Hummus from Whole Ingredients

I wasn’t sure what to do when my jar of tahini ran out. I was sure I wouldn’t be able to make tahini, and I didn’t want to buy that expensive as hell ingredient made from dirt cheap sesame seeds, nor did I want yet another glass jar.

As it turns out, tahini is quite easy to make. I knew it would be simple, but wasn’t sure if my ninja chopper could handle it. It certainly cannot make nut butters, but other jobs are a dream.

So I lightly roasted some sesame seeds and gave them a whirl in my chopper with a bit of added olive oil. Turns out, my puny chopper can handle this job! There are still visible whole sesame seeds, but it doesn’t bother me at all. The overall effect tastes and feels right. I think sesame seeds are small enough to blend easily and the olive oil helps with the smooth consistency.

To make hummus:

Cooked chickpeas: 1 – 2 cups

Garlic cloves: 1 – 3

Salt: a pinch to a teaspoon

Olive oil: 2 – 3 Tablespoons

Paprika: 1/2 – 1 teaspoon

Cumin: 1/2 – 1 teaspoon

Lemon Juice: 1/2 – 1 lemon

Water: as needed for consistency

Blend all together in appliance of choice for a few minutes, scraping sides as needed and adding water as needed.

Enjoy!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Sourdough Starter Pancakes

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A typical breakfast for me is quick and leaning towards healthy. However, on the weekends, I allow a morning of lounging and enjoying a scrumptious, nutritious, yet high-calorie meal.

These pancakes use up any leftover sourdough starter that I have accumulated after making my weekly bread. I’m planning on doing a more thorough sourdough bread post soon!

The ingredients are ones I typically have on hand and, best of all, can be customized.

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This batch was made with homemade cashew-almond milk, eggs from my hens, and other store bought ingredients, all available in bulk.

I use this recipe from my favorite sourdough baker.

This time, I left out the yogurt knowing I’d be topping the pancakes with yogurt later.

There is some sugar in the dough, which gives more leeway to add tart toppings, which is just what I did.

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Yogurt, homemade cherry jam, and homemade apple butter were chosen for toppings.

The sourdough starter acts not as a leavening, but as a flavor for these delicious treats.

This is one of my favorite ways to combat food waste.

You’ll need

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1.5 cups sourdough starter / discard
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp each baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil

Mix all ingredients together in 1 bowl to cut down on dishes.

Cook on a hot skillet and enjoy!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Grapefruit / Pomelo Cleaning Vinegar

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One of the recent fresh fruit snacks my students received was pomelo! They were delicious and the kids loved them! I decided I would cut or peel them for everyone so I could save the peels to make cleaning vinegar.

All I did was make sure any pulp was removed and placed as many as could fit into a half gallon mason jar. Then white vinegar was poured over. I’ll let it set on the counter for a couple weeks, then strain and bottle to use for an amazing smelling cleaner! Essentially almost free, yet somewhat fancy.

This works with any citrus peel, and the peels will need to be composted after being removed from the vinegar.

Peace and love,

Kristan

February Groceries

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This is not going to be my entire month’s groceries. When I share pictures of my groceries, it is usually because I just happen to get a photo, or there happens to be natural light available still (I live in the north).

I also do this with hopes that there are ever people who live in my area who want to shop zero waste style and can find inspiration on where to get food.

One of my favorite places to get food is a couple blocks from my house at a Mexican grocery store. They don’t question my cloth bags and I don’t ask them if it’s going to be a problem. I have gotten beans, dried chilies, vegetables, herbs, and even some coconut desserts from there. And I don’t think I ever spent more than $10 at a time.

I went to Cliff’s Country Market specifically to get more half & half and yogurt in returnable bottles. I have been to Cloverleaf Creamery in Buhl, Idaho, and I know that they take care of their cows, but I still feel conflicted over my dairy consumption, which is very minimal I think. I also get my produce there when I can as it is usually local and quite often organic. Their entire store is all about non-GMO products. It’s the best. I wish everything else they had was in bulk bins and I talk to them about it whenever I visit.

Then I drove to my favorite winery to fill up a growler of wine. I figured I might as well get it in bulk because it will stay good in my Klean Kanteen growler.

After that, I stopped a few blocks from my house at a Mexican restaurant to ask for chips and salsa in my stainless steel.

I’ll try and take photos this whole month of any other groceries I buy and list where they came from to help out any local folks. 😉

Peace and love,

Kristan

Crochet Soap Saver

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There’s an untold amount of pleasure experienced by using up all the last bits of something old and getting to use something new. In this case, it’s a bar of soap. I love using bar soap in the bath and shower, and I usually like to get a different type of scent each time I go to buy a new bar. I love cutting my own at my local health and herb shop. I get to smell and touch the soap before purchasing, which is also underrated.

These tiny pieces are difficult to wash with and often get lost in a bathtub. I knew that soap savers existed, but didn’t think it was necessary until this last go around. There are hoards of patterns to be found online. The one I used can be found free of charge here.

Mine did not end up looking like the one pictured, but it will do the job. It can also double as your regular shower scrubby.  I haven’t crocheted in a long time as I have been enjoying knitting more. This was done with 100% USA grown cotton, which is what makes sense for a shower tool.

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I can hang it on my ring in the shower to let it dry between uses. I didn’t make it very big because I didn’t want to put a whole piece of soap in there, just scraps.

It honestly took me about an hour to make, and like I said, I am out of practice.

Give it a try if you like, or if you are really interested, leave me a comment and we could arrange something.

Peace and love,

Kristan

Cumin Wild rice

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Cook wild rice and set aside.

Fry up onion, garlic, and cumin seeds.

Add cooked chickpeas.

Add in cooked wild rice.

Chop up sweet peppers and add to pan.

In the last few minutes, toss in chopped spinach.

Salt and pepper as needed. I love salt!

To serve: sprinkle with sunflower seeds, cilantro, and lime.

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Really, really good and so close to using only one pan, but unless you have leftover wild rice, it has to be two.

*I’m not a huge fan of exact measurements for dinner. Use up what you have. The peppers were left from a school snack, and I had wild rice still from Thanksgiving shopping.

Peace and love,

Kristan

Blood Orange Granola

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Granola. I dig it.

It’s true you can easily find granola in basically every bulk section. Once you’ve tried homemade, though, you can’t go back.

Or so my taste buds tell me.

I rarely go shopping specifically for granola ingredients, but rather do a pantry clean out type of granola.

I’m calling this one blood orange only because I have some gifted blood orange olive oil that really needs to be used. My general granola strategy is to stick within a certain flavor profile. This one contains:

  • Rolled Oats (duh)
  • Shredded Coconut Flakes – unsweetened
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Millet
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Maple Syrup
  • Peanut Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Blood Orange Olive Oil

Also, I don’t like my granola browned much at all so I choose the low and slow method of baking at about 300F for maybe 30 minutes with plenty of stirring. You will get bigger chunks if you don’t stir, but I don’t like risking getting any dark brown spots.

If you like dried fruits in your granola, leave them out until it is baked or else you will have blackened char instead of fruit.

I also really try to keep the most obvious ingredient shining through so as not to get buried under 17 kinds of nuts and fruits. I start with a bowl mostly full of oats and just start adding ingredients as I want them. Then end with any liquid sweetener and oil. I think oil is the key to making granola spectacular.

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So yummy topped with homemade cashew-almond milk!

I’m considering trying a savory granola. Any recommendations?

Peace and love,

Kristan

Yoloha Yoga Mat

My yoga practice has been sporadic for the past 15 years. My mind gets distracted at home, and I rarely like leaving my home to be around strangers in different body positions. However, I’m focusing on being body positive and accepting my body for what it is today, because no matter the shape it takes, it has taken me everywhere and accepted love, taken abuse, and overall is still quite healthy.

That being said, my preferred practice is at home in the quiet, with enough room to spread my 6’1″ wingspan (I’m only 5’8″ so don’t ask me what happened there).

I’ve never truly liked any of my yoga mats. I’ve seen the prices of some nicer ones and thought they’d never be worth it. My old yoga mats now live under rugs, and I wanted to find a mat that wouldn’t end up in the landfill.

I went with cork because it sounded comfortable, yet seemed like it would have some stick. My feet are never sweaty, so I have always had trouble keeping my feet planted during many positions.

The Yoloha Mat is comfortable, and long enough for my heels and my head to be on the mat at the same time. However, it does not have the grip for which I was hoping. BUT I did discover that spraying or wiping it down with water before I start solves this problem! It works amazingly well this way! It would probably work for other types of mats as well and I wish I would have done this sooner.

The mat is definitely worth the price. It’s sustainably made in the USA, 100% recyclable, long, lightweight, portable, and looks attractive.

I see that the same one I purchased is for sale right now for $58 USD if you’re looking for a new mat. 🙂

Peace and love,

Kristan

Field Trip Lunch: no refrigerator / heat, plant based

We took our Kindergarteners on a field trip to a science discovery museum last week. It was amazing and so much fun for them!

Fortunately for our kids, school provides sack lunches during field trips. Being a vegetarian, I knew I wouldn’t want one and would need to pack my lunch that didn’t need refrigerating, nor would require heating up.

I made egg salad fixings with boiled eggs, homemade mayonnaise, celery, and salt and pepper. On my homemade sourdough sandwich bread, it sat upon a bed of spinach.

Then some cooked lentils were made into a cold salad featuring capers, celery, yogurt, a bit of mayonnaise, cilantro, small sweet peppers, and harissa paste.

I packed some plantain chips purchased in bulk and brought a pear.

Of course I also included a napkin and my travel silverware, as well as my travel coffee mug from Klean Kanteen. This stored nicely in the lunch bag I have from life without plastic, which also insulates due to the wool content.

Plant based, portable, and trash free!

Peace and love,

Kristan

New Year’s Lucky Soup with Homemade Ramen Noodles

This soup has been on my mind for quite some time. Since before striving for zero waste even! It may have been easier to make then, but it would have been far less delicious. This is the second meal I made with the ramen noodle batch. They freeze well and cook just fine after being frozen.

The caramelized onions on top made this meal feel extra special and nourishing, which is my preferred way to enjoy meals and start off a whole new year.

Of course, the thing that makes this soup lucky is the black eyed peas. It’s a southern tradition to enjoy these legumes for New Year’s. I am not southern, but I wanted a bit of tradition this year.

  • Black eyed peas: soaked overnight and cooked
  • Chickpeas: soaked overnight and cooked
  • Homemade vegetable broth or bouillon
  • Olive oil
  • Spicy peppers
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Thinly sliced onion
  • Yellow split peas
  • A caramelized onion for topping
  • Ramen noodles or egg noodle of choice
  • Cilantro for garnish after cooking is finished

Heat up a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the thinly sliced onion, cook a bit, then add in peppers and spices.