Cook and Eat Sustainably

Food is love made visible

Talk took place in May 2022

Photo by Victoria Shes on Unsplash

We all eat and many of us cook, so rather than give a talk, Shally Bhalla of Spice for Life led a discussion where we shared ideas about cooking methods and utensils, shopping and meal planning.

The main points Shally emphasised were:

  • Invest in good quality equipment such as sharp knives and heavy bottomed pans
  • Explore lentils and pulses such as chick peas, mung beans, split mung beans and mung lentils. There are so many types and they are cheap, good for you and versatile.
  • Be imaginative about using leftovers. They will keep for several days with your fridge set at no more than 4 degrees C and can be combined, spiced up or made into a meal with another vegetable, bread or rice.
  • Cook for more people than you are feeding and freeze the surplus. Uses the cooker efficiently and saves trouble later (and washing up)
  • Know where your food comes from and buy what is in season.

As a bonus she did a live cookery demonstration during the talk! Potato and bean dry curry cooked quickly and needed very little attention and no water, on account of the heavy pan with a close-fitting lid.

Tips that came from the discussion

Vegetables to seek out and try: Bitter Gourd; Fenugreek leaves (methi); Okra (Lady’s Fingers)

According to Ethical Consumer Magazine, the most sustainable/responsible national supermarkets are Waitrose and Co-op and the worst are Tesco and Sainsbury. There are also smaller local supermarkets many of which are excellent.

If you find yourself cooking meat when you have guests (because of the notion that it isn’t a “proper” meal without meat), practise a delicious veggy dish and amaze them!

Cooking in a microwave or a pressure cooker are good ways of reducing the energy needed.

Shally Bhalla

Shally is from Buckinghamshire, and provides cookery classes to both adults and teens. She specialises in Indian and Middle Eastern food, and offers the Indian food experience in a fun and friendly environment.

As a single mother with a hectic career, her priority has always been to put nourishing homemade meals on the family dinner table every day (with the occasional indulgence of course!)

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