My new flatmate and I have only been living together for a week, so we haven’t yet coordinated things like grocery shopping. This is probably why we somehow ended up with two loaves of bread last week, and by Monday my seeded loaf had gone a bit…hard. I didn’t have time to do much with it in the morning so I just chopped it into chunks and blitzed it up into breadcrumbs, which were perfect for freezing. Note to self, I really must do something about the contents of my freezer. I recently spied a gluten free Cornetto in there from two flatmates ago. Both my flatmate and I are vegan so we’ll just have to wait until someone comes over with an ice cream craving and a lackadaisical attitude to food standards.
On Sunday night I wrote up a meal plan, and I may have cheated slightly and veered towards fruits and vegetables that had their own “packaging” like apples, avocados, bananas and squash. Meal planning has never been on my radar before, but years of menu planning for dinner parties came in handy. If I can plan a 6-course meal for 15, I can manage food ideas for one not-so-picky person for a week. Holy crap, I’m adulting.
I’m not a fan of a regimented routine. I like to be able to pick and choose what I’ll have to eat and when; if I feel like I’ve not been given enough choice, I have a tendency to rebel like an unruly pre-teen. I basically just wrote down 7 days worth of meals, 3 meals a day, without assigning specific meals to specific days or times. So if I want to eat toast with jam and soy cream cheese for dinner? That’s absolutely ok. Pasta for breakfast? Sure. Noodles first thing in the morning is totally acceptable, right?
Unfortunately I forgot it was Sunday. By the time I got to the Waitrose, it was shut. It’s also the closest proper sized supermarket near mine, where I would be able to choose my own produce rather than buying the ready-bagged stuff of Zero Waste nightmares. I did attempt to go to Sainsburys Local, but it’s a bit rubbish tbh. Pun intended.
One thing I’ll confess I bought were storage containers. Over the years I’ve used these to take pieces of cake and leftovers home, but I’ve also “lent” them to friends after dinner parties. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a single one back. I decided to buy a set of tubs as they were on offer, though I can’t tell if this was in aid of Zero Waste Week or if Sainsburys just had a surplus of them in some store room somewhere. Either way, they were coming home with me.
So far, so good. I think Waitrose being shut was actually a bit of a blessing, as I decided to buy the rest of my fruit and veg from the local community greengrocers. I like to support local businesses as much as possible, most of their produce is locally sourced, and they are a whole whopping hundred metres closer to my flat than any supermarket. Lazy cow, meet ethical shopping.
I noticed a few things when I was in Sainsburys, so thought I’d talk y’all through my thought process. These may have seemed like the ramblings of a lunatic to other customers as I spent an awfully long time cursing at the pet food aisle.
- Wow there aren’t many things that don’t come wrapped in plastic here!
- Holy shit is that a garlic, wrapped in a net bag and tagged? Surely it’s pretty obvious these are garlic?
- Apples in rows of 5, wrapped in cellophane? Nope!
- There really isn’t very much vegan-friendly food in this shop
- I suppose glass jars are better than plastic pots
- Wow, there is a LOT of plastic in here
- Oh balls, what am I going to feed the cat?
- Ew, tripe?!
- I like juice. What am I going to drink this week? Water? Noooo!
- Oh look, a watermelon…
- This is not going to all fit in my bag for life!
- This DOES fit in my bag for life!
Now I have a dog and a cat. There are things like pet food and cat litter that I can’t not buy this week, so I know they’ll contribute to *some* waste. The animals are still going to eat and poop, and even though I’ve suggested it numerous times to them I don’t think they plan to stop anytime soon. I decided that instead of buying individual serving packets of cat and dog food like I usually do, I would make a trip out to the pet shop for the big bags of kitty and puppy chow. I did contemplate going raw for pooch’s meals, but I honestly don’t think I can bring myself to touch the stuff. It’s also out of consideration for my flatmate, who I really don’t think would appreciate raw meat in our shared fridge.
I woke up this morning STARVING, and the realisation that I hadn’t actually finished my grocery shop last night dawned on me halfway through my first cup of tea. Then I remembered I had some plain rice noodles from last night’s dinner and an almost indecent amount of cavalo nero from the farmers market. Apparently past-me had predicted that present-me would be grossly unprepared for life. So what did I do? I made Miso Rice Noodles with Cavalo Nero and Red Peppers. For breakfast.
Miso Rice Noodles with Cavalo Nero and Red Pepper
- Rice noodles, soaked in warm water to soften
- 1/2 a red pepper, chopped
- Loads of cavalo nero, shredded
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp miso paste
- 3 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
In a cup mix the maple syrup, miso paste, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. Throw in the vegetables, sauté for a minute or two. Add the noodles and a splash of soy sauce. Cook until the noodles are ready, so maybe another couple of minutes. Add the dressing. I honestly had to drag that paragraph out just to make this look like an actual recipe, but trust me, the whole process took about 5 minutes. Take a pretty photo of your noodles for Instagram and eat.
Who doesn’t love food that takes longer to eat than it does to cook?