All posts filed under: Food

How complicated can it be to cook in a more environmentally friendly and healthy way? Without industrially processed food, without cans, but with raw, healthy ingredients. I honestly have no clue as it seems, because every thing that I can cook contains at least one item that is prepared by a food factory. Here is how I try to figure out the no-processed-food nutrition of my family.

Digging

Please help me! I need to compost everywhere

Really, I need your help with this one. I’ve tried many things and can’t find a good solution. It drives me crazy. In the past I had thought that all those potato peels and apple cores and pasta left overs and strawberry leaves that I’m throwing in the trash are simply composting in the landfill and turn into soil and that’s it.  My bad! That actually doesn’t happen. In Landfills my food scraps and your food scraps and everyone else’s food scraps (in total 70+ million tons per year) turn into a toxic cocktail that drips into the ground water and creates a  huge amount of methane, a greenhouse gas that is much worse than CO2.  The solution for this problem is easy: Composting the food scraps instead of throwing them in the trash can. Through composting the food scraps turn into nutrient rich soil. While living in a house I was able to figure out a good composting option for our family. Now I’m a full time traveler though, changing locations often, sometimes every other day and …

vegan hashbrowns

Vegan hashbrowns with applesauce (zero waste)

Welcome to my first recipe!  Vegan Hashbrowns! Tadaaa! The recipe for Reibekuchen (German name for hashbrowns) was delivered to me by my German ancestors. It requires eggs though and since we started doing three vegan days per week, I wanted to figure out a vegan variant. They turned out crunchy and together with the homemade applesauce a perfect combination. To make it a zero waste dish, check out the zero waste tips at the end of the recipe too. If you make them, please share how they turned out for you in the comment section below and if you like them please Yum! I’d be delighted. Yum

What to bring on a zero waste road trip

Zero Waste road trip planning is for pros

We went on a road trip to Seattle, our 1st road trip with two kids!  I was determined to do it with the smallest amount of trash possible. I have to say upfront though, that it was really our first attempt of a Zero Waste road trip so forgive me the mess we left, despite all the planning. I brooded for days before the actual road trip over which snacks to get from the bulk aisle and when the day finally came I felt well prepared. Here is what I packed: fig bars from bulk aisle (stored in metal lunchbots container) jelly beans from bulk aisle (June’s choice, stored in metal lunchbots container) Cheese and salami sandwiches plus landjaeger (German sausage, stored in lunchbots container) trail mix from bulk aisle (stored in mason jar) round metal food container filled with apples and avocados 64oz glass growler filled with filtered tap water (was initially for beer, used for kombucha quite often then) cloth napkins bamboo utensils and metal straws bananas coffee mug baby food bowls and spoon (bamboo) baby wet wipes …

Beckis-Artisan-Bread

Bread at Becki’s

Did your mom cook with you when you were little? Or did grandma bake with you? Let you shovel the flour into the bowl, scoop salt, mash up the banana, smear tomato sauce on the pizza dough that you just flattened with your hands because the rolling pin was too hard to use? I’m more and more convinced, that the fun (and mess) of cooking together with the family and involving the very little one’s is the solution to many problems. The little one’s learn very early to care about what they eat. They learn how to make it. And also to value the knowledge of the older people. And most of all they get their hands deep down in dough, no need for expensive toys. Here is another question: Do you feel passionate about the every day cooking? I clearly don’t. I’m passionate about trying new things in the kitchen, cooking with friends and family. But not the daily chore cooking. On Saturday, we’ve met at Becki’s and Peter’s house to learn how to make bread (ingredient list below). …

yummy

Make it pop

Rainy Sunday afternoons are great! We’re super busy in the kitchen. First we made some magical wet wipes, and then a delicious vegan snack: Cheesy popcorn  We took the recipe from gimmesomeoven.com. For the longer version including explanation of what nooch is, read there. The short version here.  Our Ingredients: 3 big Tablespoons coconut oil 1/2 cup popcorn kernels 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (nooch) 1-2 teaspoons salt Heat pot, add coconut oil, add 3 kernels, cover with lid. Wait till they popped. Add the remaining kernes. Give it a good shake every now and then. Pop! # Pop! ## Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop! ### And then be amazed that the large pot of which originally only the bottom was covered with popcorn kernels, is completely full with popcorn now. So good! Cheesy but vegan. Can’t stop munching. What are other good popcorn add-ons?  

package-free-shopping-8

Find your package free shopping-buddies

It’s great to have a supportive family accompanying you on your minimal-packaging-shopping tour. It’s a different world though if you’re shopping with other Zero Wasters. Today, I’ve taken Becki, Peter, Jana, Suzanne, Stacia, Lynn, Bernice and her little baby boy on a discovery tour through our local supermarket Rosauers. All came well prepared with jars and produce bags, tupperware and reusable shopping bags. We first swarmed out to the cash registers to get tare weight for all containers. No problems at all. I was even asked if ‘this is the class thing..?’ Yes, that was the class thing. I had informed the store employees via three different communication paths about our little group adventure beforehand to make sure everyone is ok with this. So the employees were already waiting for us. Right at our first stop, the antipasti bar, we’ve met the store manager Steve, had a brief discussion about plastic bag bans and I found out that he is very open to other ideas we might come up with to raise awareness for package free shopping. …

Vegan cheese

Gotcha!

Feeding a toddler… Hard work. Especially if you try to give healthy stuff to this creature. And avoid packaging. And dairy. And meat…… Somehow June always automatically picks the dairy, the egg, the meat out of everything and declares it to be her favorite. I don’t refuse those options yet, because I don’t have working, yummy alternatives. So until I find options that she really likes we’ll also have the stuff on the table that I’d like to avoid. Well, not the packaged stuff but cheese and cold cuts for example. I’ve already tried to convince her to drink homemade nut milks a while ago. Tried different types. She hated all of them. Therefore she continued for quite some time to have her granola with cow milk. Exceptionally, I bought oat milk packaged just to experiment with different things and she loooooves it. Yay! So now she doesn’t drink cow milk anymore but we have one more packaging. My plan is to slowly move over to homemade oat milk some time soon. Cross your fingers …

Prepare for zero waste shopping

How to prepare for the zero waste shopping tour?

So you want to join our special, packaging free groceries tour through Rosauers on Saturday and want to be prepared. Awesome! Here is what you can do: Find larger bags in your house that would work as shopping bags. I usually bring four, one is the ‘Cute as hell’ that you can see in the picture, and three that I got years ago from Trader Joe’s. Find rectangular shaped food containers in your house. I bet there is some tupperware somewhere, or those sandwich boxes that you used years ago. They will be great for cheese, cold cuts, meat and fish. You also can get hot soups and freshly prepared salads there, so make sure you’ve got a leak proof container in case you want to buy some. Have some canning jars such as mason jars in all different sizes at home? Fantastic! But you can also look through the jars that you’ve put in your recycling container. Small jars from jam, tomato paste will work great for pickles, olives, herbs, bentonite clay (for toothpaste), yeast …

Pizza

Homemade Pizza

Frozen pizza costs somewhere between 8 to 12 dollars or so. We’ve got three in the freezer and call them ’emergency pizza’, throw them in the oven when we’re super hungry and didn’t plan anything aka were surprised by how fast time went by and just realized how late it is due to a cranky toddler. Today, I was a better mom. At 10am I thought about homemade pizza. And I was again surprised how fun and easy it is to make pizza from scratch. How to make homemade pizza Dissolve 1 tablespoon active dry yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 cup warm water. Measure 3 cups all purpose flour and whirl 1 teaspoon of salt under, roughly. When yeasty water is bubbly, mix everything in the food processor or with a handheld mixer until a dough ball forms itself. Forget about it for a while (min. 1,5 hours). I got all ingredients packaging free in bulk. With lots of flour on kitchen counter surface and rolling pin make round pizza thingis and distribute tomato sauce over them. Plus …

That made a delicious fridge cook out meal!

Fridge cook out dinner

I want to give all single moms a huge hug! That is such a tough job! After the masses of visitors have left I’m all by myself with two kids. Even Bastian is out for a week. EEEK! I mean, the two are usually friendly but woah! is that stressful. Especially bedtime… Though, I have to say, today was much better. Tiny One zoned out when we read ‘Dragons love Tacos’ and Mini One was also out soon after. I’m getting better at it. Or they are getting used to it. Anyway. We’ll survive it. I wanted to share with you my dinner success. I’ve had an unfortunate row of not so yummy dishes. June was to polite to say it but I’m not: Dinner yesterday was terrible. But today now finally a success. Which seems quite magical because I didn’t follow a recipe, and instead just added more and more stuff to the pan that I found in the fridge and elsewhere. It’s the Pumpkin-Lentil-And-Everything-Else Dish. If you want to make it yourself, don’t follow my …