Fantastic when people enable change

The average EU citizen produces 161 kilograms of packaging waste per year. 161 kilograms is an insane amount of waste! Globally we produce 420 million tons of packaging waste. This is only packaging. 420 million tons that is literally wasted. Many products come in excess packaging. The typical example is bananas, they have a great peel and really don’t need any plastic packaging to keep fresh!

Packaging waste mainly includes paper and board (40%), glass (20%), plastics (19%), wood (15%), and metal (6%). That means lot’s of trees unnecessarily chopped down!

Luckily there are people who actively try to turn around the trend of increasing packaging waste. Ingrid Caldironi has recently opened London’s first package free shop! The Bulk Market in Dalston is a small but well stocked store. I think it’s fantastic and the world needs more people who do concrete actions like opening a zero waste store to tackle large-scale problems. I would not be able to even try to live zero waste if it weren’t for the people who decide to sell packaging free products.

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I had the chance to visit the store last week. For 5 minutes only because had to visit in such a rush after work and before the store closed but the service and the products were excellent. I had with me a washed glass jar that used to contain pickled cucumbers, my favourite reusable bag from the Finnish Red Cross webshop, and two tupper ware boxes to fill up with deliciousness at the Bulk Market. I ended up buying soy sauce, popcorn, pasta and plastic free toilet paper. I wanted to buy a reusable straw but I want a long one and they had run out of them and had only short ones at the moment. Buying popcorn in my own bag was pretty awesome, I’m back on track with my snacking I can tell you 😉

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Sources:
2015, Qingbin Song, Jinhui Li and Xianlai Zeng: Minimizing the increasing solid waste through zero waste strategy
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095965261400849X#sec2.4

2017, Emma Henderson/The Independent: Inside London’s first plastic free shop
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/bulk-makert-recycling-zero-waste-first-plastic-free-market-london-hackney-a7924781.html

 

No disposable plastic this week

This week I try to live completely zero waste. It just feels absurd when I walk into any normal store or supermarket. Whenever I visit a beach I find trash everywhere. Whenever I visit a supermarket there is plastic every where, shelf up and down. Whenever I read the news I hear more and more about kilometers after kilometers of plastic waste. Some researchers even think plastic waste is a greater ecological catastrophe than climate change! Did you know that 70% of European tap water is contaminated with micro plastic? In the US this rate is over 90%! Even the sampled bottled water contained plastic.

Knowing this, it is just absolutely absurd that humanity keeps producing more and more plastic. I usually avoid plastic and packaging as best I can but doing it 100% takes a lot of energy. This week I try harder than normally and I try to get as close to 100% as I can!I got inspired when I saw a Facebook event called “Muoviton Marraskuu”, plastic free November in Finnish. I’ll see how long into November I last but I’ll try my best! I have not yet made my own toothpaste though…

So my first totally zero waste day was yesterday. Many people trying out zero waste find food shopping to be the hardest part. You can avoid buying many things but you have to eat. So I am going to share my Zero waste dinner from last night with you! For any readers living in London, there are a few good zero-waste places to shop: for East London, head to the Bulkmarket in Dalston. This is Londons first absolutely zero-waste shop! For Elephant & Castle, head to the FareShares co-op. Borough market at London Bridge is also great. I am lucky to have a store called Greensmith’s near Waterloo station which is right on my way home from work! They sell most of their vegetables without packaging. I always carry my own reusable bags with me (it just lives in my backpack) so it is really easy to do even spontaneous food shopping on my way home, without causing any waste! I’ll post the recipe for this zero-waste meal later this week.

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Plastic Pollution Garbage Dump Bottles Floating

 

Not the inspiring sustainability role model anymore?

Lately, I have felt like I don’t really have much new sustainability hacks to share with everyone. It just feels like I have not been particularly environmental, just living my normal life. I have not written this blog in a few months now. I often strive to be a good example. To practice as I preach. To show other people that hey, I’m just a normal girl and I managed to cut my carbon footprint and waste, why don’t you try as well? I do feel good about writing this blog and I am now trying to restart the writing again.

There is an attitude that one should not brag about good things. I don’t think sharing my thoughts about sustainable lifestyle here on this blog is bragging, any more than people posting pic from their holiday’s is.  If I stop and think, I know that I am still living a pretty sustainable lifestyle. It is just that it has become the new normal. The things that a couple of years ago made me feel like an eco-hero, don’t really make me feel that special anymore. Is that sad? Not really. Because it means I don’t have to think about how to be eco-friendly. It means many of my habits have become so rooted that they don’t require any effort. Therefore I thought I would make a list of things I do that I am proud about, even if I don’t even remember to be conscious about it anymore!

