October 25, 2012 by liyajames
I woke up this morning wanting something satisfying but healthy. And as the true upcycler that I am, I searched the fridge for leftovers that can made into something really yummy. And I found some smoked trout, score!
Recipe - Make for 2
- 1 – fillet of smoked trout, shredded
- 1 – potato, julienned
- 10 oz of spinach
- 4 eggs, whisked
- 1/4 cup of toasted buckwheat
- 2 teaspoons of raw coconut aminos
- 1 stalk of thyme
- Pinch of grated parmesan or parranno cheese (optional)
To cook the buckwheat:
- Bring 1 cup of water to boil in a small pot.
- Lower heat to low-medium, add buckwheat.
- Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
To cook the scramble:
- Pan fry julienned potatoes on medium heat, add thyme leaves. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until browned on each side.
- Add spinach to the potatoes, lower the heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper and cover for another 10 minutes.
- Mix shredded smoked trout into the spinach and potatoes.
- Add eggs and coconut aminos, flip a few times as if you’re making scrambled eggs.
- Thinly spread the buckwheat on a small plate and serve the egg scramble on top. Voila!
October 15, 2012 by liyajames
I made some quinoa for dinner and ended up with some leftovers. Inspired by the quinoa cakes that my friend Frances made at brunch from this Food and Wine recipe, I decided to make a version of these cakes with some Farina I happen to have on hand instead of the semolina that recipe called for. And also I wanted to shorten the time it took to make them to a fraction of the time. They turned out sooo good!
- 1 cup of brown rice farina
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grape seed oil (can use any oil of your liking, I prefer high heat tolerant oils)
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 10 ounces baby spinach
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup of flaxseed milk (can use any milk)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 3 large egg whites
- I used left over quinoa but if you are making it fresh, do this: In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Lightly fluff the quinoa with a fork and cover it again.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the grape seed oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the spinach to a strainer and let cool slightly; press out any remaining liquid and finely chop the spinach.
- In a large saucepan, combine the milk, 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the farina. Cook until it looks like the texture of thick porridge.
- Stir the cooked farina, the beaten whole egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and spinach into the quinoa mixture. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, put the panko in a shallow dish and season with 1 teaspoon of salt. In another shallow dish, whisk the egg whites with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of water.
- Use a spoon or your hands to scoop the farina and quinoa mixture and shape into the size of a golf ball. Dip the cakes into the whites and turn to coat, letting the excess drip off. Coat the cakes in the panko and shake off excess crumbs.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the grape seed oil. Add the cakes and cook over moderately high heat, press down on them with a spatula to shape the golf balls into cake shapes shown in the picture here.
- Cook until golden on both sides and on the edges, about 6 minutes; adjust the heat as necessary to prevent the cakes from burning. Drain the cakes on a paper towel–lined plate, then transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the skillet and cook the remaining cakes in the remaining 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil.
- Repeat step 8 until all the cakes are cooked. Serve hot.
September 19, 2012 by liyajames
I made this delicious paleo bread recipe from GOOP and ended up having some flour left. My husband loves pancakes so I decided to make a healthy version of the one I usually make from The Joy of Cooking, inspired by the paleo bread recipe. I use almond flour and oat milk because of their rich texture I can skip the enormous amount of butter that is usually called for in a pancake recipe. This one is tasty and we don’t even need syrup!
Whisk together in a large bowl:
1 cup of amaranth flour
1/2 cup of almond flour
1 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder (I use Royal)
2 tablespoons of raw cane sugar
! teaspoon of kosher salt
Combine in another bowl:
1.5 cup of organic oat milk
2 eggs (pastur raised, organic local eggs, you know the kind that has really bright orange yolks?)
(1/2 teaspooon vanilla extract)
Mix the liquid ingredients quickly into the dry ingredients. Grease pan with grape seed oil or your favorite high heat tolerant oil in medium heat.
Cooking tips from the Joy of Cooking: Before cooking, test the griddle by letting a few drops of cold wter fall on it. If the water bounces and sputters, the pan is ready to use. If the water just sits and boils, the griddle is not hot enough. The pancakes will spread too much and not rise well. If the water evvaporates intantly, the grilddleis too hot.
Drop the batter into the pan and use about 1/4 cup per pancake. Wait about 2 to 3 minutes before turning. The second side takes half as long. Only turn ONCE.
Alternatives: Replace some of the flour 1/4 cup with a little flaxseed meal if you want that cornbread flavor. Or replace Amaranth with buckwheat if you want a more hearty flavor.
July 16, 2012 by liyajames
When it comes to upcyling, the world of fashion has so much to offer. One of the most inspirational people in this space for me is my friend Shannon South who upcycles leather goods into these beautiful bags. Check out her latest collection here. Her latest totes made out of coffee bags are not to be missed!
June 13, 2012 by liyajames
I was so excited to write a Father’s Day post for one of my favorite blogs Crafting A Green World! If you’ve got that perfect gift for dad and you’re ready to wrap it, consider using upcycled materials! And please check out the 5 Upcycled Gift Wraps For Dad post for some inspirations.
June 9, 2012 by liyajames
One of the reasons why I love spring is all the beautiful produce I see in the stores! And sometimes I can get overly excited buy more than I need. Luckily, you can re-grow a lot of store bought produce. I was shocked at how many store-bought veggies and fruits you can re-grow: pineapple, garlic, ginger, most tubers, and the list goes on. If you are thinking about doing this with your left over produce, I suggest starting with potatoes. I find they are the easiest. Look at these potatoes I have growing on my roof!
If you don’t have a garden, you can grow them in a potatoe grow bag right on your roof, deck or fire escape. I put an upcycled burlap around mine just so it looks prettier. And remember to sprout them before putting them into the soil! I like using mason jars for this step.
