simple low waste makeup + skincare

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I wore full coverage foundation every single day since I was 12 and in 7th grade.  I had tons of freckles as a kid and I hated it.  Once a boy told me that if I covered them up I’d be much more pretty.  So I did, and I basically hid behind makeup for most of my adult life.  Then I started trying to reduce my waste, be mindful about purchases, and use non toxic products.  I also started accepting myself and not allowing myself to get pulled down by patriarchal, unrealistic beauty expectations that had stuck to me like a disgusting piece of gum on my shoe.  I realized I looked fine with makeup and fine without makeup.  I do like makeup and after experimenting for a few months, I didn’t enjoy quitting it all the way.  So now I wear a minimal curation of products.  A lot of you guys ask me about what makeup and skincare I use, so this is for you!

Warning: Unfortunately, a few products mentioned have beeswax in them.  I use beeswax sometimes and I don’t feel bad about it.  I try to look at things big picture, and plastic contributes to the death and suffering of over 100 million marine mammals every year.  I consider using products that contain beeswax to be the lesser of two evils and until I find a plastic free vegan alternative that actually works, I plan to continue using them.  I’ve made sure to note when a product is vegan and when it contains beeswax.  I’ve mentioned the vegan alternative I will try after I use up my beeswax containing item.  All products are cruelty free and non toxic.

SPF 30 daytime moisturizer from Copper Moon.  If you’re in the Sacramento area, you can refill this at Refill Madness.  SPF is a must, especially for my fair skin which easily becomes hyper pigmented.

Rosewater spray:  I love using this before I put on my facial oil to add a hydration boost.  Again, if you’re in the Sacramento area you can refill this at Refill Madness.  If not, this one is nice, or here’s a link to DIY.

Concealer:  I don’t wear foundation.  Over the years, I went sheerer and sheerer with the foundations I was using, and then I started just using concealer.  Bare skin is so much prettier.  I just use a bit of concealer where I need it (under eyes, around nose and mouth).  Currently using up my RMS UnCoverup (contains beeswax) which comes in a glass pot with a metal lid and offers great coverage.  I’ll be trying out Elate Cosmetics (V) concealer next.

Mascara:  Mascara is my #1 favorite beauty product and many non toxic brands unfortunately just don’t work.  I’ve been using Pacifica Dream Big mascara (V) which comes in a plastic tube and works well, but it’s almost used up.  On the box when I bought it, it said you could send it back for recycling but now I can’t find anything about that???  So, I’ll clean out the tube super well and recycle it, then send the clean wand to Wands for Wildlife which uses them to remove larvae and clean up their fur.  Next to try is the 100% Pure Maracuja Mascara (V) which comes in a metal tube that the company accepts back for recycling and even offers a punch card- bring back 10 empties and get a free product.

Eyeliner:  This will probably horrify some of you, but I usually just dip a clean angled brush on my my mascara wand and use that.  The Kjaer Weiss eye pencil (V) looks nice though.

Lip color:  Currently working on 2 old RMS beauty Lip2Cheek (contains beeswax) (colors: Promise and Beloved) which stay on forever, are highly pigmented, and don’t irritate my v sensitive lips.  They come in a fully recyclable glass pot with a metal lid.  I’m on the hunt for a vegan sub- so many I’ve tried bother my lips.  Next up to try is UrbApothecary (V) tint that comes in a cardboard tube (you can even choose a sticker free option!)

Highlighter:  Currently sloooowly using up my pre zero waste Glossier highlighter.  I’ll be replacing it with Fat and the Moon Glow (V) which comes in a metal tin.

Makeup remover:  Super simple recipe + reusable hemp/cotton rounds

Serum:  I swear by True botanicals.  They are proven to work- outperformed top skincare brands like LaMer in clinical trials, and they use completely non toxic ingredients.  They come in glass and metal bottles and are made in California.  Pricey but I don’t mind splurging here.  Skincare is so important and I have yet to find another non toxic line that actually works.  I’ve heard really great things about Osea– vegan and made in California too!

