Pretty good at cooking from scratch and shopping plastic-free most of the time, but fall back into old habits of ordering a takeaway or picking up a plastic-wrapped pizza when you’re tired/drunk/upset/busy/hormonal/fancy a treat/simply can’t be bothered? We’ve all done it! Low-waste living is the dream as long as you’re super organised and/or in the mood to cook. But it can be a total pain when you’re just not feeling it. Weighing up your values when you’re hangry? Not ideal. So for those nights when you’re not quite on board, here’s a few low-waste, yet super convenient, meal ideals to give a go…
Check for yellow labels at your supermarket. Even if the food is in packaging, you’re better off buying it and disposing of the packaging as best you can, rather than leaving both the food and its packaging to be sent to landfill. The pre-prepared veg section is a great place to start – you can often find stir-fry mixes in need of a home late at night.
Head to the freezer section of your supermarket and pick up some burgers or sausages in a cardboard box. Both Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s spicy bean burgers are vegan and delicious. Cauldron’s vegan sausages are another great option and come packaged solely in cardboard. Pair either of these with a loose bread roll, and if you’re feeling up to it, grab a sweet potato, chop it into wedges and cook it alongside your burgers/sausages.
While we’re on the spud front, if you have a microwave a jacket potato is another speedy option perfect for when you’re feeling lazy. Both regular potatoes and sweet potatoes can be found packaging-free in most supermarkets. Fill with a smashed avocado and some chopped loose tomatoes to keep things super simple, or pick up a couple of loose veggies (bell peppers and mushrooms can normally be found loose) to slice up and stir-fry with a few spices and stuff these inside the spuds.
And to make your life easier in the future, work on building up your own pile of convenience meals in your freezer at home with these savvy tips…
Whenever you make a soup, stew, curry or pasta sauce make a double or triple batch and freeze the leftovers in individual portions. Glass jars are great for freezing meals in, just leave a centimetre or two of space at the top of the jar. Ready-meals whenever you fancy – win.
Batch soak and cook all your favourite dried beans, leave to cool, then freeze in tin-sized portions in your freezer (about 230g cooked weight is equivalent to a 400g tin). You can then chuck the beans into whatever you’re cooking from frozen to add some extra nutrition. And, of course, you can stir some through a little passata along with some spices for instant baked beans.