 

Sustainable consumer

I buy less than one piece of brand new clothing per year. I buy some secondhand clothing but underwear I obviously prefer as brand new. About half of the new lingerie I get is from sustainable brands such as Luva Huva. I repair my things when they break, little things like replacing my phones battery instead of buying a new phone. Even when I can afford to buy new, I often choose to repair. The same goes for my shoes, I have had some of my shoes for 7 years now! Whenever I need to buy stuff, I always first look online to buy secondhand. Like yesterday, I bought a stool from a guy on “Shpock”, which is an app for selling unwanted things. Sometimes I fail my ideals, and buy stuff from Amazon that comes packed in thousands of dead trees because they use way too much packaging material at that firm. Most of the time, I do good. I recently bought a hemp shower curtain from Drapers Organic, because most shower curtains are PVC plastic that cannot be recycled. For festivals and parties, I bought biodegradable glitter from Wild Glitter!

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Wild Glitter doesn’t litter

Sustainable eater

When I started this blog, I was not a vegetarian. In fact, I documented my first stuggles of cutting down on dairy products and becoming a vegetarian on this blog. Now, even though I am essentially a pescatarian, I have managed to cut down my fish consumption to 1-2 times a month as well. Sushi, fish and chips remains delicious but luckily I don’t eat them that often. I buy package free as much as I just can. I don’t go out of my way to be zero waste, I could probably do more to go to farmers markets instead of local Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s. If I have a choice, I always buy package free though. Today, I managed to find an aubergine that wasn’t wrapped in plastic in Sainsbury’s! Happy day! I also found a zero-waste cooperative down in Elephant and Castle which is close to where I live here in London. I have been there only once but I bought so much organic, British quinoa in my own reusable bag, that it will last for the rest of the year!

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Always treat yourself, but better do it with a Bamboo Reusable Cup from Ecoffee!

Sustainable transport

I cycle or walk to work most days. I am wearing a pollution mask here in London to stay healthy while cycling, it feels good that at least I’m not contributing to more pollution with my method of transport! I try to avoid taking taxi’s or Uber’s, but on some rainy day’s I am not perfect. I have a rule: if it takes less than 10 hours to get somewhere by train, I will not fly. I currently fly about 5-6 short-haul roundtrip flights per year. 10 flights in total, it is not ideal. I am currently looking into offsetting these flights via Climatecare.org. I rarely drive a car. I recently rented a car for 1 day and drove about 200 km to explore nature in Scotland, and sometimes I drive to our summerhouse. However, I try to not drive more than 1000 km per year.

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I wear this when I cycle, to protect myself from pollution in London!

 

 

Sustainable companies

I have devoted time and some money to Secco, an online secondhand fashion shop. It is really nice to try to build sustainable business. We are launching in November at our new international site, Secco Collection! My friends Anna and Ellen founded Secco two years ago, and I am so grateful to have become part of their team, trying to tackle sustainability issues of the garment industry together. I am also involved as a co-founder for a company that will hopefully formally exist next month, Spark Sustainability! My friend Amanda, who is a sustainable energy engineer and a team of me and 4 other girls are going to build a website and an app where people can track their environmental footprint, and become inspired to make changes. Really grateful to soon be part of the Spark project as well!

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I probably will never be a famous sustainability role model like Lauren Zinger, writer of the blog Trash is for Tossers. That’s fine, because I am not trying to live sustainably to get fame or recognition in any ways. Don’t get me wrong: I think Lauren Zinger and many other sustainability bloggers are absolutely fantastic. My blog is not nearly as professional as many but still, I notice that keeping this blog makes me happy. In the same sense that someone who spends a lot of time at the gym might be happy to keep track of their results on a blog, I feel good about keeping track of choices I feel good about here on this blog. Writing this blog also helps me push myself to be even better. To always carbon compensate my flights, and to make even more effort to live zero-waste.

 

 

Would you eat cricket pizza?

I did, and I enjoyed it!

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Last week, I attended an event by the Aalto Sustainable business club called Into the foodture with my friend Sofia.