Nighttime moisturizer: Chia oil from Coco Kind Skincare (made in San Francisco!).  Super gentle, lightweight, won’t clog pores, anti-inflammatory, and infused with calendula flowers.  I die over this oil- plus its like 10 dollars.  I use it morning and night and my skin looooveesss it.  You can send back your empty container for them to reuse, and they will send you a 50% off coupon to use to buy a new one!  How amazing is that?!  Plus they’re a woman owned and run company.  YES PLZ.

That’s it!  Heres some more resources if you didn’t find what you were looking for:

Brands that recycle empties

6 Cosmetic Companies with Refillable Packaging

How to recycle and dispose of old makeup

How to recycle nail polish

The best no waste beauty products

Paris To Go’s zero waste makeup routine

Vapor Organic Beauty : this is what Lauren Singer @trashisfortossers uses

Zero Waste Makeup on Etsy

DIY beetroot lip/cheek tint

Fat and The Moon for face and body- comes in metal and glass.

Elate Cosmetics offers refillable plastic free makeup in bamboo palettes

 

 

 

GF/V kabocha pie

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I am enamored by Amy Chaplin.  She has the best, most beautiful recipes that use whole food ingredients.  I love her cookbook, At home in the whole food kitchen.  For our vegan + gluten free thanksgiving this year, I tried out one of the recipes from her book for pumpkin tartlets.  It turned out perfectly, and way tastier than traditional pumpkin pie.  All the same rich flavors + super silky texture + bright color.

Some notes about my modifications:  I used my homegrown papaya squash instead of the kabocha.  Since my squash was more watery, I mashed it and then let it drain for a while through a fine mesh strainer until it was thicker.  Kabocha would be ideal here, though, as it’s naturally very creamy and starchy instead of wet.  It makes the most silky puree ever.  Also, her crust originally had gluten in it in the form of spelt flour.  Gluten makes me feel yuck, so I avoid it whenever possible.  It was a pretty easy swap here.  I subbed in an equivalent amount of my own GF flour mix (chickpea flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour and tapioca starch) but I’m sure you could use any GF flour blend.  Make sure it’s a blend though- I don’t think it will work with just one type of flour.  GF baking is tricky that way.  The crust dough is really sticky.  Don’t worry about it, it bakes up fine.  The recipe is originally for tartlets.  I baked mine as a whole pie, in a springform pan (the kind made for cheesecakes, that has removable sides).  I baked mine in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I was opening the oven a lot, though because I was cooking other things at the same time.  So yours may need less time- Ive called for baking it 1 hour, but checking it at 45 minutes just in case.  It firms up more as it cools.

pumpkin pie with GF cashew ginger crust (adapted from an Amy Chaplin recipe)

FILLING:

1/2 a large kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (~ 4.5 cups)

1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened full fat coconut milk (I used homemade)

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup (I used raw sugar since I was low on maple syrup)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR seeds from a vanilla bean

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

nutmeg, to taste (I used ~ 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh, but I like a strong nutmeg flavor) you could also sub pumpkin pie spice blend here

1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

pinch sea salt

CRUST:

1 1/4 cups raw cashews

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons rolled oats (GF)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon GF flour blend OR spelt/all purpose if you don’t mind gluten

1/4 cup brown rice flour

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coco oil OR EVOO

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

METHOD:

  1. Steam the squash chunks for 10-12 minutes until soft.  Drain, place in a bowl and mash it up really well.  Measure out 2 1/4 cups of the mash.  Blend the coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, arrowroot, and salt to combine evenly.  Add the squash and blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit (~177 celsius).  Oil a springform pan or tart pan really well.
  3. Place cashews, oats, GF flour, brown rice flour, and salt in food processor and blend until the mix is a crumbly flour, similar to a medium grind cornmeal.  Transfer to a bowl and drizzle the oil over it, mixing with your fingers until the flour is moistened.  Add the maple syrup and vanilla, and mix again until well combined.  Let sit for 5 minutes so the flours can hydrate.  Sprinkle a little extra GF flour blend if it seems reeealllly wet and mix well.  Dump it into your prepared pan and using the pads of your fingers, press it into a crust- work from the center out.  Make it as even a thickness as you can.  Prick the crust bottom all over with a fork.  Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is set but not done.
  4. Remove from oven and pour filling into the pan.  Bake for 1 hour, checking it at 45 minutes for doneness.  The center should be set and there will be cracks all over the pie surface.  The filling will thicken more as it cools.  Set aside to cool.  Once cool, put it in the fridge to chill completely, about 1 hour.  Remove the sides from the pan and serve with whipped cream (toasted or glazed pecans are amazing here too!)

