0Waste #2: Kitchen Swaps

Assuming you’ve read my ‘0Waste #1: Intro‘, I’d like to introduce you to some simple things you can do to produce less waste. Let’s look at the things everyone can swap in the kitchen!

FOOD CONTAINERS
When you cook a little too much and you have left overs or when you prep your food for a set amount of days you want to store them. Most people use plastic containers or the even bigger enemy: cling film! Most plastic containers eventually break when used a lot and create the worst waste, as this type of plastic can almost never be recycled. So if you use plastic containers, make sure they’re very very durable. A better choice would be glass containers. I’ve got these really nice glass containers with bamboo lids from Ikea. They’re perfect as they can go in the fridge, freezer and even the oven (great for a pre prepped lasagna)! They do have a little bit of plastic round the lid, but they’re very durable. They sell them in different sizes and shapes.

OWN BAGS
Since October 2015 we all pay 5p (might soon change to 10p) per plastic bag whenever we decide to accept one in a shop. I think this is great, because since that is introduced I see a lot of people who brought their own bags instead. This was the whole reason why the 5p was introduced in the first place and it’s working. I do still see people with plastic bags though, even though it’s no trouble at all to bring your own. I always keep a foldable little bag in my handbag for little things, but whenever I’m grocery shopping I bring bigger bags. Make it a habit to alway bring your own bags. Even though some shops offer bags from recycled/recyclable plastic, paper bags and you will use them again after. They’re simply not durable and so it’s always better to say no.

PACKAGING FREE 
Now this isn’t partially in the kitchen directly, but it’ll end up in the kitchen, so I thought to categorise this into kitchen swaps too. When you go shopping, try to always choose something that doesn’t have packaging. Buy fresh whole foods as much as you can. This isn’t only healthier, but they’re also the foods that can come without packaging. Some supermarkets are better than others though, so you just have to find the ones that offer lots of packaging free fruit and veggies. Hopefully in 2019 supermarkets will expand this more and more. There are also shops that are totally packaging free, where you can buy grains, beans, rice, nuts, seeds, coffee/tea, dried fruit etc. These are unfortunately quite rare, but I really hope that they will eventually be the norm. Find out if there is one near you. When there isn’t one nearby, you can always go there once in a while and buy in bulk. This isn’t only good for 0Waste living, but also better for your wallet!

DRAWSTRING BAGS
Whenever you go grocery shopping, make sure you’ve got some drawstring bags with you. This way you don’t have your apples, brussel sprouts and potatoes all mixed up in your trolley and it’s easier to weigh them and move them around. I purchased some organic cotton ones and I’m super happy with them. I think I’ll also get some closed ones soon, so I can also use them whenever I go to the Whole Foods Market to buy oats, beans and nuts in bulk.

GLASS JARS
When you come back from your packaging free shopping trip, you of course do have to store all these delicious products. You can’t keep them in the drawstring bags forever, especially when it’s something that will last a long time and you want to use your drawstring bags for the next trip. Use glass jars. You can either purchase these (Ikea again is a very good way to start) or you can recycle. Meaning that you can use empty glass jars that used to contain food and you would otherwise throw away. I, for example, always buy huge (glass) jars of coconut oil and whenever I finish the jar, I keep them so I can store other things in there.

COOK FROM SCRATCH 
I know I know, we don’t all have the time to cook every meal of every day from scratch. Just try to do it as much as possible though. Prep your food on a day that is most convenient to you. Be smart about it! Prep your meals or part of your meals and keep this in the fridge (in your glass containers). This way you won’t only live a more 0Waste life, but I’m sure it’ll also help you to eat healthier and more consistent. Also think about prepping things you can use for a longer time. Like granola, vegan parmesan, (plant) milk, flapjacks, bread (freeze!), tortilla wraps and I’m sure you can come up with more examples that you can make and enjoy.