We were both quite keen on trying the cricket pizza there. I’ll admit, there was that 3 seconds of looking at the crickets being like “am I really going to eat that?” but then you just put it in your mouth and it tasted fine. It’s possible to quite easily overcome a certain “ew” factor by just deciding to give it a go and eat it! It was really nice going together with Sofia since we’re interested in quite the same things, friends who fearlessly try new foods such as crickets are good to have. Crickets on pizza are not very crispy but still a bit crunchy and chunky. Quite a good piece, something to bite in but not too hard. They don’t taste much in themselves and taste even less than for example chicken. All in all, I think crickets go quite well on pizza but I think I prefer them as a crispy, salty snack. I’ve tried that once before, and I can’t wait until you can start buying roasted crickets as a healthy snack at the supermarket.

I’m usually a pesco-vegetarian but for some reason I don’t really see crickets as meat. I eat fish, so I’m definitely not going to feel bad over eating crickets. Crickets are frozen to death which isn’t supposed to hurt them so makes them even more ethical to eat than fish.  Food is the one thing that has the greatest environmental footprint. The poisonous blue green algae in our sea in the summer, the rate of species dying out, deforestation, pollution of drinking water and climate change are all related to our food production. Sustainable food production will also potentially end hunger crises in the world and is socially really important too.

The event was about how the food sector can be innovative and become more sustainable. Four companies were featured at the event. The cricket farm EntoCube who tries to make people realise there can be alternative sources of animal protein! Right now, the law in Finland doesn’t allow for crickets to be advertised as food, which is silly. But I hope that changes soon. Another great company featured was Helsieni who does urban farming of mushrooms. The mushrooms get their nutrients from biowaste, such as coffeegrounds that is produced in cities. It’s just a great way to reduce transportation and get more fresh food! In general, I really like the idea of urban farming. I don’t think we’re ever going to grow all food in urban areas, that’s impossible. But I think it would be possible to grow all fresh ingredients very locally and reduce transportation and use of land. Then more of the countryside can be nature reservats to preserve biodiversity! Also, by promoting people to eat mushrooms instead of meat the overall environmental footprint of the food is reduced.

Two companies trying to decrease food waste and surplus food being wasted was also there: ResQ Club and From Waste to Taste who runs the surplus food restaurant Loop in Helsinki. I’ve used ResQ club but I realised many restaurants didn’t sell surplus food via the app, but just saw it as a possibility to sell more food in general. So, I started doubting whether I’m actually rescuing any food. Also, everything I bought via the app came in plastic packaging so I got tired of having to recycle so much plastic all the time. But they’re developing the app constantly so maybe I’ll start using it again one day! You get good cheap food via it for sure.

So Loop seems like the greatest idea ever: a restaurant with a different menu everyday, depending on what food has been in oversupply in the local supermarkets! Just to make clear, they do not serve foodwaste in the sense that it would be old food: just food that would go bad in the next couple of days and is unlikely to be sold at the supermarket. The menu looks great, I think I’ll go eat at the restaurant and update the blog about it in a fes weeks!

Hugs and kisses! /Felicia

Ps. I’m sorry I haven’t been updating the blog frequently. I’m writing my bachelor’s thesis and that’s so time-consuming. I’ll be back full-time by mid-May, hope to have you still frequently checking in then!

Going vegan – difficult? Not if you go Ambronite

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Last weekend, I went skating with my sister which was a lot of fun. I had already cooked myself a nice lunch but I knew I would be hungry before being back home again. And being able to buy a vegan snack at the cafe by the ice rink wasn’t something I counted on. Vegan! Difficult? Crazy? Unnatural? Or more like environmentally friendly, healthy and less animal cruelty?

I’ve been a pescetarian for almost 3 years now,  meaning I eat fish, milk products and eggs but no meat. Even if my diet hasn’t included meat, a transition to a vegan diet required a little bit of thinking. I had a little hack that made my vegan month possible: it’s called Ambronite. It is a smoothie made from a powder that you simply mix with water. I tried another similar one called Joylent too, you can read my review here, but to be honest: I like Ambronite more.