 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I am so grateful for all of you.  xx

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zero waste holiday gift ideas

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With the holiday season beginning, I offer you this compilation of zero or low waste gifts, hoping that they will help you brainstorm and give with intention this year.  In my opinion, gifts should be well thought out, from the heart, and functional.  They should bring joy to the receiver (like edible gifts and experience gifts) or serve them for years to come (material gifts).  Where applicable, I’ve linked to items that I mention, but of course it’s best to search out items in your local area.  Not only will they be more special and personal, you’ll also be supporting your local economy.  At the end of the list, I’ve also included some wrapping ideas for less waste that are beautiful and much nicer than brightly colored shiny paper with plastic ribbon.

edible gifts:

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rosemary chile almonds

superfood chocolate bark

organic medjool dates (buy a box and portion them out in pretty jars!)

fermented hot sauce

pickled onions/carrots/beets/giardiniera/jalapeños

citrus marinated olives

olive oil, maple, and sea salt granola

growler of local beer 

local loose leaf tea + a stainless steel tea ball

organic coffee + a reusable cotton coffee filter

organic, biodynamic and/or local wine

beautiful handmade chocolate

sourdough starter + a straw bread proofing basket

curry paste

a nice olive oil and vinegar

a CSA box or Imperfect Produce subscription

experiences:

membership to a local museum, co-op, botanical garden, aquarium, state park pass

tickets to a ballet, play, opera, concert

classes: ceramics, art, language, dance

gift card to a lovely restaurant

subscription to Headspace (an amazing meditation app)

for people who love books:

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking : a gorgeous cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen : one of my all time favorites, lovely whole food recipes.

A Modern Way to Cook: 150+ Vegetarian Recipes for quick, flavor packed meals : a lovely cookbook with TONS of flavorful and quick recipes

Milk and Honey (an empowering feminist collection of poetry)

The Year of Magical Thinking (love Joan Didion.  This is especially lovely for someone who has recently experienced the death of someone close)

Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life (a quick read and very inspiring)

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (by Neil deGrasse Tyson and amazing)

beautiful vintage books- you can usually find these cheaply at a thrift store or second hand bookstore

for someone who loves food:

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glass and metal teapot

handmade linen bento bags

a sharp lovely knife

dutch oven- Obviously Le Creuset and Staub are wonderful, but World Market and Chantal both do high quality ones for cheaper

handmade ceramics- especially if there’s a local potter!

straw farmer’s market tote

mortar + pestle

french press

beautiful walnut wooden spoons

reusable silicone baking mat

cast iron skillet: these are an easy find at thrift stores!  Just give it a good clean + oil

for people who love to stay active: 

natural cork or rubber yoga mat

sustainable body roller for sore muscles and recovery

pass or punch card to a local yoga or pilates studio

raw, sprouted vegan protein powder in a glass jar

online membership to Ali Kamenova online yoga videos

for beauty lovers:

Lavender + Cocoa dry shampoo

Kjaer Weis organic refillable makeup

True Botanicals non toxic skincare that is clinically proven to work

reusable/washable facial rounds

non toxic, pretty highlighter in glass

RMS beauty non toxic lip+cheek colors that come in glass

rose facial mist

spa/sauna/facial/non toxic hair salon gift certificate

DIY body butter

set of therapeutic grade essential oils

Rent the Runway membership

masculine sorts of things:

beard balm

stainless steel safety razorDIY bay rum aftershave

vintage silk tie + tie clips/pins

gorgeous pocket knife (engravable, too, if thats your thing!)

chic metal mechanical pencil

minty lip balm  in a paper tube

zero waste stuff:

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bamboo toothbrush + DIY toothpaste + refillable dental floss

water bottle, reusable to-go coffee cup

reusable produce bags + cute mesh grocery tote

stainless steel tiffinsteel/  bamboo/  glass straws + set of reusable to-go silverware

stainless steel chopsticks+ pretty cloth napkins

set of mason jars/weck jars/le parfait jars

for the plant lover:

indoor plants from a local nursery like Fiddle Leaf Fig, Rubber Tree, ZZ plant, spider plant, fern, Monstera, succulents

a lovely pot or stand (thrift stores have tons of cool ones)

a crocheted plant hanger: simple DIY or BUY

kids:

Kazoo Magazine for girls (use code MYFAM for 20% off) or Cricket media magazines: they have a bunch of different ones for all ages and genders

pass/gift card to a local museum, bookstore, aquarium, ice cream shop, rock climbing, whale watching, movie theater, pizzeria.

Planet Earth II

wooden toys

coloring book + a nice set of colored pencils

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

puzzles + board games

beautiful hair ribbons- you can purchase these at a fabric store by the yard, magnifying glass.

My kids especially love “treasures”: crystals, shells, smooth or interesting rocks, sea glass, acorns, dried flowers + a lovely wooden or metal box/tin to keep them in.

watercolor paper notebook + DIY mini watercolor tin or BUY: this company hand makes their watercolors and you can buy them in a shell instead of a plastic pan!!  Kids think this is so cool.

how to wrap with love and care for both the recipient and the earth:

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Reuse what you already have: newspaper, brown packing paper, a paper grocery bag are all great.  You can also buy a roll of brown paper/butcher paper to use for wrapping gifts.  Wrapping in cloth, furoshiki style (tutorial here) is lovely as well because its beautiful and adds a bonus gift- the cloth! For tying up your gift, pick up natural string: cotton, hemp, jute, or kitchen twine.  These are easy to find, especially at hardware stores or in the cooking section of stores.  If you can’t find that, go with a pretty ribbon.  You can buy this at a craft store and it can be reused.  For decoration, go with natural adornments that can be used or composted: flowers, rosemary, sprigs from your fir tree or christmas tree, thyme, fresh bay leaves.  If you are gifting something edible, try using glass jars or metal tins from the thrift store, lined with parchment paper if necessary.  Write and create your own cards if you have time- they’re much more beautiful and I always appreciate them more than something generic.  Or, pick up a handmade one on Etsy or from a local artist.

I hope this list is helpful to you, and I hope it inspires you to gift lovely things with a circular economy in mind instead of a disposable, or linear economy.  I’d love to see photos of your waste free gifts this season!  Tag me on Instagram to share! @mamaeatsplants xx

grocery shopping without a bulk store: tips for creating less waste

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I live in amazing community in an environmentally progressive state (California) with constant access to fresh, local, organic, unpackaged food.  We have a farmers market here twice a week and I have an awesome co-op with bulk organic foods. Plus a local refill store with such items as facial moisturizer, dish soap, laundry soap, rosewater, lotion, shampoo/conditioner, bath salts, and more.  For this I am SO grateful.  I get so many messages on Instagram from you lovely people who wonder how to reduce your waste without a bulk store near you.  So here are some tips for you!

