Zero Waste and Plant Based Cooking with Coco



During my zero waste journey, I try to learn as much as possible, from as many as possible different people. Next to reading books, watching documentaries, following Instagrammers and YouTubers, I decided to visit people who are professionally engaged in a sustainable lifestyle. By taking pictures and a little interview, I want to share the stories from these inspirational humans.


Last week I visited Coco.

Coco has an interesting You Tube Channel about all things vegan, sustainable and radical self care.

I was very excited I could visit her to take some pictures while she was recording a new video.


(Scroll down to read here story and to see the zero waste and plant based recipe)



Could you tell me a bit more about how your journey to a sustainable life style began?


Hello, I’m Coco. I believe that we can all live healthy, fulfilling lives while being responsible stewards for our environment. I was inspired to go vegan just over 3 years ago when I realized how bad animal products are for my body, but soon learned how much worse they are for the environment.


Now I’m transitioning to a more low-waste lifestyle by avoiding buying new things, reusing everything I can, and properly disposing of everything I don't need.


You can follow my journey on my YouTube channel at Coco Shin or on Instagram as @hellococoshin and on TikTok as @hellococoshin.


In this blogpost I would love to share a zero waste and plant based , Tex Mex inspired Rainbow Salad!






Rainbow Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce

  • 1 medium tomato

  • 1 bell pepper (I used an orange pepper, but you can use any color you like)

  • 1 avocado

  • 1/2 cup canned corn

  • 2/3 cup black beans, canned or boiled from dry

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 lime

  • 2 TBS olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste





How to make it:


  1. If using dry beans, soak the beans in water for 8 hours or overnight. Then boil or pressure cook them according to your device’s instructions. (Tip: save the water from cooking the beans! Unsalted, it tastes like a savory tea and contains the vitamins and minerals the beans lost from cooking.) If using canned beans, drain and rise before serving.

  2. Cut the lettuce into bite-size pieces.

  3. Wash and dry all of your produce. I like to do a vinegar soak to get them extra clean.

  4. Dice the tomato and bell pepper. I like to cut them into a similar size and shape to add to the aesthetics of the salad.

  5. Dice and salt the avocado (this is easiest while it’s still in the skin.)

  6. Add the lettuce, tomato, bell pepper, corn, beans, and avocado to two bowls.

  7. Garnish with cilantro and sunflower seeds. I like to cut my cilantro with scissors right into the salad bowl.

  8. Drizze with olive oil, juice of the lime, and salt and pepper to your taste.

  9. Enjoy your healthy rainbow salad!














(Almost) Zero Waste!


This may come as a surprise, but some of the waste from this recipe can be reused!


  1. The water left over from cooking the beans makes a lovely tea or can be reused in soups and even juice and smoothies!

  2. Food scraps that go to landfill don’t break down properly and produce methane, a greenhouse gas about 30x stronger than CO2. Make sure to compost all of your food scraps. They will be transformed into a natural and effective fertilizer for our crops and gardens!

  3. Some food scraps can be regrown before you compost them. Place the end of your lettuce in a cup of water and watch new leaves bloom!

  4. The water from the corn can be used in juice or soup broth.

  5. Rinse and recycle all of your leftover packaging.








Thank you for having me over, Coco!

And thank you for the delicious rainbow lunch! :)








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