Vanilla Rooibos with a touch of Rose

There has been an lengthy absence in my blog updates, which is what I didn’t want to happen. I frequently dream of being a ~real blogger~ (frankly because so many beautiful lifestyle blogs are the reason I’ve made so many positive changes to my life in recent years) but I’m pretty rubbish at it. I’ve started and given up on so many blogs, and I felt like giving up on this one, but I thought of the reason I started this one – to talk about zero waste from the point of view of someone who’s not wealthy, not a ‘crunchy mum, and not completely crazy.

Well, I did recently make mini greenhouses out of strawberry boxes which most people thought was mad, which was actually quite successful. (I’m growing thyme and Gypsophila or ‘baby’s breath’) There have also been a lot of missed zero-waste team hangouts, we made a tonne of Mexican food and pancakes and even had a big old clothes swap! Featuring vegan bake sale by yours truly.

Lately the broke scale has been sliding more towards broken. While I’m impressed that I can now stretch $7 to last me 2 weeks, this newly enforced monkish veganism is starting to get me down. I haven’t had take away soy hot chocolate in a park (my favourite thing ever) in several months. I’ve stopped drinking, going out, eating meat or drinking many dairy products.  It’s been pretty good for my cooking skills, and for my scrounging skills (see aforementioned strawberry greenhouses) but what I wouldn’t kill for that takeaway hot chocolate in the park.

It’s not all bad. I’ve recently found I have a particular affinity with making beeswax wraps, and I’ve fallen in love with my local library (I love my current home, so so much). I’ve been loving having a nearby zero waste store, and so so many parks (oh, and a wetland or five). It’s a different bit of Perth to what I’m used to, and it’s pretty nice. Sure, there are a higher proportion of old, conservative, crotchety, tiny dog owning, no-voting, Liberal fans, but they pale in comparison to waking up each morning to the sounds of my lovely (and yes-voting) housemates shuffling around the house at 6am and the gentle warbling of the magpies outside my window.

 

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For now, I will try my best to updated this blog weekly, even if it has no readership, for nothing more than to have done what I set up to do – write more.

If you’re interested in purchasing some of my beeswax wraps you can find them here:
Witch of Waste

Much Love,

Clement.

the last frozen beans

Oh! Also the title of the last post is an allusion to my favourite meal of all time – Spelt Orzotto. It’s a mix of mum’s beans and rice, and a fancy vegan risotto recipe I once made for christmas… That I don’t think anyone really liked. It’s literally the cheapest and easiest meal so I make enough for a week if I’m feeling a little mentally unhealthy or I’m very low on cash.

I don’t actually have any pictures, or any definite times for anything because I usually just play it by ear. I assume you can too, I’m a terrible cook, but it’s pretty basic and easy. It’s literally the most zero waste recipe ever too.

Ingredients:
1 cup spelt barley
1/2 cup mixed lentils (go for whatever you like, I usually use a soup mix or quinoa/lentils blend I mix by hand)
1 tbsp vegetable oil (or whatever oil you want)
3 cups vegetable stock (if you’re in Australia I swear by Vegeta “Gourmet” – although it does have a plastic lid I’ve been using the same tub so long that I didn’t think about the consequences)
1-2 cups fresh vege or frozen vege (if using frozen it’ll take a little longer, so thaw them first a tad too) I usually use corn, peas, green beans, broccoli, carrot… whatever I have left
And if I’m feeling flush with $$ 1 cup mushrooms

Method:

  1. Heat oil in large ish pan
  2. Sautee mushrooms until a bit wilty
  3. Add in spelt and mixed lentils, stir them around and heat them through until they’re glossy
  4. Add in vegetable stock, simmer for ~20 mins. You want there to be a little liquid left, but lots to have been absorbed by the spelt and lentils
  5. Add in your vegetables – cook through until desired softness. I’m a heathen who still likes a firm vegetable.

Ta dah you have orzotto! I usually add a bit of parmesan or some spices while it’s simmering, just to add a bit more taste.

To keep this zero waste:
– Buy your spelt and lentils in bulk using a jar or I sewed my own produce bags from an old sheet (really extremely easy and I will eventually do a post on it I guess?) I shop at Kakulas Sister in Nollamara because they have a great great range of things an they’re so kind to me.
– Interestingly Kakulas is also the only place I’ve been able to find zero waste cheese.
– Use fresh vegetables from your local grocer – I’m a bit guilty in that I should be buying things from local markets where I can shop straight from the farmer, but instead I go to Spudshed in Morley because it’s super duper convenient and still WA owned.
– Sub out vegetable oil for coconut oil (purchased in glass jars). Or buy your oil in bulk from The Wasteless Pantry.

This is my go to for meal prep – I usually make a pot of it one week, and then a pot of ‘chilli’ the next week. It works out at less than $1 per serving, and I will eat it every. single. day.

lazy lady tortillas

one big thing that I was unhappy about missing out on in having a zero waste lifestyle was tortillas. delicious soft wraps for every meal under the sun. I didn’t think I could function without them. After some trial and error (and one weird gritty pancake experience) I’ve decided on a pretty decent tortilla recipe.

Lazy Lady’s Tortillas (Makes 8 dinner plate-ish sized tortillas)

  • 2-2.5 cups all-purpose flour (you will need a bit extra to flour your board and rolling pin)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil/vegetable oil

In decently sized bowl, mix the wet ingredients and then add the dry. Knead together to form a quite solid dough. Something like this:

~ Leave for 10 mins ~

Divide in to 8 lumps and gently roll them out until they’re almost see through. I find it helpful also to stretch them out on my hand.

Then you heat them in a dry non-stick pan for not very long at all frankly. Just until they are easy to shift or wee bubbles start to form.

Flip them and cook the other side for ~15 seconds. Keep warm/covered until serving.

They do keep relatively well, but only for a few days at most!

 

My favourite lazy person snack is just these and some sick nut-based spreads.

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There’s nothing like fancy spreads and fresh homemade tortillas.

 

 

coles brand black tea, no sugar.

I think this year I’ve hit my low point – I’ve started buying coles brand black tea. No definitive type of tea, just ‘black tea’. I’m not sure what’s weaker: it, or my resolve to get out of bed in the morning.

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My name’s not Clement, but we’ll go with that for now. I just turned 25 and I’m in the biggest debt of my life, just dropped out of uni, am unemployed and in less than a month I will be homeless and couch surfing. And still living in Perth. Yeah sounds bad to me too. But frankly, this is the happiest and most mentally healthy I’ve been in years and years. Well maybe not happy, but, okay? This is the most okay I’ve been in years. A genuine achievement.

I’ve decided to publicly write about the things that I’m doing to get out of this slump because I everyone seems to be in the same boat currently. It’s hard being mid-20s, (“millennial”) independent and in Australia right now and I don’t think we’re talking about it enough. I’m trying not to swear but really, it’s shit. I’m sick of older generations looking down on us when all around me young people are working so hard, struggling so much, and sometimes, getting places.

I do also try to live my life as zero-waste as possible. After doing a big zero-waste lifestyle change, I tried to keep it going, but ended up breaking my leg and relying on a combo of coles delivery and kindness from parental figures. Go figure. So I’ll be turning back to my zero-waste roots and writing about how to make small, not drastic, changes in your life that can reduce waste, and your bills. Oh, and did I mention my crippling mental health issues? There’s that too.

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some sick zero-waste bread

Don’t get me wrong, in many ways I live a cushy and privileged life, and I’m so grateful to the people in my life that keep me ticking along,  but I want to be honest about what I do. I want this blog to be a source of frugal living tips (from not another ‘mommy blogger’), a place to discuss my personal struggle with anxiety and depression, triumphs of my other mid-20s babes, promote a zero-waste mindset and also, celebrate the little things – celebrate the trashy goddesses we are.

So please pour yourself a glass of goon and be the trash queen you were always meant to be.

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