March 1, 2023
Kim Ngan Van

Sustainable recipes: eat the planet healthy (1)

A lot of time, energy and love goes into growing and processing food so that it eventually ends up on our plates. This is why we have all been taught at home that throwing food away is out of the question. Yet we continue to do this on a large scale. ‍

Would you like to make a start today in your own kitchen to do something about this problem? Then get started with the following sustainable recipes:

  1. Pad thai
  2. Carrot cake
  3. Fruit smoothie
  4. Potato pancakes

Pad thai

Pad Thai is a delicious dish from Thai cuisine. In addition, this recipe offers a great way to use up leftover vegetables. This way you still do something with the ingredients that are often left over in the kitchen, and avoid throwing them away.


  • 200 grams of rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 100 grams of bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, lime wedges and fresh cilantro


  1. Soak the rice noodles in hot water until soft, this takes about 5 to 7 minutes. Then drain the noodles and set them aside.

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrot and bell bell pepper and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

  1. Add the noodles and bean sprouts, then stir-fry for another 1 to 2 minutes.

  1. Mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, (optional: rice vinegar) and sugar in a separate bowl until smooth.

  1. Pour the sauce over the noodles and vegetables and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce is fully absorbed.

  1. Garnish the dish with chopped peanuts. You can also use lime wedges and fresh cilantro for this purpose.‍

  1. Serve the dish right away and enjoy!


Carrot cake

Do you want to use leftover carrots in a delicious way while reducing food waste? Then try this simple carrot cake recipe, which also uses some other ingredients you may already have in your pantry.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 4-5 medium carrots)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a cake pan with butter or cooking spray.

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Then set the mixture aside.

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, this takes about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. Then stir in the vanilla extract.

  1. Divide the dry mixture from the medium bowl into three parts and add them to the butter mixture in the large bowl, mixing well each time before adding the next part. Also add the grated carrots in three parts, alternating with the dry ingredients. Start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix everything well until well combined.

  1. Add the chopped nuts (if you like them).

  1. Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

  1. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. You can test whether the cake is ready to take out with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean when you insert it into the center of the cake, the cake is ready.

  1. Let the cake cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes. Then you can take it out and let it cool further.

Serve the carrot cake as is or flavor it with frosting (easy to make with powdered sugar and water). Enjoy!


Fruit smoothie

In the Netherlands, milk and fruit are two of the most wasted foods. Milk passes its date fairly quickly, so an opened pack must be thrown away if it is not used up soon.

Fruit wordt over het algemeen weggegooid wanneer het overrijp is. Dit gaat nog sneller wanneer het tijdens het transport beschadigt is of niet goed wordt bewaard. Lees hier hoe je voedsel kunt bewaren. In Nederland wordt ongeveer 13% van het fruit verspild (bron: Manners).

Fruit is generally discarded when it is overripe. This happens even faster when it is damaged in transit or not stored properly. Read here how to store food. In the Netherlands, about 13% of fruit is wasted (source: Manners).

Fortunately, it is very easy to avoid fruit and milk waste. In fact, you can make a delicious fruit smoothie with these ingredients!


  • 2 cups mixed fruit (such as strawberries, berries, bananas, peaches, mangoes, pineapple, etc.)
  • 1 cup yogurt (plain, or flavored)
  • 1/2 cup milk (you can use either vegetable or animal milk for this)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)


  1. Cut the fruit into small pieces en put them in a blender.

  1. Add the yogurt, milk and honey (if desired) to the mixture.

  1. Blend all ingredients into a smooth and creamy smoothie. If the mixture is too thick, you can add more milk.

  1. Serve the smoothie cold and enjoy!

Tip: Freeze your fruit to prevent it from ripening too quickly and to make ice-cold smoothies.


Potato pancakes

Every year Dutch citizens throw away about four kilos of potatoes per person. That amounts to about 70 million kg of potatoes per year! With this recipe for potato pancakes, you'll make sure fewer potatoes go to waste.


  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

  1. Wash the potatoes and boil them in salted water until tender. Drain the potatoes and let them cool.

  1. Mash the potatoes in a mixing bowl with a fork or potato masher.

  1. Add the flour, Parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well.

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

  1. Using your hands, form the potato mixture into pancakes about 1/2 cm thick.

  1. Fry the pancakes in the pan until golden brown on both sides, this takes about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

  1. Place the pancakes on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

       9. Bake them in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crispy on the outside.

Serve the pancakes warm with your favorite dipping sauce or toppings, such as sour cream, chives or bacon. Enjoy!


Want to learn more about foodwaste? Read it at this blog

Discover more sustainable recipes? Read part 2 of this blog!