Cooking is a Sustainable Act: An Interview with Chef Kim O’Donnel

To me, ‘green’ means being aware and more mindful — of our health, the food we eat and how everything we do is not in a vacuum but deeply interconnected, that the way we live our individual lives directly impacts animals, plants, the planet and our relationships with family, community and the world at large. One mindful action a day is indeed being green.

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Green Recipe of the Week with Chef Kim O’Donnel

Born and raised outside of Philadelphia by two Philly natives, I cut my teeth (not long after the T-bone from my high chair days) on footlong sandwiches that are my hometown’s cultural icons. I’m talking about the cheese steak and the hoagie, possibly two of the greatest artery cloggers ever invented, a mound of meat and fixins tucked into a freshly baked Italian roll, always made to order with homegrown “atty-tude” in a neighborhood joint—a luncheonette, corner sandwich shop, or street cart.

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Green Recipe of the Week: Susan’s Eggplant Stack

This is a souped-up version of the recipe that sparked the idea for my recent book project. One night, a few years ago, my mom (Susan) called me up, asking for advice on what to do with the eggplant and tomato she had picked up from the local farm stand earlier that day. She was hoping to cook something low-fat and yet satisfying for her longtime companion, the original Mister Sausage, who was recovering from a recent heart attack.

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Green Recipe of the Week: Chickpea Crabcakes


True story: Less than two weeks before the manuscript for my book, The Meatlover’s Meatless Cookbook was due, with most recipes edited and determined fit for public consumption, I pan-fried a batch of my falafel patties for me and my husband, Russ. He took one bite into his falafel-on-a-bun and looked at me with all seriousness. “This falafel looks and eats likes a crab cake.”

He was right. With thirty combined years of living in Washington, D.C.—crab cake central—we could both see that this chickpea patty had Chesapeake potential.

With the wild eyes of a mad scientist, I immediately went to work, replacing Middle Eastern falafel spices with Old Bay, the iconic Maryland seafood seasoning that’s had a cult following for three generations. Out with the tahini, in with a yogurt remoulade and horseradishy cocktail sauce that transport you from the Mid-East to the Mid-Atlantic.

The result: Downright crab-shacky.

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