Teach About U.S. Blog

Day 9: What's cooking?

Day 9: What's cooking?

by Clara del Rey -
Number of replies: 0
Clara del Rey // 1 July 2015 // #GoingGreen #WasteNot

Homemade stew | (c) Clara del Rey 

Homemade stew | (c) Clara del Rey

Next week I will blog about where and how buying your goods in a conscious and respectful manner. In this post, however, I want to explore the foods you don’t need to buy at all, because you can easily make them yourself with two or three tools and a bit of practice. When I decided to go zero-waste, I looked for inspiration and ideas in all sorts of blogs and Instagram accounts. Soon I discovered that many of my fellow bloggers seemed to have one thing in common: they cook (quite simple, right?). Some of them with true skill, some others (myself included :) ) with better intentions than results, and a good amount of patience.

Here’s the point where I have to make a confession: At the beginning of this transition, I only knew how to fry a steak a make a salad, and I thought I just wasn’t made for cooking at all. I used to spend a big portion of my salary buying convenience food and snacks in the supermarket. I remember getting tired easily and always feeling as if in a bad shape. Becoming waste-free has truly helped me to learn new skills and live more healthily, and now I love cooking and trying new recipes and cooking hacks almost every day.

Day 9.2

Glass jars, pulses, and a pressure cooker have become steady companions in our kitchen. | (c) Clara del Rey

Here is my selection of products you can easily cross out from your shopping list by making them in your kitchen using only an oven and a stove, a pressure cooker, a ceramic and a tin tray, a hand blender, a frying pan, and a medium sized pot. That’s all I use.

  • All the cakes and desserts that you want, including energy bars.
  • Breads, chips, Mexican tortillas (it is an obligation for me, as I am gluten intolerant).
  • Preserves (jams, chutneys, tomato sauces, etc.).
  • Pulses and all kind of casseroles and stews.
  • Vegetarian pates.
  • Ketchup, mayo and all kind of sauces.
  • Yogurts and some cheeses.
  • Juices.

What? You don't believe me? Just don’t be afraid to try and experiment, cooking, as any other skill, is something that you acquire, not a natural talent! Here are some of my favorite recipes: These no bake energy bars by Lauren Stinger's blog Trash is for Tossers. (Also, check out the entire recipe section of her blog for some inspiration.) This super delicious homemade fruit jam that also makes a great present. This tasty tomato ketchup that will leave you wondering why you've never tried this before. And this guide to cooking beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peas. Bon appétit!


Clara del Rey, the winner of the travel well MAGAZINE's #WasteNot 30-day challenge , was invited to share her favorite ideas on reducing trash. Clara, a Spanish native, taught in St. Joseph, Missouri (USA), and is now living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Not only does she know both the U.S. and the European perspective on sustainability, but her ideas are creative, unconventional, and yet easy to follow.She is conviced: "I truly think being environmentally conscious starts with reducing your consumption of resources and products. Sometimes I stop, reflect upon people's frantic consumption habits and just think to myself: we are all addicts, in a way, having to buy compulsively insane amounts of disposable, poor quality 'goods'. It makes me wonder how we are losing the ability to create things with our hands or imagination—simple things such as cooking, growing greens and vegetables, or sewing a button. I refuse to represent this mindset."