Transforming surplus veggies into stock powder
For today’s new action for A Year in a Day I experimented with creating veggie stock powder to use our surplus and reduce packaging. The basket of saffron milk cap mushrooms we foraged yesterday were more than we needed for dinner so I sliced them up and spread them out in the dehydrator.
I did the same with leeks, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and parsley, cutting them up finely so they’d dry more quickly. When they were totally dry and crisp I pulsed them in the Nutribullet and now they’re in a jar in the pantry, ready for the next soup or risotto. The mushroom powder alone smelt amazing and would be a fabulous addition to any meal:
There’s no salt, no additives, no packaging and no veggies that go into compost (which happens when I cook up a big stockpot).
There are actually lots of different ways to make your own stock powder or stock paste, and it can easily be made in the oven too.
PLANT-BASED EATING – Chinese Chive Pockets
While lots of veggies are struggling this season, our land cress, garlic chives and yacon have been thriving.
So tonight I created a simpler version of a fabulous meal we made last year: Chinese Chive Pockets. Garlic chives are actually also known as Chinese chives and this meal really showcases them in a way that will make you keep wanting more.
They’re easier to make than you might think, but tonight I simply made up the filling (without the pastry), seasoned with Chinese Five Spice, and served it with Cress and Yacon salad with lemon dressing.
We have our own chickens so I’ve used eggs, as in the traditional Chinese recipe, but you could substitute with silken tofu.
Chinese Chive Pockets
- 2.5 cups plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 1 cup hot water
- 150 gm Chinese chives (also known as garlic chives)
- 50 gm Dried mung bean vermicelli noodles (or rice noodles)
- 4 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground Sichuan pepper or Chinese five-spice powder
- 2 tbsp cooking oil for frying
- Prepare the doughPut the flour into a heatproof bowl. Pour in hot water (soon after being boiled). Stir with a fork until the flour turns into small lumpsKnead into a soft, smooth dough when cool enough to handle.Cover the bowl with a wet kitchen towel. Leave to rest for 30 mins.
- Mix the fillingFinely chop chives.Soak vermicelli noodles in hot water for 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water until pliable (you don't need to do this with rice noodles). Chop into small pieces.Heat up oil in a wok then fry eggs. Coarsely chop the egg.Put chives, noodles and egg into a mixing bowl.. Stir in salt and ground Sichuan pepper or Chinese five-spice powder.
- Assemble the pocketsDivide the dough into 12 equal portionsRoll each piece into a round wrapper (about 15cm in diameter)Place filling in the middle then seal the wrapper into a semi-circle flat pocket.
- Fry the pocketsHeat oil in frying pan over medium heat.Place the pockets in then cover with a lid. Flip over when the first side becomes golden brown.Fry the second side uncovered until it turns golden brown.
A year ago I was in Tasmania and picked up these fabulous heritage seed packs, so today I sowed Autumn King Carrots, Turnips and Butter Swedes in one of my raised beds (which I’ll cover for a while with this crazy rain). We’re already dreaming of the delicious winter soups and stews we’ll be making with our veggie stock and these root veg!
WHAT ACTIONS ARE OTHER PEOPLE TAKING?
Libby also lit their candles and turned off the lights for earth hour – actually for the whole evening when the sun went down.
Carla planted two big outdoor pots of chives and spring onions.
Others have continued to email me about actions they hope to do on the 7th April for World Health Day so that we can try to reach 365 actions in one day. Would love everyone to contribute on that day if you can!
Research by academics at Leeds University, engineering firm Arup and the C40 Cities climate group has identified that 73 per cent of all changes needed by 2030 to keep the world on course to meet the Paris agreement targets need to be made by governments and industry. But private citizens have considerable influence over the remaining 27 per cent. So let’s get cracking!