Building Zero-Waste Meals
I have never been a fan of Recipes.
Instead I want to encourage interpretive Zero-Waste Creations!
If you have seen me in the kitchen you know this method speaks to my heart. I whole heartedly appreciate recipes for their thoughtfulness and design, however I feel that instead of feeling encourage to cook in general they can feel confined and too serious which can discourage cooking instead of making it feel accessible to all!
Here is what they bring up for me:
- Encourages buying: You have to plan, make a list, and buy things... I hate the planning and feeling that you have to buy all the ingredients, instead of creating with what you have
- Food Waste: You buy things and might not use the rest. ex. "oh, I bought cilantro for one meal this week and don't know what to do with it."
- Not teaching us how to create in the kitchen.
For us, the equation is simple and the possibilities are endless. I also think vegan meals are not properly represented in our mainstream restaurants making it seem like an unattainable diet. I find myself saying, "No I don't want a salad with fries, no I don't want a veggie burger, and no I don't want to eat an overpriced meal and be hungry 15 minutes later." Vegans eat lots and restaurants need to support our hunger for veg!!! Until the planet catches up with sustainable eating practices we will be left to our own devices and get down on some bomb plant-based eating that feeds the soul. The best part about this is it is undeniably healthy fuel for our active bodies in any combination and even better for the health of our Mother Earth.
Select a base:
Fill it up/mix it up:
- Any combination of vegetables or greens
- Dice, slice, chunk, spiral, mince
- Sauté, steam, bake, or even leave raw
- Nut butter/tahini
- Fresh herbs
- More raw veg
Think 1 part oil, 1 part acid, 1 part seasoning, maybe 1 part sweet, and you can always use water to thin it out (Examples....)
Oils (Coconut oil, Olive, Walnut, Sesame, Tahini, Nut Butter)
Acids (Balsamic, Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon/lime/orange/grapefruit juice, liquid aminos)
Sweet (Honey, Agave, Raw/Coconut/Date Sugar, Dates blended)
Seasonings (Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Nutritional Yeast, Cumin, Curry, Coriander, Red Pepper flakes, cinnamon, turmeric, oregano, ect)
Add pureed Fruits or Veggies for a base (Tomato sauce, Coconut milk for curry, Papaya for dressing, ect)
- Olive oil/balsamic/lemon juice/salt/pepper/tahini
- Coconut oil/liquid aminos/lime juice
- Mustard/honey/apple cider vinegar
- Peanut butter, Liquid Aminos, Sesame Oil, Water
- Sunbutter, Agave, Cinnamon
There is a way to make everything work and taste delicious. Some may think that narrowing grocery shopping to package-free ingredients you will be left with nothing, but for us we feel that the possibilities are endless and some of our tastiest dishes come from the most unexpected combination of foods. By shopping seasonally for produce it is less about making an exact dish and more about letting the natural flavors of real wholesome food shine!
Pictured above: Rice pasta from bulk, with sliced raw veg (mushrooms, brussel sprouts, radishes, green peppers, onion), with olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast.