I love cooking from scratch, with no plastic hitting the bin. It’s a great feeling.
Give me a good recipe book, especially one that makes everything from fresh items – even the garam masala or kimchi – and I’m happy. When the occasional bought item appears, I take it as a challenge and go searching for a work around, rather than resort to a ready made plastic wrapped alternative.
Making Mother-in-law’s Eclair Cake from the Korean Vegan Cookbook felt like a great achievement. There will lots of different elements to the recipe anyway, with just two I had to work around:
1. Graham Crackers – a cinnamon and honey biscuit, common in the US. I always thought they were like a Jacobs Cracker. Fortunately Emma’s Big Bold Baking came to my rescue with an easy recipe.
2. Vanilla pudding mix –I had no idea what this was. Turns out to be what we would call blancmange powder in the UK, so a mix of cornflour and sugar
Pasta and noodles
A pasta maker was on the Christmas list last year. I suspected it might go to the charity shop this year for lack of use, but I was totally wrong. Not only is pasta easy to make, the grandkids love it and will always eat the pasta they’ve made and ‘caught’ themselves.
Making ramen is the present challenge – my eldest grandson’s favourite dish. We tried it with pasta, but it wasn’t the same. So I had a go at rice noodles. Having a steam oven made it much simpler, although they are still a bit thick and easily break up in the ramen soup. So I’ve not cracked that one yet, but I’ll get there – maybe a bit of xanthum gum will hold them together better?
And the Leary-Joyce staple – hummus. My little grandson is a huge advocate. Even when very small, he would eat anything as long as it had granny’s hummus on it. And he still eats it with a spoon. My favourite recipe comes from the Happy Pear Vegan Cookbook.
- 125g chickpeas or cannellini beans, or butter beans (1 drained tin or soaked and pre-boiled)
- 2 tbs Tahini
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 70ml water
- 1 garlic clove
- Juice of half a lemon
- Pinch of salt
Pile all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and whizz for a minute. Check for flavour and add more salt or lemon if needed. Job done! Add in a box of crisps from the refill pantry and I have one happy family. And no plastic pots or packets going into the bin. Win/win
How do you work around plastic? I’d love to hear your recipes, so let’s share.