Earth Day 2023

Go Green This Year With Recipes to "Green Your Plate"


April 2023 Issue
By Leslie Rohland
Photography by Lucy Rosen


On April 22, billions of people throughout the world will celebrate Earth Day—a day where people come together to advance sustainability and climate action—and highlight the need to build a healthier, more sustainable planet. First launched in 1970, Earth Day is the world’s largest environmental movement with so many different ways for people to take action towards a greener, more equitable future for our planet.

This year’s Earth Day theme, “Invest in Our Planet”, highlights the importance of what we can do to create change, be a champion for Earth and protect our planet. Whether it’s planting trees, reducing plastic consumption, educating yourself about climate change (and advocating for change), making sustainable choices in clothing, or planning your own Earth Day event/community cleanup/rally, the day is all about showing support for taking care of our planet.

Of course, when it comes to going green, one great place to start is eating green! Foods, as well as farming practices, can have a big impact on the environment. There are certain low-impact foods, such as lentils, beans, figs, organic tofu, tomatoes, potatoes, and broccoli, that are known for having a minimal environmental footprint. In addition, buying produce from local farms and incorporating seasonal ingredients into your menus is a great way to support the farmers around your area, enjoy fresh local produce, and do your part in helping the planet.

Another great way to eat green is to “green your plate” with healthy green menu items that are as delicious as they are vibrantly green in color. From my easy-to-make Zoodles in a homemade pesto sauce, to bringing together a special combination of good-for-you ingredients for my Hippie Earth Bowl, to a refreshing Cucumber and Heirloom Tomato Salad, these recipes are a great way to celebrate the day, all while reveling in our role in investing in our planet. Plus, there’s no better way to end a healthy “green” meal than with my Mother Fruit Bowl, which is tossed in lemon juice and honey.


Cucumber and Heirloom Tomato Salad
Serves 4 | Pictured above

2 cups Heirloom tomatoes, diced
2 cups Cucumber, thinly sliced
1 Red onion, small, thinly sliced
½ cup fresh Herbs (basil, parsley, dill, mint, rough chopped)
Olive oil, good quality
3 Tbsps White balsamic vinegar
½ tsp Sea salt
½ tsp Ground black pepper

Place diced tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and herbs in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Add sea salt and ground pepper. Toss together and enjoy!


Serves 4

Cottage 0423 bowl¼ cup Hemp seed
¼ cup Chia seed
¼ cup Raisins
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsps Maple syrup
Banana, sliced
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1½ cups Cashew milk, or other milk of your choice
Coconut, shredded

Place the hemp, chia, raisins, cinnamon, and maple syrup in a bowl and mix well. Add milk and stir well, mixing up any clumps of chia seeds. Refrigerate overnight. The chia seeds will plump up, absorbing 9-10 times their weight in liquid! The result will be a bit like a tapioca pudding. Stir well in the morning and add more milk, if desired. Top with sliced bananas and shredded coconut. Peace!


Pesto Zoodles
Serves 4
Cottage 0423 pesto
2 medium Zucchinis
1 bunch fresh Basil (about 4 oz.)
¼ cup Olive oil
1 tsp Garlic, fine diced
Pinch of Salt
Splash of fresh Lemon juice

Use any of the following tools to spiralize the zucchinis: tabletop spiralizer; handheld spiralizer; box grater; mandolin; or vegetable peeler (very easy). Set aside. In a food processor, blend basil, olive oil, garlic, salt and lemon juice, until it forms a paste. Gently rub together the “zoodles” and pesto, then “spiral” them into a bowl. Garnish with fresh diced basil.


Mother Fruit BowlCottage 0423 apple

Serves 4

½ cup of each
of these fruits, sliced:
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 Tbsp Honey

Place all the fresh, beautifully sliced fruits in a large bowl, then toss gently with the lemon juice and honey.


ChefLynne Headshot

Leslie Rohland, owner of the Cottage Cafe, Bakery and Tea Room in Old Town Bluffton, is an award-winning recipe creator who is known for her delicious and ever-changing menu at her extraordinary restaurant. She is also the owner of the popular healthy eatery The Juice Hive and the micro-roastery May River Coffee Roasters. For more information about The Cottage Cafe, visit or call 843-757-0508.

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