5 reasons to recommend Ambronite:

  1. It’s produced on all natural ingredients
  2. It’s not too different from a normal smoothie, it doesn’t seem like “fake food”
  3. It has no animal products making it cruelty free and environmentally friendly
  4. It’s incredibly fast to make, but gives me the same energy as a warm meal that takes a lot more time to make
  5. It’s healthy, if you don’t have time to cook, you’d usually eat sandwiches but now you can eat much healthier on the gocapture

The only negative side for me is the price since it’s a bit expensive, but I have become slightly addicted to this time-saving, healthy, vegan, environmentally friendly smoothie. The taste is interesting, because half of people who has tried it hate it and half love it. I think it’s great with nettles leaves, nuts and berries. It really tastes natural and the ingredients seem to be of high quality. If you want to try it, I suggest you order a “try out” pack of 3 bags for only about 5 euro.  Use the code NOM to get it! Update: right now you get the starter pack of 3 for free with this link.


I tried Ambronite the first time in January and ordered 3 of their breakfast pack. I liked it so much that I emailed them and asked if I could get a sample of their full-meal version for free, if I wrote a blogpost about them. I approached them solely because I thought their product was so good I wanted more of it! For comparison, Joylent is a cheaper option at around 3-4 euro per meal but that again isn’t from natural ingredients. Joylent is a great way to save environmental resources, Ambronite is healthier and has even better ingredients, I think. A full meal Ambronite costs about 8 euros. For a student, that’s a lot of money for a meal. I still think it’s worth it and in the end it doesn’t become too expensive if you only have a couple of them per week. I always keep a bag of Ambronite in my bag just in case there isn’t a vegetarian or vegan option available. This has been such a great dinner on busy days!

Even if you’re not vegetarian, I’d recommend Ambronite for health and environmental reasons. This is the easiest way there ever was to cut down on your meat consumption and get healthy with no effort!

This blog post is produced in cooperation with Ambronite. I have not been paid to write it, but I have received samples of their full meal smoothie.

Eating sustainably is not too complicated

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Eating sustainably can be delicious, beautiful and simple. Last week me and my friend Malin cooked a modified version of this Baked Aubergine with beluga lentils recipe from Green Kitchen Stories. I’m not too fond of brussel sprouts so I left those out from the recipe and added pepper and field beans instead.

It’s a myth that it is difficult to know how to eat more sustainably. Yes, if you look at minor details like knowing whether a Spanish tomato or a Finnish greenhouse-grown tomato in February is better, then I understand it might feel a bit complicated. The thing is: that’s splitting hairs. If you have time, by all means, it’s good to do research, but these choices aren’t the most important ones. If you follow these simple rules, the impact you food has on our environment is already much better!

  1. Avoid all red meat
  2. Eat less dairy products
  3. Eat less rice & less imported quinoa
  4. Eat less avocado
  5. Eat mostly local and seasonal vegetables and grains

These are very simple rules, no one needs to study a lot to make a huge impact on the environment globally by choosing not to eat certain kinds of food. Also, remember that the option with less plastic packaging is always better! For vegetables and fruit, you can get a reusable bag like this one. In the end, it does not matter if people occasionally buy the “wrong kind of tomato” as long as we look at the big picture and at the foods that really have a big impact. I managed to follow the “Vegan January” challenge and ate (mostly) vegan for a full month and only slipped twice! It actually wasn’t too difficult. So if eating vegan isn’t very difficult, then avoiding those listed things at least 6 out of 7 days a week shouldn’t be impossible for anyone. Personally, now that my one month challenge is over, I do still eat small amounts of cheese as well as avocado and rice. But only on special occasions when I’m at a restaurant or someone else treats me to food ,which is rarely more than once or twice a month.

A short reminder to why everyone should avoid the listed things…The meat industry pollutes a lot. The Baltic sea, many lakes and rivers in several countries are in such bad condition because of the meat industry. Cows consume a lot of natural resources, so cut down on your consumption of cheese, yoghurt and milk. Get oat, coconut or soy alternatives instead. Cows also produce methane. Rice is extremely water intensive and fresh water is scarce in many places, additionally rice cultivation produces methane which is even worse for the climate than CO2. Save the sushi for special occasions! Avocado plantations often lead to deforestation and acute drought. The avocado requires a lot of water, and when that water is taken from lakes and rivers nearby, they dry out. Avocados also rot really easily. 54,000 tonnes of avocado and other stone fruits are thrown away every year in the UK!! The less we buy, the less will in the end be imported and thrown away. 54 000 tonnes!!

