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A few weeks ago Bella, my fellow 1MW intern and I, attended Youth Food Movement's Food Waste workshop, SpoonLed. We learned a tonne of helpful tips on how to keep our food waste minimal. Afterwords, we were encouraged to host an event sharing our newly acquired knowledge with others.
Our response was to hold a Pot-Luck picnic with the 1MW team. The idea behind our 'Pot Luck' picnic being that each of us bring a low-waste dish to be shared, created from food that might've otherwise been thrown away. We decided that we wanted to make this conversation about food waste as far-reaching as possible, so we live streamed it on the 1 Million Women Facebook page! You can check our live-stream of the picnic on our Facebook, here and here.
Bella, Anna, Bronte, Bindi, and Nat lapping up the sunshine, digging in to our Pot Luck dishes and chatting about food-waste!
Food waste is one of the most significant challenges we face as we strive toward a sustainable future. Did you know that the biggest food wasters are not in fact restaurants or grocery chains - but consumers? Yep, it's those soggy zucchinis at the bottom of the crisper that are contributing to one of the most pressing challenges faced by our planet!
This news may be hard to cop - but is also pretty exciting. It means that the collective effort of individuals making small lifestyle changes really does have the capacity to make a significant impact. Through our Pot Luck picnic, we wanted to show you just how easy (and fun!) it can be to get creative with food, minimise waste, use what you already have, and reduce your impact on the planet.
Top Tips and Favourite Low-Waste Recipes From The Day:
It's safe to say that the 1MW team are well practised at low-waste living. As a result, the bar was set pretty high for our pot luck dishes… But even with high expectations, we were blown away with the delicious, creative, low-waste dishes contributed by the team! Check out our faves of the day:
Add Anything Vegan Amaranth Fritters:
Our Head of Social Media, Bindi, created THE most delicious fritters from Amaranth, a grain that she thought she couldn't use and was avoiding…But (successfully) used this challenge to save it from waste!
- Aramanth - about 200g
- Onion and Garlic - to taste.
- Your choice of available veg… Bindi used zucchini, carrot, and a salvaged Brussel sprout!
- Fennel Seed + your choice of spice. Bindi used a moroccan spice mixed. - to taste.
- Salt and Pepper - to taste.
1. Cook about 200g of amaranth in 500g of water (boil until the water is absorbed and then put a tiny bit more hot water on and put a lid on. Take it off the heat and let it sit for 15 mins or so)
2. Chop up an onion some garlic, zucchini and carrot (or whatever you have) - Try to get them really fine.
3. Sautée the onion, garlic, then add veggies.
4. Add about 2 teaspoons of fennel seed, salt and pepper, and about a desert spoon of moroccan spice mix - enough to cover the earthy amaranth flavour.
5. Bindi baked them 'for ages' at 200c, but suggested that they may be better chilled in the fridge then fried or bbq'd.
What about serving these with a low-waste dressing? Bindi made one from half a bunch of coriander stems, some lime rind and juice of one lime, about a tablespoon of tahini some oil oil and salt and pepper. Perfect!
Bronte, 1MW head of communications, used the carrot leaves from last night's soup to make a zero-waste pesto. Genius! Are you throwing out edible "scraps"?
- 1 bunch of carrot tops (normally when you buy Dutch carrots they still have the tops attached)
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (start with 2 and add the 3rd if necessary
- squirt of honey (or other sweetener i.e. agave, maple)
- Pinch of salt and pepper
1. Blend everything together in a food processor until it reaches a creamy or spreadable consistency.
Violent Crumble (Bread and butter pudding)
Bronte also whipped up a killer bread + leftover cake pudding well worth emulating with your own stale/leftover baked goods.
- Leftover chocolate cake
- Bread (can be stale bread)
- 2 Tablespoons Chia seeds
- 6 tablespoons water
- Organic jam (I used strawberry/blackberry/raspberry)
- 500ml Non-dairy milk (I used almond)
- 3 tbsp Coconut sugar
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- Nuttelex (or other non-dairy spread)
1. Pre heat over to 180 degrees celsius
2. Chop the bread and left over cake into square chunks. Spread a little Nuttelex on the bread pieces only.
3. Mix chia seeds with water and let sit for 15 minutes so they form a paste like mixture
4. In a medium size baking tray (I used a 8.5" round cake tin), lay the bread and chocolate cake pieces out so they cover the baking tray.
5. Sprinkle over the coconut sugar and cinnamon. If you have more than 1 layer of bread and chocolate cake pieces, sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar in stages after each layer.
6. Mix chia seed mixture with the non-dairy milk and pour over the bread and cake pieces. Let it set for 15-30 minutes.
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bread is golden on top.
8. Remove from the oven. Dollop some jam over the top of the pudding and bake for another 5 minutes.
9. Serve warm, or at room temp. Enjoy!
1MW intern Bella brought along a delish veggie frittata, and managed to salvage some soggy veg from the scrap-heap. The great thing about a frittata is you can add almost any veg you've already got! This recipe is super flexible with no quantities - just use what you have and judge amounts by gauging the consistency.
- Sea salt
- Milk or cream, for a non-dairy alternative try coconut cream.
- Parmeson (optional)
- Oil - coconut, olive, or water you've got.
- Finely chopped vegetables of your choice! Zucchini, onion, pumpkin and spinach are all good options.
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
Whisk together eggs, milk or cream, and parmesan if you're including it. You could also throw in some fresh herbs at this stage.
2. Add oil to a skillet or fry pan on medium heat, and toss in veggies to sauté. Note that if you're using hard vegetables such as pumpkin, you'll need to boil or roast these first.
3. Reduce to a low heat and pour in egg mixture.
4. Add any raw ingredients on top of the egg mixture, such as sliced tomato or cheese. Continue cooking on the stove for about 10-15 minutes until edges are browning.
Transfer the skillet into the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until there are no runny bits on top.
6. Take out of oven, let cool for a few minutes, and serve!
All of the 1MW team rose to the challenge, and got super creative in the kitchen… but there could only be one low-waste extraordinaire to rule them all, our Pot Luck Queen! ….*drum roll*….Congratulations to Bindi and her Amaranth Fritters!
We loved that she wasn't daunted by an obscure ingredient, and found a way to create something tasty and low-waste. You can add pretty much any veg to these little guys, making her recipe a handy one to have up your sleeve if you've got veggies that need saving.
We had so much fun at our Pot Luck picnic in the beautiful Sydney sunshine, and learnt a heap about minimising food waste too. If you're after some more resources, we've compiled our favourite food waste articles.
We all agreed that the Pot Luck picnic encouraged us to think outside the box when it comes to cooking, and helped us to shift to a "zero-waste" mindset. It's assuring to know that tackling food waste doesn't have to be tedious. It's an opportunity to be creative, resourceful, and even social. Maybe you'd like to hold your own Pot Luck Picnic, or another low-waste celebration with your friends or colleagues? Let us know your plans in the comments!