A tool for zero food waste

Filed in Blog by on August 21, 2008 10 Comments
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Clare from veg box recipes
What a wonderful hour I spent on the phone yesterday. You know how it is when you talk to someone you’ve never met before and you just ‘click’? Well I had that pleasure when talking to the lovely Clare from one of my favourite sites, veg box recipes.

It seems that over 125,000 unique visitors a month agree with me about this fabulous resource too! Clare has been featured in The Ecologist and Delicious magazines and writes a a seasonal recipes column each month for Tastes of Britain magazine.

Our poll shows that food waste is still a big issue for many householders. Clare’s website can really help with this by providing you with inspirational recipes and lots of helpful information.

Not only that, but Clare has a great ‘rogues gallery‘, If you regularly receive a vegetable box and there’s something in there that you don’t recognise, log onto the rogues gallery and you’ll be able to give your friend a name.

If you’re terrified of artichokes and don’t know how to prepapre them, Clare will safely and easily guide you through what to do, so that you can turn it into something delicious for your meal.

Clare’s site is really comprehensive with some great recipes, including ones that take less than 20 minutes for the time poor amongst us. Most convenience meals take about 20 minutes to cook, so this section is the perfect way to cut down on that plastic packaging that most ready made meals come in, as well as enabling you to eat more healthily. I’m going to be looking through this section for inspiration over the next couple of weeks in preparation for our zero waste week.

The food I’m eally into at the moment is beetroot – I’m delighted to have found 13 recipes for this humble veg on Clare’s site!

We all know that eating seasonally ensures fresher produce with less air miles and less packaging, especially if you buy from a farmers market. Clare will get you up to speed on what is in season so that you can take advantage of bargains and preserve foods for later in the year. All you have to do is sign up for her newsletter to find out this information for yourself.

If you want to sign up for a vegetable box scheme but are unsure about it, you’ll find a guide to help you make the best choices.

Clare’s latest venture, which I’m really excited to share with you is a Veg Box recipes club.

For a measly Β£5 per month you’ll gain access to all sorts of fabulous information. You’ll easily get that money back, and then some, once you’ve read through your monthly information.

You’ll get:

  • Information about how to save money on your shopping bill.
  • Access to exclusive discounts and competitions.
  • A monthly e-book written by experts with all sorts of lovely recipes.
  • Step by step videos showing you exactly how to prepare some less common vegetables.
  • A monthly teleclass.
  • A forum for members.

It’s astonishing value for money, plus 10% of the membership fee goes straight to their favourite charity: Action Against Hunger.

If that’s not enough to convince you, you can try a 28 day trial for free. Yes, you read it right, sign up and get your first month gratis.

So go over there now and sign up – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (10)

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  1. Poppy says:

    What an amazing co-incidence! My veg box today contained what I thought was Chard, so I did a search and came up with this exact site!!

    I’ve signed up for the newsletter too and I’m looking forward to knowing a bit more about what I’m eating and what’s seasonally available!


    Stunned of Cheltenham πŸ˜‰

  2. Hi Mrs Green,

    Clare’s links have a wealth of information for home cooks everywhere. I eat most standard veg (purchased unpackaged of course) but a big deficit in my experience is soup- making especially with lentils, barley, dried peas, leeks, carrots, onions, fine rice, parsley with various stock cubes, used in my mother’s cooking. Hopefully there will be some useful recipes for the winter.

  3. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Poppy, Gotta love those co-incidences in life! What did you make with the chard? Enjoy the newsletter; I know Clare puts a lot of time and energy into her site.

    John, soup with ingredients like that is the perfect winter food – a complete meal in a bowl. And such a comfort meal too! I love soups. A pressure cooker can help use less fuel for cooking; I’ve never used one, but friends swear by them.
    Personally, I prefer a slow cooker or a pot ontop of the woodburner.

  4. Hi Mrs Green,

    Soup is ace during the cold weather. I usually saok lentils, barley, dried peas (which sometimes take 2-3 meals to soften) overnight. Add stock cube (ham, beef, chicken, vegetable) bring to the boil. Blend all fresh veg in a food processor and add for a final low heat cooking. That makes about 6 servings. A replacement for stock cubes would be worth investigating.

  5. aspidermonkey says:

    Hello Mrs Green,

    Noticed you had mentioned pressure-cooking:
    I also swear by our pressure cooker – not just for soup, but for all our pulse-based recipes. (quite a few since we’re vegetarian).

    It means if we haven’t planned ahead and soaked our beans/lentils overnight, no problem!, they can be cooked in a few noisy minutes!

    It’s been great for quickly cooking rice, potatoes too.

    We don’t use any more canned items (kidney beans etc), and the dried beans cooked up in burritos etc, taste SO MUCH better!

    Not sure which is better though: going through lots of recyclable canned items, or buying beans etc in bulk less frequently, but they come in plastic bags. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Where i used to live there was a store where i could fill beans/rice etc in my own bag, but i haven’t found one near my new place.

  6. Mrs Green says:

    Why do you need a replacement for stock cubes, John? I can think of two if you need to – making your own, of course and then freezing it! and at other times I’ve simply used water with some herbs added and put a very generous chunk of butter in the soup.
    The Covent Garden book of soups is worth a read from the library, with straight forward instructions on how to make stocks through the first pages.

    Aspidermonkey, does a pressure cooker really take a few minutes to cook pulses? Wow! I think I might need to look into one more seriously.

    If you can buy your beans and pulses in bulk which comes in polythene, then that can be recycled over in Norwich (I’m assuming you are in the UK?) You can read about it on our Plastic polythene packaging article. I know that if you buy from Suma, alot of their stuff is in polythene.

  7. Hi Mrs Green,

    The various stock cubes provide a flavour to combine with the cooked veg. What I am thinking of is different herb based additions to replace ham/chicken/beef stock. The veg alone is lacking flavour to some extent.

  8. Mrs Green says:

    Hello sir, I hope you’re having an agreeable weekend?
    I see your dilemma. I have no suggestions, but it’s nice to have one’s dilemmas heard and validated from time to time. Do you ever use miso? That’s rather nice and adds some nutritional value too (and you can buy it in glass jars πŸ˜‰ )

  9. aspidermonkey says:


    In a pressure cooker, it takes me about 12 minutes to cook lentils, and about 20 for kidney beans. Definitely worth the investment! While the beans/lentils are on, you can be chopping and frying the onions, etc!

    Best bit: if you are having rice with your dish, you can cook it up at the same time as the lentils in the same pressurecooker. (In mine i can stack different dishes in one go, if that makes sense.)


  10. Mrs Green says:

    Aspidermonkey – it certainly is worth the investment! One where you can stack things sounds like a wonderful idea. Thank you for the info.

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