  1. Check around and see if you have a bulk store near you.  Use this search engine from the Zero Waste Home site, try googling “zero waste in _____” and adding your city name, or check out the #zerowaste hashtag on Instagram to find like minded people in your area, i.e. #zerowastela for Los Angeles.  Many, many stores offer at least some items in bulk- some places in CA include Sprouts, Whole Foods, Nugget Markets, and most co-ops or health food stores.  Call around or visit all the grocery stores in your area and check- bulk is in unlikely places.  For example, you may find unpacked kimchi or tofu at a Korean store.  Or bulk bins with beans, dried hibiscus flowers, tamarind, and dried chiles at a Mexican market.  Explore outside of your usual places.  If your local grocer doesn’t carry bulk, consider talking to the managers or emailing the company directly asking for it.  Remember that the store exists to serve YOU, the consumer.  Of course ask nicely and explain WHY you want plastic free options.  Recently because of consumer demand, Bulk Barn in Canada began allowing customers to use their own containers to buy bulk foods in instead of plastic bags.
  2. Check out your farmers market.  If you have access to one, take full advantage and GO THERE.  Buy as much of your groceries as you can there. They will be package free, fresh, high quality, and you can get to know the people who grow your food for you.
  3. Cut down on “convenience” and pre-made packaged snack foods like bars, crackers, puddings, cookies, shakes, juices- eat WHOLE foods instead which naturally come package free or minimally packaged.  For example, buying a bag of popcorn kernels and popping it at home is way less waste than buying snack bags of pre-popped corn.  I see this a lot at schools: LOTS of litter and plastic waste, almost all from individually wrapped snack foods.  Try eating these healthy and waste free snacks instead: a banana or apple with almond butter, roasted pumpkin seeds, dates with tahini, veggies and hummus, avocado toast, green smoothie, miso soup, or roasted crispy chickpeas.
  4. Choose loose produce over packaged + use your own cloth produce bags instead of the plastic ones OR just put it loose into your cart.  Always keep a reusable grocery bag with you- in the car, in your bag, your purse.
  5. Choose things packaged in compostable and or recyclable packaging whenever possible: paper, glass, cloth, metal. A few great options I’ve seen around at regular chain stores: Country Save laundry detergent comes in a paper box, Lundberg brown rice at Costco comes in a GIANT paper bag, Jovial brown rice pasta comes in a paper box with a home compostable window, and Alter Eco truffles come with compostable wrappers.  If buying something in plastic is the only option, choose a recyclable plastic.  Check your local city website for information on what materials are recyclable in your area.  Also, try to buy the largest size possible to cut down on packaging- shampoos, lotions, body wash, rice, dry beans, flour, salt etc- you can also divide a large bulk package among like minded friends.
  6. Support local businesses.  Small, family owned shops are more likely to accommodate your package free requests.  For example, try going to a local bakery for bread instead of getting it at a supermarket. Tortillas, chips, salsa? Try going to a Mexican restaurant and asking them nicely if you can buy some in your own container.  Ice cream?  Buy a pint in your mason jar at a local scoop shop.
  7. DIY and simplify: If you have time, make your own food whenever possible.  I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to make your own salad dressing, kombucha, bread, krautbroth, hot sauce, condiments and more- PLUS way healthier and tastier and cheaper.  In that same vein: simplify your meals= healthy, less waste, less time in the kitchen.  Cooking doesn’t have to take forever or be complicated.
  8. If you have only have access to a bulk store that’s far from you, consider making a trip once a month, every few months, or even twice a year to stock up.  For example, about 1+ hours away from me there is a bulk store called Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco that has many bulk foods I can’t get at home.  So, when I head in that direction I make sure to bring containers with me so I can take advantage of it and stock up while I’m in the area anyway.  See if a friend wants to go with you too and make a fun day of it!
  9. Buy “ugly” produce: single bananas, forked carrots, bumpy apples, wonky looking veggies and fruits of all shapes and types.  These guys are often passed over by consumers and thrown away by the stores!  Buying them can help reduce food waste.  In the same vein, some stores offer discounted food like “overripe” bananas, and other veggies that may be a little past their prime.  Buying these also reduces overall waste even if they’re packed in plastic.
  10. The most important tip: DONT GET DISCOURAGED and then give up.  Even if you have to buy some or lots of things in plastic, there are SO many other ways you can make an impact in your life.  Buying your clothes secondhand, reducing your car use, bringing your own jar for drinks, refusing plastic straws when you’re out, using the library instead of buying a book, eating more plants instead of meat, avoiding palm oil, and so many other things!  Just do the best you can, day after day and don’t give up.  Every little bit makes a difference and spreads the awareness to others.

Sending lots of love to you, thank you so much for reading and caring for our earth, YOU are amazing.  xx

 

ps: check out this video of less-waste shopping at Target here.

vegan + gluten free thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving (and all holidays) are really low key at our house.  It’s just us for dinner- me, J, and the kids.  We usually go on a hike in the early morning- AMAZING because usually no one else is out.  Then we come home and cook and watch a movie together.  We cook a lot of food because: leftovers (not having to cook again for days is amazing).  Here’s our simple, no fuss vegan and gluten free Thanksgiving menu:

Main: lentil + walnut loaf (this recipe): this is so delicious and has all those stuffing-esque flavors.  Plus, it’s sliceable and works perfectly in lieu of turkey in those leftover sandwiches (arguably the best part of Thanksgiving)

Gravy: mushroom gravy (this recipe): if you’ve never made mushroom gravy you’ve been cheating yourself.  Mushrooms are the perfect umami flavor and it is rich, easy, and delicious.

Mashed potatoes: I use a potato ricer to keep them super fluffy and then fold in splashes of coconut milk, garlic, and salt to taste.  Also perfect here is Miyoko’s vegan butter if you’re into that (and who isn’t?)

cranberry sauce: I buy cranberries at my co-op which offers them package free!  Usually I just wing it and throw them in a pot + simmer with orange juice/zest, maple syrup and cinnamon.  For a hands off oven version,  this recipe is perfect.

brussels: super simple, I just slice them in half (or quarters if they’re huge) + roast in the oven at 400 with a drizzle of EVOO, salt + pepper until they’re crispy and tender.

kale salad: I feel like you always need a fresh, raw, bright component for Thanksgiving to cut through all the heavier flavors and textures.  I’ve been OBSESSED with Amy Chaplin’s creamy kale slaw recipe so I’ll probably make that.  I’ve made this brussels slaw with maple pecans before too, with delicious results.

kabocha pie with coco whip: I’ll be experimenting this year with pumpkin pie and subbing my own homegrown pureed squash instead of canned pumpkin, and experimenting by converting a much loved cashew-ginger-spelt crust to GF (fingers crossed).  This easy V/GF crust from Pure Mamas looks amazing too.  Last year we did these awesome and super easy pumpkin pie parfaits with vanilla cashew cream. For the coco whip, here is a super easy tutorial from Oh She Glows with step by step pics.  I heard that TJ’s carries a coco whip too if you’re short on time!

I hope you all have a wonderful time enjoying food, friends and family this Thanksgiving!  Please consider donating your time to a local food bank to give back to others who may be less fortunate on this holiday xx

hearty tuscan white bean stew

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As you guys know, soups are my jam in fall/winter.  I wanted to share this hearty white bean stew today, I’ve made it twice so far and the kids really loved it.  I put it in Carmela’s lunch (in a thermos) and one of the teachers at the school emailed me asking for the recipe!  It’s like a warm hug: creamy, herby, filling and nutrient packed.  J and the kids enjoyed it with toasty garlic bread, I had mine with a scoop of my favorite gluten free pasta stirred through.

tuscan white bean stew (adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen Complete Vegetarian Cookbook)

ingredients:

1 pound(2.5 cups) dried cannellini beans

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 small fennel bulb, core removed, chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon fennel seeds (omit if you don’t like fennel)

8 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced (OPTIONAL)

5 cups water

3 cups veggie broth

2 bay leaves

1 pound kale, stemmed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

2 cups canned diced tomatoes (approx 1 14.5 ounce can), drained

1 sprig fresh rosemary

2 sprigs fresh thyme

TO SERVE: chopped parsley, lemon wedges, and crumbly vegan parm

method

  1. Dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 4 quarts cold water in a large bowl, add beans and soak at room temp at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.  Drain and rinse well.
  2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot until shimmering.  Add onions, carrots, fennel bulb and celery and cook until softened and lightly browned, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds and mushrooms and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in water, broth, soaked beans, and bay leaves.  Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, let boil for 1 minute.  Cover pot and transfer to oven, cook until beans are almost tender (very center of beans will still be firm), 45 mins-1 hour.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and continue to cook in the oven until beans are fully tender, about 30 minutes
  5. Stir in kale and continue to cook in oven until kale is tender, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Remove pot from oven.  Discard rosemary sprig, thyme sprig, and bay leaves.  Season soup with salt and pepper.

