Green Night Out with Van Jones

Get ready to rock the green carpet! On Tuesday July 13th, Green DMV is hosting what will likely be one of the best and most well-attended green events this year, Green Night Out with Van Jones.

The fundraiser, which will raise money to support the fight against poverty and climate change, will be held at Longview Gallery, a stunning, modern gallery space on 9th Street, two blocks from the Convention Center.

The evening will be emceed by NBC4’s Wendy Rieger and will also feature special guest Van Jones. Sponsors include Honest Tea, Foster’s Wine, grassfed media, and Peak Organics Beer.

The evening’s passed hors d’oeuvres will include Smoked Salmon Cornucopia with Dilled Crème Fraiche and Spinach and Mushroom Cigars with Romesco Sauce from Restaurant Nora. Trainees from DC Central Kitchen will be preparing all of the food. Beverage choices will include organic wine and beer, assorted Honest Teas, and Fresh Start natural water.

Tickets are selling out fast, so get yours today!

About Green DMV

Green DMV promotes sustainability in low-income communities as a pathway out of poverty. The organization uses a three-point system that focuses on targeted areas of the community including small and disadvantaged businesses, underserved school districts, and community stakeholders.

Organic Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This Thanksgiving, why not make a simple side dish using some fresh organic ginger and sweet potatoes from a local farmer’s market? Treat your guests to this gingery mashed potato recipe, courtesy of Restaurant Nora.

Gingery Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I like to use the orange variety of sweet potato or Jewell yams.

There are two ways of making this dish. Use one small potato per person.

Option 1:

Rub whole sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and baked at 400 degrees for about one hour or until soft. Halve the potato lengthwise and scoop out the inside and place in a bowl. Mash with a ½ tablespoon of butter per potato and season with grated fresh ginger (about ½ teaspoon per potato), salt and pepper. Garnish with crystallized ginger (optional).

Option 2:

Peel and thinly sliced raw potatoes. Toss with ½ tablespoon of butter per potato, 1 tablespoon of whole milk or half and half, salt and a pinch of sugar. Place in a saucepan, cover and cook over low heat for about 40 minutes or until soft, stirring from time to time. Mash with a potato masher or fork and flavor with freshly grated ginger. Season with salt and pepper and brown sugar (optional). Garnish with crystallized ginger (optional).

Green on the Screen

Credit: Purple Turtle Films
Credit: Purple Turtle Films

Oceans, honeybees, and our very own Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora fame are highlights from the 17th annual Environmental Film Festival that will be held March 11 through 22.

The health and sustainability of earth’s oceans and sea life is a major theme of the 2009 Festival, which features 56 world premieres. Fifty-four filmmakers will discuss their work at the Festival along with 69 scientists, environmental experts and special guests including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Hedrick Smith who will speak about toxins in our waters and show clips from his upcoming film, Poisoned Waters.

The 2009 Festival also presents a retrospective of 11 environmentally oriented films by renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog, including his most recent, Encounters at the End of the World about scientists at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.

Nora! celebrates the life and achievements of Nora Pouillon, who opened the nation’s first certified organic restaurant. Among her many achievements, Pouillon has established personal and professional relationships with farmers around the national capital region and helped establish FRESHFARM Markets. A discussion with filmmaker Sandy Cannon-Brown and Nora Pouillon follows the screening.

Five Organic/Eco Food Spots

In San Francisco or New York, there are organic restaurants and cafes everywhere. In DC, not so much. Like everything else worthwhile in this town, you have to work to find them. Well, not to worry. I’ve done the heavy lifting for you. In no particular order, here are some places (from casual to upscale) where you can chow down and know that you are eating food that’s good for you and for the planet:

1. Java Green Cafe. In bustling Farragut North, JGC is a vegetarian/vegan oasis among the steak houses and chain sandwich joints. Belly up to the counter to order vegetarian fare with a Korean twist such as Udon noodle soup, Boolgogi and Kimchi, plus assorted salad and sandwiches featuring “faux” turkey, chicken, and tuna. Be forewarned: If you go during the lunch-time rush, there’s usually a long line and limited seating.

2. Chix. Newly opened in Shaw, the poultry-centric cafe uses earth-friendly materials in all of its packaging, paper products, cleaning products, and even in its construction materials and interior decor. All of the chicken is 100% natural, free-range, hormone-free, antibiotic- free, and slow roasted over natural charcoal and wood. Many of the sides are organic too including basmati rice and hummus.

3. Hook. In the heart of Georgetown, local celeb-u-chef Barton Seaver cooks up responsibly sourced seafood and local products. Selections from the menu include Yellowfin Tuna with roasted sweet potato, chorizo vinaigrette, citrus, thyme and Wahoo
quinoa cake, pine nut puree, and marinated onions.

4. Vegetate. Located in the Historic Shaw neighborhood, Vegetate “believes in using the best possible ingredients from local and regional farms, purveyors and businesses.” On the menu you’ll find braised cabbage nori rolls, root vegetable noodles, and house made grilled seitan. Half priced wine by the glass every Sunday.

5. Restaurant Nora. You want fancy and organic? This is the place. Founded by internationally renowned chef Nora Pouillon, RN was the first certified organic restaurant in the country and one of the first vegetarian restaurants in DC. The seasonal menu features organic new-American cuisine such as pan-roasted Amish chicken breast stuffed with pistachio pilaf and grassfed beef tenderloin roast with truffled potato gratin. There’s a $66 tasting menu and a $56 vegetarian tasting menu.