A Zero Waste Kitchen is truly a joy. I always dreaded grocery shopping and cooking, my pantry and refrigerator was always jam-packed with nothing-to-eat. Dinner times were a stressful, messy rush; and the results were often less than satisfying, resulting in snacking on expensive trash-wrapped, unhealthy food (read: pimples, weight gain, blown budgets and choking dolphins)
As I’d embraced a minimalistic approach throughout much of my household, including my kitchen implements, perhaps it was time I started applying the same principles to my pantry… the trouble was, I had absolutely no idea where to start.
Cooking was not a skill of mine, and my husband’s solution to almost any problem is sausages and chips. Being predominately a vegetarian, this left me feeling uncomfortable physically and ethically, as well as feeling like a bit of a failure in the housekeeping department.
In the effort to both stick to my budget and provide us with a healthy, vibrant, delicious array of food I acquired many types of beans, grains, lentils, rices, sauces, spices, types of flour, pasta shapes…. you get the picture.
After a year or so of false starts, I discovered Bea Johnson’s bible and her approach of ‘rotating staples’. Suddenly all the dots connected.
Essentially you base a night of the week around a ‘base’ – a grain (rice, barley) or a pasta (whatever takes your fancy) etc, and get creative with the fresh produce over the top. You only have one of that type of staple, ie, fill your grain jar with barley and make barley dishes on your ‘grain night’ until the barley runs out (so don’t buy too much lest you get sick of it); then next time fill with rice.