9 Items I Banned from My Kitchen and How I Replaced Them

In 2011, my daughter MK and I decided we would try to live without plastic. Because I’ve been at this for a while, I take for granted many of the early changes we made back then to wean ourselves off of the stuff. But with all the welcome press lately on the plastic pollution crisis […]

The Lemon Sorbet of Compromise

homemade sorbet without an ice cream maker

My daughter Charlotte started feeling sick Friday. As I left for the grocery store to fill up on supplies for my sourdough bread boot camp workshop, she asked me to bring her back sorbet, or sherbet or some other frozen dessert other than ice cream to soothe her throat. I said I would look. In […]

A Zero-Waste Kit That Costs Zero Dollars

jars filled with pantry staples

My daughter Mary Katherine rarely writes posts on the blog she started as a teenager, The Plastic-Free Chef. She did however write one a couple of weeks ago on how, as a busy, cash-strapped student, she finds the zero-waste lifestyle inaccessible. I’m simply too poor. We need more solutions to deal with waste that don’t […]

Quick and Easy Peanut Sauce

peanut sauce ingredients

This post is not at all festive—I’m writing it on the evening of December 23rd while listening to Christmas music. However, if you are about to eat piles of sugary treats like I am (my mom has stuffed her freezer with homemade cookies, brownies, tarts, dream squares, date squares…), you can balance some of that […]

Pumpkin Dal

Pumpkin dal

This dish came about from a what’s-on-hand-I-need-to-make-dinner-now moment. I always have red lentils in the pantry for dal, I had some fresh tomatoes on the counter and I had about a cup of homemade pumpkin purée left over from making pumpkin pie. The previous week, I had attended a Hindu funeral and devoured a most delicious curried […]

13 Gifts in Jars

homemade granola

I’m like those department stores you hate that begin selling Christmas decorations well before you’ve even chosen a Halloween costume. But hear me out. You may not have started thinking about the holidays but for some of these gifts, you need to start now, hence the early post. Others on this list you can start […]

Zero-Waste Menu No 6

egg scramble

One more menu to go after this and I’ll have a full week’s worth. As I’ve written in some of my other menu posts, I don’t actually cook a different dish every day. In fact, please don’t follow a entirely different menu every day. If you follow this menu today, cook another menu tomorrow and […]

21 Energy-Reducing Tips for the Kitchen

Dutch oven with minestrone soup

Updated 09/26/17 Here in the U.S., food-related energy accounts for about 16 percent all the energy we consume nationally. That energy includes all the steps in the food supply chain—growing and processing the food, packaging it, shipping it, storing it, preparing it and handling all that food we waste.  This post focuses on reducing food-related […]

Homemade Tahini

We eat lots of hummus and so go through quite a bit of tahini. I’m pretty sure when people set out to reduce their waste, their hummus intake becomes inversely proportional. There’s likely a mathematical theory that proves this. This past weekend, I cooked two cups of chickpeas in my pressure cooker for hummus but […]