Palm oil free Ritz peanut butter crackers

Palm Oil Free, Gluten Free (RITZ) PEANUT BUTTER CRACKERS
 

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DAY 1: These "Ritz" peanut butter crackers are better, if not tasting entirely similar, to the branded one! It has a perfect twist of sweet and salty for that perfect snack. Best part, and the reason why I recreated this recipe, is that they are palm oil free! If you are curious as to why I have a 7 day recipe challenge all about keeping palm oil out of my food (amongst keeping it out of everything else in my life), then check out #2 on my "Lower your footprint" page. This pesky ingredient is contributing to massive deforestation in the Sumatran rainforest and its causing our fragile ecosystem to collapse, driving animals out of their homes and to the brink of extinction.

This snack is super simple to make and you can find these ingredients in sustainable bulk to make this trash free, organic, and cheap! The only thing I didn't buy in bulk was the gluten free flour which I bought in a huge bag that I will reuse for my bulk brown rice flour hauls in the future. It was the first purchase I made since being trash free/plastic free that had any packaging and I'm so happy I found a reuse for the bag. In the future I don't think I will do it again but it was nice to put my brain to the test for alternative uses after it ran out.  I adapted the recipe for the crackers from Gluten Free on a shoe string! It was a perfect recipe, and Im so happy with it.

INGREDIENTS:
- 1 cup of Pamelas gluten free pancake/baking flour (you can use regular flour which is easier to find in bulk!)
-4 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil (+2 tablespoons melted oil for brushing crackers before oven)
-1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
-1 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
-1 teaspoon paprika
-pinch of salt
-1 tablespoon of olive oil
-1/2 cup water with ice in it (don't include ice in measurement
FOR FILLING:
-Organic and palm oil free peanut butter! 

WHAT TO DO:
1. Preheat to 375 F. Prepare your baking sheet with non-stick silicone mat (making this trash free!)
2.Chop the 4 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil in bowl and after place in freezer.
3. Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Take chopped oil oil out of freezer and mix in with dry ingredients cutting with two knives to form pebbles.
4. Add in olive oil and slowly, bit by bit, add in water (discard ice, maybe throw it in a flower pot <3).
5. Stir until complete dough forms. Make into ball and put in refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes (just to firm)
6. After allotted time, take out and put on clean, floured surface and roll out dough to thickness you desire (about 1/8th inch thick). Get circular shape cutter to cut out cracker sized circles from dough. (I got very creative and found a stainless steel lid)
7. Pop in oven for about 8-10 minutes. Take out and brush with melted oil. 
8. Lay out and let crackers cool.
9. Put desired amount on one side of cracker and squish with another! BOOM! YAY!

What did my morning look like for Earth Day?

Earth Day morning was a blast for me! Took a train to Long Island City with my good friend Alex and went to an amazing warehouse called The Materials for the Arts. I have never heard of this center before and was introduced to it by a wonderful activist and model, Cameron Russell. She hosted a small meet but the message was huge. 

The fashion industry is one of the dirtiest industries in the world next to factory farming and oil. When I used to think of pollution I would think of sewage pipes leaking into oceans, or power plants billowing with smoke into the ozone, but one of the biggest contributors to global warming is actually as close as your closet. With damagingly water intensive practices, toxic chemicals being leached into the environment, and the demand for more of earth resources once your clothes are quickly "out of season"; it is inevitable that change must happen for us to sustain existence.

PHOTO BY MEI TAO. If you can spot me, I have the amazing repurposed bright red yarn hat.

PHOTO BY MEI TAO.
If you can spot me, I have the amazing repurposed bright red yarn hat.

On this day Cameron promotes a new wave of consciousness for sustainability in the fashion world, and sheds light on this amazing center that has been changing the sustainability game for 30 years now. The Material for the Arts Center saved 1.5 million pounds of fashions fabrics and supplies that were headed to the trash last year. They provide a way for companies and individuals to donate unneeded supplies to thousands of non profit organizations with arts programming and public schools.