I hope this was helpful and will motivate you to swap (some) things in your every day life. Do you have more tips or more things you can change/swap in the kitchen, please let me know in the comments or contact me via Instagram (@planetmanel). Thank you! X

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Sweet Chick

Sweet potatoes are one of the best things in this world if you’d ask me. I absolutely love them and eat them a few times a week. They’re delicious and super nutritious. I often combine them with avocado and chickpeas and I thought you might like this too. So I hope you will enjoy this recipe. It’s a perfect lunch, but also great for a dinner party. Always make 1 or 2 extra sweet potatoes when you put them in the oven. You can easily eat them cold and then you only have to make the filling. It means you’ll have a super quick lunch for the next day. Handy for when you do not have a lot of time or for when you want to take it with you!

SWEET CHICK

Serves: 2

2 sweet potatoes (washed)
1 avocado (smashed)
1 cup chickpeas
4 red onion rings
1 clove garlic (smashed)
1/2 tbs sesame seed oil
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of smoked paprika
pepper/salt (to taste)

-Preheat the oven at 200C.
-Put the sweet potatoes in the oven for 45-60 min.
-In the meantime mix the avocado with the garlic, the sesame seed oil, the lemon juice and the salt and pepper.
-Take the sweet potatoes out of the oven when they’re nice and soft.
-Cut then open from the top and stuff them with the avocado/chickpeas mixture.
-Serve them with the onion rings and sprinkle some smoked paprika on top.

Are you going to make this recipe? Please let me know when you’ve tried it. You can do this in a comment below. You can also tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Nutritional Yeast and Chocolate

NUTRITIONAL YEAST
If you never tried nutritional yeast before, then run to the shops! I think basically all vegans (and probably a lot of non vegans too) will agree with me, that nutritional yeast is heaven. Especially when you like a cheesy flavour, this is what you want. You can use this on your pasta (my personal favourite), in Risotto (very good too!), in salads, soups and sauces. You can use this basically in anything you want to create a cheesy flavour. It’s used a lot for cheese sauces (think mac&cheese!). You can endlessly experiment with this. And the best past is, it’s actually good for you. It’s full of B vitamins, folic acid and zinc. It contains no artificial preservatives, colouring, flavouring or genetically-modified material and it has added vitamin B12. There is also one without B12, so pay attention to the one you get. I always get the one with added B12, because it’s always good to have some extra B12.

CHOCOLATE 
I just love this packaging. I secretly wanted it because of this, haha! Just look at it. I love the colours (my favourite pink!) and everything. Simple, but perfect. Looking at the ingredients of this chocolate made me really excited to try this too. It only has 5 ingredients and that is what you want. Products with not too many (all natural) ingredients. It contains (virgin)Cacao butter, (evaporated)Coconut nectar, (raw)Cashew nuts, Coconut and (pink lake)Salt. All good ingredients, so no guilt. It doesn’t actually have cacao in it, only the butter. So not sure if it’s technically chocolate, but it sure looks like it. It’s heart shaped and it says ‘luv’, what I love. It looks so attractive. It melts quite fast, so you can’t hold it in your hand too long, unless you have very cold hands, hehe.. the taste is very nice though. It melts very nicely in your mouth and it’s very soft and creamy. It’s sweet, but not too sweet and you can taste it’s made with good ingredients. It’s very filling, so just half of it is kind of enough. What makes it great to share! They sell it at Portobello Wholefoods, but I’m sure you can get it in other health shops too.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Mexican Bowl

img_7505Mexican food is so satisfying. It has lots of veggies, it has beans, avocado, tortilla’s and it’s spicy. The Mexican kitchen is yummy! Now let’s all put these delicious things in one bowl. And with pieces of crispy tortilla’s, you can scoop the goodness out of the bowl and into your mouth! How does that sound? The ingredient list seems a bit long and maybe it is, because they’re actually little recipes in one bowl. It does take a little time to make it, but it’s very rewarding and I’m sure you’ll be very satisfied when this colourful bowl is in front of you. The recipe is for one person, but you can easily double the recipe and eat it with your lover or a friend! What about making it together?