What to eat then? Green Kitchen stories really has amazing vegetarian recipes. Vegetables grown in your own country get amazing tastes with these recipes. Just stay away from the recipes containing too much cheese, avocado or rice or replace those ingredients with something else. There are environmentally “unfriendly” foods such as quinoa, that are grown organically in Europe too so you don’t need to stop eating it, just choose the right kind.

ps. between November and February/Mars, the Spanish tomato is actually more environmentally friendly, during the rest of the year, buy the locally grown version. In northern Europe: Canned tomatoes are the most sustainable during the winter! But don’t worry about that too much if it feels too complicated 🙂

Bon appetit!

xo, Felicia

Exam week with no time for cooking: a taste review of Joylent

Do you find it important to eat healthy food? Do you have a habit of having unhealthy snacks when studying, because you don’t have time for cooking before exams? Do you ever eat just fast noodles for dinner (yuck) or do you spend enormous amounts of money on take-out food? Or maybe you’re just interested in knowing a bit more about futuristic food! If any of this is the case, you should read this.

Last week my life circled all around Development Economics, super interesting but no time for cooking. This exam week a new product I ordered online really came in handy!

There’s a ton of research going into developing new kinds of food that has a lower carbon footprint. The American Soylent is one of the, originally developed for people who are just too busy to cook or put any thought into what they eat. The founder actually developed a serious under nutrition of vitamin C from his quick noodle-diet, and developed Soylent as a result. Soylent has gotten a lot of attention but isn’t sold in Europe.

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It’s good on the go

A similar product is made by the Dutch Joylent. What is it? It’s the simplest way to start eating more vegan food! It’s a powder that you just mix with water, it becomes a smoothie, or a soup if you prefer to use warmer water. However, some vitamins are sensitive to temperature so hot water might have a minor effect on the nutrients. Other competitors for Joylent are Mana and Ambronite, which is prepared in Finland from completely natural ingredients. Should probably try Ambronite because of that, but it’s a bit too expensive as it cost twice as much as Joylent. Read more about other alternatives to Soylent on this blog.

The thing about smoothies like Joylent and Soylent is that they are meant to contain all nutrients you need. You could probably survive on feeding on just Soylent/Joylent but I think a bit more variation is better for your health. What many people do is to replace lunch with Soylent and then have a normal dinner.

Joylent review

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It’s great for students because it’s cheap, healthy and convenient.

I have my Joylent smoothies on days when I’m on the go and don’t really have time to cook. Eating out is expensive, and sandwiches from the supermarket are quite unhealthy. Bringing it for lunch works really great! The powder doesn’t go bad when it’s kept dry in the shaker, when I’m ready to have dinner I just add some water, shake and dinner is served, wherever I am! You are meant to add the powder after the water to get a smoother blend but doing it the wrong way around works fine for me.

I got my Joylent starter pack about 3 weeks ago, ordered from joylent.eu. I ordered the Vegan version, one bag with banana taste and four with chocolate taste. My boyfriend ordered some too and by the time he had ordered his, there were new tastes availible! I tried one of them, the mango one was delicious too.

Taste

So to what everyone really is curious about: Doesn’t it taste horrible? The answer is no, it tastes fairly alright. It tastes like a thicker version of oatmilk or soymilk. The chocolate taste is very subtle and overall it’s not very sweet, it doesn’t contain any sugar. It almost doesn’t taste chocolate at all, which is fine, but the very plain taste get’s a bit dull after a while. They recommend adding your own sweetener but I prefer not to, wouldn’t want something too sweet for lunch or dinner. The banana one was really good too, actually tastes like banana and is much sweeter than the chocolate one.

So the taste is okay. The only problem with taste, I would say, is that it get’s a bit boring if that’s all you eat for several days. A normal meal is never just one thing, you would never eat just rice or just chickpeas. We’re used to a meal being a mix of different tastes. So I would really recommend it for replacing a meal here and there, but I would simply get too bored with the taste if I had it more than 2-3 times per week.

A good trick is to blend a banana in the mix, makes it taste more like a normal smoothie and is more enjoyable to drink. The banana-tasting Joylent mixed with real banana is actually very good!dsc_3898

Feeling and health

How do I feel after having a joylent meal? Just one smoothie is suprisingly filling, it contains 500-700 calories, depending on how much powder I use. First, I drank it too fast and got that awful feeling you get after eating anything too quickly so remember that this smoothie is way heavier than a just-fruit-and-berries-smoothie. Apparently, many people who drink Joylent get a bit gassy. I haven’t noticed any big problems with this although I might feel a bit bloated just after drinking it, it’s just individual. One theory is that the high amount of fibre in Joylent can trigger some reaction in some peoples stomach, but even if this is the case it’s not in any way dangerous; maybe just a bit unpleasant for those who are more sensitive. The list of ingredients (see at the bottom of the page) look quite healthy too and I’ve felt good and energized the day’s I’ve had only Joylent.

