zerowastechef zerowastechef

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Anne-Marie Bonneau  I follow three food rules: No packaging. No processed food. No trash. #Plasticfree since 2011. Lots of #fermentation. IG Live on Wednesdays, 4pm PT.

New blog post hot off the press! “A Zero-Waste Vegan Thanksgiving Menu”
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I started to do an Instagram Live stream every Wednesday at 4pm Pacific Time. This week, I offered tips to reduce waste at Thanksgiving—not just food waste but packaging waste also. During the live stream, a few people asked for Thanksgiving dinner menu ideas, specifically for vegan dishes. So I wrote a menu up late last night. You can start some of the prep for several of these now:
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🤤Hummus with raw vegetables
🤤Sourdough bread
🤤Pear-cranberry chutney
🤤Roasted honey nut squash
🤤Mashed potatoes
🤤Mushroom gravy
🤤Pumpkin dal
🤤Apple crumble
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Link in profile for the full post and recipes.
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I haven’t decided on the topic for next week, either leftovers or Buy Nothing Day or both.
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#veganthanksgiving #vegandinner #vegetarianrecipes #fermentedfoods #zerowaste #zerowastekitchen #zerowasteliving #plasticfree #plasticfreeliving #breakfreefromplastic #beatplasticpollution #planetorplastic #eatfoodnottoomuchmostlyplants #eattherainbow #buynothingday

New blog post: “How to Equip a Kitchen When You Start Out or Start Over”
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On Tuesday, two people sent me DMs asking about equipping a kitchen from scratch. One was moving to a new apartment. The second? The Camp Fire had razed her home in Paradise, California. (Check out @ginger.bone for a before and after pic of what was once her home.)
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So I came up with a list of what I thought would be the most useful, economical, multipurpose (for the most part) kitchen equipment for someone just starting out or staring over. Perhaps that someone is on your gift list this year. These items will equip a kitchen without breaking the bank or cluttering precious space with superfluous items you don’t need and won’t use. I showed great restraint this weekend at @savers_thrift and bought only the small Le Parfait jar and glass measuring cup in this pic.
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I also created a fundraiser in this post, which I’m very excited about! I’ll teach a special online sourdough starter class on Sunday, December 2nd at 1pm Pacific Time via Skype. The proceeds will go to Camp Fire relief charities. So if you’ve wanted to learn how to make sourdough starter, now is your chance to do that while raising money for people devastated by these mega-fires. Soon you’ll be making sourdough crackers, pancakes, soft pretzels, pizza dough and bread. .
Link in profile for the new post and to register for the online class.
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#campfire #climatechangeisreal #californiafires #kitchentools #jars #crazyjarlady #secondhandfirst #thriftshopfinds #zerowaste #zerowastekitchen #zerowasteliving #frugalliving #plasticfree #plasticfreeliving #breakfreefromplastic #beatplasticpollution #planetorplastic #giftideasforher #giftideasforhim

Do you feel overwhelmed by your stuff? Stressed? Anxious? Does the sight of plastic strewn about the streets send you into convulsions or bouts of swearing? Do you want to eat more vegetables but just don’t know where to start? It’s time to try Zero Waste.*
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Zero Waste is a lifestyle that begins to alleviate these symptoms upon the first dosage: ditching plastic water bottles. As you continue down the zero-waste path, you continually increase your dosage, following a plan customized to your situation and tolerance level: switching to a bamboo toothbrush, shopping with cloth produce bags, shaving with a safety razor, searching for a kombucha SCOBY and running an efficient kitchen.
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*Some of the side effects of Zero Waste include:
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1. Sudden, unceasing jar-hoarding tendencies.
2. Improved health.
3. Heightened sense of purpose.
4. Incessant searching for secondhand or free items.
5. Higher levels of cash in the bank.
6. Sense of elation over the sight of loose cranberries.
7. Desire to chop and salt cabbages and stuff into jars.
8. Line your shelves with the jars and post many pictures of them on IG.
9. Kombucha cravings.
10. Elevated hummus intake.
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I made this hummus with preserved lemon because a) it tastes delicious and b) I went crazy and prepped what seems to be an entire trees’ worth of lemons this year. So I need to use them up. I also added a bit of puréed pumpkin to half of my batch. It tastes SO good! It needed a bit more salt to offset the sweet pumpkin. I can’t stop eating it. Well, except that it’s all gone...
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Sourdough crackers go really well with hummus. A couple of you asked in my stories how I made the zigzag edges on the crackers. Swipe to the end to see the pastry wheel I use to cut the dough.
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Link in profile for the hummus recipe (scroll to the end to a see a pic and headline for hummus without preserved lemon).
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#hummus #preservedlemon #pumpkinrecipes #pumpkinseason #pumpkinineverything #sourdoughstarter #sourdoughcrackers #sourdough #plasticfree #plasticfreeliving #planetorplastic #plasticpollution #breakfreefromplastic #beatplasticpollution #waronwaste #zerowaste #zerowasteliving

This may simply look like my most recent bulk haul but it also doubles as an idea for the crazy jar lady on your gift list this year. I know I would love to receive a bunch of jars filled with staples, or granola or chocolate (I had to really resist the bulk chocolate yesterday and stick with my list). A few jars filled with multicolored popcorn in a reusable cloth produce bag looks appetizing and can cost very little to put together. .
All of these jars cost me nothing. The two large ones came from a restaurant and my boss last week gave me a dozen plus @ballcanning jars that she no longer wanted. They look practically new. Once you have cultivated a crazy jar lady (or crazy jar gent) reputation, people will unload jars onto you. .
Link in profile for more gift ideas in jars.
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#jars #crazyjarlady #masonjars #giftsinjars #crapfreechristmas #plasticfreegifts #plasticfree #plasticfreelife #breakfreefromplastic #beatplasticpollution #planetorplastic #waronwaste #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #zerowastegifts #maker #makesomething #bulkshopping

This weekend's farmers' market haul.
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I bought the first honey nut squash of the season. I peel these small squash, slice lengthwise into 1/4" slices, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on finely chopped garlic, thyme, cumin seeds and salt, roast at 350F for about 40 minutes or until tender. Max and Jeremy, the documentary filmmakers behind @chasingtmw, first made these for me last winter when they visited California. My daughter, who never liked (my) squash, loves them. So I was happy to notice them back at the market.
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We ran out of fermented hot peppers—I didn't think this was possible, since I prepared several jars' worth early this year. They taste incredible. If you swipe through my highlighted stories, you'll find a story on how to make them. Essentially, chop jalapeños or other hot peppers, salt them, crush them (not with your bare hands!) and pack them into jars, making sure they are submerged in their own liquid (add a bit of water if necessary) and wait from a few days to a few weeks before eating. You can gobble them up sooner but I like to wait longer (if I have backup jars that is) as they will contain more beneficial bacteria.
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You may not be able to tell from this pic that I took outside, but the sky here in the Bay Area has been grey and smoky since the Camp Fire broke out 200 miles north of us. The light has been very orange. I can't imagine what it's like up north, or down south at the Wolsey Fire. The situation is devastating and I feel anything I write here about that devastation will sound trite. Link in profile for an article from the San Jose Mercury News on how you can help the Camp Fire victims.
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#climatechangeisreal #campfire #farmersmarket #eatfoodnottoomuchmostlyplants #eattherainbow #realfood #slowfood #supportsmallfarms #eatlocal #buylocal #plasticfree #plasticfreeproduce #plasticfreeliving #beatplasticpollution #planetorplastic #breakfreefromplastic #waronwaste #zerowaste #zerowasteliving

Natural wood stain experiment
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I’m always looking for backgrounds to use for IG and blog pics. But I don’t want to buy more stuff. I’d feel silly buying a bunch of backgrounds to take pics that I hope encourage people to consume less. (Also I am extremely frugal and enjoy a challenge.)
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I found the pine wine crate you see here on the side of the road with another one just like it. I have two more from swaps I organized this year (so much fun by the way!). The crates come in handy for transporting food, dishes, produce bags and whatnot to events but I dislike the yellowish pine for pics. I’d prefer a rich dark brown shade. So I thought I would ask my neighbors if they have any old cans of dark wood stain I could use up.
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Then my partner Chandra had a genius idea. He suggested I try making a natural stain 😮 He also happens to be a coffee drinker so after he drank his yesterday morning, I brewed a small batch with the spent grounds. I rubbed some of that onto a small area of the wood with one of my many rags cut from old t-shirts. That watery coffee stained the pine only a tiny bit so I next tried boiling it down along with the grounds...it’s all a big experiment at this point...and applied that to part of the crate. That worked much better.
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For this pic, so you can compare the before and after, I have left the bottom and right side untreated and applied my stain only once to the back and left side. I’ll keep applying more. I hope I can get this very dark. Chandra drinks coffee every morning 😉 .
I have always been frugal but never quite this frugal! The zero waste journey has made me more so. In the old days, when I had a problem to solve, my initial impulse landed me in a store, credit card in hand. Today, with a bit of creativity, I can often find what I need lying around my home. .
I’ll post more pics as this little project progresses.
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#upcycle #coffeestain #naturaldyes #maker #makersofinstagram #buynothing #makedo #frugal #frugalliving #consumerculture #consumerism #minimalistlifestyle #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #plasticfree #plasticfreeliving #dumpsterdive #dumpsterdiver #curbsideshopping #secondhand #secondhandfirst

Sauerkraut is the gateway ferment.
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If you’ve wanted to try your hand at fermentation but worry you’ll mess it up, sauerkraut is a great starting point. You basically shove chopped and salted cabbage into a jar and wait for the naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria on the vegetables to do their thing—transform basic ingredients into delicious, probiotic goodness that will help keep you healthy this winter.
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People regularly say to me, “Anne-Marie, I’d love to try fermenting food but I’m afraid I will accidentally poison my entire family.” Fermentation is actually extremely safe. In fact, it’s safer than many other types of food preparation. Bad bacteria—including botulinum—cannot survive the acidic environment of a lactic-acid fermentation. The good bacteria crowd them out and they die.
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A lack of fancy equipment holding you back? You need only basic tools to make kraut: a jar, a knife, a chopping surface and a bowl, a grater if you want to bet fancy and shred up carrots or radishes or ginger to toss in. You can spend a lot of money on fermentation gadgets—and they likely work well—but one of the many things I love about fermentation is the simplicity. I use jars. My fanciest fermentation tools are my flip-top Le Parfait and Fido jars, which neighbors gave me (they sometimes leave them outside my door, along with the occasional head of cabbage) or I bought in thrift shops.
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This purple kraut contains 2 small purple cabbages, three apples, a 1-inch piece of ginger and 1 tablespoon of salt. I started it Sunday night and it had bubbled to life by the next morning. I’ll taste it tonight.
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I’m teaching an online sauerkraut and kombucha class next Tuesday at 4pm PT via Skype. Link in profile for my class schedule. I also have lots of recipes on my blog for fermented foods. Check the recipe index for those.
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#kraut #sauerkraut #vegan #vegetarian #fermentation #wildfermentation #gut #healthygut #probiotic #foodasmedicine #eattherainbow #plasticfree #plasticfreeliving #breakfreefromplastic #beatplasticpollution #planetorplastic #zerowaste #waronwaste