img_7498MEXICAN BOWL

Serves: 1

-2 tortilla wraps
-100 gr mince
-1/4 onion
-1/4 tsp smoked paprika
-1/4 tsp thyme
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp chilli flakes
-2 tomatoes
-bunch coriander (chopped)
-1/4 small red onion (chopped)
-1/4 tsp lime juice
-1/2 avocado (smashed)
-1/4 tsp lemon juice
-1/2 clove garlic
-1/4 iceberg lettuce (chopped)
-1/6 cucumber (chopped)
-3 baby corns (chopped)
-1/2 cup black beans
-1/2 corn cob
-1/4 jalapeño pepper (sliced)
-1 tbs olive oil
-salt/pepper (to taste)

img_7506-Preheat the oven at 180C.
-Cut the tortilla’s in 4 pieces and make them wet. Put them in the oven for about 6-8 min. Let them cool down.
-Mix the tomatoes with the onion, some jalapeño pepper, the coriander and 1/4 tsp on lime juice. Add some salt to taste.
-Mix the avocado, 1/4 of lemon juice, the garlic with some salt and pepper to taste.
-Fry the onion in a pan with 1/2 tbs of olive oil. Add the garlic and then the mince. Fry this all, on a high fire, together until the mince is hot and has a slightly darker colour. Add the smoked paprika, the thyme, the chilli flakes and some salt and pepper to taste and fry again for only 1-2 minutes.
-Mix the iceberg lettuce, the cucumber and the baby corns with 1/2 tbs of olive oil and add some salt to taste.
-Let the corn cob boil in water for 5 minutes.
-Warm the black beans for just a minute on high fire in a pan.
-Put it all in a nice big bowl. Serve with the pieces of crispy tortilla.

Do you like Mexican food? Are you going to try this recipe? Please let me know when you’ve tried it. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram, so I can see it. Thank you! X

What I eat in a Day! #3

I thought let’s do another ‘What I eat in a Day’ post. I often get questions about this and people always seem to be interested in what I (do) eat. I also like to show people that we, vegan, can just have normal and delicious food. So here we go!

I just picked a random day: I always start my day with a big glass of luke warm water, the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. This isn’t something I love drinking, but it gives me a good feeling as it gives me energy and a boost of vitamin C. It also has a cleansing effect and for me it’s perfect to start my day. About an hour later I drink my green smoothie. This is a smoothie with 2 very ripe bananas, a big handful of spinach, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 1/2 tsp wheatgrass and 1 tsp of linseed. I use a little bit of water to blend it. I had this with 1/2 a medium sized papaya. When I got to work they had a bowl full of delicious fresh plums from the garden they went to at the weekend. So I just had to  snack on those in the morning. So delicious! It makes me think of my childhood as we had 2 plum trees, full of plums, in the garden where I grew up. A little later in the morning I was quite hungry weird enough, so I made myself a small bowl of porridge. As a topping I used some strawberries, coconut, cinnamon and a little bit op agave nectar. Just to keep me going until lunch time.

For lunch (around 14:00) I made myself a little chickpea salad with 1/2 an avocado (+ salt/pepper/lemon juice/a drop of sesame seed oil and a little bit of smoked paprika), a sweet potato from the oven and some sugar snaps on the side. I love lunches like this. They are filling, nutritious and just delicious. I had my lunch fairly late today as I had the porridge around 10:30. Normally I will eat porridge around 9:00ish, but the plums were in the way there.. haha! I wasn’t actually hungry all afternoon, but I did get myself al little treat at Starbucks later on (around 16:00). My ultimate treat there is a Green Tea Latte with soy milk (and some cinnamon on the top). I love it! Unfortunately they put sugar in there, so I only have it now and then. In the morning I made my Nori Nori recipe, so I could take some pictures for the recipe I will share here soon. They are little wraps from nori sheets, filled with spinach, mushrooms, bell pepper, alfalfa and tempeh. So as I made them, I had those for dinner, with some extra spinach on the side. It’s definitely one of m favourite recipes, so tasty and very healthy! I wasn’t feeling hungry in the evening, so I only had a cup of bedtime tea a little bit before I went to sleep. Also I drink about 2-3 litres of water a day.