Sustainability

What about the sustainability of Joylent? I’d say the vegan version is very sustainable as none of the ingredients are especially resource-consuming. The powder also doesn’t need to be kept in a fridge, which lowers need for energy consumption. It also doesn’t need heating up. Prepping and storing of food takes quite a lot of energy and is a big part of the greenhouse-gas footprint associated with food. In this aspect Joylent is really eco-friendly.

Price and service

The price is also really good. Very student friendly! Just 2,50 euro per meal. A negative side was that it took ages for them to deliver from the Netherlands to Finland, and they messed up my order and sent just the shaker and not the powders, which I had to wait two more weeks for.

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All in all, I would really recommend Joylent!  It’s great to bring to the library when studying, no need to go to a cafeteria and interrupt your studies. It’s also great for those who have a habit of eating unhealthy things like fast food on the go, this is much cheaper, much healthier and more conventient!

I prefer having Joylent when I don’t really have time for cooking and then treat myself with food like this after a couple of days on Joylent. After exam week I really treated myself and went for brunch at Mat in Helsinki with my friend Hannah. It was really food heaven. Mouth watering vegetarian food, I really recommend this place! Especially after a week on Joylent. But it’s better as a treat every now and then, this meal cost 10 times more than a Joylent meal. It also tastes 10 times more.

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Banana joylent ingredients: Oatmeal (gluten), Joylent vitamix (maltodextrin, sodium citrate, sodium chloride, calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate), niacin (nicotinamide), vitamin A (retinyl acetate), pantothenic acid (calcium D-pantothe-nate), vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), copper(II) sulfate, vitamin K1 (phytomenadione), vitamin B1 (thiamine mononitrate), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), chromium chloride, folic acid (pteroylmonoglutamic acid), biotin, vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), soy flour , vegan protein mix(soy-protein concentrate, rice-protein concentrate, hemp-protein concentrate, emulsifier:soy lecithin, sweetener: sucralose, banana flavouring, thickening agent: guargum), ground flaxseed, freeze-dried fruit powder (banana).

Great apps! Cheap food – less food waste

About two months ago my Norwegian friend tipped me about this app called Too Good To To. When I visited her in Oslo she had just picked up some yummy stuff from the local bakery for a ridiculously low sum! The point is that restaurants sell leftover food that would otherwise go to the bin, for very cheap. The app report a pickup time for the food – usually when the restaurant cloeses. I heard it’s in use in London too! Check out the UK website here.

When I came to Helsinki I was disappointed to notice that Too Good To Go isn’t used here. But no problem, I soon discovered there is a competitor of Too Good To Go that’s established here: ResQ Club! I’m thinking about buying sushi tonight, 12 pieces for 5 euro, anyone? Check out ResQ by clicking here.

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A really nice feature with ResQ Club is that you can type in your diet as a search criterion. So I can search for vegetarian meals only. So perhaps I’ll skip the sushi and go for some Indian instead… I’ll let you know what I chose! Really recommend these apps for anyone.

Additionally to Helsinki, ResQ is currently used at least in Stockholm, Tallinn and Amsterdam. If you work in a café or a restaurant and you have to throw away food every day, make sure to suggest that they take a food rescuing app into use!

UPDATE: It ended up being sushi because someone else snatched the Indian food. Really delcious, and I have to say it felt quite nice to know that I rescued this food from being thrown in the bin!

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I want to point out that I do not, out of principle, do any kind of cooperation with businesses. I make my honest reviews about companies and get nothing in return. Would I ever get anything in return from writing about a business, I would clearly state that this is the case, and I would still give my honest opinion about the company. I don’t do any regular advertisements here and the if ads are shown they are run by WordPress.

Wok for lazy Sundays

If you want to save natural resources without actually changing your life too much, switching to a more plant based diet is the way to go. So many scientific reports are showing that meat production leads to pollution, deforestation and simply is a waste of energy in the food chain. On a global average, going vegan saves most resources. Read more about my thoughts on veganism at the end of this post.

Here comes an entirely vegan recipe! We chose to sweeten it with honey which doesn’t make it totally vegan but close enough for me, you can use something else that’s sweet instead if you want. It’s really simple to make and perfect for days when you’re more interested in relaxing than cooking.

