2 tbsp wholegrain dijon mustard
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly cracked pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a bowl, coat potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper.
3. Lay potatoes on large baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes until tender, stirring once at the 20 minute mark.
4. Combine potatoes (hot or cold) with chopped herbs, zest, juice, mustard, salt, and pepper. If potatoes seem dry, drizzle with more olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Photo and Recipe by Partial Ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

Mexican Roasted Corn Salad 
2tbsp butter, for sautéing
4 ears of corn (or 3 cups of kernels)
2 tbsp mayo
2oz. cotija cheese, finely crumbled
2 green onions, chopped
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1 jalepeno, minced
1 lime, juice
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1tsp chilli powder
salt and paper for taste

1. Saute the corn in butter.  Stir to coat and cook on medium high for about 10 minutes until the underside has charred. Stir and let cook for another 3-5 minutes.
2. Add the jalapeno and garlic and saute for about 1 minute.
3. Mix everything together in a bowl, and garnish with cotija.

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Photo and recipe courtesy of Luci’s Morsels

Sweet Potato Hummus
1 can garbanzo beans, drained (liquid reserved)
1 cup cooked sweet potato
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon, juice and zest
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp reserved liquid from beans
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Place peeled garlic cloves in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until garlic is finely minced. Add beans and sweet potato. Pulse to combine. Add in remaining ingredients. Taste for seasoning. Serve with veggies and pita.