Month: October 2013

Glorious greens

A foodie day in pictures – Inspired by Vegan Wednesday #63

What do avocados, tomatoes, pumpkins and carrots have in common? Right… they all end up on my plate eventually. I love my greens. And my “reds”. And my “oranges”. And veggies in general. And food in general. So every Wednesday I want to show you a little collection of my glorious greens (plus at least one recipe). All recipes have one thing in common: They are plant-based and they involve as little plastic as possible. If you want to know where I get my plastic-free goodies, wait for my next update on avoiding plastic. So here’s my (last week’s) Wednesday in pictures:

chocolate banana blueberry muesli

chocolate banana blueberry muesli

I started the day with a chocolate banana blueberry muesli which kept me full for almost half of the day. It’s inspired by the vegan chef Attila Hildmann, but I modified the recipe and you can adapt it easily to your taste (or the contents of your kitchen cupboards). For the “base” just mix:

150 ml of oat or soy milk

a tsp of cocoa powder (the “real” cocoa for baking)

1/2 tsp of ground vanilla (alternatively vanilla sugar)

1/2 of cinnamon

11/2 TS of agave juice

1 TS of peanut butter

Then add oats, almonds, amaranth, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, raisins or whatever you prefer and let the muesli thicken up. Then chop a banana into slices and always put one layer of banana, one layer of muesli and one layer of blueberries on top of each other (This is of course optional and only serves one purpose: to make it look pretty) I usually garnish my muesli with a teaspoon of agave juice and peanuts or cashews. This muesli is a real power boost, it will keep you full and satisfied for hours.

Guacamole on corn cakes

Guacamole on corn cakes

That’s why I only had a late lunch: Guacamole on corn cakes. You can easily prepare it the night before and take it to the office (re-use an old glass jar and keep the corn cakes separate). For my Guacamole and corn cakes (serving 2) you need:

1 avocado

1 TS of lime juice

1 spring onion, chopped in little rings

1 tsp of roasted and ground cumin

1/2 tomato, chopped in little cubes

1 chili, chopped in little rings

a handful of coriander

salt

black pepper

4 corn cakes (alternatively rice cakes)

Just mix everything together and serve the guacamole on the corn cakes.

Red Thai curry on rice noodles

Red Thai curry on rice noodles

So you’re wondering what’s for dinner? As I love spicy food, I decided to go for a red Thai curry on rice noodles. That also helped me to use up some of the veggie leftovers in my fridge. I was a bit lazy and used pre-made vegan Thai curry paste (I usually get the shrimp and fish oil-free paste here), so there is no recipe this time. If you want to make your own paste, check out this recipe. I just fried some ginger, carrot, zucchini, aubergine, onion and mixed it with the curry paste and coconut milk. As I didn’t have any rice at home I used rice noodles.

Bon Appetit! Guten Appetit! I hope you got some inspiration for your next meals 🙂

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My new “t-towel”

How a favourite t-shirt became a teatowel

My husband loves his t-shirts. So do I. I do have to admit though that there is a stage where I would secretly prefer to dispose of his favourite item of clothing: when it’s full of holes. The good news for him: There is no need to say goodbye – There are plenty of things you can do with old t-shirts. I turned my husband’s shirt into a teatowel.

Of course you can just cut out a tea towel sized cloth and start using it straight away, but if you want to make it last it makes sense to sew it up properly. I found a very useful tutorial here (I chose the hassle-free third method). I basically just cut out two squares, turned the sides around sewed everything together and left a little gap (Just as if you were sewing a pillow case). That way I could turn the towel around easier. After that I sewed up the little gap by hand.

Et voilà, no need to ever buy teatowels again:

t-shirt tea-towel

DIY t-shirt teatowel

Looking for more ideas? Have a look what else you can do with old-shirts here.

Two trashy ideas

… or how I turned old drinks cartons and candy/moisturizer tins into useful objects

I hardly ever buy drinks in cartons nowadays, but whenever I had a carton at home I made sure I didn’t throw it out. I knew there must be something useful I could do with them (aside from DIY business cards). Thanks to Trash Backwards I found a solution – turning my old drink cartons into lunch boxes.

All you have to do is cut the sides and fold them (Click here for the tutorial) over. I used a sort of envelope clip (I tried to find the proper name for them, but I could neither find the German nor the English one) to close the box. I accumulated many of them over the last years. So here’s my drink carton lunch box:

...and another lunch box pic

DIY lunch box

DIY snack containerlunch box

My second upcycling project involved old candy and cosmetic tins. Ever since I started to go as plastic-free as possible I’ve ended up with more and more of them. Most of them are lolly  (Yes, you can get lollies that aren’t individually packaged! Try Pullmoll for example) and moisturizer tins. I adapted an idea I had a little while ago – turning crown/bottle caps into fridge magnets – and used them as a sort of magnetic picture frame. I just glued an interesting picture inside the tin and a magnet to the back. I used an old football magnet which I would have otherwise thrown out. So there you go: candy tin fridge magnets – this might become my ”chain Christmas gift” (a little gift I give to a bunch of people for Christmas) this year.

lolly tin fridge magnet

candy tin fridge magnet

lolly tin fridge magnet

Travelling the world in a rickshaw

The story of how I met Luke

Two weeks ago I got a call from a friend who works in a bar. “This could be just your kind of story”, he insisted, “but you’ve gotta be quick. He’s only gonna be here for another day.” So this is how I met Luke, a 22-year-old engineering graduate from the North of England who travelled the world by bike.

So far his story might sound funny and exciting, but not too unusual. Knowing lots of travellers and hardcore cyclists, I was aware Luke wasn’t the first one to cycle around the world. What was unusual, however, was that he decided to do it in a bike rickshaw taking thousands of people along – for free of course. My friend was right: This was exactly my kind of story.

So I called Luke (who despite of having set up a website and a twitter account to promote his idea seemed a bit surprised) and we met up for a coffee the next morning. He arrived in his massive bike rickshaw, which had to be parked somewhere in a safe place first (Mind you, the area where I live is an absolute nightmare for everyone looking for a place to park). A passenger who turned out to be his friend was sitting on the back seat of the rickshaw.

After we had got some curious looks from the other café guests and a suspicious look from the café owner we started talking. And talking. And talking (For his version of our get together check out his blog post). Luke told me he had come up with this unusual idea because he had wanted to go on a big bike trip after graduating from uni. Not finding anyone to join him and still wanting to meet as many people as possible on his way made him think of a black cap driver he had met a couple of years ago. This guy had been travelling the world in his London taxi taking thousands of people along. Luke was fascinated by his way of travelling and he adapted the idea eventually. Being an enthusiastic cyclists and sportsman (Before going on his rickshaw trip he had paddled all the way from Birmingham to London in a bathtub, not kidding.) he came up with the plan of starting a World Rickshaw Taxi.

This rickshaw taxi wasn’t only supposed to help him get to know locals in a spontaneous way and bring cultures together, Luke also told me he had wanted to give something back to his old school in Yorkshire. He had a deal with his former geography teacher: The kids would follow his journey and by doing so learn about the world in quite a unique way. You wouldn’t be surprised to hear I was absolutely flabbergasted (Note from the editor: Loving this word, only using it because I can. Feel free to ignore and insert “thrilled” instead) by how easily Luke combined something so crazy and fun with a higher purpose. Not exactly being a very sports-crazy person the idea of cycling the world already made me shutter. But travelling at an average of 7.5 km per hour with a huge rickshaw (and potentially a passenger on the backseat)… I guess I wouldn’t have lasted a day, let alone months or longer.

Luke and me. Picture: courtesy of Michael Kofoet

Luke and me. Picture: courtesy of Michael Kofoet

After about two hours Luke drove me back home. I felt honoured to be his passenger and I paid in drunken plum jam (which on other occasions turned out to be a great means for bribing people, too.). Back home I immediately started writing down his story. I was so thrilled by it that I decided I had to share it with other people – many other people. So I decided to offer it to a big news website. They were interested in publishing it, so I started to get a couple more quotes, pictures and make a few corrections. About an hour after I had sent the article off I got a message from Luke: “Really disappointed to say I’m finishing”. So was I. The world never learned about his story.

But as I’m still a big fan of the World Rickshaw TAxi and on top of that learned an important lesson from it, I decided to share his story with you on my blog instead. Luke had an amazing idea and he wasn’t afraid to go for it, put a crazy plan into action and try something that seemed almost too hard to do from the very beginning. In the end he didn’t meet as many people as he wanted to and he just wasn’t happy. After days and days of thinking and worrying about it he decided to quit.

Although he might not have reached his ambitious goal, but he made people smile and think. And that’s all we can do in life.

I’m wishing you all the best for the rest of your way, Luke!

Liebster Award

How I got nominated for a Liebster Award and didn’t notice

liebster-award

The first time I came across a blog award was a few weeks after I had started blogging in March. I can remember I thought “I wonder if ingloriousplastics ever gets one.” Well, I did – seven months ago. For some stupid reason I didn’t notice the wonderful Fearse Family had nominated me for a Liebster Award (If you want to know what a Liebster award is you might find Sopphey’s or Lorraine’s post helpful). I only found out last week when I went through a few old notifications. So dear Fearse Family, please consider this post an apology. I didn’t mean to take so much time.

Part of the Liebster award is that you answer a set of questions created by the person who nominated you. So here are my answers to the Fearse Family’s interesting questions:

1. Which books are on your bedside table right now?

A travel guide to Vienna and Marina Lewycka’s Various Pets Alive & Dead – a hilarious read.

2. What is the most sentimental item you own?

My mum’s diary which she kept when I was a baby. My old teddy. And probably my wedding ring.

3. When is the last time you pushed yourself to your physical limits?

Last night when I ran for the tram. Unfortunately there was no reward, I missed it.

4. What amazes you in this world?

Diversity. Beauty. Kindness. And the fact that despite of all horrible things change is possible.

5. If you could choose anyone in the world to become your instant house mate, who would it be? (and why?)

That’s a tough question, but I think I wouldn’t mind sharing a house with the Dalai Lama. I would hope that his positive energy, his optimism and his kindness would have an effect on me. On top of that we both like veggie meals 🙂

6. What makes you happy?

Lazy Sundays. Fun nights with friends. Spending time with my family. Writing. Good food. Helping others. Random acts of kindness.

7. What do you wish you could change?

Too many things… Poverty. Injustice. Environmental damage.

8. If you could go back and observe (fly on the wall style) one day in your life, which day would you choose?

Wow, I’ve never asked myself that, but I guess I would love to experience the day where my brother was born again. This was the first day of my life I could remember.

9. What principles guide your life?

Love, curiosity and creativity.

10. Name one item you absolutely could not live without.

Hm, that’s an easy one – my glasses 🙂

A big thank you again to the Fearse Family! I will continue the way they did and nominate five other blogs I found really inspiring, regardless of the ever-changing rules of the Liebster award:

The Plastic-Free Chef : Cooking without plastic waste. This blog helps me so much with my cooking!

Food (Policy) for Thought: A grad student’s musings on sustainable food systems, agriculture and more – a highly interesting and informative read.

Plastic Manners: An interesting blog about life without plastic

Poppy’s Patisserie – Bunny Kitchen: A never-ending supply of eco-friendly and healthy recipes.

Here are my questions for the nominees:

1. What was the best meal you ever ate?

2. What was the last place you travelled to?

3. What is the most challenging thing about blogging for you?

4. If you could choose anyone in the world who would you like to interview for your blog and why?

5. If you could go back in time where would you like to go and why?

6. If you were an animal which animal would you be?

7. What was the most amazing place in the world you have ever seen?

8. What do you wish you could change?

9. How would you describe a perfect day?

10. Who are the most important people in your life?

If you want to accept the award, please comment on this post.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You

ingloriousplastic’s recycling photography

A little while ago I started taking pictures through bottles and glasses because I really like what it does to shapes and colours. Because of its recycling aspect I decided to call it “recycling photography”. That way your rubbish can actually help you take really interesting pictures. This is one of my favourite pictures, shot through a green glass bottle. The green symbolizes the idea behind ingloriousplastics – therefore the hue of me, the topic of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge.

A day at the lake

A day at the lake