7 Easy Ways to Improve the Chew of a Lunchtime Salad

Now the weather is improving, salad is certainly back on the lunchtime menu (if it ever went away)  but this doesn’t need to be something that comes in a packet from the supermarket.  We will highlight ways to make a delicious taste, sensation at work that will save you money.

At Green Livvy we are not fans of the packaged salads from supermarkets for a couple of reasons

  1. The chemically/synthetic taste – is it chlorine, is it preservatives either way to keep them fresh, pre-packed salads have a nasty after-taste.
  2. The packaging- as you may have guessed, we detest all that plastic packaging!
  3. The cost- of course the convenience of someone making, packaging and transporting a salad costs money, but over a week these costs add up.

The trick to making a a plate of vegetables a tastes sensation, rather than a chewing chore is creating different textures and flavours, so here are 5 suggestions to re-imagine the simple salad:

  1. Choose a base that is peppery- rocket, chinese leaf, kale all fit the bill
  2. Pick different coloured vegetables so it is a visual feast for your eyes
  3. Use a potato peeler to make ribbons- this works well with courgette, carrot, butternut squash. (You could also invest in a spirilizer to do this)
  4. Make julianne stripes of vegetables with this nifty grater– this is the ideal small handy implement to take to work to transform, your lunch time meal
  5. Put root vegetables, beetroot, parsnip, carrot, cauliflower into a food processor to make a rice like texture
  6. Sprout pulses and seeds, n advance – these have a fresh burst of new life with every bite.
  7. Garnish with soft, salty antipasti such as olives, capers, pickled peppers or sundried tomatoes.

This blog entry includes affiliate links to Amazon. We recommend trying to buy things second-hand first and foremost.

Want more inspiration?

At Green Livvy we always finding quick and easy ways to prepare fresh food and avoid packaging so sign up to the Green Livvy newsletter and we will keep you inspired.

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Keep me updated on low waste living tips

Plastic-free Cooking

by Livvy Drake

Every time I undertake the Lent Plastic Challenge, I find that the new recipes and products I discover, far outweigh the the things I go without. Often being ‘busy’ (our favourite word in this modern world), means I forget about the joy found being creativity in the kitchen. But, as the ‘busy’ doesn’t show signs of abating the creativity needs to be quick, easy and …. low packaging.  So here are just some of the alternatives I have discovered over the last few weeks:

  1. Home-made flatbread pizza – choosing a  yeast- free dough took minutes to make and I froze half the dough for mid-week meals.
  2. Roasted carrot curry sauce- A great friend gave me this recipe. Simply roast carrots with spices and blend to a puree
  3. Sweet potato or aubergine chips – Hemp flour, ground almonds, or leftover breadcrumbs are great for a crispy coating
  4. Mint avocado ice-cream – a creamy dream
  5. Coffee grind exfoliating scrub – mixing ‘used’ coffee grinds with coconut oil is a great wake-up experience.

These are just some of the recipes we have been sharing with those who joined the Lent Plastic Challenge, and due to their popularity we are bringing it all together in one place a ‘Low Waste More Living‘cook book.

The book will include:

  • How  to shop to avoid & minimise packaging
  • How to transform fruit & veg (they easiest non-packaged items) into delicious naughty treats.
  • How to prepare fresh food quickly & easily so you can enjoy healthy, convenient food and have time to enjoy living!

 

Why plastic ‘aint fantastic for Mother Nature

As we get ready for the Lent Plastic Challenge,today’s blog is all about the environmental impacts of plastics throughout it’s lifecycle.

Where does plastic come from?
Plastic is made from crude oil, which is mined/drilled around the world. Oil is a fossil fuel, meaning it was created thousands of years ago from fossil refinement and it is a finite resource that is running out.

IMPACT: This means the search for new oil reserves is heading into protected, virgin, delicate eco systems. Drilling for oil for plastics is directly implicated with Rainforest destruction in the Amazon.

How is plastic made?

Crude oil is mixed with chemicals to stabilise it. The process requires large quantities of energy and water.

IMPACT: Co2 emissions from production and transportation. Use of finite materials such as water and fossil fuels in it’s production.

Does plastic biodegrade or compost?
NO! Every piece of plastic that has been ever made still exists. It takes over 500 years for plastics to break down. Plastics in the oceans don’t biodegrade either they just break down into smaller particles.

IMPACT: Beaches and oceans littered with a fine glitter like layer of plastics.

