What We Eat in Day: Zero Waste and Plant Based
I have to admit we’re a very active family, so most of our meals are quick, easy, and plant-based.
Being a Zero Waste Family, we like to make sure our meals positively impact the environment too. We try to reduce food packaging as much as possible. To do this, we buy bulk food from our local coop and farmers market and grow a lot of our food in our backyard.
Here’s a taste of our zero-waste, plant-based daily menu:
James is usually the first one up since he often has 4 am meetings with his team in Sweden. He often grabs some granola and brings it to our office, which is located in our garden. I usually begin my day with lots of lemon water, and then I will have mushroom chai tea as I make the kids breakfast and pack their lunches.
My kids like to eat oatmeal served with sunflower seed butter and bananas or James’s homemade granola. Here is our YouTube video of him making his aaaaaamazing granola. Other times, we have banana pancakes made with oats, bananas, sunflower seeds, and almond milk served with maple syrup and berries.
Oats are a staple food in our household. We love oats because they’re healthy, filling, and budget-friendly, and we can buy them in a 50 pound bag. We use oats as flour for baking, oatmeal, granola, pancakes, and more. We buy maple syrup in bulk from our co-op and berries from our local farmers market and use our own containers as packaging. We freeze some of the berries, and I use them for making smoothies, which is my favorite breakfast.
Here are some recipes for plant-based breakfasts that we love.
We pack snacks for the kids in their lunches, including breakfast cookies, fruit, raw nuts, apple slices with sunflower seed butter, crackers, and hummus. Here is a post about our favorite zero-waste snacks with recipes.
We pack zero-waste lunches for the kids during the week. During the warm season, it’s usually a sandwich on home-baked bread using sourdough starter or yeast, flour from the bulk section, and water. Sometimes, I add beans for extra nutrition. They like sunflower seed butter and homemade jam on them. I always pack them a side salad or raw veggies, a fruit, and a snack.
During the cold season, they like warmer food, so I pack a thermos with leftovers like soup, pasta with tomato sauce, Indian dal, or rice and beans.
Here are my recipes for my sandwich bread and my white bean hummus:
1 package active dry yeast
3 cups white spelt or all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 ½ cups warm water
½ cup cooked beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Sesame seeds for decoration (optional)
Milk, enough to brush dough
Combine yeast, salt, sugar, and flour in a large bowl or KitchenAid. Mix water and beans until smooth, then add oil and combine with flour mixture. Work the dough well, until it lets go of the bowl. Add more flour if the dough still feels sticky. Sprinkle some flour on top and cover the bowl with a towel. Leave in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 30 minutes.
–Add instructions for baking here–
White bean hummus
1 cup cooked or canned white beans
Juice from ½ lemon
1 garlic clove
Salt to taste
Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Add more water if it’s too thick.
Here you can read about how we pack a healthy and zero-waste school lunch for our kids.
Since James and I work from home, we eat lunch together as often as possible. We eat leftovers when available; otherwise, I will make a soup, or we’ll make a large salad to eat.
We like hearty meals for dinner. Often, I prepare a bean or lentil soup in the crockpot in the morning, or we have rice and beans topped with heaps of veggies, homemade salsa, and avocado. Some days we make tacos with homemade tortillas or pasta from the bulk section with homemade tomato sauce made from onions, herbs, and tomatoes from the garden. Other times, it’s a super easy casserole or roasted veggies with a side salad and beans.
As I said, we like to make easy meals so the kids can help. We try to eat from the garden as much as possible, so what we eat usually depends on the season and what is ready to harvest in the garden. At least once a week, I try making kindergarten soup from the recipe from the Waldorf school kindergarten that I absolutely love. The soup ingredients depend on what veggies I have available that day, but it’s the kids’ all-time favorite soup.
Here is the video of us making the kindergarten soup:
I’m also a big fan of roasting veggies and serving them with salad and beans, like this recipe:
Greek Roasted Vegetables
500 g firm potatoes
1 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas
½ cup pitted black olives
1 cup diced zucchini
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
1 red onion
fresh oregano (to sprinkle over)
Set the oven to 225°C/425°F.
Cut the potatoes into pieces. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Put potatoes, chickpeas, and olives on a plate and mix with oil, oregano, and salt.
Spread evenly on a baking sheet.
Transfer the baking sheet to a middle rack in a preheated oven for roughly 20 minutes.
Add zucchini and roast for another 10 minutes.
Prepping In Advance
I love food prepping. Usually, we spend Sunday doing a lot of food prepping for the week so that we always have bread, crackers, breakfast cookies, granola, tomato sauce, and beans cooked and ready in the fridge for fast meals. Here in my post and this one about meal prepping and here is the video: