I fully admire those that can live a zero waste existence. It’s certainly something to aspire to. I am just not there yet. However, I really believe that if a whole bunch of us start with just some small changes it will have a massive environmental impact.
Starting over a year ago now we have been implementing changes in our home to try and live more sustainably. Interestingly, I started implementing a lot of these and didn’t mention it to Hubby to see if he noticed and commented on it or if the change bothered him. None of the changes we have made so far have phased him at all.
I thought I would share one of these every now and then. If you like the tip feel free to implement it. I know these are not new ideas. I am just sharing what small changes I have been able to easily incorporate into our lives to make our family more environmentally friendly.
Vegetarian one day per week.
This is a great example of something I started to implement without Hubby even noticing. I did this at the same time I started meal planning. This was a beautiful change to make hand in hand. Not only is eating meat free once a week good for the environment, but meal planning reduced our weekly food waste and grocery bill significantly!
I did this for over a month before asking Hubby if he’d noticed we were eating vegetarian at least one night every week. He hadn’t noticed that, but he’d been liking the meals and the organisation of meal planning. It actually saved us a lot of time over the week as we were not having that daily “what do you want for dinner?” discussion and then spending time rummaging through the pantry for options hahaha. He actually got into the process and is now much more involved in our food choices and also dinner and food preparation YAY!!!
Here’s the thing… this doesn’t have to be a complicated meal. Often this is my simplest dinner of the week. Very often I combine this with pasta night. At the moment we are both loving the Rana range of pastas particularly the Ricotta & Spinach Tortellini and the Pumpkin & Roasted Onion Ravioli. Even better when I score the family pack on sale as this gives us two nights of dinners. Especially when I chuck in some brocolli and mixed vegies. My 11 months old loves these pasta dishes as well, she doesn’t eat pasta in other forms apart from these and lasagne so that’s another bonus for us.
Honestly once you look at a couple of vegetarian meals it is a lot easier than the pressure that people put on themselves to create incredible dishes. Yes, you certainly can do that. OMG there are some amazing vegetarian and vegan dishes out there, but there are also some quick fixes.
I have been experimenting with Oat fruit bars/slice suitable for baby led weaning for my 8 month old who is lactose intolerant. We are trying to build up her tolerance a little by including very small amounts of lactose in her diet, but let’s be real, many of these types of things have dairy. So here’s one I have messed around with that made up a LOT of slice, she LOVES it!!! It also freezes great and I like it with a coffee or tea too, so bonus!
3 cups of rolled oats 1 cup wholemeal flour 1 1/4 cup A2 milk 1 1/4 cup oat milk 2 eggs, beaten 3/4 cup of finely chopped dried prunes 3/4 cup of finely chopped dried apricots 1 mashed overripe banana 1 grated granny smith apple 2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 180°C (fan forced oven). Grease a slice tin – I use two medium sized ones as this is what I have.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
Pour into slice tins. Bake in oven for around 45mins. You can check it’s done when it is firm and springs back to touch.
Once it has cooled you can cut and serve.
This makes a LOT. I wanted this so I could cut into baby sized pieces and freeze. If you want a more normal sized amount you could halve everything, but I also did not want to waste half an apple and banana.
I used prunes and apricots, but you could replace these with any dried fruit.
Have you tried gözleme? If not you should absolutely put it on your ‘must try before I die’ list. Technically I do not have one of these lists (yet!), but it rolls off the tongue beautifully so I think it should be a thing 🙂
I have an amazing group of friends at my work. They are brilliant people and truly without them my day to day life would not be half as shiny. We often like to have lunch together and one of my friends had been eyeing off a gözleme place that has been under construction for some time now. Finally it opened, so obviously we had to go on the first day.
Potato, spinach & feta – SO GOOD!!!
Looks great on the plate and even better when you taste it. It is served on a wooden board with a wedge of lemon. We all loved it and have already visited again a couple of times. It is promoted as Turkish street food and is made fresh, you can literally watch them make it for you from rolling out your dough to placing the finished product on your board. It is completely tasty and the people that run it are (from what I can gather) 1-2 families who are all Turkish, spanning across 3 generations, which I think is really cool.
Last week we went there and were offered Turkish tea (or Rize tea), it was a promotion and you got a free cup with every gözleme. I was a little hesitant because I had been warned off Turkish coffee, but I promised to try new things this year so I did… and I LOVED it. It was super yum. It is served in this elegant tiny little glass with a teeny teaspoon and a sugar cube. My friend and I were only disappointed that there wasn’t more.
Turkish tea with spinach and feta gozleme
Such an interesting contrast to be eating street food with your hands and sipping on tea out of an elegant cup like a posh lady.
9/10 will eat and drink again – A LOT.
It is probably not good that this is such a short walk from my work, but honestly it is not that bad for you is it?
I have wanted to try cauliflower fried “rice” for some time now, but there were a few deterrents. For starters there is a LOT of prep (chopping up etc.) and the other thing is my Dad and Hubster are not into cauliflower at all. So yesterday I got over that and decided I was doing it anyways. I paired it with chicken breast marinated in a smoky BBQ sauce.
After much chopping up of every vegie I thought would go well in the dish and putting the cauliflower through the food processor the cooking began.