Fuyu or Hachiya persimmons?
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Here in the US, for the most part, we have a two-persimmon system. You can choose either the crunchier Fuyu persimmon or the astringent Hachiya, which you must wait to eat until it is fully ripened unless you enjoy having your mouth completely dry out just when you need to spit out what you’ve put in there. But wait until Hachiyas have fully ripened and become extremely soft, and they taste like candy you won’t be able to get enough of.
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My daughter is a sworn Fuyu eater, while I am a registered Hachiya lover. We still manage to live under the same roof. My daughter doesn’t mock me as the juice drips down my chin while I eat my beloved Hachiyas. And I don’t call her Fuyus short and squat. Instead, I buy more Fuyus because she gobbles her persimmons up faster than I eat mine and we often even sit down at the table to eat our persimmons together. Imagine that!
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Swipe left to see which persimmons people have chosen in my stories, Fuyus or Hachiyas.
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You may think that a vote for a Fuyu is the same as a vote for a Hachiya. Please don’t be cynical. They do differ. Go vote.
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#midterms #midtermsmatter #vote2018 #govote #persimmons #fuyu #hachiya #farmersmarket #eattherainbow #realfood #plasticfree #plasticfreeproduce #planetorplastic  #plasticfreeliving #beatplasticpollution #breakfreefromplastic #waronwaste #zerowaste #zerowasteliving

Yesterday’s farmers’ market haul with seven homemade produce bags in action.
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For the last few weeks, when I’ve returned home from the market, I’ve roasted lots of vegetables. My daughter and I love them. I will slice up a fennel bulb, roast it with olive oil and a bit of salt and gobble the entire thing up myself (sorry daughter...at least I bought three this week...).
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The vendor I buy my fennel from told me yesterday that no one wants the stalks and fronds so I grabbed a bulb with them (in addition to my two without). I told her that I would challenge myself this week to cook something tasty and simple with the whole fennel. She asked me to let her know her next week what I make.
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My initial thought was to make potato-fennel soup, following the recipe I use for potato-leek soup but swapping out the leek for the fennel.
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Then I asked you in my stories yesterday what you do with your fennel stalks and fronds and I received a ton of replies. You all really like fennel! Some ideas:
😋Brew fennel tea
😋Add to broth
😋Whir up some pesto
😋Use the stalks in the same way as scallions
😋Use the stalks in the same way as the bulb
😋Use the stalks in place celery in almost anything
😋Use the fronds in place of fresh dill
😋Add the fronds to salad dressing, green salads, potato salads, roasted vegetables, eggs, dips, pasta dishes, juices, smoothies
😋Ferment the stalks in sauerkraut or pickles
😋Make frond fritters
😋Make a gratin layered with potatoes and fennel chimichurri (I must try this @endsandstems!)
😋Make fennel salt
😋Make fennel candy 😮
😋Distill anisette 😵
😋Feed to your guinea pigs 😀
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I should have bought more fennel! And those aren’t all of the responses! Thanks for all of your brilliant ideas to reduce this particular type of food waste. I will relay them to the vendor next week. Please comment if you have more and I’ll add them to my list for her 😉
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#farmersmarket #foodwaste #eatfoodnottoomuchmostlyplants #eattherainbow #realfood #slowfood #reduce #reuse #repurpose #waronwaste #plasticfree #plasticfreeliving #plasticfreeproduce #beatplasticpollution #planetorplastic #breakfreefromplastic #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #crowdsourcing

Disappearing sourdough crackers
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These crackers taste cheesy but contain no cheese, just starter (which contains flour and water only), flour, oil, salt and baking soda. When you have nearly finished rolling the dough out thinly, sprinkle your work surface with sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, nutritional yeast, crushed dried herbs or other additions if you like. Then do a couple of last rolls to make everything stick to the dough. Or sprinkle with a bit of salt before baking, like I’ve done with the batch pictured here.
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When I teach a sourdough bread class or bake lots of bread, excess starter piles up in my refrigerator. Because I don’t feed that starter, it’s too inactive to make bread rise. But it’s perfect for these crackers. And the older the starter, the tangier the crackers.
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After I make the cracker dough and let it sit to ferment for several hours, I usually put it in the refrigerator to bake later. When I want crackers, I pull out a hunk, let it warm up to room temperature, roll it out and bake it. This is as convenient as store-bought dough, but without the packaging, food-like ingredients and higher price tag.
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When we kicked the plastic, we stopped buying crackers and other snack foods. Soon after that, my daughter MK started baking these. They’re addictive! Just one of the many delicious discoveries we likely would not have made had we not set out on this path.
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If you find the idea of baking sourdough bread daunting but would like to start a starter, this is an easy recipe to make. Speaking of sourdough bread, thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway for a free, live, online sourdough bread baking class. The randomly drawn winner is...@globalmindfuljourney! I look forward to seeing you and your starter Khatta King in class 😊
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Link in profile for the recipe.
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#sourdough #sourdoughstarter #sourdoughcrackers #sourdoughbread #fermentation #gut #realbread #slowfood #plasticfree #plasticfreeliving #plasticfreeforthesea #breakfreefromplastic #planetorplastic #beatplasticpollution #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #zerowastesnacks #vegan

I mentioned recently to my partner Chandra that I would like an outdoor table. When I teach fermentation and sourdough classes, I completely cover my large kitchen table with jars, bowls, measuring cups, ingredients, plates, glasses, utensils, books... it gets crowded. If I had a table outside, my students and I could eat our sourdough and kimchi and drink our kombucha out there on a tidy table I could set earlier in the day.
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This past Monday, Chandra texted me a pic of the teak table and bench that you see here with a message “It’s yours. Delivered in 30.”😳If you don’t believe that people just leave stuff like this sitting by the curb here, swipe left to see the table and bench sitting by the curb.
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Our consumer culture long ago reached peak stuff. So many previously loved items out there need a new home. I’m convinced that I can find what I need (and want) secondhand. It also helps that Chandra seems to have a direct line to the Universe.
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If your neighbors don’t put much out by the side of the road, you can find free stuff through:
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@buynothingproject. Check for a Buy Nothing Facebook group in your city. If your city doesn’t have one, you could set that up.
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Craigslist, Nextdoor, Freecycle and other community websites. I had to look up Nextdoor for work on Tuesday and saw the listing for my new-to-me table and bench. I get lots of messages from justifiably horrified followers when they see some of the good stuff people throw out in my area. They ask “Why not list it online for free?!” So, some do.
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Community swap meets. I organized one of these for tomorrow. I asked people to list on the meetup page what they can bring and what they want. This way, swapping can begin before the actual swap. I scored some great stuff at the last one (a teapot, a book I had been wanting to read, brand new cloth pads). Two attendees had said they have jars to unload... Those might cause a brawl.
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Link in profile for how to organize a swap.
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#dumpsterdive #dumpsterdiver #curbsidefind #secondhand #secondhandfirst #thriftfinds #buynothing #waronwaste #sharingeconomy #realsharingeconomy #siliconvalley #paloalto #plasticfree #zerowasteliving #reduce #reuse

Reusable produce bags aren't just for produce. Some of the ways I use mine:
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Certain bulk foods. These lightweight cloth bags work well for larger items, such as nuts, beans, rice and popcorn. I have used them to buy flour but prefer jars for that.
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Freezing and storing bread. People ask often how I store bread. I store whole loaves in these bags in the freezer. I don’t freeze bread for very long—a couple of weeks maximum. I store bread on the counter in these bags also.
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Buying bread and baked goods. Sometimes I buy bread at a local small grocery store that sells Acme Bread loose.
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Packing lunches. The smaller bags work well for a sandwich (unless it has lots of juicy pickles, in which case, I use a metal @lunchbots).
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Produce. I usually take at least five with me to the farmers’ market. Leafy greens keep really well stored in these bags in the refrigerator.
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Salad spinner. Wash greens, place them in a bag, take the bag outside and twirl it around a bunch of times to dry the greens off. Store in the crisper in the damp bag.
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New blog post on this past weekend’s reusable produce bag giveaway at the farmers’ market: “8.3 Billion Reasons to Choose Reusable Produce Bags.” Link in profile.
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#bulk #bulkshopping #reusables #reusableproducebags #reduce #reuse #repurpose #plasticfree #plasticfreeproduce #plasticfreeliving #planetorplastic #breakfreefromplastic #beatplasticpollution #waronwaste #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #sharingeconomy #realsharingeconomy

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