Do you eat similar to me? Or do you have a whole different routine? I’d love to hear about it. Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Soup For Salad

crTime for a cheat recipe! My favourite things to eat for lunch are probably salad or soup. Now why can’t we bring those 2 together? I must admit, that I sometimes literally pour a full portion of soup over my salad and eat it like that, but I might be a little bit of an extremist, haha! Though, I do want to give you this tip.. to use soup as a salad dressing. Not all soups are great for this, but the ‘Curried Sweet Potato’ soup from ‘Soupologie’ is perfect for this. One of the best things about this soup is that it contains 0,0 crap. All healthy and super delicious. It’s one of my favourite soups, so using it on my salad is the perfect combination. You can basically make any raw salad, but I’ll give you a yummy combination here, to give you some inspiration.

cr2SOUP FOR SALAD

Serves: 1

-1/6 Soupologie soup (cold)
-handful of spinach
-handful of lettuce
-1/2 avocado (chopped)
-3 baby corns (chopped)
-4 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
-5 cm cucumber (chopped)
-1/2 tsp chilli flakes
-pepper/salt (to taste)

-Make sure you shake or stir the soup a little before using it.
-Mix the raw veggies in a nice bowl and pour over about 1/6 of the soup. Use more or less, to taste.

What did you think of this tip? Are you going to try this? Please let me know or show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Barley Summer

Ok, we did have a few good summer days.. weeks? This last week has been quite lovely too, but the summers here in the UK can be a little cloudy (and stuffy) and with quite some rain too. I definitely don’t mind the rain, but it would be nice to have some more sunshine, no? In London it’s always barely summer.. and then Autumn starts again. Luckily we did have quite a nice spring and Autumn can also have some sunny days. And to keep the summer vibes going, why not make this yummy super healthy salad? It’s super filling, colourful and great as a side dish too (a big salad for a bbq or a buffet maybe?)! It’s super easy to make, it just involves some simmering, chopping and mixing. That’s it!

BARLEY SUMMER

serves: 2

200gr barley (uncooked)
1 cube vegetable stock
2 stalks Celery (chopped)
1/2 sweet corn (chopped)
1/2 cucumber (chopped)
2 tomatoes (chopped)
1 slice red cabbage (chopped)
1/4 red onion (chopped)
3 tbs pomegranate 

Bunch of coriander
1 tsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp soy sauce
Salt/pepper (to taste)

-Rinse the barley thoroughly before putting it on the stove. The water that is coming off should be clear, not white.
-Put the vegetable stock in the water and let the Barley cook until the stock is completely dissolved, whilst stirring.
– Lower the fire and then let it simmer for about 50 min, until tender.
-Let the barley cool down completely.
-Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl and add some salt and pepper to taste.
-You can also add some peas if you like to get some extra veggies.

Will you make this for lunch or as a big salad at a bbq? Please let me know when you’ve tried them. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Sweepo Spread

What do you put on your sandwiches? It’s a question I get quite a lot. Of course you can spread your toast and sandwiched with nut butters, jam or houmous, but there are so many spreads you can make yourself, to add nutrition and to enjoy something different. Today I’m giving you a spread made of sweet potatoes. The great thing about this spread is that you can make sweet and savoury combinations. Spread it on a piece of toast, sprinkle some nuts and drizzle some agave nectar on it and you have a great sweet breakfast or snack. Combine it with some spicy rucola and black peppers and you will have a yummy savoury variant. You can of course also add cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce.. you can combine endlessly. It’s great for a bbq too! Check out Vegan Partying for some bbq ideas and serve this spread for the baguettes (and salads). I’m sure everybody will love it!

SWEEPO SPREAD

-2 medium sweet potato
-1/2 cup chickpeas
-1 tbs tahini
-1 tbs lemon juice
-1 clove garlic
-1 tbs olive oil
-salt/pepper (to taste)

-Preheat the oven to 200C.
-Wash the sweet potatoes and put them in the oven for 45-55 minuten (depending on size).
-Let the potatoes cool down.
-Put it all in the food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
-Add salt/pepper to taste.
-Store in a closed container and keep it in the fridge.

Are you going to make this yummy multi functional spread? Please let me know when you’ve tried them. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Ethos

A while ago I heard about Ethos. It looked quite posh and I thought it might not be my thing, but I wanted to know more about it. So I went to see what it was like. Ethos is very central, just a 2 minute walk from Oxford Circus. So if you’re going shopping for the day, Ethos is not far away for a proper lunch. As you know Oxford Street is very busy, but because Ethos is in a street behind it, it’s a lot quieter. The building looks very nice with the wood in the front nice and it does look quite posh. Going inside almost feels like entering a luxury hotel or something. There are a lot of trees and plants, to create some privacy in between the tables. I absolutely love it. I was served by a waiter I actually knew from tennis lessons about a year ago, what was very funny. He helped me to a seat and gave me lots of information about the restaurant. Super handy!

