low waste recipes
photo by Maarten Van Den Heuvel
Author: Laura Yurincich
When I first went low waste, meal planning was challenging. I wanted to include more legumes in my diet, so I had to taste test quite a few recipes to find the ones I liked. I also wanted to find a good dessert recipe that I could bring to family gatherings and work functions that was delicious, but didn’t hurt the environment.
Below are two great recipes I created to share with you, they are both easy, filling and totally delicious. And even better, they are low-waste.
photo by Monika Grabko
instant pot curried lentils over rice
This recipe is great. It’s easy to make, heathy, and very adaptable. Use whatever produce you have lying around in your fridge - food waste is a major issue that we should all be aware of. For example if I have extra tomatoes, spinach, kale, beet greens or swiss chard in the fridge I will chop it up and add it to the pot.
Also, if you don’t have an Instant Pot this can be made in a regular cooking pot, on a stovetop. Just ignore the Instant Pot directions and cook the curry for around 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- 1.5 cups of lentils, rinsed and drained (green, brown or beluga lentils are work here, use what you have!)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (e.g. olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil etc.)
- Half an onion (white or yellow)
- 5-8 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons of yellow curry powder
- 1 can of coconut milk (around 400ml)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (or lemon juice)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 cup of water
- Cooked rice – for serving
- Rinse and drain the lentils and set aside.
- Chop the onion.
- Set the instant pot to sauté mode and add in the cooking oil and chopped onion.
- After one minute, add in one teaspoon of turmeric, one teaspoon of salt, and the garlic.
- Continue cooking for about two minutes, until the onion is soft and the pot is fragrant.
- Hit cancel on the sauté mode.
- Add in the lentils, one teaspoon turmeric, one teaspoon garam masala, two tablespoons of curry powder, one teaspoon cayenne pepper, two tablespoons of the lime juice, the can of coconut milk, and the cup of water.
- Seal the lid, and cook on manual for 15 minutes.
- Once the timer has stopped, let the instant pot manually release pressure for 5 minutes, then naturally release the pressure.
- Service over cooked rice and enjoy!
photo by Jennifer Pallian
salted caramel chocolate chip cookies
This recipe is labour intensive, but totally worth the results! Minus the butter, all the ingredients can be purchased at your local bulk food store.
- 2 and ¼ cups all purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 and ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg (room temperature)
- 1 egg yolk (room temperature)
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 7-9 salted caramel chocolates
- ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup salted caramel chocolate chips
- ¾ cup melted butter
- ½ a teaspoon salt
- Salt for finishing
*When measuring the flour, take the flour out of the jar using a spoon, and spoon into the measuring cup. Do not pour it in or pack the flour down, or you will use too much flour.
- In a medium bowl, combine the 2 and ¼ cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 and ½ teaspoons cornstarch, and ½ teaspoon salt together. Set aside.
- In another medium bowl, add in the ¾ cup brown sugar and ¾ cup white sugar. Pour in the ¾ cup melted butter. Stir the ingredients together until no lumps remain. Then whisk in the egg, egg yolk, and two teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir. Fold in the ½ cup salted caramel chocolate chips.
- Cover the dough up (with reusable beeswax wrap, of course) and refrigerate overnight (8 hours). If you do not refrigerate the dough it will spread and basically become one large cookie while baking.
-The next day-
- Take the dough out of the fridge and let is sit uncovered for ten minutes.
- Set aside your salted caramel chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 325. Put a very small amount of olive oil on each baking sheet, and spread thinly over the pan.
- Roll the dough into small balls – you’ll have around 28 give or take a few.
- Make a thumbprint into a small ball, and insert half of a salted caramel chocolate. Cover with another ball. Press on a few of the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Repeat until all the dough is gone. You should have around 14-16 cookies.
- Put one pan of cookies in the fridge.
- Bake the other pan for 12-13 minutes. When you take them out of the oven, they will look undercooked – that is normal. Sprinkle on some salt as they cool. Repeat with second pan of cookies.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before transferring to another dish.
And there you have it, low-waste cooking doesn’t mean you need to miss out on your favourite meals or have to eat the same beans and rice five nights a week. You can still have all the delicious cookies your heart desires, just substitute your regular supermarket packaged foods for groceries bought package-free or in bulk and you’re good to go!
About the author: Laura graduated with a Master's Degree in Political Science from McMaster University, and is currently a hardworking bureaucrat. She was drawn to bare market for its package free laundry detergent, but has stayed to share her experience transitioning to a low waste lifestyle.