Pritchard’s Sticky Tofu Bao Buns

This recipe is taken from Matt Pritchard’s- Dirty Vegan Another Bite Cookbook (I have adapted it slightly). The bao buns are soooo tasty!! I felt so accomplished that I had made the buns from scratch, I highly recommend giving this recipe a go.

Ingredients

For the tofu:

  • 2cm piece of fresh root ginger (finely grated)
  • 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 300g firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil.

For the buns:

  • 80ml warm water
  • 40ml oat milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fast action dried yeast
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt.

Pickled veg:

  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and cut into thin matchsticks)
  • 4 radishes (thinly chopped)
  • 1/4 cucumber (cut into thin matchsticks)
  • 1/4 tsp salt.

Method

1) Pickle the veg, preferably the night before, or if you are pinch, prepare 30 minutes beforehand. Mix the sugar, vinegar and salt together in a mixing bowl and add the finely chopped veggies. Cover and leave overnight to pickle.

2) Mix all the tofu mix ingredients (except the tofu) together on a shallow bowl or large plate.

3) Chop the tofu into 6 even slabs.

4) Add the tofu to the marinade, coat and leave.

5) Mix water, milk, oil, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl and leave for 15 minutes, so that the yeast activates and looks ‘foamy.’

6) Then add the flour, salt and baking powder to the mixture and knead for 10 minutes. Pop back into a bowl, cover and leave to prove in a warm place for a few hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

7) Knock all the air out of the dough and separate into 6 balls, roll the balls into 6 ovals. Coat the the outside with sunflower oil and place a chopstick/stainless steel straw widthways and fold over. Transfer the buns to baking parchment and cover loosely with cling film- leave for about 30 minutes until the buns have doubled in size.

8) Steam the buns for 12-15 minutes on the baking parchments in batches of 2-3 (depending on how big your steamer is.

9) Scrape as much of the marinade as possible off the tofu and then fry for a few minutes until golden. Then add the remaining marinade to the pan and cook until it goes rich and sticky.

10) Open the buns, place a slice of tofu, some pickled veg, coriander leaves and sesame seeds. You can also add some sriracha for heat.

11) Enjoy!

Green smoothie

Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to get a huge nutrient hit and tick off some fruit and veggie portions for the day. I tend to freeze all my fruit and veggies for my smoothies, because they taste so much better when they are ice cold. Give this recipe a whirl to replace your usual breakfast. I love having this smoothie after a morning work out. Summer and Corey are fans of this recipe too- parenting win!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup kale (frozen)
  • 1/2 cup mango/pineapple/papaya (frozen)
  • 1-2 bananas (frozen)
  • 2 tbsp milled linseed
  • 2-3 cups almond milk.

Method

  • Whack everything in a high speed blender and whizz until smooth!
  • Add more almond milk if the smoothie is too thick.

Food for thought: why is it called a smoothie and not a smoothy?

VEGAN SAUSAGE CASSEROLE

This recipe is perfect for a hearty, warming, comfort food sort of meal. You can add whatever veggies you having lying around in the bottom of your fridge that need using up. I find that mushrooms work really well in this recipe- mix it up and have fun.

Ingredients

🌍6-8 vegan sausages (I used Heck ones)

🌍Coconut oil

🌍1 large onion (diced)

🌍4 cloves garlic (chopped)

🌍4 carrots (peeped and diced)

🌍Can of beans (I used haricot, but any will do)

🌍1 can chopped tomatoes

🌍1 tbsp tomato purée

🌍300ml veggie stock

🌍1/2 tsp paprika or smoked paprika

🌍1/2 tsp thyme

🌍Vegan mayo (see my recipe!)

Method

⭐️ Cook vegan sausages as per instructions.

⭐️ Fry onion in a large saucepan for 5 mins until soft.

⭐️ Add garlic, carrots, stock, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, paprika and thyme- cook for 15 mins (low to medium heat, lid on).

⭐️ Add beans and vegan sausages and cook for a further 15 mins.

⭐️Serve with sweet potato wedges and salad YUM!

TOFU SCRAMBLE

This is the perfect weekend breakfast, packed full of plant protein. The tofu scramble really does have the consistency of scrambled eggs. The turmeric has great anti-inflammatory properties and also gives the tofu a lovely yellow colour. The broccoli works really well in the recipe, as it adds an extra crunch along with much needed vitamin c. I love this recipe as it’s quick to make and super filling. It tastes great on toast with baked beans. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Ingredients

🌍 300g pack of firm tofu

🌍 1/2 red onion (chopped)

🌍 10-15 tenderstem broccoli pieces (finely chopped)

🌍 1/2 tsp turmeric

🌍 1/2 tsp garlic powder

🌍 1/2 tsp salt

🌍 Pinch of chilli flakes

🌍 Bread

🌍 Baked beans.

Method

⭐️ In a bowl, crumble all the tofu with a fork or fingertips and add the turmeric, garlic powder, salt and chilli flakes. Stir to combine.

