(Family Features) With many people focused on achieving a cleaner and healthier lifestyle, taking actionable steps such as recycling, using less hot water and eating nutritious foods can help lower your carbon footprint. Another step for a clean lifestyle: cooking with an environmentally friendly, clean energy source like propane.
Propane is already powering more than 12 million homes with reliable energy people can count on. Plus, gas-powered cooktops are preferred by 96% of professional chefs, including nutritionist and chef Dean Sheremet of “My Kitchen Rules,” who partnered with the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) to educate homeowners on the benefits of cooking with gas.
“There is a lot of misinformation about cooking with gas in the news,” Sheremet said. “It’s important to remember, the act of cooking itself impacts indoor air quality, regardless of the energy that powers the stove. Having a qualified technician install and perform regular service for the stove, maintaining proper ventilation using a hood or opening doors or windows and following common sense safety measures can ensure the safe use of any stove.”
Because ventilation when cooking is key, it’s important to note that cooking with propane results in lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than electric cooking, on average. That’s because more than 60% of electricity production comes from natural gas or coal generation plants, which release more CO2 emissions as part of the generation process.
Beyond the environmental benefits, propane-powered cooking appliances provide convenience, modern design and performance in kitchens, allowing home chefs to prepare healthy meals for their families in a short amount of time. Sheremet values the efficiency of a propane cooktop when creating nutritious meals like Skirt Steak with Salsa Verde and Spaghetti and Clams, which can be whipped up in minutes using a clean energy source.
“Chefs, and parents like me, prefer gas for a variety of reasons,” Sheremet said. “My son, Atlas, is often in the kitchen when I’m cooking, and we know sometimes kids don’t listen when we tell them to not touch a pan or the stove. Propane cooktops allow for greater control of heat levels and their instant flame turnoff capabilities help them cool faster than traditional electric stoves, which can remain dangerously hot for a period after they have been turned off.”
Learn more about cooking with propane and find recipes from Sheremet at Propane.com/ChefDean.
Do’s and Don’ts of Cooking with Gas
Cooking with a reliable and environmentally clean energy source like propane can take your home chef skills to the next level. However, there are steps to take to ensure safety while maximizing the benefits of cooking with your gas range.
- Follow the manufacturer’s installation and operating instructions.
- Keep pot handles turned inward to protect against accidents like knocking the pot off the stove or little ones reaching for the handles.
- Keep the range surface clean.
- Keep flammable materials away from burner flames.
- Do not cover the oven bottom with foil as it can restrict air circulation.
- Never use gas ranges for space heating.
- Do not allow children to turn burner control knobs.
Do not leave food unattended on the cooktop.
Recipe courtesy of chef Dean Sheremet on behalf of PERC
- 8-12 littleneck or other small clams in shell, scrubbed
- 1/4 pound spaghetti noodles
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2-1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 dried red chile pepper
- 1/3 cup vermouth or white wine
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Bring large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Soak clams in cold water.
- Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook until slightly underdone. In large saucepan over medium-low heat, add olive oil, garlic and chile pepper. Saute gently, reducing heat, if necessary, so garlic does not brown.
- Add vermouth and clams; cover. Clams should open in about 2 minutes. Add hot drained pasta, cover and shake pot gently. Simmer 1-2 minutes until spaghetti is cooked to taste.
- Discard unopened clams. Add half the parsley and shake pan to distribute evenly. Transfer to plate or bowl and sprinkle with remaining parsley.
Recipe courtesy of chef Dean Sheremet on behalf of PERC
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 thinly sliced scallions
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained and roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, divided
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1 romaine heart
- 1 radicchio
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- Whisk olive oil, vinegar, scallions, capers, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pour about 1/3 of dressing (about 1/3cup) over steak and turn to coat.
- Add parsley and 1 tablespoon mint to reserved dressing; stir and set aside until ready to use. Cover and refrigerate steak 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
- In small saute pan over medium heat, toast pistachios, tossing often, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Set grill to medium-high heat or heat grill pan on stovetop over medium-high heat. Grill steak about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and rest 10 minutes.
- Cut romaine hearts lengthwise into quarters. Arrange romaine and radicchio in layers on large platter, leaving room on one side for steak. Sprinkle with goat cheese, pistachios and remaining mint.
- Slice steak into 3-inch pieces then slice against grain to cut steak into wide strips. Add sliced steak to platter. Drizzle reserved dressing on romaine and steak.
(Family Features) As days get longer and the weather gets warmer, take your meal outdoors for some tasty al fresco dining featuring a fresh and easy-to-prepare salad.
With minimal ingredients and maximum flavor, this combination of radicchio, California green ripe olives, chickpeas and Parmesan is sure to find its way into your seasonal meal occasions, from at-home dinners to garden parties.
Boasting vibrant purple hues, radicchio not only looks beautiful on the plate but packs a unique and pleasing, bitter flavor that is complemented by the texture added to each bite by toasted sunflower seeds and chickpeas.
Completing the salad are California Ripe Olives, which are grown by farming families across California. The California green ripe olive is similar to the black ripe olive but features a more mild and buttery flavor profile.
Find more tasty recipes at calolive.org.
Radicchio Salad with Olives, Chickpeas and Parmesan
Recipe courtesy of the Simply Recipes blog
Prep time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 large head radicchio (10-12 ounces)
- 1 can (16 ounces) California green ripe olives, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
- Add sunflowers seeds to small, dry skillet. Toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until seeds are toasted around edges and smell fragrant.
- Transfer seeds to bowl to cool.
- Peel away and discard a layer or two of outer radicchio leaves if they look wilted or battered. Cut head of radicchio into quarters through root. Trim away root.
- Cut each quarter crosswise into strips, 1- to 1 1/2-inches thick. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
- Add olives, chickpeas and 3/4 cup cheese to bowl with radicchio.
- Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss gently until ingredients are evenly coated. If cheese clumps together, break apart with spatula and stir in.
- Let salad stand at least 10 minutes, or up to an hour.
- Add additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve salad on individual plates or one shared platter. Top with remaining cheese and toasted sunflower seeds.
Substitution: If radicchio is unavailable, try frisee, endive or another bitter green.
Note: Salad is best served within one hour of preparation, but can be stored in airtight container in fridge for several days.
Source: California Olive Committee