The Environmental Affairs Board’s mission is to promote environmentalism on campus and to advocate on behalf of sustainable foods. On Nov. 19-20, the Environmental Affairs Board (EAB) challenged students to create plant-based Thanksgiving dishes for their quarterly Green Chef cooking competition. Participants were required to use sweet potato or squash as the secret ingredient in their dishes. 

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

Cooking occurred in the participants’ homes on Nov. 19, and dishes were presented for judging during a potluck on Nov. 20 at Little Acorn Park. The competition, potluck and judging were organized by EAB’s Sustainable Food Chairs, Varun Iyer and Jada Alexander.

Attendees and participants gathered for games, good food and a great time. The homemade dishes present at the potluck included: butternut squash soup, roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash boats, stuffing, roasted vegetables, hummus, yams with marshmallows, Thanksgiving loaves, ratatouille and muffins. Many participants shared that they had adapted non-vegan recipes from their childhood or existing recipes to create rich flavor profiles. The best part? All of the dishes were vegan! 

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

After much deliberation, the winning dishes were candied yams topped with Dandies vegan marshmallows and stuffed butternut squash boats with rice, Field Roast’s vegan sausage and vegetables. Besides sharing delicious food with friends, this event encouraged students to cook meatless options for their families this Thanksgiving, proving that vegan recipes deserve a seat at any holiday table. 

For more information on how to get involved with the EAB and to be notified about future events, visit their website here

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Stephanie Gerson
Stephanie Gerson is a first-year student studying Art History at UCSB. She is from Palo Alto, California and she is passionate about sustainability, fashion, photography and vegan cooking. In her spare time, Stephanie loves going on bike rides on campus, catching up with friends, or spending hours on her latest embroidery piece!