Cameron states " We need every single person, in the area that they know (their community, their school, their jobs) to push for sustainability because innovation needs to come from all over. So the real choice we have isn't whether or not we are going to change, but are we going to lead change?
 

So after her inspiring speech, we took a grand tour of the this amazing center. I was mind blown with the things that they had. Textiles, fabrics, old paintings and frames, a whole tub full of brand new phone cases. Leather bags, perfect jewelry rejected by big companies, aisles upon aisles of amazing goods that were near perfect.
If you have time you have to go to their website to learn more!  Click HERE!!! Better yet, go to an event, class, or workshop where you can experience and learn about creative reuse hands on!
 

After the tour my friend and I got a little too excited about the repurposed clothes and creations so we found a pretty cool chicken head and thought we would make the most of it. Check out the video below!!!! Thank you Alex Todaro for your creative direction in the video and for allowing me to dance to my hearts desire…with a heavy chicken head on.

Happy Earth Day everyone! 

If you want to read another article on this day check out Glamour's article by clicking HERE!!!!
 
 

Ethiopian Mesir Wat & Tikel Gomen

Mesir Wat lentil stew and Tikel Gomen cabbage dish! My all time favorite dishes to make and to eat. Both of these are vegan and gluten free and has so much flavor!

MESIR WAT lentil stew

Ingredients:
2 cups lentils
1 yellow onion (minced or finely chopped)
4 garlic cloves (minced)
2 tbspns olive oil
4 cups water
3 tbspns Berbere spice mix (I got in bulk)
1 tbspn fresh or powdered ginger
1/2 cup tomato puree ( I didn't use this but authentically it can be added)

WHAT TO DO

1. In big pot put olive oil, minced garlic and minced onion on medium til aromas release and onions become lightly transparent.
2. Add spices and stir well and let simmer for a couple minutes. (If using tomato puree add that)
3. Add water and let boil.
4. Add lentils and let simmer til ready; about 40 minutes until soft.

 

TIKEL GOMEN cabbage and potato dish

Ingredients:

1/3 cup olive oil
1 onion thinly sliced
1 head of cabbage ( I used purple cabbage)
5 potatoes (small cubes)
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tspn ground ginger
Salt/pepper to taste

WHAT TO DO

1. In big pot add olive oil and onion. Caramelize onion slightly.
2. Add spices, cabbage, potatoes. Stir until all well combined.
3. Turn on low and let all cook together with lid on for 30 minutes or until all soft.

4. Should melt in your mouth. Soooo good. ENJOY!

Rosemary parsnip and white bean soup

Another easy and earth sustainable recipe! So yummy and perfect as a side soup or filling enough as a main course. A dense, warm, and perfectly balanced recipe. I got this recipe and tweaked only slightly from Yummybeet!

Ingredients:
4-5 Parsnips cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium sized onion (cut into large pieces pieces)
5 garlic cloves
2 cups of cooked white beans
1 tbspn of rosemary (dried or fresh)
salt/pepper/lemon to taste
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1/4 cup pepitas to garnish (toast on pan with balsamic, olive oil and salt til golden brown and crispy for about 5 minutes on medium)

WHAT TO DO
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread your cut parsnips, onions and garlic on a baking pan and season/toss with olive oil, rosemary, 
salt and pepper.
3. Roast for about an hour until golden and soft, occasionally turning them all. Take out of oven and let cool.
4. In two batches take cooled down roasted items and mix in blender or food processor with lemon juice, white beans, and veggie stock til smooth.
5. Transfer to big pot and let simmer til warm and ready.
6. Serve and garnish with roasted pepitas, olive oil and grape balsamic. YUM!

Roasted Trio veggies with cilantro lime rice

Easiest recipe of all! So satisfying and flavorful and you don't need unnecessary packaged condiments! The veggies are local and/or organic and I got the rice and spices in bulk!