⭐️ Fry onion and broccoli in some veggie oil (don’t over fry, as you still want the broccoli a bit crunchy).

⭐️ Add the tofu mixture to the frying pan and fry for 2-3 minutes.

⭐️ Serve on some toasted bread topped with baked beans and then the tofu scramble.

DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning

When our family decided to go zero waste, one of the first things I looked into was DIY cleaning products. I researched the products that I was using like bleach, window cleaners, fabric softeners and surface sprays and was shocked by the dangerously toxic ingredients that I was spraying around my home everyday. The hidden toxins in the products I was using were linked to cancer, asthma, respiratory problems, hormone disruption, reproductive issues along with other health issues.

I quickly decided that I wanted a non-toxic, greener cleaning routine for my home, as I didn’t want to subject my family to the potentially harmful effects of nasty chemicals. The thought of my children taking a bath in the residue of toxic chemical cleaners completely freaks me out, so I decided to detox my cleaning products.

Do you find that you have a cupboard full of cleaning products for all different purposes?

I use four main homemade non-toxic cleaning products, that work great and also smell awesome! I’m a mama of two and I know that many people may not think they have the time to make their own cleaning products. However, the recipes below are super quick and easy and, as they are non-toxic, children could help to make them with you!

Multi-Purpose Cleaner

  • †††††††2 cups water (boiled and then cooled)
  • 2 tbsp of castille soap/eco dish soap
  • 5 drops each of tea tree and lemon essential oils
  • Pour into a glass spray bottle or reuse an empty cleaning spray bottle
  • Give it a shake to mix.

This multi-purpose cleaner is non-toxic and can be used all around your house. I find that a 500ml spray bottle is the perfect size bottle.

Disinfectant Cleaner

  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water (boiled and then cooled)
  • 5 drops each of tea tree and lemon essential oils.

This disinfectant cleaner can be used with just vinegar, but I like to add water and essential oils to reduce the smell of vinegar.

I use this on harder to clean areas like sinks, drains and around the bathroom. I do tend to use the multi-purpose cleaner first for sinks, showers and baths.

Avoid use on: granite, marble, stone, iron or wooden surfaces.

Floor Cleaner

  • 9 litres hot water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 tbsp castille soap/eco dish soap
  • 5 drops each of tea tree and peppermint essential oils.

Mix all of the above ingredients into your mop bucket. I find that this floor cleaner has a streak free finish on my floors and it also smells amazing.

Glass & Mirror Cleaner

  • Equal parts of water (boiled then cooled)
  • Equal parts of vinegar.

Spray on glass and mirrors and wipe with a dry glass cloth (not microfibre) and keep wiping until there are no more streaks.

Zero Waste Cleaning Tips:

  • Cut up old clothes (that are in too bad condition to sell/donate) to use as rags
  • By cleaning frequently, you will reduce the need for heavy cleaners
  • Avoid plastic scrubbing brushes. I use biodegradable dish brushes , which I find are more durable than the previous plastic dish brush (the ones where you just change the heads, but still have lots of plastic waste).
  • Avoid ‘wipe’ products, you do not need them! Use rags/cloths etc. that can be washed, they are better for the environment and your pocket.
  • Opt for compostable cloths/‘sponges’, that you can cut into small pieces and add to your compost bin.
  • Bulk buy your white vinegar- it will save you money in the long run.
  • Don’t underestimate fresh air – open your windows rather than using toxic air fresheners.

NO BAKE ENERGY BALLS

These date energy balls are a super quick and easy snack to make. Perfect for on-the-go children and adults alike- my little girl absolutely loves them. It’s also something fun to do with children, as they can help measure the ingredients into the food processor- I always find that children are more likely to eat something, if they are involved in the making. The chia seeds are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, which make them great for vegan and vegetarian diets.

Ingredients

🌍 1 cup pitted dates

🌍 Handful unsulphered dried apricots

🌍 2/3 cup rolled oats

🌍 3 tbsp 100% peanut butter (I use Meridian Organic 100% Peanut Butter)

🌍 1/4 cup vegan chocolate

🌍 1 tbsp chai seeds.

Method

⭐️ Whizz dates in a food processor until they break up into small pieces.

⭐️ Add the oats, apricots, peanut butter, chocolate and chia seeds and whizz up until combined. You might need to add 1-2 tbsp water, if the dates are quite dry.

⭐️ Mould into small balls using the warmth of your hands.

⭐️ Pop in fridge for 15 minutes to set and then add them to a sterile air-tight glass jar.

⭐️ They should stay fresh for one week, or longer if you choose to freeze them.

VEGAN MAC N CHEEZE

Enjoy the classic mac n cheese without the moo! I looooove this recipe, it’s super simple and has hidden veggies in, which is handy for getting veggies into your children if they resist them!

