Sustainable Cooking: Tips from Our In-House Chef

Learn about Julia, our in-house Creative Chef, and her top tips for sustainable cooking.

Meet Julia!

Julia, our in-house Creative Chef, followed her calling to learn about the culinary arts and craft nutritionally sound dishes. Along her journey through Italy, France, and New York, she discovered the demand (and ease) of practicing sustainable living. Learn about Julia and her top tips for sustainable cooking.

Julia’s story

Meet Julia! She is the culinary creator, responsible for Lifesum’s mouth-watering meals. The way she seemingly effortlessly tosses together Instagram and app-worthy recipes is pure wizardry. But she worked diligently to master her craft. 

Julia has been passionate about mixing ingredients to nourish people’s bodies and souls since she was 13 years old. Growing up in her small Northern Sweden village, her family taught her that food was love. She took that love and let it carry her towards the aroma of a local bakery where she was offered an internship. 

Although her love for cooking was rising like her baked goods, there wasn’t a good culinary school where she lived. After a detour to film school, she moved to Italy and started working in restaurants. 

She also went to culinary school and worked as a chef in France. She got an offer to work as a pastry cook in New York. Then, she moved to Stockholm, started a grocery store to-go shop, and made her way into her home at Lifesum. Hurray!

A spark of sustainability 

When asked what memories influenced her to eat and cook more sustainably, she immediately knew the answer. In her hometown, it was common to eat meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She explained that most meals comprised of meat and potato with the occasional side of vegetables. 

When she went to Italy, she was shocked and inspired to see a colorful plate of tomatoes, arugula, and mozzarella. “They helped me see vegetables for what they are. I gained an appreciation for their flavor and what you could do with them.” 

She started making vegetables, such as potatoes, the star of the show to achieve sustainability. She added lots of savory seasonings, topped with roasted almonds, and served with a fresh vinaigrette salad and hearty bread. Her tastiest vegetable tip: “Season them a lot.”

Top shopping tips

Julia always recommends taking a look inside your fridge for inspiration before you head to the store. “Use food that’s going to go bad. It just takes a bit of creativity to whip something up.” If you’re lacking in the foodspo department, get some inspo from our Lifesum recipes

When Julia shops, she always gets staple items to keep at home. Her “always items” are green beans and crushed tomatoes. Green beans can easily be frozen, and canned tomato can be used as the sauce for main meals. For instance, add lentils with tomatoes and spices, and you have a nice curry. 

Can’t live without, cooking tips 

Julia preaches about and lives by simple cooking. “Don’t try to do a new dish every day. This method is made to fail.” She explains that it's not realistic to cook a different dish for each meal. If nothing else, eat the same thing twice in a row, or even make small tweaks and have it for lunch the next day. 

Batch cooking can’t be beat

She likes to cook big batches of potatoes or rice. For the rice, she’ll portion it out into two types, each with different seasonings. For instance, she’ll have one made from vegetable broth and herbs and another with a curry flavor. Simply add the protein (meat, eggs, fish, beans, or soy) and vegetables that you’re feeling. 

Leave no food behind

Julia wastes not. “I kinda save everything.” This even includes parmesan rinds which she will freeze and add to a broth, creating a rich savory flavor. “Vegetables and scraps can go such a long way.” Whenever Julia has extra vegetables, she’ll either use them for vegetable stock or freeze them for later. Fruit is also great to freeze to be added to smoothies

Have some sad-looking vegetables like old cucumber or carrots? Rather than tossing them, put them in cold water for a few minutes and you’ll see them come back to life! You can also grate them and add them to many dishes such as pasta sauce, lasagne, savory pancakes, and bread (such as carrot or zucchini).

Julia’s sustainable staple recipe

This recipe is something that Julia swears by. She gets her kid to eat vegetables by turning them into tasty patties and serving them with sauce. This recipe is perfect for adults as well. She makes the same patties but serves herself with a salad with pickled onion, feta cheese, and bulgur wheat. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 large boiled leftover potatoes
  • 2 cups shredded vegetables ( broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, spinach - use what you have at home.
  • 1 cup chopped onions (can be any kind, green onions, leek, use what you have at home)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional seasoning (curry, cumin, thyme, chopped parsley)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Peel the potatoes and add them to a food processor with your pick of vegetables, eggs, flour, seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • Use a spoon to scoop up the mixture, and cook in a frying pan with some oil until golden.
  • Tip! Freeze the leftover batter into small patties on parchment paper on a tray and stack them together. After a few hours of cooling, you can store them in a container or a zip bag.

Want more ways to get your kids to turn to the green side? 6 ways to get your kids to eat vegetables

Julia’s sustainable Lifesum recipes 

Of course, we had to ask Julia what one of her favorite Lifesum recipes was! She replied saying that soups are her top choice because they can be so easy to make and store. 

One of her steamy stars is the Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup. She likes to make three batches at a time and freeze the extra. “Some soups also work perfectly as sauce, a topping for skewers, or as bases to add some eggs, chicken, or cheese to it.

Check out the recipe on our blog here: Carrot and sweet potato soup and download Lifesum for many more of Julia’s gems!

All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice.

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