Eleven tips for a plastic free kitchen

I like some of the suggestions in this article published today in The Guardian (link).

On my end, it has been ages since I have cut down on the use of plastic in the kitchen. So if I may, I would like to share a few tips you may find useful.

IMG_9751IMG_9743

1- For left over food, I use glass pyrex like containers with a glass lid or Mason jars. If the quantity is small, like left over strawberries, I just put it in a bowl and place a small plate on top.

2- The same applies for fresh herbs and fresh ginger root. I have small Mason jars with a lid, and the ingredients stay very fresh.

3- Of course, there is no plastic wrap in the house. As for aluminum, I have one roll that has been in the cupboard for ages. I used it recently to wrap a cake I gave to someone (it was not at his home). If I go to someone’s place, I bring the cake or muffins in a basket wrapped in a cloth, and simply get the basket and the cloth back when I leave.

4- For the dish washing liquid, I buy a large bottle of organic dish washing liquid and refill the small bottle next to the sink every time. This does not eliminate the use of plastic but at least reduces it.

5- I also regularly use a mix of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar to wash the kitchen counter and the sink. It leaves them sparkling. It also helps to disinfect and get rid of odors such as egg, onion and the like. I also use it for the cutting boards.

IMG_9747IMG_9741

6- I have no plastic in the kitchen. All the utensils are either wood or metal. I use a wooden board (I actually have two, one especially for onions and meat and the like).

7- I cannot remember the last time I bought paper napkins, as I only use cloth napkins, the same with non-reusable cutlery and plates. I simply wash dishes if I have guests, and put the napkins in the laundry.

8- When I go to the market, I always try to but bottled items such as chile chipotle or mustard in glass bottles rather than plastic ones.

9- I have to use plastic bags for the garbage and I try to buy the ones that are the most ecological friendly even if they are slightly more expensive. I also try to empty the garbage every two days, rather than every day, when possible.

10- Of course, I always take cloth bags to the market, and I always have a small one in my bag in case I buy something unexpectedly even when going to the paper store. This enables me to never ask for a plastic bag to carry whatever it is I bought.

11- Finally, if we go out and I know it will be hot, I take a small metallic water bottle for my son and I. This means we need not buy water on our way.

I hope these few tips can be inspiring. Thank you!

Advertisements

Preserving Saffron

Saffron is a delicate spice with less than one year of freshness. It is can also be cumbersome to use as it needs to be diluted before it is added. Here is a traditional Iranian way of preserving it and making it easy to use for any recipe and even for tea.

IMG_6256

1- Crush a teaspoon of saffron threads in a small mortar. Do it gently. (If you will only be using it with salty dishes, you may want to crush it with some salt as it eases the process.)
2- Place the saffron in a glass jar and pour some boiling water (boil the water and let it rest 30 seconds before pouring it).

IMG_6270

3- Let it cool, close and place it in the fridge. It lasts up to six months.

For use: take a few teaspoons of the saffron liquid at a time. For tea, just add one teaspoon in a hot cup of water, or any herbal infusion or tea. 

Adviyeh – Persian spice mix

Adviyeh in Farsi, also known as Adwiyah in Arabic, is a delicious spice mix used in many dishes from ground beef to vegetable stews. The mix is used in Iran, Iraq and many countries of Central Asia including Afghanistan.

img_4621

One generous teaspoon of each of these spices:
– Turmeric
– Cinnamon (about half a cinnamon stick grated)
– Cloves
– Cumin
– Black pepper (crushed)
– Coriander seeds
– Sesame seeds
– The seeds from seven cardamon pods
-Plus some fresh ginger root crushed. This, I just add just before using the spice since it is a “wet” spice.

Optional: a teaspoon of dried rose petals.

Store in a sealed container for up to a month.

Fettuccini & Co.

This is an easy Pasta to make for a Sunday lunch. Just gather what you may have in the fridge and in the kitchen. And do not forget the Truffle oil!

IMG_8423

Today I gathered: Smoked salmon, arugula salad, baby tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, Kalamata olives, fresh basil and freshly grounded multicoloured pepper corns.

– Just cook the egg-based Fettuccini and place it in a large serving bowl.
– Gather all the ingredients in different plates and bowls, and place Truffle oil and balsamic vinegar on the side.

To serve: let everyone serve themselves and sprinkle their pasta with Truffle oil and balsamic vinegar. It is delicious!