eat well, live free

Food Literacy Month & the vegan torta

Yes, a vegan torta!  I know, it’s exciting.  I needed a sandwich that said “Celebration.”

September is Food Literacy Month and the Founder of the California Food Literacy Center, the amazing Amber Stott, asked if I would post a healthy sandwich in celebration.  No other sandwich could have made me happier.  

According to the California Food Literacy Center, Food Literacy [fu: d lit-er-uh-see] means understanding the impact of your food choices on your health, the environment, and our community.  The California Food Literacy Center sends “Food Geniuses” into our schools to educate our community about healthy food choices, the environmental impact of our food system and our local community contribution to the food we eat. The Center involves students, teachers, parents and the local agricultural community. They are currently working in an under-served and low income school in Oak Park, Sacramento teaching children how to read labels, and introducing them to wonderful vegetables such as broccoli.

As I began to study the real impacts of our food consumption (and over consumption), I felt that I needed to lessen my personal impact on the environment.  That’s how real change happens, it starts with your personal choices.  For me, that choice was to become a vegan.  It’s different for everyone though.  Eating a little less meat every week, eating foods and goods from local sources or even making your lunch sandwich a little healthier can make a huge difference on your health and the environment.

The “Food Geniuses” ask kids in the community to take a look at what they are eating and teach them how to make their own food healthier through the “Your Sandwich Can Save the World” campaign.  Each child is taught to make a healthy sandwich, with local bread, new nut butters such as sunflower butter and alternatives to sugary jelly, such as fresh fruit.  The California Food Literacy Center sponsored the California State Assembly Resolution declaring September Food Literacy Awareness Month, so that all Californians will take a look at what they are eating and ask themselves, “Can I make this meal healthier?”

For me personally, becoming a vegan put a Big Hault to my torta eating days, until I decided to make one my way.  The original torta is on a giant roll, served with beans, meat, sour cream, avocado and salsa.  In celebration of Food Literacy Awareness Month, this “tortita” is made with a simply delicious black bean puree, white nectarine and tomato salsa, and topped with avocado.

Black bean and white nectarine salsa torta

1 can of organic black beans, drained

2 tbls onion, minced

1 white nectarine, chopped small

1/2 tomato, chopped small

lemon juice, to taste

salt, to taste

chili pepper, sliced thin (optional)

avocado, sliced thin

Puree the beans and 1 tbls onion in a small blender until smooth.  Toss nectarine, tomato, 1 tbls onion and chilli pepper (optional).  Add salt and lemon juice to taste.  Layer the beans, salsa and avocado onto sliced bread.  Serve with a nice lemonade or watermelon juice for the perfect meal.

Learn more about the California Food Literacy Center at http://californiafoodliteracy.org/.  If you like what we are doing donate here: http://californiafoodliteracy.org/donate/

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