The food is right at the entrance. It starts with cakes and treats, then the hot food and in the end the cold bar. Ethos is like a buffet. You can get all the yummy looking foods you want and at the till they weigh your food and that is what you pay for. I tried all the vegan options, because I was too curious of course. So in the end I had a big colourful plate. Something you’ll definitely notice, is that the food is all very fresh. I did like the food, just some things had a very strong taste (mustard, vinegar etc). Like the aubergine was cooked well, but the flavour was spicy and sour. There was basically no other flavour. The chickpeas, the green beans and the little cornball in the middle were very yummy though. For the cakes and treats you pay per cake/slice, instead of by weight. I chose 2, one as a dessert and one to take away. Just because I couldn’t choose. Both things I chose were super delicious! Their desserts and treats are amazing I must say. The coconut in the raw heart (with rose petals) was so yum, I definitely want to eat that again. The blondie was very nice too. It was a little bit in between a brownie and a biscuit. Very good! They also do chai lattes, matcha lattes, other teas and of course coffees. This is why Ethos is not only good for lunch, but it’s also nice to just have an afternoon break with tea and cake. And for everybody who rather has a juice or an ice tea.. they have a lot of choice in drinks too. I’m sure you can find something you like.

Ethos is all vegetarian and they do have a lot of vegan food. I’d say more than half is vegan, so there is a lot of choice. It’s quite a posh restaurant, but with some good natural vibes. So perfect for formal lunches or work meetings. As it’s a buffet, there is always something you like. What makes it easy to go to if you (or the people you go with) are picky. I do think that they are a little expensive though. For the food you see on my plate I payed a little over £16. The treats were £7 pounds together. So it’s not a very cheap lunch. If you eat a little less and you choose 1 dessert, you probably pay in between £15-£20 pounds. Personally it’s not something I’d go to every week, but more for special occasions. Because you pay by weight and it’s not an all you can eat buffet, I’m sure people will think twice about what to put on their plate. This is very positive if you ask me, because there will be less food waste. Much more sustainable this way.

WHO? Ethos.
WHERE? 48 Eastcastle St, Fitzrovia, W1W 8DX.
CUISINE? Buffet.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian)
OVERALL? 7 (Great looking restaurant, lots of choice and very yummy dessert/cakes.)

Did you already know Ethos? Are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about your experience! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Kale Wrap / Sour Sweets

KALE WRAP
Finally.. they were one of the last coffeeshops, but Starbucks introduced a vegan meal. Or meal, something more than a hand full of nuts or a piece of dark chocolate. Starbucks is my favourite place to get tea. I drink my green tea with soy milk or, my latest discovery.. a Green tea Soy latte. If I wanted to eat something  I could choose between some little snacks, because all the sandwiches, wraps and cakes have meat, dairy or egg in them. A lot of other coffeeshops already offered vegan options, especially if we talk about PRET, they are king! Though Starbucks didn’t. Such a shame. But as the world is changing, Starbucks had to. And of course I had to try it. I didn’t have breakfast the morning I did and so it was kind of like a breakfast burrito. First of all, I think it looks good. The lettuce inside and the wrap itself are fresh and the overall taste is nice. It’s just a shame there is a lot of crap (sugar!) in them. But if you’re in a rush and you need to have something in your stomach, I think Starbucks did a good job with offering something tasty!  Let’s hope for more options in the future. Way to go!

SOUR SWEETS
I love love love sour sweeties. I know they’re not good for you, but very once in a while I have some. Sometimes until my tongue is literally open. I know.. it’s bad! It’s just so yummy. The sour the better. A while ago I discovered these Sour Snakes from Biona. BIona is one of my favourite brands. They just have a lot of good stuff. I took these to Rome and I was pleasantly surprised by the taste They’re sour (though it could of lasted a little longer) and the taste is nice. They’re obviously still not healthy, but I’m sure it’s at least better than the other ones. But just once in a while it should be fine. To take with you on a trip or like me.. when I’m on my period (serious cravings!).

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X