But cant plastic be recycled?

The real meaning of recycling is to return a material to a similar state within a cyclical process (think paper and cans).
Plastic ‘recycling’ is confusing because:
a) There are so many types of plastics
b) Plastics get turned into other products in a downcycling process e.g broom handles, fleece jumpers.
c) In the UK, there is no consistent process, some could get recycled, downcycled, shipped abroad for incineration or buried in landfill.

What about all the plastic in the sea?
The 5 Gyres latest research suggests there are 268,000 tonnes of plastic in the oceans.
IMPACT: Plastic killing mammals and entering the food chain through fish and into humans.

impact-on-wildlife

How can you do your bit?
Whilst the prevalence of plastics shows no sign of abating (it is a cheap material), it is important that consumers and lobbying groups form to stand up against the plastics industry. Choosing to refuse and avoid single-use plastic items such as plastic bags, bottles, food containers and skin wash with microbeads in are a great start.

lent-plastic-challenge-960w

How does the Lent plastic challenge work?

If you think you could avoid plastic water bottles and microwaving meals in plastic tubs for 40 days you should join us on the Lent Plastic Challenge.

The Lent Plastic Challenge is not about throwing out every plastic item in your house.

Instead it’s about challenging your habits and shopping behaviours to see what single-use plastics you could ‘give-up’.

You could pick a couple of items and focus on those OR every week try and cut out another item, with the programme and support of the Green Livvy team.

What support is included in the Lent Plastic Challenge?

We will provide you with:

  • Weekly webinars containing advice, facts and motivation
  • Daily inspiration including videos and recipes
  • An online community to share your achievements, discoveries and challenges

How do I join?

Join the Lent Plastic Challenge Facebook Group or sign-up for email updates.

Want to find out more about plastics and health?

Further reading:

5 Gyres website
Plastic Coalition website

Hmm it doesn’t say plastic residue in the ingredients!

At Green Livvy we are getting ready for the Lent Plastic Challenge. Lent starts on 18th February, so not long now! We have received lots of questions and queries from our followers on why they should do it and what it entails. So in these blogs we will outline a number of issues with plastics and what is involved in giving up.

This blog is all about some of the health issues.

health-impact

What is the problem with plastics for our health?

Plastics are made from oil and a cocktail of chemicals which give them their consistency- hard, squidy, soft, colourful etc. These chemical compounds such as BPA’s and phosphates have been linked with various health conditions including fertility & hormonal issues, cancer and birth defects.

You may have heard that you shouldn’t drink water from plastic water bottles that have heated up in the car. This is because the chemicals leach out into the water. It naturally follows that microwaving plastics also can have the same impact.

Understanding all the different types of plastics and their safety is a minefield and  whilst the advise and levels of toxicity between different plastics is constantly being scrutinised, would you want to risk it?

Current articles

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How do I address the health implications of plastics heating up?

  • Avoid reusing plastic bottles and invest in a metal reusable bottle
  • Avoid food in plastic tubs
  • Do not microwave anything in a plastic tub

What are the side-effects of giving up single-use plastics?

It does take a little thought first of all to remember a water bottle, but like most habits if you do them enough they soon become second nature.

Some of the benefits include:

  • We save a fortune not buying plastic bottled drinks, and getting our reusable water bottle filled
  • We certainly feel healthier choosing to avoid foods in plastic pots especially microwave meals and vegetables. Have you ever noticed the chemical tastes on salads, chopped fruit and microwave vegetable sides- those are to keep the vegetables and fruit stable after they have been chopped up. Yuk!

lent-plastic-challenge-960w

How does the Lent plastic challenge work?

If you think you could avoid plastic water bottles and microwaving meals in plastic tubs for 40 days you should join us on the Lent Plastic Challenge.

The Lent Plastic Challenge is not about throwing out every plastic item in your house.

Instead it’s about challenging your habits and shopping behaviours to see what single-use plastics you could ‘give-up’.

You could pick a couple of items and focus on those OR every week try and cut out another item, with the programme and support of the Green Livvy team.

What support is included in the Lent Plastic Challenge?

We will provide you with:

  • Weekly webinars containing advice, facts and motivation
  • Daily inspiration including videos and recipes
  • An online community to share your achievements, discoveries and challenges

How do I join?

Join the Lent Plastic Challenge Facebook Group or sign-up for email updates.

Want to find out more about plastics and health?

Further reading: