Nothing makes for a good start to the WHF day quite like preparing yourself a mood-boosting breakfast. Low waste chef Max La Manna shares three of his favourite recipes, for some good morning fuel that’s as satisfying as it is sustainable.
If you’re reading this you’re most likely at home (unless you’re a front line worker, in which case – thank you!)
With more and more of us using our living rooms or bedrooms as an office, the close proximity to our kitchens means more cooking for many. While many people are finding solace in baking or making pasta, whipping up a mood-boosting breakfast is a rather less time-intensive way to get your foodie fix. How you start your day is essential to having a productive, fruitful day – or one of resting and recharging.
For me, breakfast is an essential part of my morning routine; I could eat it whatever time of day, even 13:45 in the afternoon! Breakfast literally means ‘breaking your fast’, and although I may not be qualified to give advice on when one should eat, I sure am creative in the kitchen and full of ideas for things that you can whip up in just minutes.
Below are three of my favourite low-waste recipes,
Don’t Waste Your Greens Smoothie
Here’s a super simple recipe that takes only seconds if you’re after more veggies in the morning. I’m no doctor, but you can’t argue with the power of dark leafy greens, which are also referred to as ‘DLGs’ in my household.I like to freeze my DLGs of choice (spinach, kale, Swiss chard), so I’m always prepared to get my super green smoothie hit in a hurry. Not only does the freezing process save them from going to waste if they’re soon to go off, it also retains the nutrient density of the produce.
300ml milk (i’m always after Oat milk)
1 banana, frozen
1⁄2 cucumber (can be frozen)
1⁄2 courgette (can be frozen)
90g blueberries (can be frozen too)
20g dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard)
1 tbsp hemp or chia seeds
1 tbsp nut butter (I prefer peanut butter)
1 tbsp protein powder (optional)
Pinch of salt
Pour your milk into the blender first, then all the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. If you want added protein, add a scoop of your favorite protein powder or add more leafy greens.
Drink immediately or take with you (to your home working desk) in your reusable container (or glass). Serve with crunchy granola and fresh berries.
Spring Vegetable and Herb Stem Fritters
I love it when the seasons change and there’s an abundance of new produce that comes. I prefer to eat seasonally and locally where possible, because it’s a way for me to feel closer to the root of things, which is important as a city dweller and sustainability advocate.
Makes 10-12 medium fritters
5 asparagus stalks, grated
2 carrots, grated
2 large new potatoes, peeled and grated (keep the peel aside for later to make crisps)
1 small red onion, diced
120g cheese (optional; use any kind you like – if you have it in your fridge)
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
handful of fresh dill, chopped (reserve a bit for garnishing)
handful of fresh parsley, chopped (reserve a bit for garnishing)
1⁄2 tsp coarse sea salt
80g chickpea, oat, plain or buckwheat flour
20ml milk (I like oat milk) or water
extra virgin olive oil, for frying
Place your grated asparagus, carrots and new potatoes in a bowl – take a tea towel and press your vegetables to remove any excess liquid.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix until everything is evenly combined.
Place a frying pan over a medium heat with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Bring the heat to medium–high. Using your hands divide the mixture into about 10–12 rough balls then press each one together with both hands to bind and flatten slightly to make small fritter shapes.
Place a few in the frying pan, cook for about 3–5 minutes or until lightly golden brown around edges. Flip and repeat. Serve alone or with leftover beetroot hummus or coconut yoghurt – finished with freshly chopped herbs.
One-Bowl Banana Chocolate Pancakes
Sunday’s are my designated pancake day, but since social-distancing every day feels the same after a while, I won’t tell anyone if you have pancakes mid-week. Here are my one-bowl banana pancake that is fluffier than most and uses up leftover ripe bananas.
Makes 8-10 pancakes
1 medium ripe banana (brown and spotty is better), mashed
2 tsp baking powder
1⁄4 tsp salt
240–300ml plant-based milk (I like using oat milk)
280g flour (I like half spelt, and half oat flour)
45g dark chocolate chips (optional)
handful of fresh berries (optional)
In a bowl, mash the banana and add the baking powder and salt and whisk to combine. Add the milk slowly and mix (add more milk to your liking).
Add your flour to the bowl and mix – be careful to not mix too much. You are aiming for a thick but pourable mixture. If it’s too dry and not scoopable, add a splash of milk to loosen it; if it’s too wet, add a small amount of flour. You want your batter to be thick, but pourable. Feeling adventurous? Add the chocolate chips or berries now and gently fold them into the mixture. Cover with a tea towel and let this stand for 15-20 minutes allowing the baking powder to activate – this is going to make your pancakes nice and fluffy.
Heat a non-stick frying pan on a medium–low heat. Once ready, pour your desired amount of batter into the heated pan and repeat according to how many you can fit in your frying pan. The batter will begin to bubble and the edges will appear to be drying after 1 minute. Next, carefully flip the pancakes and cook until browned on the underside. Do not press down with the spatula or you will deflate the pancakes. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and cover with a tea towel to keep warm until serving.
Serve each stack as you lack – perhaps with a light spread of butter, fresh fruit, chopped nuts and seeds, maybe even some nut butter and maple syrup. Have fun!