The recipe has a protein hit, in the form of cashew nuts, as well as these curly nuts packing a good protein hit, they are also full of vitamins (including E, K and B6), minerals (including zinc, copper, iron and magnesium and not to mention ‘good fats.’ If you are not using a high speed blender (like a NutriBullet), I recommend soaking the cashews for at least half and hour before making the recipe.

A lot of vegan mac n cheeze recipes call for high amounts of vegan margarine, but I’ve come up with this recipe without the margarine because I just couldn’t justify putting 1-2 full cups of the stuff in the sauce…nope, just too far!

I hope you enjoy making this recipe, let me know what you think if you give it a go.

Ingredients

🌍 2 3/4 cups macaroni pasta

🌍 1 carrot (peeled and diced)

🌍 1 white potato (peeled and diced)

🌍 1 red onion (diced)

🌍 3/4 cup veggie stock (use liquid from pan of veggies)

🌍 1/2 cup cashew nuts (raw)

🌍 1/4 cup coconut milk

🌍 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

🌍 1/2 lemon juice (squeezed)

🌍 1 tsp salt

🌍 1/4 tsp garlic powder

🌍 Pinch of turmeric powder

🌍 2 spring onions.

Method

⭐️ Cook macaroni as per instructions.

⭐️ Bring a small pan of water to the boil, then add chopped onion, potato and carrot. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until veggies are soft enough to blend.

⭐️ Add all other ingredients to a blender, whilst you wait for the veggies to cook (don’t blend yet).

⭐️ When veggies are soft, transfer to the blender along with 3/4 cup of the veggie liquid.

⭐️ Blend until sauce is smooth.

⭐️ Once macaroni is cooked, drain, and then add the sauce and stir.

⭐️ Transfer to an ovenproof dish and top with breadcrumbs, cook on gas mark 4 for 15 minutes until golden brown.

⭐️ Garnish with spring onion and enjoy with a side salad.

Getting Started – 5 R’s of Zero Waste

Firstly, what is Zero Waste?

Adopting a Zero Waste lifestyle, means that you essentially aim to send nothing to landfill.  For our family, of course, we do send items to landfill- we are not a perfect zero waste family, but we strive to be the best we can be.  Sometimes it’s called Low Waste, but for the purpose of this blog I will stick with the term, Zero Waste.

According to Bea Johnson (a Zero Waste influencer), there are 5 R’s of Zero Waste:

Refuse what you do not need.

Reduce what you do need.

Reuse by using reusables.

Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce or reuse.

Rot the rest (compost).

The order of these 5 R’s is of particular importance…notice that recycle is near the end?

recycle-1-1308687

 

So, let’s look at the 5 R’s in a bit more depth:

Refuse

  • Turn down freebies– don’t accept leaflets etc. (by all means talk to the people handing them out).  Leaflets are a waste of resources, and by refusing them you can help reduce the demand.
  • Opt for paperless bills– most companies are paperless now, which is great!  You can also turn off your postal marketing for other accounts, e.g. catalogues.

Reduce

  • Declutter your home.  Donate and sell unwanted items (please don’t just throw them out).  One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, right?
  • Reduce shopping trips.  By reducing the trips to the shops and by keeping a shopping list, you are automatically less likely to buy things you do not need.  I love keeping a list (on my phone) of items that I think I ‘need’ – I usually realise that it was just a passing ‘want’ and many of the items get deleted off the list.

Reuse

  • Switch disposable items to reusable items.  Here are just a few ideas:  stainless steel water bottle like a Klean Kanteen; shopping bags; cloth nappies; cloth wipes; reusable make-up cloths.
  • Avoid food shopping waste.  Take your reusable bags for your shopping and use cloth bags for loose fruit and veggies.  You can also take jars for bulk items and wet items like olives from the deli.

Recycle

  • Have you refused, reduced and reused?  If so, it is important to know your area’s recycling policies.  Think of recycling as a last resort…it is not the answer.  Much of our plastic waste, unfortunately, gets exported to other countries.
  • Buy second-hand or in bulk.  If you have to buy new, opt for items made out of glass, metal, wood or cardboard, avoid plastic.

Rot

  • Find a compost system that works for your household.  Fruit and veggie peelings, hair, coffee grounds and nail clippings are all compostable.  Compostable waste does not breakdown properly when sent to landfill, as air cannot get to the organic waste properly.  Instead, it produces harmful methane into the environment and contributes to climate change (this is something I didn’t know until recently).

 

“Composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle produces annually, or your washing machine produces in three months.” www.recyclenow.com

 

If you try and stick with these guidelines, it will really help you to adopt a greener lifestyle.

Remember that everything that every person does to help the planet DOES make a difference.  Zero Waste is not about being perfect, it is about making conscious decisions about what you buy and consume and about doing the best that you can.

 

Thank you for reading this Zero Waste blog post.

Sending you love and light,

Louise 🙂

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits:

Featured photo by Byron Mctaggart from FreeImages

Recycling photo by jaylopez from FreeImages