Plastic-Free July Eco-Challenge: Day 2

I’ll be talking about this a lot this month. A LOT. But for Day 2, let’s just focus on one meal. Just one meal, for today, that you prepare and eat at home. Dinner, breakfast, whatever. Instead of eating out this one meal, try to make it yourself at home.

Yeah, my meal planning book isn’t out yet, and there will be tons of recipes in there, but you don’t HAVE to have a cookbook to prepare a meal at home, do you?

If eating at home is something new for you, breathe deep and relax. Plastic-Free July isn’t necessarily about going 100% plastic-free in one month. As the Zero-Waste chef herself, Anne-Marie Bonneau says “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

If you use a little plastic for this ONE meal, that’s okay. As I mentioned in Day 1, being more aware of your plastic use is the first step to reducing plastic waste. Small steps toward progress is something to celebrate. Focus on what you are doing. It is having a positive impact.

If you are looking for inspiration for a plastic-free meal, I’ve got your back!

Breakfast:

Paleo Apple Muffins   6 servings: 243 calories,  Carbs: 18.2 g, Fat: 12.4 g, Protein: 10 g

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp each ginger, nutmeg, and cardamon
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup apples, peeled and minced
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp slivered almonds or pepitas

Directions

  1. Preheat oven at 350
  2. Line 6 muffin tins with cups and pour a small amount of melted coconut oil into each liner.
  3. Mix all dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a large mixing bowl.  Add apple, stirring constantly, then the beaten eggs and honey. Stir thoroughly until even consistency.
  4. Pour batter evenly into tin liners and place on middle rack of oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with almonds or pepitas immediately after taking them out of the oven.

Lunch:

Quinoa Chickpea Salad  4 servings 402 calories, Carbs: 49.1 g, Fat: 8.1 g, Protein: 22.6 g 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups quinoa
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp  olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups fresh kale, chopped
  • 1 large orange, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Directions

  1. Heat chickpeas in a pan over medium heat. Also, fry up kale in skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil if desired.
  2. Prepare quinoa according to directions on package. Fluff quinoa with fork.
  3. In large bowl, mix chickpeas, quinoa, kale, orange, and almonds.
  4. Add remainder of oil, salt & pepper, and vinegar and thoroughly mix to blend well.
  5. Divide into 4 resealable containers for quick grab for lunch. Can be served warm or cold.

Dinner:

Sweet Potato and Collard Dosas

Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Dash of red chili flakes
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1⁄2 tsp cumin
1 small lime
3 scallions or green onions, chopped
1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped
6 large, intact, and unblemished collard leaves

Directions:

1.Arrange potatoes in a steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes, until tender.
2. While potatoes are steaming, heat oil in large skillet and saute onion for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, chili flakes, ginger, curry, mustard, and cumin. Saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Add potatoes to onion and spice mixture, stir, and mash with a fork. Stir in lime, scallions/green onions, and cilantro, and keep warm.
4. Remove and discard stems from collards. Drop leaves into a large pot of boiling water and cook for 8 minutes, until pliable but still bright green. Remove cooked collards from boiling water with tongs and drop into ice water for 30 seconds to stop cooking and set color. Remove from ice bath and pat dry with paper towels.
5. Assemble rolls- place one leaf on a flat surface, with the inside surface of the leaf showings. Cut off lower inch of leaf. Mound about 1⁄2 cup sweet potato mixture onto lower third of the leaf. Fold
bottom edge of leaf over mixture and fold sides of leaves in to cover mixture. Starting at the bottom edge, roll leaf tightly to encase filling completely. Repeat with remaining leaves. Reserve any leftover filling.
6. Arrange, seam side down, on a serving plate. Serve with barbecue or chutney sauce.

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