Check out a full list of store-bought produce you can re-grow on Savvy Housekeeping. And The Kitchn has a beautiful post about re-growing green onions. That was actually what spurred my re-growing habit into an obsession. Aside from the potatoes I also have organic herbs, garlic, and onions going in my kitchen garden.
June 2, 2012 by liyajames
Growing plants from seeds is daunting to most new gardeners. It’s actually really easy to learn how to grow seedlings. I found that using great nutrients and fun twists add to the fun. There’s nothing more exciting than to see little baby plants coming up from the dirt, it’s always the best surprise to accompany your morning coffee!
Here’s how to grow seedlings the upcycle way.
Step 1. Save your egg shells in the carton
Step 2. Put seedling mix directly into the egg shells
Step 3. Put seeds into the seedling mix, follow instructions on seed pack for depth etc.
Cover with more seedling mix. Follow the instruction on the seed packet for depth. You can leave these in the egg carton and wet the seedling mix with a spray bottle.
OR, if the seeds you’re working with need more depth (1″ or more), do steps 1-3 and then put the egg directly into a small pot. Then cover with as much dirt or seedling mix as necessary to achieve the depth as instructed on your seed packet.
See the egg shell fertilizer post to see all the benefits of egg shell has for your plants!
May 31, 2012 by liyajames
I love using things that are not vases for vases. This glass baby bottle is my latest favorite. It’s so cute with billy buttons.
May 20, 2012 by liyajames
I have taken to baking lately. As a result, I end up with a lot of egg shells. I am so excited fertilize my garden with! Here’s me crushing them while watching an episode of Modern Family. I was surprised by how quick and easy it was.
“In addition to the calcium, the eggshells contain about 1% nitrogen, about a half-percent phosphoric acid, and other trace elements that make them a practical fertilizer. Calcium is an essential plant nutrient which plays a fundamental part in cell manufacture and growth. Most roots must have some calcium at the growing tips. Plant growth removes large quantities of calcium from the soil, and calcium must be replenished, so this is an ideal way to recycle your eggshells.” – Back Woods Home Magazine
I saved the cartons to use as containers for starters. Wikihow has a great article on how to do that.
Update: See our post How To Grow Seedlings in An Egg Carton to see more ideas on how to upcycle egg shells.
March 2, 2012 by liyajames
I think some of the most fun things about planning a wedding are the little details, like escort cards! This idea of using old keys from weddingchicks makes me wish I could do it all over again.
This cork one from the Savvy DIY Bride is such an easy DIY project! Even the least crafty bridesmaids can help!
March 1, 2012 by liyajames
Finally an app for us DIY junkies and upcyclers!
Here’s a snippet from Sharable about this app: “The CORA App is dedicated to the idea that all the “stuff” we need already exists. We just need to find more creative ways to use this existing “stuff” to meet our ever changing needs. By pointing the way to people who need or want your stuff, the CORA App helps keep junk out of the landfills (and rivers and oceans) while supporting artisans who can upcycle it.”
I just became a proud backer of this project. Go to their Kickstarter page to support this awesome endeavor!
February 23, 2012 by liyajames
We made a guestbook at our wedding with less than $100 mostly with things we already owned. You don’t have spend an arm and a leg on your wedding ladies! I had a vision of my wedding being rustic, natural, and meaningful. Then, I found inspiration in our own lives for our DIY wedding.
photos by John + Louise Weddings
The inspiration for the guestbook came from my husband’s love his Grandpa. After Grandpa passed, he left my husband this Corona typewriter that he used when he was a traveling salesmen. My husband had spent months at a time writing poetry and stories in the woods, in deserts and near frozen lakes with this typewriter. I nicknamed it “tapster” and it’s a member of our little family. Grandpa is a major source of inspiration and a role model for him, so introducing the typewriter to our closest friends seemed appropriate.
Scott helping Laila with grandpa's picture in the background
Now a bit more about the nuts and bolts. Materials for the guestbook:
- A Fuji Instax Instant Camera
- Recycled paper that look vintage (I cut up a bunch from an old sketchbook that has this aged color) but you can also just buy the paper.
- Clothespins. I found them at Saveoncrafts and they were $2.99 for 24 of them. That site was a lifesaver for me and they’re not paying to say this!
- Jute strings. I also found them at saveoncrafts for $5.99, it was a lot more than I needed.
- Make the supplies a part of the decoration!
Photo by John + Louise Weddings
On the day of:
- Stage the setup before hand on site. Take photos along with instructions and give it to someone (bridesmaid or someone in the family) who will help you set up on the day of.
- Make sure that person knows how to use the camera and the typewriter.
- Stalk extra ribbons and film and make sure that same person knows where it is and knows how to change them.
- Ask someone else (another bridesmaid?) to arrive early and be the first guest to sign the “book”. Ask them to share with other guests. This is also a great way to people who don’t know each other to meet. One of my best friends started taking photos for people (which I even think to ask her to do). She had fun meeting everyone!
Photo by Jonh + Louise Weddings
- Make an example of the final product and hang it up before hand. In our case we left a thank you message and told people how much we would appreciate a little wisdom for us. Like this:
Photo by John + Louise Weddings
After returning from our honeymoon, we moved into a new apartment. We found a box containing things from our wedding and starting reading the messages our friends and family left us. Some wrote poems, some funny drunken messages, and others left really heart felt insightful words of wisdom. While the memory of that day is getting a bit blurrier every day, the words on these pieces of paper and the smiles in those polaroid pictures are some of the most cherished things we have from our wedding.
Now, it’s time to put it all together into a actual book! Will report back on that later.