March 31

Published by Panetary Health Initiative on


Stone Paper Recipe Book

As the rain continues, the mould grows and more stories of loss in the floods  surface, I’ve thought about all the memories and all the knowledge lost as books and artworks are completely destroyed by water. So, tonight, I opened the Stone Paper Sketchbook I’d been given at Christmas because it claims to be waterproof and tear-resistant. I decided to use it to record ‘recipes’ for life and cooking for my children. My fountain pen doesn’t use waterproof ink, so I used a nib pen with waterproof burnt siena ink.



While it may not survive floods and fire, it will hopefully at least survive splashes and coffee spills in the kitchen.

It’s primarily made from calcium carbonate, one of the most common substances on the planet, and is claimed to be a better alternative to paper books as it doesn’t use trees, water, chlorine, acids, or petroleum. The label also says it has a 60% lower carbon footprint than paper sketchbooks. According to an article in Wired, however, it does contain a small amount of plastic. At least I’m not using any writing instruments containing plastic.



Throughout the Lockdown and through each season, our most comforting go-to meal that uses whatever we have in the garden, has been our minestrone. It’s a perfect meal for cold wet nights like this and you can even mix and match fresh and frozen veg in it if you don’t have enough growing. We cook up a whole packet of dried beans and freeze them in batches of 1 ½ cups so that it’s easy to pull some out and make this soup at the drop of a hat. We also like to use wholemeal pasta.




  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, pumpkin, green beans, peas ...)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp oregano (dried or fresh)
  • ½ tsp thyme (dried or fresh)
  • 900 gms tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch chilli flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup wholegrain orecchiette, elbow or small shell pasta
  • 1.5 cups white beans
  • 2 cups baby spinach, or chopped silverbeet, kale or collard greens
  • 2 tspns lemon juice
  • Freshly grated parmesan or nutritional yeast


  • Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened and the onions are turning translucent. About 7-10 minutes.
  • Add the seasonal vegetables, garlic, oregano and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently. About 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, broth and water. Add the salt, bay leaves and chilli flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
  • Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot with the lid, leaving about a 1" gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
  • Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and add the pasta, beans and greens. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked al dente and the greens are tender.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, then remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and season with more salt and pepper until the flavours really sing. Garnish bowls of soup with grated parmesan or nutritional yeast.

Tonight I planted my seeds even later than I did last night because I was having too much fun starting the recipe book!

We use a lot of onion, though, including in this recipe, so I decided I’d better plant some more. I’m rather fond of these white Barletta onions which can be used in salads or cooking.




Today Libby shopped at The Source, bulk food store in Maroubra. She filled her olive oil bottle and bought some dark chocolate tiramisu Easter eggs for a gift. She said they were delicious – she already tried half. She found it so nice not to have all the wasted packaging.



Share your action here:

The theme for World Health Day this year is Our Planet, Our Health – recognising that our health is totally dependent on the health of the earth’s natural systems.

We’re try to reach 365 actions in one day, the action of a whole year in a day, but we really really need your help. Would you consider doing and sharing one or more actions, and inviting everyone you know to join you, so that we can really show how serious we are about turning things around to create a healthier world.

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!


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