A recipe AND a good-onya thank you!

Its day 5 of the Plastic Free July, and I think I’m doing quite well. My boyfriend decided to really test me today (unintentionally) when he went to buy choc milk and we walked down the chip aisle. Oh Pringles! How do I miss thee? Let me count the ways… Im quite fond of chips (especially pringles…) but I guess its better for me not to have a serving of msg. So anyway, I did promise a recipe and a photo, so here it is.

Red Capsicum Pesto

  • 2 Red Caps
  • Handful of cashews (Can also use toasted pine nuts or, you can skip the nuts)
  • One to two garlic cloves (depending on how many people you want to stay away from you)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Salt & pepper (for your own individual seasoning)

Cut up the red caps into quarters, removing the stalks and seeds. Place on a baking tray, along with the garlic cloves, and drizzle some olive oil over them. Heat in oven (220C) for 20 minutes or until they are black and blistered, and lookin’ yummy! (jokes)

Take out and let cool so you can easily handle them without being burnt (please dont burn yourself, I do care!). Once cool, peel off the skins and pop the garlic out of its skin and put the garlic and capsicum flesh in a food processor (or you can put into a bowl and use an electric stick mixer)

Add everything else and blend! Take care not to over blend. This is so you can still get reasonable pieces of the cashew. If its too solid-like add some more olive oil, but you want to get it to a thick paste like consistency.  And remember this recipe can be changed completely to suit your tastes. I normally just alter it according to how many capsicums I have (more/less cheese etc) After each mix have a taste and adjust accordingly. Have fun!

Here it is making an appearance in a completely plastic free sourced dinner!

Plastic free dinner!

Dinner is; Cous cous (bulk from Kakulas), Avocado (grocers), Feta (Kakulas, put into my own container instead of one of theirs), and pesto! Yeah!

You can also use the pesto for pasta sauces, and sandwich fillings…

Pesto makes yet another appearance

Whilst I have my lovely sammich photo up, I need to put out a HUGE thank you to Onya bags, as they gave my friend a lovely gift when she had said to them about doing the Plastic Free Challenge. They kindly sent out three Onya lunch wrap/bags. Here’s the little guy in action!

Wrap me up baby!

Thank you so much Onya! (And a special thank you to me loving friend who gave it to me in the first place!) This little guy has been so handy and has nicely protected my food. I was really surprised by how it keeps the food nice as well, as when I went to open my bag for lunch I thought Oh no my sandwich will be squashed and going everywhere, but to my disbelief it was still its perfect little sandwich self. No squashed middle bits. Guess glad wrap isn’t going to win the war over sandwich wrapping!

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Lets talk about prep, baby!

So I didnt just decide one morning to do this challenge, although I’m sure some talented people out there could. The ones who never give up, or never lack determination. Something like that. Anyway like I said before, I am quite conscious about how much plastic I seem to use, so way before this challenge I was looking at ways to reduce it. Not just taking my own water bottle and preferring to eat in rather than take away in a container, but moving onto things like making my own toothpaste, and buying (more of my) food at places like Kakulas or a place that sells things loose style. Well I successfully made my own toothpaste the other day! Woo! Although, I shouldn’t get too excited as after a day, the toothpaste turned into a solid and Im having to chip away at it out of the jar like some archaeologist. Im not defeated though, as Ill still go through that batch, then make a hopefully better, more paste like toothpaste. I had a success with the deodorant though! Very easy to make and smells clean, which is what you want I guess. If you’re interested, you can find some toothpaste recipes here.

Other things that have helped me to go plastic free include …

  • Making sure there are reusable bags in my car and carrying my handy little Onya bags!
  • Taking my own set of cutlery out with me, just in case there is only a plastic alternative
  • Taking containers with me to get things from delis such as cheese, olives etc. Most people wont mind at all. Honest.
  • Making your own! I haven’t yet gone out to get milk…So instead I attempted making almond milk, which was delicious! I also normally always make Capsicum Pesto whenever I can get my hands on some caps, so I made a fresh batch the other day for pasta and sandwich spreads. Ill put the recipe up tomorrow!
  • Being prepared when cooking. I.e BEANS. I eat a lot of beans, which they all come in tins (which are lined with plastic inside). So whilst there are some tins out there that do not have a plastic coating containing delicious BPA, I haven’t looked for them yet. Instead, I buy bulk dry beans and cook them myself. Although they do take a little while longer to prepare than taking off that lid to your tin, you can feel a bit safer eating them. My way of being prepared is to cook a heap of them, then to freeze them in one-two serve containers. Easy peasy!
  • The main thing I’ve been aware of so far is just being prepared. Going out I always try to make sure to have a few spare good ol’ brown paper bags with me incase I feel like buying something, or having cutlery on me. I try to plan when to go shopping, and specifically take bags and containers with me. The point is to try to make it as easy and fun as you can! That way you wont get through a few days and think “Oh this is just silly – I cant be bothered” Captain Planet says Nooo!

    Gooo Planet!!

  • So, anything that makes it that much easier or inspires your creativity (maybe making your own personalised bag out of canvas, or cooking things that would normally come in plastic) is a great thing to do, and you’ll feel pretty good afterwards too! Warm fuzzies for all!

Well tomorrow post will be a bit more interesting (really) as it will have a recipe in it! As well as photos! Awesome! 
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Beginning with no plastic

About a month ago, one of my friends came up to me and told me about the idea of “Plastic Free July”; (Simply put) A month where you go without buying any plastic. I thought it was a bit incredulous at first “Uh yeah sure thing” I said and left it at that. But of course my friend is a bit more persistent than that, and so here I am, two days into July, writing my progress.

Now I know I dont sound that excited, but I am enjoying the challenge! (Feel free to go the the About page to learn what the challenge entails) When I first heard about it from my very sustainable friend, I didnt think much of it, because I do already try to cut down my wastage and plastic use. I.e. Taking a water bottle everywhere, bringing a reusable coffee cup to uni, shop at growers markets, packing my own lunch (mainly cos im a cheapo though…) But then I reconsidered – Hmm maybe I do use a fair amount of plastic… You see, I will freely admit,  that I love glad wrap. I know! My one weakness. So honestly when I thought about a month without plastic, I was really thinking “A month with glad wrap” *gasp*  

Well second day in and my love affair seems to be doing okay, for now anyway.

Anyway, moving on to today. I was meant to go to the local farmers market that I normally go to on a Sunday, but just didnt get there. So I went to one of my favourite fruit and veg shops, Galati’s.

No plastic bags here!

-Notice the fantastic Onya bag…I got these a little while ago, and they have been of fantastic use, and have prevented me awkwardly carrying an armful of fruit to the checkout. You can find them here.

Amazingly, Ive already found a few setbacks that I didnt expect, like choosing certain fruits and veges mainly only come in plastic at grocers…

Goodbye cucumbers and strawberries!

But there are some amazing things that Ive never paid attention to before (or I guess Ive taken them for granted), like buying feta, haloumi, tofu and olives at deli’s, or at another home of mine, Kakulas Sisters. And amazingly, I have found an alternative to using glad wrap for things! Storing some cooked beans today, I realised I could cover them by putting a plate on top of the bowl. My goodness, its a miracle! Maybe I wont be missing it as much as I thought…

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