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Last week me and my friend Amanda were really tired after the gym and both really hungry. So we decied go to her place and make this wok. I think that it was about 30-40 minutes from when we stepped out of the gym until the food was served on the table. And we did go to the supermarket on the way home! So just a tip, save this recipe for days when you are already practically starving when you start cooking. Soy is a quite good plant based protein to eat right after the gym, working on getting those abs to show a bit 😉 This recipe is fast, simple and healthy. Just how I love it.

Ingredients:

Red kale, as much or little as you want

1 Organic cold-smoked tofu

4 carrots

1 onion

3-4 “blocks” of noodles, any kind

Soysauce

Chili

2 tablespoons of honey

Put the carrots on the frying pan first, so they get soft. Cut the tofu in nice small cubes and fry everything (obviously cook the noodles first). Add a bit of honey in the frying pan to get that sweet asian taste. Top with fresh coriander and you will have a delicious meal that took about 15  minutes to prepare.

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About the tofu, just plain tofu taste’s absolutely nothing. I think many people who say they hate tofu just haven’t been served properly prepared tofu, it just goes so well in a wok I’m sure most people can learn to like it! If you are really having a lazy Sunday and can’t be fussed with marinades, I really recommend buying a smoked tofu, it’s so delicious! In Finland, my favourite brand is Jalotofu. The ready-made marinated or smoked tofus cost a bit more so it’s fine buying a plain one too, just make sure to put it in a marinade before frying it. This blog has quite good tips for tofu marinades. Letting tofu soak in soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, sesame oil and chili powder (or whatever of those you have at home) already does wonders.

I eat totally vegan a couple of days a week.  However, I personally think that if you live in northern Europe, where weather conditions for agriculture aren’t always the best, locally produced organic eggs are more environmentally friendly than imported chickpeas and soybeans. With an egg for breakfast I never need to worry about if my protein intake for the day is enough as already breakfast contained 25% of the protein I need per day. Dairy is a bit so-so, best to consume only in small amounts. But even imported soybeans are way more eco-friendly than beef and pork produced in your own country! So enjoy your tofu wok with a good conscience.

Vegetarian recipe: Mushroom pie

My vegetarian recipes are meant to be a simple inspiration for those who would like to eat more vegetarian food, but are so used to cooking with meat that they are not sure what vegetarian food to make. Of course it’s hopefully a nice inspiration to try new dishes for those who are already used to making vegetarian food too!

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I baked the pie late at night so I apologise for the photo quality, could have done with a bit more light. I made it almost a month ago, when the mushrooms were freshly picked in a forest nearby Helsinki . But lately blogging has been slightly demanding since my laptop came with a factory fault and has been at the repair shop twice in the last month. Today’s “quality” technology, you know…

So, vegetarian food! Pies, or quiche as it’s called, is one of my favorurite vegetarian dishes. Loved them before I became a vegetarian, which was about 2 years ago, and I still love them.

This particular pie contains chanterelles (chantarellus tubaeformis/trumpetsvamp) which is very common in the Nordic countries but try it with any kind of mushroom you find in your local supermarket! This recipe with button mushrooms and swiss brown mushrooms looks good.

I made a silly little video while I was baking the pie, where you can see how I made it.

The best way to make sure your quiche is healthy is to skip the wheatbased pastry and do it with buckwheat(bovete,tattari) instead. It’s much tastier than wheat and its a better form of energy for you, compared to white flour that mostly turns into sugar in your body.

The best and simplest pie crust:

3 dl buckwheat flour

70 g butter (can be replaced with margarin or use oil only)

1/2 dl olive oil

1/2 dl water

Salt

If the pie dough is too dry, just add more water and if there’s too much water, add more flour. Try to get a dough thats easy to work into the pie tin.

The pie contains the amount of mushrooms I picked in the forrest near Helsinki, my guess it that in volume it’s a bit less than one liter. Additionally, I fried one red onion with a garlic clove and poured one 2,5 dl Oatly’s oatbased “cream” mixed and eggs over all of it and lastly add the cheese. So the ingredients are 1/2-1 liters of mushrooms, one red onion, 2,5 dl of oatcream, 3 eggs and approximately 50-70 grams of cheese. Remember to add a bit of salt and pepper! 

The pie goes well with a salad made of baby spinach leaves. Bon appetit!