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Eat Local, Think Global

Two BU students connect markets to kitchen

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Join Meghan Faulkner and Dana Moyer on their culinary journey from the City Hall Farmers Market to their brownstone on Bay State Road, where they prepare vegetarian pad thai for friends.

Cooking is a communal experience for Meghan Faulkner and Dana Moyer, who whip up dinners and birthday cakes for friends at Boyd House, their brownstone on Bay State Road.

“I always joke that I’ll drop out of BU and go to culinary school,” says Moyer (CAS’10), who has taken classes at the Cambridge Institute of Culinary Arts. “I love the way cooking brings people together. It’s a passion, and I want to add a level of expertise to my skill set.”

Beyond cooking’s convivial aspects, both believe in following an Earth-friendly diet. Vegetarian cuisine and using local produce from farmers markets, which open later this month, is a priority.

“It’s important to buy local,” says Faulkner (CAS’11), “because fewer fossil fuels are required to transport food shorter distances, and by doing so, you’re supporting your local economy, the small farms close to home. And the benefits of a vegetarian diet go beyond animal cruelty to decreasing world hunger and improving personal health.”

Faulkner’s views on sustainability and vegetarianism prompted her to join the newly created Boston University Vegetarian Society (BUVS). As vice president of the group (whose Web site tagline boasts, “Yeah, we get enough protein!”), she has helped organize educational and social events, such as trips to vegetarian restaurants and a nutrition class. BUVS has also worked with BU Dining Services to improve vegetarian options in campus dining halls.

BU Today asked Faulkner and Moyer for their recipe for vegetarian pad thai:

Vegetarian Pad Thai
Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 cup broccoli florets
3/4 cup sliced onions
1/4 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup diced red bell peppers
1/4 cup diced mushrooms
3 tablespoons crushed unsalted peanuts
4 tablespoons General Tsao’s Stir-fry Sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
14 ounces soft stir-fry noodles
16 ounces firm or extra-firm tofu

Directions:
1. Prepare noodles according to package directions (usually soaking them in hot water for 10-15 minutes).
2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté until they begin to brown, about 1 minute.
3. Add vegetables and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the peanuts, stir-fry sauce, rice vinegar, and noodles.
4. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until all the ingredients are combined and heated through.
Serves: 2-3

For more information about farmers markets in your neck of the woods, visit the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets.

For another perspective on food choices, check out yesterday’s article about the Future of Food symposium that BU is hosting today and tomorrow.

For another student culinary journey, view Home Cooking Retooled for School, featuring graduating senior Colleen Caldwell (CAS’09).

Robin Berghaus can be reached at berghaus@bu.edu.

4 Comments

4 Comments on Eat Local, Think Global

  • SUsan Chaityn Lebovits on 05.08.2009 at 8:14 am

    Sustainability

    Great to see that people are making the connection between buying locally, and reducing their environmental footprint!

  • Abhishék Seth on 05.08.2009 at 11:58 am

    So nice.

    Meghan Faulkner and Dana Moyer, that’s so nice that you buy local. We all should try doing this. (Nice plates, by the way.) =) Robin Berghaus, great article. Nice profile; it brings “market locality” at home–BU. Also very interesting way to end: placing the above-talked about receipe.

  • Anonymous on 05.08.2009 at 6:20 pm

    You go ladies!

  • Anonymous on 05.12.2009 at 9:29 am

    wonderful! what a great piece! there are a lot of markets in the city during the summer: davis, central square, copley…

    one suggestion: i would avoid using teflon pans to cook (think stainless steel, ceramic or porcelain), especially by any women who may be pregnant.
    for more information on how teflon is linked to birth defects and other health problems, please read the following:
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/04/19/teflon-part-two.aspx

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