I put a little bit of butter and garlic oil in the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking (plus garlic goes with everything 🙂 ) heated the pan then chucked in the vegies that take longer to cook like celery, capsicum, peas, onion, shallots. After a couple of minutes I added carrot and a bit of ham and some corn. After a couple of more minutes I added the cauliflower.
I made sure everything was well mixed then added a bit of soy sauce, in all there was maybe 2 tbsn, to be honest I think there was less than that, but I was doing it by taste not recipe. I don’t like a lot of soy in my fried rice so I wanted to be light on it 🙂 If you put too much it get bitter and salty really quickly.
Because I did it by guesstimate I ended up with a LOT of it. As in we all ate a healthy serve of it and there is still enough for me to have at lunch today and for everyone to have seconds for dinner tonight also.
Everybody LOVED it. I waited until they gave their verdicts to tell them it was cauliflower, they seemed slightly surprised, but kept eating and saying it was great! Woohoo experiment success – and so much healthier for us than our home made fried rice (which was already pretty healthy apart from the rice hahaha).
Yes the title totally sounds like a year 6 project, but I don’t care because I am super proud of the tasty, tasty meal I made the other night!!!
I started out wanting to make a healthy Shepherd’s Pie for my family, originally the plan was to make cauliflower mash for the top, but Dad kind of 86’d that idea in a heartbeat. So on the way home I went to the fruit and produce market and bought a bunch of ingredients setting myself to make an amazing hot dinner to combat the cold nights we have been having.
Ingredients Shepherd’s pie:
1 kilo lean beef mince
1 jar of tomato based pasta sauce (I got a chunky one for extra veg)
1 red capsicum
1 brown onion
1 large carrot
2 cloves garlic
TBSN mixed herbs
2 medium sized tomatoes
TBSN BBQ Sauce
TBSN Tomato Sauce
Charisma Potatoes – these are low GI potatoes
butter and milk for mash
sliced loaf of Pane di casa bread
margarine or butter
2 cloves garlic
grated parmesan cheese
What I did:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Peel potatoes, place in a saucepan, add water until just over the potatoes then place on heat to begin boiling. Once the water is boiling turn down to half heat.
Dice the capsicum, onion and carrot and place in a hot pan with the lean beef mince, dice/break up the mince as it is cooking. Continue until meat is cooked.
Add pasta sauce, tomatoes, BBQ sauce, Tomato sauce and mixed herbs. Mince the garlic and add this to the mix too. Allow the mixture to simmer on a low heat.
Check potatoes, when they are done drain the water. Add about 2 teaspoons of butter and a dash of milk and start mashing. Add more milk as required to get a creamy consistency, try not to make it runny. I use New Milk which is lighter, but still creamy.
Grab a baking dish (it will need to be a biggish one) spoon your entire meat mixture into it and pat it down a bit so the surface is even.
Grab your mash and a spoon and spoon the mash on top of the meat mixture. Use the back of the spoon to smooth it to ensure distribution is even across the pie. I then like to texture the top with a fork and sprinkle some low fat grated tasty cheese on top.
Place in the oven for approximately 10 minutes (or until top is golden brown and cheese melted – do NOT burn the cheese 🙂 )
Grab a small bowl and mix up approx 2 TBSN margarine with 1 TBSN herbs and 2 cloves of minced garlic. To be honest I did not measure these amounts I just kind of felt it out and added what I felt it needed from the look of it. (Sorry – it’s how my Nan and Aunt cook and I kind of adopted the idea).
Spread the mixture on one side of the pane di casa bread and place under the grill on medium heat. Keep a close eye on this as different grills cook at different speeds and everyone has a different idea of “perfectly” toasted 🙂 So… toast it until you are happy then remove from the grill and place on a plate lined with all foil, sprinkle a small amount of grated parmesan over the top the wrap the foil over the top of the bread to keep the heat and moisture in as well as melt the cheese.
When you pie is cooked serve immediately with the bread.
Remember my New Year’s resolution to try new things? Well I did 🙂
Some of you might find this surprising, but I have never tried a fig in my life… ever. Some ladies I worked with went on and on about how amazing they are and how easy they are to grow. Since I am currently trying to plan my own garden for when the house is finished I have been looking at a lot of different fruit trees (I like fruit and plants that provide food as well as look good). So I decided to try one and see if it was worth considering planting a tree and waiting 3 years for the first harvest 🙂
So I acquired said fig. It was a little firm and my expert Googling has said they need to be kinda squishy to be fully ripe so I waited a couple of days.
So it came time to eat my fig. I then realised I had no idea what to do with a fig, did I eat it skin and all like an apple? Do I cut it open and just eat the innards like a passionfruit? Am I supposed to cook anything first? Back to ole reliable Google and I learnt some very interesting things about figs, turns out you can eat them whole, just the pulp and they can be cooked in things. I also kept coming across YouTube videos about people getting sore mouth and tongues from eating figs. Then I watched this guys video and it was very educational:
Fig in natural yoghurt
My Mum thought it was odd that I bought 1 fig and asked me what it was for. I explained that I had never tried one and it turns out she hadn’t either, so I roped her into the experiment 🙂
Two’s company after all
So guess what?…. Turns out I like figs. I am not in love with them the way I love chocolate or anything, but I like them well enough. We could totally be friends 🙂