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Sustainable September Health Reset with Green Chef

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September marks the month to reset and focus on their health and wellness journey. From revamping your workout styles to creating a new wellness routine, turning a page after a summer holiday of indulgence is on everyone’s mind.

Yet, new research has revealed only one in seven (14%) Brits say they’re as sustainable as they can be, showing sustainability is also top of mind when resetting routines. So what better time for Brits to use this moment to better themselves and the planet? 

Healthy recipe box service Green Chef can also reveal the top three areas where Brits want to practice more sustainable habits, which include food waste (24%), clothing and travel. 

For Anna Tebbs, registered nutritionist and head chef at Green Chef, healthy eating and sustainability go hand in hand – no compromise required: “September represents a golden opportunity to hit the reset button and rethink your priorities. I like to use this time to see where I can make small changes to better my health, eat a more varied diet and do my bit for the planet. We all know the importance of eating sustainably – one way to do this is by reducing food waste and eating locally, with the seasons.” 

The research also reveals that, on average, Brits discard food that’s gone bad at least once a week – which wastes all that time cooking and the food! Over three in five (64%) throw away food because they’ve cooked more than they eat, indicating a serious barrier to eating more sustainably.

Anna comments: “Green Chef makes it simple and easy to eat more sustainably as all the ingredients are perfectly pre-portioned to give you exactly what you need, leaving almost zero food waste. Not only will it make your time savvy, but each recipe has locally and responsibly sourced ingredients wherever possible. They have been curated to be nutritionally balanced, suiting various dietary preferences, so you can rest easy knowing what you put in your body is good for you and better for the planet.

“I’d also strongly encourage anyone to eat with the seasons as much as possible as this ensures you eat a breadth of nutrients throughout the year. It doesn’t have to be a minefield – focus on making a seasonal vegetable the star of your dish. For September, I love using aubergines, cauliflower and artichoke to get a range of vitamins and plenty of fibre.”

Anna’s top three tips for eating more sustainably this September

Use the hidden nutrients in your vegetable peelings 

Discarding many vegetables when cooking is common practice, but they are a goldmine for nutrients. Blending carrot tops into pesto is a delicious way to top up vitamins A, C and potassium. Leave the skins on for potatoes, as this stores more fibre than the inside of a potato.  

Mix up the plant sources in your diet 

Eating 30 plants a week is good for your gut and the planet. Diversifying food sources is always a good idea, and it is the long-standing golden rule to ensure you are getting enough vitamins, fibre –  all that good stuff. A more plant-based diet gives you a little something extra, too. It tends to be higher in prebiotics, which gives the good bacteria in your gut extra fuel and has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Green Chef offers a range of veggie and vegan recipes, like this low-emission Spicy Kidney Bean Bowl, which you can add to your weekly order, no matter your dietary preference.

Pre-plan your meals 

It’s easy to reach for the same cupboard staples in a rush or order a takeaway, but the benefits of scratch cooking will far outweigh this. Not only will you naturally have less food waste, but it will encourage you to be more aware of every ingredient you consume and make reaching your health goals easier. Green Chef will let you plan your meals weeks in advance, and you can alter the number of meals delivered to be flexible around your social life. 

A tasty trio of sustainable recipes for September

Central American spiced cauliflower with chimichurri, avocado salsa and zesty rice

Ingredients (for two people)

  • Cauliflower x1
  • Basmati Rice x100g
  • Lime x1
  • Avocado x1
  • Sweetcorn x150g
  • Vegetable Stock Paste x10g
  • Garlic Clove x1
  • Chilli Flakes x1 pinch
  • Central American Style Spice Mix x30g
  • Coriander x1 bunch
  • Baby Plums x125g
  • Flat Leaf Parsley x1 bunch 

Method (25 mins)

  • Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark seven. Cut the cauliflower into florets, halving any large ones. Drain the sweetcorn in a sieve. Place the cauliflower and sweetcorn onto a baking tray. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with the Central American-style spice mix and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Roast on the top shelf until golden brown and tender, 15-20 mins. Turn halfway through cooking.
  • Boil a half-full kettle. Pour the boiled water into a medium saucepan with 1/4 tsp of salt and return to the boil on high heat.
  • Add the rice and veg stock paste, stir to dissolve the stock, then reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 10 mins, then remove from the heat, still covered, and leave to the side to steam until ready to serve.
  • Meanwhile, finely chop the coriander (stalks and all). Zest and juice the lime. Peel the garlic. Quarter the baby plum tomatoes.
  • Halve the avocado and remove the stone. Use a tablespoon to scoop the flesh in one piece, then cut into chunks. 
  • In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, avocado, half the coriander, half the lime juice and half the chilli flakes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop the parsley (stalks and all) and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press).
  • Add the parsley, garlic, the remaining lime juice, chilli flakes, coriander, and olive oil (see pantry)—season with salt and pepper. Mix the chimichurri sauce well with a fork.
  • If you have a food processor, whizz the same ingredients until you have a paste.
  • When the rice has cooked, stir through the lime zest.
  • Share the zesty rice between your bowls.
  • Top with the spiced roasted cauliflower and sweetcorn, then drizzle over the chimichurri.
  • Serve with the tomato and avocado salsa.

Aubergine and spinach dahl with coriander rice

Ingredients (for two people)

  • Aubergine x1
  • Garlic Clove x1
  • North Indian Style Spice Mix 30g
  • Pumpkin Seeds 25g
  • Brown Basmati Rice 100g
  • Coriander x1 bunch
  • Coconut Milk 20ml
  • Chilli Flakes x1 pinch
  • Onion x1
  • Brown Lentils x1 tin 
  • Vegetable Paste x5g
  • Baby Spinach 150g

Method (30 mins)

  • Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7. Boil a full kettle. Trim the aubergine, then halve lengthways. Cut each half into four long strips, then cut each strip widthways into thirds. Place the aubergine onto a baking tray. Drizzle with oil and, if you’d like to, season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Roast on the top shelf of your oven until soft and golden, 20–25 mins. Turn halfway through cooking.
  • Meanwhile, pour the boiled water into a medium saucepan with 1/4 tsp of salt and return to a boil on high heat. Add the brown rice, then reduce the heat to low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 20–25 mins. Drain in a sieve.
  • In the meantime, halve, peel and dice the onion. Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Roughly chop the coriander (stalks and all). Drain and rinse the lentils.
  • Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil. Fry the onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-4 mins. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Sprinkle in the North Indian style curry powder and saute until aromatic, one min. Pour in the lentils, coconut milk, veg stock and water (see ingredients for amount). Stir well. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5-6 mins, adding a splash of water if the mixture dries.
  • When the aubergine has five minutes left, spread the pumpkin seeds on one side of the baking tray and return to the oven for the remaining cooking time. Stir the chilli flakes into the dahl, followed by the spinach, one handful at a time. Stir until wilted, two to three minutes. If you’d like to, season with salt and pepper. When the rice has finished cooking, stir through half of the coriander.
  • Divide the coriander rice between your bowls. Spoon over the dahl and top with the roasted aubergine, pumpkin seeds and remaining coriander.

Creamy truffle and mushroom linguine 

Ingredients (for two people)

  • Linguine 112g
  • Truffle Butter 28 g
  • Cremini Mushrooms 112g
  • Italian Herb & Red Pepper Blend ¾ tsp
  • Creamy Mushroom Broth 113g
  • Peas 70g
  • Parmesan Cheese 28g

Method

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Once boiling, stir in linguine. Cook nine–12 minutes, or until al dente, stirring occasionally. Reserve about 1/3 cup of pasta cooking water. Strain linguine; shake off excess water. Return to pot. Drizzle with about one teaspoon of olive oil. Stir to coat. 
  • Wipe cremini mushrooms clean with damp paper towels. Remove stems if desired. Cut into slices, about ¼ inch thick—mince garlic.
  • Heat about 1½ tablespoons cooking oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms to the hot pan—season with Italian herb and red pepper blend, salt, and pepper. Cook for three–five minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic. Cook for one–two minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring frequently. Add creamy mushroom broth and reserved pasta cooking water. Stir to combine. Cook two to three minutes, or until sauce is warmed through, stirring occasionally
  • Transfer linguine to pan with sauce. Add peas. Stir to combine. Cook for two to three minutes until the sauce slightly reduces, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add truffle butter and about half the Parmesan cheese. Stir until truffle butter is incorporated–season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Divide creamy truffle and mushroom linguine between bowls. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

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