VARIATION: QUICKER SOUP- Skip step 1, reduce water to 2 cups and sub 4 cans cannellini beans, rinsed, for the soaked cannellini beans called for.  Add water, broth, beans, bay leaves, kale, and tomatoes to pot at the same time and simmer gently until veggies and greens are fully tender, about 20 minutes.

+ über simple garlic bread loose “recipe”:

slice a baguette in half lengthwise.  Preheat the broiler.  Mix up EVOO, crushed garlic, minced parsley, salt, pepper and brush or spread over the baguette surface.  Place under broiler for a few minutes until toasty.  If you’re not a raw garlic fan, use garlic powder instead.  If you’re oil free, THIS recipe is soooo good.

ENJOY and have a wonderful weekend!  xx

 

package free: veggie broth

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Fall and winter here mean lots and lots of soup for our house.  They’re fast, nutritious, + one batch lasts for a few days of lunches and dinner.  Making this many soups, I go through a LOT of veggie broth.  I used to buy broth in those Tetra Paks (ugh) or buy the Better than Bouillon Veggie Broth Paste (suspicious ingredients).  Now I love to make our own broth from scraps by saving peels and odds/ends of veggies in the freezer in a brown paper bag.  Then, when it gets full, I simmer them in a big pot with water, herbs, salt and black pepper.  This method is FREE and uses up every bit of produce we buy.  Tough ends of leeks, outer tough layers of onions, peels or stem ends of carrots, butts of celery, peel of celery root, tough cauliflower stems, herb stems, mushroom stems all work great for stock.  I strain the stock after boiling and I store in glass mason jars* in the freezer.

BUT sometimes I don’t have time to make stock or I don’t have enough scraps yet!  That’s why I keep this awesome VEGAN stock concentrate in the freezer.  Super quick and easy to make, this stock is tasty and convenient.  There’s no weird ingredients or preservatives in it like store bouillon pastes or powders.  Just regular, real food ingredients.

vegetable broth concentrate (recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Complete Vegetarian Cookbook )

1/2 small celery root, peeled + cut into 1/2 inch pieces (3/4c or 3 oz)

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (2/3c or 3 oz)

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped + washed thoroughly (2.5c or 5 oz)

1/2c fresh parsley leaves and tender stems (1/2 oz)

2 tablespoons kosher salt

3 tablespoons dried minced onion

3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1.5 tablespoons tomato paste

OPTIONAL: dried shiitake or porcini mushroom powder, or a spoon of miso.  This adds another layer of umami to the broth BUT is not necessary- the broth is great without!

Place the celery root, carrot, leek, parsley, onion, and kosher salt in a food processor.  Process until it becomes as fine as possible, stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor as needed. Add tomato paste and process for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of bowl twice.  Add soy sauce and continue to process 1 minute.  Transfer paste to a jar and tap firmly on counter to remove air bubbles.  Freeze up to 6 months.

TO USE:  For 1 cup broth, stir 1 tablespoon of the concentrate into 1 cup boiling water.

*Tips on freezing in glass: Use canning jars (Ball/Mason/Kerr) which are designed to withstand both very hot and very cold temps.  Jars that are straight up and down (wide mouth) are best for freezing in.  Leave about 2 inches of space and don’t put the lid on until its fully frozen.  Make sure the liquid is totally cool before freezing, too.  I’ve never had breakage before!

Hope you guys make and love this stock.  I’ll be posting a delicious soup recipe Friday, so have some stock ready 😉 xx