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Zero Waste, Plant Based and Super Simple Recipes

I am not vegan, but I have been mostly vegetarian since I was 15 (which means for 29 years?!?). What started as a solidarity action with my mom, who then received her first chemotherapy and decided to stop eating meat for health reasons, gradually turned into a sustainable way of life.

In recent years I have been experimenting more and more with vegan dishes.

I have never really liked milk and eggs, so I have been using milk alternatives since a long time already. However, I quite like a good piece of cheese, but since this year I have drastically reduced my cheese intake and I must admit that I miss cheese much less than I expected.

Nowadays I eat 90% plant based. Sometimes it is a bit of a search to be able to make zero waste and plant-based dishes, but I follow a lot of enthusiastic Youtubers and Instagrammers, who feed me with good portions of plant-based and/or zero waste food-inspiration:

What Would Happen If Everyone Stopped Eating Meat One Day a Week?

In this article, you can read the enormous impact of reducing meat consumption:

'It takes approximately 1,700 gallons (6.435 liters)of water to produce a single pound of beef—but just 39 gallons of water are needed to produce a pound of vegetables. By skipping meat one day a week, Americans could save an estimated 100 billion gallons (378.541.178 liters) of water each year.'

Skipping meat and diary for only one day a week has a huge effect, not only for the environment, but also for your health. Reducing meat leads to improvements to your skin, digestion, energy levels, and immune system, and it decreases the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Imagine what skipping meat for two or three days a week would do... A new study has found a link between how much meat a person eats and an increased risk of premature death.

No worries, eating less meat can be super tasty and super simple. ;)

Here are some of my easy peasy lunch-recipes:

Home Made Hummus

I love hummus and I could eat tons of it.

As you can almost only find it packed in plastic (and with a lot of additives) in the grocery store, I always make hummus myself. It's super easy, doesn't take much time, you can make hundreds of variations and you can make a whole batch, for a whole week.

I used this jar of hummus on my wraps, in my salads, on my pasta (instead of cheese) and on bread.

For this hummus I used:

  • Dried chick peas (bulk), soaked overnight and cooked for about 20 minutes.

  • Tahini.

  • Chili & salt mix.

  • One green pepper.

  • Juice of a half lemon.

  • Three gloves of garlic.

  • Olive oil (I forgot to put it on the picture!)

How to?

  • Put everything together in the blender and blend until smooth.

  • That it! ;)

This is what I did with the 'waste':

  • The top of the green pepper went in to the compost bin.

  • The peel of the lemon I used to do the dishes (and put it in to compost bin afterwards).

  • I saved the pits of the lemon to make moisturizing gel lotion (still in my freezer, I havent 'tested' it yet :))

  • I saved the peel of the garlic in the freezer to make veggie broth out of it.

  • I used the empty tahini jar to store the peels of garlic in the freezer.

Quick Plant Based Salad with leftovers

Quick and easy, my favorite combo! ;)

This salad is perfect to use all the leftovers in the fridge.

This is what I used:

  • A half jar of red beets

  • The last bit of home made hummus (see recipe above)

  • Chili & salt mix.

  • Left over cucumber.

  • Couscous (bulk).

  • Jalapeños in a jar.

  • Left over cooked chickpeas.

  • Olive oil.

How to?

  • I soaked the couscous in warm water for 10 minutes

  • I mixed the sliced cucumber with the sliced red beets and the chickpeas.

  • I put the left over hummus with the chili and salt mix, some jalapeños and olive oil in the blender, to make a vinaigrette.

  • I mixed everything together in a bowl.

  • I ate it. ;)

This is what I did with the 'waste':

  • I did the dishes with the lemon peel.

  • The top of the cucumber went into the compost bin.

  • The jar was cleaned and used again (and again and again) for fresh hummus.

Plant Based Curry

This might seem a little bit complicated, because it has a lot of ingredients, but it's actually not complicated at all.

I love making curries, as you can put in whatever you like, and you can make a big portion of it, so you can have it for lunch a couple of times during the same week (or put the left over portions in the freezer).

This is what I used:

  • Onion, leek and spring onion (from my Etepetete box).

  • Two sweet potatoes.

  • A small pumpkin.

  • Garam Masale mix.

  • Chili & salt mix.

  • Coconut Oil.

  • Coconut Milk.

  • Juice of a lemon.

  • Some left over ginger root.

  • A pepper.

  • Black lentils (bulk).

  • Left over cooked chickpeas.

  • 'Saved' tofu from Veggie Specials.

  • Rice (bulk) (I forgot to put it on the picture)

How to?

  • Slice it all up, trow it all together and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. :)

  • Serve over rice.

  • Enjoy!

This is what I did with the 'waste':

  • I used to peel of the lemon to make lemon zest (I keep it in the fridge for whenever I need it).

  • I kept the pits of the lemon to try to make moisturizing gel lotion.

  • I used the rest of the lemon peels and the ginger peels to make lemon-ginger tea. So good...

  • The peels of the onion, garlic, sweet potato, and pumpkin go in a jar, in the freezer, so I can make vegetable broth with it.

  • I'm drying the pumpkin seeds and might try to roast them later (or plant them, whenever I move back to a house with a balcony or garden :)).

  • The ends of the spring onion and the leek go in a jar on the window shell, to regrow.

  • The water of rinsing the rice I use to water my plants. Apparently, you can also use it to clean wooden floors!

  • The water of cooking the rice I saved in two jars: one goes in de fridge to use as rice milk with my oatmeal for breakfast, the other one goes in the freezer to use when Missy has diarrhea.

  • I've cleaned the can of the coconut milk and the plastic of the tofu and put it in the yellow recycle bin ('Gelbe Tonne').

And last but not least:

Don't forget the beautiful Rainbow Salad by Coco.

Enjoy your meal!


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