We are delighted to present this guest blog post by Bristol local, Maggie. Maggie is an advocate for ethical and sustainable living and runs a behaviour change campaign ‘Waste Free Week’ which encourages people to take the challenge of living plastic-free for one week. Head over to her instagram page @wastefreeweek to learn about sustainable living and see how you can help protect our oceans.
Breakfast is hands down my favourite meal of the day. If I don’t have a hearty breakfast then by lunch time I tend to go into a Carrie Mathison-esque meltdown (if you watch Homeland you’ll know what I’m talking about) … I’m not kidding.
You can’t buy anything from the supermarket without it being packaged in an unfathomable amount of unnecessary plastic packaging these days. So since trying to reduce my plastic waste I’ve had to shift the what I buy, where I buy it from and the way I cook.
It seems impossible to eat completely zero waste (I’m still working towards it!) but it’s actually really not that hard once you know the alternatives. So I decided to share my 3 favourite brekkies to show that cooking zero waste doesn’t have to be an impossible task or tasteless in any way.
You can create fresh, delicious, satiating food that not only saves you money, helps the planet, but your gut will thank you too because buying plastic free food encourages more of a whole foods diet! All the ingredients below can be bought from fresh fruit & veg shops, bulk buy stores, and local bakeries where you can bring your own bags for packaging. Download my week waste free starter pack for more tips and tricks on how and where to buy zero waste!
1. Overnight bircher muesli with baked pears
This is such a great quick summer breakfast to have for weekday mornings in when you’ve snoozed your alarm a few too many times. The baked pear is such a great addition, it’s so juicy and flavourful and caramelises beautifully in the oven.
Most of the prep you can do the night before so you can just throw it all together in 1 minute in the morning. Alternatively, it’s keeps well in tupperware for breakfast on-the-go! If you can find coconut or dairy yogurt in a glass jar then feel free to add that in too – it makes for a great addition that makes it super creamy. Remember to re-purpose the glass jar though!
Preparation: 20 minutes
You will need:
– 3 cups rolled oats
– Pinch of cinnamon
– 1 grated apple
– 2 pears, cut into 6 segments each (12 slices in total)
– 1 hand full of chopped nuts of your choice (I used pecans but walnuts or flaked almonds work great too)
– Banana, sliced (optional)
– 2 tablespoons local honey (not in plastic packaging!)
Homemade almond milk recipe
You will need:
– 1/2 cup blanched almonds, soaked overnight (you can sub almonds for your nut of choice. Cashews or hazelnuts work well too)
– 2 cups water
– 1 vanilla pod
– 1 tablespoon of local honey
– Pinch of salt
*Remember to keep the left over almond meal to add to smoothies, porridge or the bircher muesli above! There’s a lot of goodness packed into those little almonds.*
1. First, cut up the pears and place them on a baking tray with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Bake for 20 minutes at 180’C, until they caramelise.
2. Whilst they are baking, make the almond milk by rinsing off your soaked blanched almonds and adding them to a high speed blender with 2 cups of water, the vanilla, honey, cinnamon and salt. Blend for 30 seconds or until it has emulsified.
3. Finally, strain through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth and transfer to a container.
4. Next, put the oats, cinnamon, grated apple and 3 cups of almond milk into a container. Let this soak overnight to become creamy. If you have plastic-free yoghurt feel free to add this in too!
To assemble, place the muesli in the bowl with the baked pear, nuts, banana, cinnamon and drizzle with honey. Enjoy!
2. My ultimate Sunday morning brunch
I’m a sucker for going out for brunch on the weekend. I’m a pro at pretending I don’t have a mountain of uni assignments to do and I spend too many weekends swanning around Bristol’s best brunch spots. But for the days you have to resist the temptation and save the pennies, I’ve come up with the best brunch to rival those you get from restaurants. There’s no fancy ingredients here. Just hearty, savoury tastiness that will help alleviate the sins from the night before.
Time: 20 minutes
You will need:
-Bread from your local bakery, sliced
-3 cups mushrooms, quartered
-1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
-2 large handful’s of spinach (you may have to shop around for plastic free spinach but feel free to sub for any other green you can find. I often find swiss chard quite easy to find zero waste. Heads up: Reg The Veg green grocer in Bristol sells package free English spinach)
-1 avocado, mashed
-5-6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
-Juice of 1/2 a lime
-Fresh parsley, chopped
-1 table spoon of olive oil
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Chilli flakes (optional)
1. First, chop up the mushrooms into quarters and add them to a frying pan on a medium heat with some olive oil.
2. Fry off for a few minutes before adding the garlic with some salt and pepper. Cook until tender before stirring in some chopped up parsley.
3. Meanwhile, make the guacamole. Mash an avocado in a bowl with the juice of 1/2 a lime, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and chopped up tomatoes.
4. As you wilt the spinach either by frying or steaming, put the toast on.
5. Finally, plate up, drizzle with olive oil, and inhale.
3. Home made smokey baked beans on toast
I used to be heinz beans obsessed. No joke I used to eat them cold, straight out of the can. Now I’ve been introduced to the world of home made beans there’s no way I can go back to Heinz. There’s so much sugar in them and the home made version tastes 100 times better. The passata jar also makes for a great container for homemade almond milk! This recipe makes a good amount of baked beans, which can double up for a delicious topping for baked sweet potato for lunch the next day.
Prep time: 1h15
You will need:
– 2 shallots, finely sliced
– 3-5 cloves of garlic (depending on how much garlic you like!)
– Olive oil
– 2 cups haricot/ navy beans (or any beans of your choice), soaked overnight
– 1 jar of passata (~700g)
– 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
– Chipotle chilli flakes (optional but yum!)
1. Precook the beans by bringing a pot of water to the boil, add the beans and reduce to a simmer for around 40-60 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Mine usually take around 45 minutes. Avoid adding salt at this point as it can toughen the skin of beans.
2. Then, add the sliced shallots to a large pan with a glug of olive oil and the garlic. Fry off for a few minutes before adding in the cooked beans, the passatta, the paprika, and some water/stock if they’re not liquid enough.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer off for 5 minutes.
4. Plate up by toasting some bread, drizzling it with olive oil and load on the beans generously.
You can top with some fresh parsley and chipotle chilli flakes for some kick.
Enjoy your day!
Love Maggie x