Guest Blog: Yay for Earth Challenge Recap by Summer Hanson

This blog recap of the Yay for Earth challenge is brought to you by Summer Hanson, a wonderful member of our Collective.  Summer is one of our good friends and she lights up every room she enters.  She's laidback, she's brilliant, and she lives a zero waste lifestyle.  She is also a Vegan and talks more about being plant powered on her personal blog and social media channels under @summerrhanson.


5 days of vegan, low-waste recipes, made by @mamaeatsplants and @stevieyaaaay

June 19th, 2018

In the past week-ish, I’ve made every recipe for the Yay For Earth Challenge, which is a lovingly created collection of 5 days of plant-based (and gluten-free) dinner recipes, along with a dessert and smoothie. It came with a grocery list of mostly bulk and unpackaged ingredients! As a low-waste plant-eater in need of new recipes to try, the challenge was too good to be true. Thank you so much to Amanda (@mamaeatsplants on Instagram) and Stevie (@stevieyaaaay) for putting together this yummy earth-friendly challenge! All of the recipes can be found on both of their blogs: Mama Eats Plants and Trading Waste For Abundance.  I had so much fun trying out these recipes, and most of all, sharing them with people I love. Luckily, the recipes made at least 4 servings each – plenty for sharing and leftovers!

Some notes on my experience (photos below in corresponding order):

Groceries: I spent approximately $75 on groceries for the challenge at PCC (I used my 10% member discount on this trip).

Day 1: Lentil meatballs and zoodles (aka zucchini noodles). Yum! So fancy! I had a lot of fun making this with Lucinda, and garnishing it with fresh basil from the potted basil plant that Lauren gave me for my birthday! Next time I’ll put the meatball mixture in the freezer for a bit before rolling into balls because they were very sticky!

Day 2: Quinoa, beet & mushroom Buddha bowl with citrus tahini dressing. This was my first time ever making quinoa and making a tahini dressing. I approve! 

Day 3: Sweet potato, lentil & hazelnut salad. Um… I am DEFINITELY adding more roasted hazelnuts into my life! next time I make hazelnut milk for my coffee, I’ll try roasting them first, because it brings out that chocolatey aroma/flavor!

Day 4: Kale stir-fry with smashed potatoes, avocado, and tahini dressing. There’s something special about this dish. Sabrina said it was the best meal she’s had in months, and immediately went to PCC afterwards to load up on more plant food. I’m calling that a huge win!

Day 5: Chickpea, sweet potato & butternut squash stew. Out of all the recipes, this is the one I will cling to. The flavor has such depth, and it is such a hardy, satisfying meal that’s loaded with veggies. It’s also great and easy as leftovers! Oh, and you can make it all in one pot? Yes please!

Dessert: Double chocolate flourless cookies. Personally, I’ll to stick with my gluten cookie recipes but these weren’t bad! I definitely should have added more sugar.

Smoothie: Micronutrient smoothie. I have decided that kale is just NOT a smoothie ingredient for me. Thank you to Michael for finishing both mine and his.