Month: January 2014

Sweet millet porridge

… another plastic-free breakfast idea

There is nothing more warming on a cold winter day than homemade porridge for breakfast. As I eat it almost everyday, I need some variation from time to time. So this time I just used millet instead. It’s packed with protein, magnesium and vitamin b3. On top of that it’s also gluten-free. Plus: Millet porridge makes it really easy to ditch all sweet, overly packed sweet breakfast cereals. Any more arguments needed?

For two portions use:

1 cup of millet – I literally mean fill up a small cup or mug (available in cardboard packaging at international grocer’s)

2 cups of almond milk or any other plant-based milk (soy milk in re-usable glass bottles is available in some health shops like SuperBioMarkt)

2 small apples

3-4 TS of raisins or other dried fruits (can be bought loose in most health shops like SuperBioMarkt)

2 TS of almonds (buy them loose at the market)

1 1/2 TS of agave juice (Allos sells agave juice in glass jars)

1 tsp of cinnamon (I always buy spices from the Turkish grocer, you can get them in glass jars there)

Bring the almond milk to the boil and stir in the millet. Let everything boil at low heat for 5 minutes. Let everything cool down for another 5-10 minutes and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Et voilà, so much better than sugary cereals!

sweet millet

By the way, I’m participating in the Vegan Wednesday Challenge for winter recipes. If you want to find more inspiration for the cold season, have a look here.

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A rice bag in his pocket

Finding a plastic-free wallet

I’ve been wanting to buy my husband a new wallet for a long time. As leather or fake leather (that’s basically plastic) weren’t an option I started to look for alternatives. I found cotton wallets, but they looked extremely hippie, something I was sure wouldn’t exactly match my man’s taste. Without knowing about my search I suddenly received an email from a fellow blogger. Almuth had spotted a really cool stall at a Christmas market that sold upcycled bags, hats, interior design and wallets. They are made of old rice, coffee bags and other packaging, flip-flops or car tires. I looked it up online and I knew: This is perfect.

upcycling deluxe wallet

So thanks to Upcycling Deluxe my husband’s got a stylish, cruelty-free wallet made from an old rice bag – which couldn’t be more perfect for him, as he’s a chef and he loves rice. Technically it’s not plastic-free, but made from old packaging – so even better actually. As I was so happy with their service and the design I decided to share this with you. Maybe someone else is looking for a new wallet, too?

Coriander peanut pesto

Plastic-free cooking: A project inspired by a bunch of leftover coriander and Leckerbox’s MittwochsBox #32

Pasta and pesto is my no. 1 guilty pleasure. I reckon it made up about 50 per cent of my diet when I was a student and although I’m trying not to overdo it anymore, there is hardly anything I enjoy more than a lazy night at home with a huge plate of pesto. Fortunately pesto is one of the few things you almost always get without plastic packaging, so for a long time I didn’t really see the need to make my own pesto (although I knew how much better it tastes and healthier it is) – until I realized that it’s a great way of preserving any sort of leftover herbs (not only basil).

So last week two things came together: I had a whole bunch of coriander and I happened to stumble upon Leckerbox’s Italian blogging challenge – and this is the story of how a few leftovers turned into a unsual Italian-Asian fusion pesto. The best thing is that it is ridiculously easy to  make. Just put all ingredients in the blender, blend them well, boil up some brown pasta and enjoy!

For a plastic-free coriander peanut pesto (1 big jar) use:

1 big bunch of coriander (without packaging from the veggie shop, bring your own container or bag cause it’s normally a little wet)

a handful of unsalted peanuts (same here: buy them loose from a veggie or health shop)

1 chilli

juice of 1 lemon

1 TS of fresh grated ginger

2-3 TS of grated parmesan (packaging-free from the cheese counter), for a vegan version 1-2 TS of nutritional yeast (cardboard packaging)

a few drops of sesame oil

olive oil (start with a few TS and add more depending on how thick you want it to be

pepper

salt

coriander pesto

Et voilá, you got yourself a flavour explosion! If you got any leftovers, then store the pesto in an old glass jar and put it in your fridge. Cover it with some more oil and it will last for at least two weeks.

Breadfast time

Enjoying a plastic-free breakfast with homemade bread rolls

Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins, nuts, poppy seeds, with white flour, dark flour, sour dough, crispy or soft – There are so many different variations of “Brötchen” (bread rolls) in Germany you could almost say breakfast without bread rolls isn’t considered a real breakfast here. So although you can find bakeries on every corner here, I still like to make my own “Brötchen”. It saves a bit of money and you can always be sure you know all the ingredients. Plus you save a bit of packaging, too (Fortunately a lot of bakeries use recycled paper bags though). So here’s my recipe for easy-peasy breakfast bread rolls. You need:

300 g of wholemeal spelt flour (alternatively other wholemeal flour)

200 g of white flour

3.5 g of yeast (about 1 cube of fresh yeast or 1/2 pack of dry yeast)

330 ml of warm tap water

20 ml of carrot juice (alternatively other veggie juice)

1 tsp of salt

1-2 TS of flax seed

All you have to do: Mix everything together in a bowl and cover the bowl with a tea towel. Let the dough sit for 30-40 minutes and form 6-8 bread rolls. Put them on a baking tray (put baking paper or a bit of flour on it so that the rolls don’t stick) and let the rolls sit there for another 15 minutes. In the meantime you can preheat the oven (220 degrees). Bake the bread rolls for ten minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200 degrees. Bake for another 10-15 minutes…. and enjoy!

homemade bread roll

Beer meets cake

The perfect (plastic-free) gift for beer lovers

What’s a beer lover’s dream? That’s what I was asking myself a little while ago. Looking for an unusual party gift I found this interesting recipe on Cake Invasion, a baking blog I can highly recommend – beer cake. I tried it out and did not only turn out perfectly, it also tasted delicious – don’t be afraid of the beer component, you can’t really taste it. It’s actually kind of Christmas-y, probably because of the nuts in there.

Try it out, you will love it. And here’s the English recipe (for a vegan version use agave juice instead of honey).

beer cake1 beer cake2 beer cake3

Upcycled snack container mini-shelf

… or what became of a party leftover

A little while ago I had a party at my place and someone left an empty snack container. I was just about to pick it up and throw it in the recycling bin when I realized how oddly stylish it looked. As I’m looking for new (and cool) ways to put some of the chaos on my desk into place I turned the snack container into an upcycled mini-shelf.

I used some old nail polish (I’m not using any anymore, so I’m always happy to find a new use for it) to give it a little makeover and pinned it to my wall. I didn’t have any proper nails, but the pin holds it well enough. If you want it to be more stable, attach it to a piece of wood. Of course it can’t hold anything seriously big or heavy, but it’s definitely a nice way of presenting particularly cool-looking items.

what you need shelf1 shelf2

… and this is how a party leftover became the new home for my post-its and rubbers.

DIY snack container shelf

Going green in Vienna

Tips for an eco-friendly weekend in Austria’s beautiful capital

Karlskirche

From organic soap heaven to upcycled decoration ideas – I had no idea Vienna would give me so much inspiration for ingloriousplastics. I went there in December (This was one of the reasons why I didn’t update my blog for a while) and absolutely loved it. The moment I stumbled out of the train I knew there were a bunch of things I would have to share with you. So here they are – my belated green travel tips for Vienna. I wouldn’t consider them a proper list of advice, it’s more like a little (very limited) collection of impressions.

Getting started: The city of Vienna offers an entire (!) website dedicated to “Weniger Mist” (less dirt) including tips on avoiding waste, eco-friendly grocery shopping and recycling. I found it to be a great resource. Unfortunately it’s only available in German.

Useful phrase: Kein Sackerl, bitte 🙂 (No bag, please)

One of the first things I noticed: Vienna is home to the world’s most creative rubbish bins. That made me smile instantly.

creative rubbish bins

But encouraging bins weren’t the only thing that made me love this city. As a foodie one of my first destinations (after a visit to Konditorei Demel) was the Naschmarkt. From fruits, veggies and staples to exotic spices, fresh homemade pasta, dips and sweets, there is nothing you can’t find at this bustling place. There a lot of veggie and vegan options as well – and if you want to buy dips, olives and antipasti, you can of course bring your own container. In the middle of the market you can also find a little health shop with lots of organic and veggie products and a fair-trade chocolate shop called the Schoko Company. And make sure you try some things at the many food stalls!

Naschmarkt1 Naschmarkt2 Naschmarkt3 Naschmarkt4 Naschmarkt5 Naschmarkt6 Naschmarkt7 Naschmarkt8 Naschmarkt9

My best discovery, however, was definitely the little organic soap shop in the middle of the market. Alles Seife sells handmade natural soaps – a lot of them with certified organic ingredients – for all sorts of purposes (including shampoo soaps, shaving soaps, bath soaps, body butter, body scrub soap etc.). I couldn’t believe my luck. Ever since my skin revolted against Lush’s shampoo soaps, I’ve been trying to find a natural, plastic-free alternative. I bought an alge shampoo soap and a cinnamon hand soap for test purposes (at a very reasonable price, too) and I instantly became a fan of Alles Seife. Fortunately they have an online shop and if you live in the EU or Switzerland you can get their lovely soaps sent to your place.

Alles Seife1 Alles Seife2 Alles Seife3

The next thing that absolutely blew my mind was the Christmas market in front of Karlskirche. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a market as creative as this one (not to mention the impressive scenery!) The trees and benches had colourful “knitted dresses”, most of the stalls offered handmade (and even upcycled) products and the foodie stalls offered many regional and organic choices. Unfortunately you have to wait for another year for the next Christmas market to open, but check out the images and keep it in mind!

Market1 Market2 Market3 Market4 Market5

And if that wasn’t enough to convince me I suddenly spotted the coolest merry-go-round I had ever seen in my life. Bird cages, bicylces, old boxes – It was made entirely from trash. The kids seemed to love it just as much as I did.

Market6

On the way back to my place I stumbled upon another cool idea – using wine corks for decorating Christmas trees. I spotted this upcycled tree on Stephansplatz.

upcylced tree

Tired from walking around all day (no need for public transport, it’s very easy to explore Vienna on foot) I had a relaxed dinner at Schöne Perle, a laid-back restaurant specializing in modern Austrian cuisine. They use a lot of regional and some organic ingredients and there are really good vegetarian options, too. On my way back home I would have loved to try a cookie from the “Kekstauschbörse” (cookie swap) some kids seem to have organized. Unfortunately I was a bit late, so no cookie for me – but lots of love for such a creative city.

cookie swap

Of course there is so much more to see (I didn’t even start listing the sights…), but I hope that if you plan on going to Vienna this would help you a bit.