Ingredients for TRIO:
1 sweet potato (cubes)
2 beets or 5 baby beets (cubes)
2 big carrots
WHAT TO DO
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. After making carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets into equal sized cubes; toss in olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper or any spices you like (cumin, paprika etc…)
3. Put on baking sheet and roast in oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden and soft.

Ingredients for cilantro-lime rice:

1 cup rice (or amount to your liking)

small handful of chopped cilantro
1-2 tblspns of olive oil or butter
2 cups water
1 lime wedge
1 garlic clove (minced)
salt to taste
WHAT TO DO
1. Put olive oil, jalapeño slices and minced garlic cloves on pan on medium heat and let aromas release

2. When garlic slightly browns, throw in rice and toss every now and then for 5 minutes until rice is golden and semi transparent. Add salt and any spice you want while rice is cooking (cumin, etc…)
3. Stir in water and bring to boil.
4. Reduce heat to low and cover for 20-25 minutes.
5. When rice is done, stir in chopped cilantro and squeeze lime wedge.


Prepare simultaneously and when both done, serve on plate and season if need be, garnish with fresh jalapeño slices and cilantro. YUM, Enjoy!

 

Black Bean brownies

This recipe is directly from Minimalist Baker with a few tweaks. I've used this recipe way before I was trash free and realized I do not need to change a thing except where I source these ingredients. The best brownie recipe I have ever used. So yummy!

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Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup cooked black beans
2  farmers market eggs (or flax eggs if vegan)
3 tbspns coconut oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup maple syrup/coconut sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Optional but preferred: walnuts, dried cherry etc…
WHAT TO DO:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Food process or blend all ingredients together except chocolate chips (if too thick add a little milk or water, but should semi thick)
3. Put chocolate chips in and stir

4. Pour in greased muffin pan 3/4 full in each one
5. Bake 20-30 minutes (check middle, should be fudgy)
6. YUM!

Make sure to compost all your food scraps!



 

Black bean and beet burgers with sweet potato fries

How does your life relate to global warming?  Do you know what our most significant interaction with the environment is? Hint: Every one must do it in order to survive. That is right…Eat!
Everything you choose to feed yourself with is a direct demand to the environment of what it needs to produce. So when it comes to global warming in the kitchen, it isn't a hard problem to solve! It's you.                                    
 I'm going to show you some amazing recipes and of how just a few bulk items and sticking to seasonal and regional produce goes a long way; not just for your wallet or your body, but for the planet. By adjusting a few foods you eat and saying no to single use packaging, you can change the course of the future. Your plates, bowls, and tummies will be filled with sustainability and joy!
 All of my ingredients are sustainably sourced bulk and organic/ local fresh produce.

Black bean and beet burgers with sweet potato fries.

Ingredients
FOR BURGER

-1 cup cooked black beans
-1 cup cooked chickpeas
-1 cup cooked white rice
3/4 cup steamed and diced beets
-1/4 cup rolled oats (or more if consistency is runny) (make into oat flour in blender)
-1 small red onion
-2 garlic cloves minced
-To taste: cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, lemon (any other spices you want!)
What to do
1. Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor til preferred consistency ( I liked it chunky)
2. Pop in refrigerator for an hour or more
3. Make into round patties and pop them on pan or grill on medium with butter or coconut oil (estimated 5 min each side)
4. Dress them up with:
-avocado slices
-ketchup(homemade would be bomb)
-mayo (cashew mayo if vegan)


FOR FRIES
-1 or 2 sweet potatoes sliced 1/2 inch thick
-salt/pepper/rosemary to taste
-olive oil
What to do
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
2. Align sweet potatoes next to each other on baking sheet, not overlapping.
3. Drizzle with spices and olive oil. 
4. Bake for 40 minutes or until crisp, turning fries over 20 minutes in.
5. YUM!



 




 


 

GET IN MY JAR challenge

So in order to stay trash free when you leave the house, what do you really need?

To most it either sounds daunting or maybe its too many things to bring and will forget or claim they are just too lazy. So I made it simple. How about just one jar before you leave the house? Maybe slip in a fork!

Here is a one week challenge to present to you the things we do everyday that create trash and the easy alternative of just a simple jar to avoid all of it! On instagram I posted a daily jar fill and hash tag "get in my bell jar". I explained the terrible effects the trashy "convenient" alternative is and why you should always say no to these things. Check it out!
 


DAY 1: Went to get juice and they happily put it in my jar instead of their plastic cup. Avoiding these plastics keeps them out of waterways, lakes, oceans and the landfills, as plastic only degrades so much. Bringing a bell jar for juice lets our body absorb the nutrients and leaves the earth out of absorbing our trash








 

DAY 2: Was gonna hit up the cafe for tea but decided to make a lemon tumeric ginger drink before I left the house! Hot to go cups are not recyclable, compostable or biodegradable. These nuisance hot cups have no choice but to go to a landfill making a whopping 58 billion cups a year in America alone, just forever in a landfill! Just think, if we had a hot cup zombie apocalypse we would be heavily outnumbered 🙀. Why do we still manufacture these again? This morning beverage also saves me time and money and really does the trick for a warm, "wake up my system" kind of day. The jar with my cuppow lid is avoiding all trash and plastic making this the perfect drink!!


DAY 3: Ditch the to go croissant and quick plastic packaged breakfast at your local cafe or bodega. Quick meal prep saves time, money, and most importantly, trash! Chia soaked in homemade cashew milk with cinnamon, maple syrup, bananas, goji berries and golden raisins. Shockingly filling and so yummy. Got all of these ingredients in bulk too so trash free, zero waste entirely from beginning to end. Feels good, looks good, tastes good and that's what it's all about.







Day 4:  Just rolled out of bed and lookin cray but still brought my jar. Biggest trash creator of all, coffee culture!! Hot to go cups are lined with polyethylene which now make the cup impossible to get rid of, and forced into a landfill where it will survive longer than your children's children's children...times another hundred generations. More than 20 million trees are cut down every year for your daily cup you won't even remember. Yes, YOUR decision to take that hot to go cup is directly contributing. Do the trees a favor and leave them out of your morning routine, unless your routine involves a nice walk thanking them for absorbing our toxins, cleaning our air, and calming our spirit.

Day 5:  Smoothie time! Remember plastic can never be eliminated once it is created. It can only be recycled down into a lesser quality form until it ends up in a landfill and more likely ends up in oceans, streams, waterways, and our land, compromising the lives of millions of living organisms. Don't let your daily or weekly smoothie affect the birds or the bees or anything in between. Bringing a jar to your favorite smoothie bar is the simplest way of saying no to further manufacturing of this pollutant.









DAY 6:  Hungry for lunch and stopping somewhere quick? Popped in to whole foods and used the food bar to create my own salad in my jar! Ditch the box! Bring your own glass jar or at @lifewithoutplastic you can buy a stainless steel bowl with lid that is easily available. Also, around 40 billion plastic utensils are used in the U.S alone, all for a meal you won't remember. Slipping your own fork or spoon in your bag is easier than the amount of energy and emissions making these silly things. Don't be silly. Be prepared, minimize your waste. Be awesome.



DAY 7! My best friend I'm visiting had an amazing birthday party and people brought over wine for her and there were some leftovers so we split it, recycled the bottle and took our jars to the park to watch the sunset. I'd like to end this week by saying that it's really important to do your very best and have fun with these life choices, but don't be hard on yourself if you slip! Remember why you want to make a change, and your actions will follow suit with your passion for creating a better tomorrow in a really complicated world of conveniences and trash. So cheers to mess ups, perfect days, being fully conscious in the now, and realizing that the earth is truly in your hands. The minute you wake up, the world is waiting for your choices. It's up to you whether they be devastating ones or purposefully sensational. Love all you cool beings