Author: Ellen Tout

What is compleating?

Compleating is cooking with all edible (and delicious) parts of fruits, vegetables and herbs! When we prepare food, we automatically throw away the parts of produce we have been taught are inedible or not up to scratch. What we are left with is a pile of unloved offcuts – things like onion skins, garlic skins, banana peels, fruit cores, squash seeds, root vegetable tops and peelings. Compleating, however, means to eat all edible parts of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Reduce your food waste Food waste is responsible for 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. You might think that our homes aren’t responsible, but 70% of the food waste from our homes could have been eaten. A huge way to cut your home’s environmental impact is to rethink the way you see ingredients and cooking. Compleating is much more than cooking with leftovers. When compleating, you make full use of the goodness, taste and nutrition in every fruit or vegetable. It’s a really creative way to cook – saving you money and revamping your dinner whilst …

The Complete Book of Vegan Compleating

The Complete Book of Vegan Compleating: An A–Z of Zero-Waste Eating For the Mindful Vegan by Ellen Tout What is “compleating“? Completely eating every part of a fruit or vegetable! Plant-based diets are a wonderful way to protect the planet, but fruits and vegetables still have carbon footprints, and often the parts we throw away or compost are the most nutritious and delicious bits. Ellen Tout, sustainability writer and vegan, is passionate about maximising the benefits of veganism, and through just a few simple tips, tricks and ingenious recipes she can revolutionise the way you cook. Transform banana skins into pulled “pork”; make amazing vegan butter from the liquid in a can of chickpeas; give new life to leftover wine by making your own vinegar; forget everything you knew about kiwi by whipping up a batch of “whole kiwi” salsa for tacos. Reduce waste in your kitchen and around the home Arranged alphabetically, not only does each section include internationally-inspired recipes, but also tried-and-tested, environmentally-friendly alternatives to household cleaning, beauty products, and pet food. Dye …

Exploring the literary walks of East Hampshire

Ten years ago, I started life as a student in Southampton, milling around the city and nearby Winchester. But it wasn’t until returning for a weekend of walking that I discovered the significance of Hampshire’s literary history. The opportunity to following in writer’s footsteps feels so romantic, unearthing stories hidden for hundreds of years. Our journey starts in the old village of Chawton, on the edge of the South Downs. Here, Jane Austen wrote in 1811 in a letter to her sister Cassandra: ‘The plan is that we should all walk with her to drink tea at Faringdon’. And so we did too. The five-mile route to Faringdon begins at Austen’s 17th century home, where she lived and wrote. See more about Jane Austen’s House here. Following the map out of the village, I notice things I might otherwise have overlooked – the old plaque on the school, the cobbled walls, and across the meadow, St. Nicholas’ Church. Tucked behind the church building, still sit the graves of Austen’s mother and sister. In this valley, …

My trek along the Great Wall of China for Alzheimer’s Society

Standing in Huangyaguan, a small rural Chinese town, we see the Great Wall for the first time – majestic and daunting, rising into the mountains behind us. Most tourists visit the busy, restored sections of the wall, but with local guides we’re fortunate to start our trek in this beautiful valley in the heart of the Yanshan Mountains. We’ve just spent the night in a traditional mountain hotel. At breakfast I’m not the only person unable to eat very much – after a year of fundraising, training and planning, I’ve been swinging between feeling nervous and excited since arriving. I decided to sign up for the trek because my Grandad suffered with Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve experienced first-hand what a horrible, life altering disease it is. Having this personal connection gave me the determination to raise the target of £3,350 for Alzheimer’s Society and, on the wall, to keep going, one step at a time. Before even arriving in China, fundraising was a huge challenge, but (although it seems impossible at first) raising such a large amount of money is …

Walking holiday in Brighton’s South Downs

I’ve got many happy memories of exploring Brighton – throwing stones into the sea, eating chips on the pier and shopping in The Lanes. Brighton is one of my favourite towns, but I’d never strayed far beyond its centre. So I packed up my car, Bella the dog on the backseat and my walking boots at the ready. We were staying in the town centre, but looking forward to embracing the South Downs and Brighton’s local walks. Arriving late on Friday, we drop off our bags and head to the beach, keen to make the most of the warm spring evening. Dogs are welcome on the beaches in Brighton & Hove from October until the end of April, and only in certain areas for the rest of the year. Walking along the promenade, chips in hand, with Bella running down to the sea is such a treat. We follow the coast along to the marina and back past the historic Volk’s Railway, meeting local walkers and enjoying the evening air. National Trust’s Devil’s Dyke The following …

Vegetarian delights at Food For Friends in Brighton

As a vegetarian, eating out can often become an inevitably dull round of mushroom soups. Whilst in Brighton, I enjoyed dinner at the award-winning vegetarian and vegan restaurant, Food For Friends. Set in the heart of The Lanes, Food For Friends offers exciting and artfully presented dishes with fresh ingredients served in imaginative combinations. The atmosphere is welcoming and there isn’t a dry vegetable in sight. I haven’t eaten meat for over ten years, so a menu packed full of original veggie options is a delight. I start with the beautiful sweet tofu pockets, stuffed with stir-fried shiitake, spring onions and brown rice. It’s so refreshing to be served a vegetarian dish that’s both beautiful and tasty – an inventive twist that even meat-eaters would enjoy. The starter is served with marinated pak choi, pickled ginger, wakame and hot Gochujang pepper sauce. The menu is all so inviting, but I choose the king oyster mushroom Katsu curry to follow. It’s beautifully served with pickled daikon and ginger, fresh red radish, a sugar snap pea salad, …

Interview with street artist Harriet Wood, aka Miss Hazard

Harriet Wood has been voted by The Guardian as one of the top five female graffiti artists in the UK and The Huffington Post as one of the top 25 female street artists worldwide. I spoke to Harriet, know as Miss Hazard, about her crowdfunding community arts project. How and why were you inspired become a graffiti artist and illustrator? I have been spray painting for 11 years – I have always drawn and my favourite thing has always been art. My dad is an amazing designer and illustrator, so for as long as I can remember I have pursued a creative career. The first time I saw big artwork on walls and graffiti I wanted to try it – there’s something about giant art on a wall in a public space that totally transforms an environment. What is the Ajo Street Art Project and how did you get involved? I’ve started this fundraiser to gather the amount needed to travel to Ajo in the border regions of Arizona-Mexico and take part in the Street Art …