Archive for the ‘Zero Waste Households’ Category

‘I’m in’ with Stephanie Ciancio from San Fransisco’s Nesting So Hard

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Stephanie Ciancio lives in San Fransisco but insists on taking a trip to in.gredients every time she visits her best friend in Austin. Stephanie’s commitment to living a zero waste lifestyle and changing how she shops has led her to start Nesting So Hard, a service that helps people reorganize their kitchens and commit to zero waste habits.

in: How did you hear about in.gredients?

SC: I think maybe Pinterest or Facebook, it was something that friends of mine shared. My best friend Suzanne lives in Austin, when I came here I asked her, “Please take me to this place!” That was a couple years ago, and when I’m back in town I’m like, “Let’s go to in.gredients again!”

in: So you always come to in.gredients when you’re in Austin?

SC: Yeah!

in: What do you like about in.gredients?

SC: I love that it’s a cute little shop that helps people buy exactly what they need and not what they don’t – which is the food that you eat and not necessarily a bunch of extra packaging.

in: Do you try to live a zero-waste lifestyle?

SC: I’m a little obsessive about it. My husband is very understanding. I won’t actually throw away clear plastic. I collect it and take it to the one place it can be recycled; so I try not to get it in the first place. We live in San Francisco, and we compost. And I miss composting when I travel. I had to go on a restricted diet for my digestive health, and I started cooking a lot. And that’s when I got into shopping for bulk foods like quinoa and millet. I get a farm subscription for the produce. It’s a fun thing to play at, to get to the zero waste lifestyle. I like to approach it like a game, like how do we get more of what we want and less of what we don’t want rather than demonizing anything. I grew up shopping at Publix, but it’s so much more fun to shop at a pretty place that approaches food from a different angle and has farm relationships and local sourcing.

in: What is your advice for people looking to live a zero waste lifestyle?

SC: That’s a great question because that’s what I’ve just started doing as a service. I help people makeover their kitchens. And the starting point is, what do you like to cook? What do you like to eat – can you cook that? What ingredients do you use a lot of? And how can you streamline getting ahold of those ingredients, whether it’s a CSA delivery or having a system of containers that you always have. It’s so great to know that we can eat most of our meals at home and that most of what we need can be purchased in bulk. I had a commitment to my health that had me cook and eat in a different way. I no longer went to the grocery store when I remembered, it was part of my lifestyle to procure the food that I prepare and eat. You can create a system where you have containers in your car trunk. Or you can create a system where you have a bag of containers ready to go and you create a shopping list, and when you realize there are a lot of things on your list you grab the bag and you go. For me it was a progression. I still buy things I wasn’t planning on buying. But if you look back 5 or 10 years ago, no one every brought their bags, and now it’s like “Oh I forgot my bags this time.” So there’s been a shift already.

in: What’s the name of your business?

SC: Nesting So Hard. I do one-day kitchen makeovers, and I focus on using Mason jars and getting people really acquainted and familiarized and falling in love with their local bulk grocer.

Read more about Nesting So Hard on Stephanie’s blog


Photo by Suzanne Pressman, Pressman Studio

Written by laureneatyourvegetables

June 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm

Thanksgiving Recipes and Specials

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Weekly Updates from in.gredients Neighborhood Grocer

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Giving Thanks

Y’all know what we’re grateful for this season? You guessed it: local food, grown sustainably!  And folks like yourself who choose to shop with us or at farmers markets because you know that good food is worth a little extra.  Why not make your Thanksgiving table as local as possible this year?  In this special edition newsletter, we give you all kinds of reasons to come check out what we have in stock. Offer your guests or hosts something unique this holiday and they’ll surely be grateful. 


We’ve all got our favorite Thanksgiving recipes but here are a few to help fill the holes.  And to make these recipes even easier, we’ve created some bundles, including recipe cards and deals.  Come in and see for yourself!

Hearty Autumn Stew (GF/V)

This soup is almost your entire Thanksgiving meal in a bowl.  Packed full of hearty seasonal greens and root vegetables, it’s a great way to please everyone at your table.  Consider serving this as a side at the big meal as a vegan option, or add leftover turkey the next day and enjoy over the weekend. Not quite ready to commit?  Come in and try a bowl – it’s our Soup of the Week!


  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 lb red potatoes (diced)
  • 1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 lb carrots (diced)
  • 2 cups garbanzo beans, pre-soaked (cover w/ water and let sit overnight)
  • 2 limes 
  • 1 bunch shallots (chopped)
  • 2 Tbs sesame oil
  • 10-12 cups water or veggie broth (or add 2 Tbs Better Than Bouillon to water)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 Tbs ground black pepper


  1. Heat sesame oil in a large stock pot and add shallots, sautéing until golden brown.
  2. Add chopped garlic along with all the spices.  
  3. Add chopped potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots.  Mix thoroughly.  
  4. Add pre-soaked garbanzo beans, water/bouillon/broth, and bay leaves.  
  5. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
  6. Once potatoes are soft, mix in kale and cook just until soft (retaining it’s bright green color)
  7. Serve with a hearty sourdough or multigrain bread.  

Ginger-Apple Pumpkin Soup by Love and Lemons

When we’re wondering what to cook up for dinner on a given night or how to spice up a weekend potluck, we often turn to one of the many wonderful food bloggers here in Austin.  This recipe comes from the Austin Chronicle’s 2013 Top Food Blogger, Love and Lemons. Get 10% off the bundle if you purchase all the ingredients pictured to the right!    


  • 1 medium pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 1 small apple (or 1/2 a large one)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper (for roasting)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon additional salt (or to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Roast pumpkin/squash – cut in half and scoop out insides (save and toast seeds!).  Drizzle with olive oil, salt/pepper, and roast cut side up for 20 minutes, flip and roast cut side down for another 20 or so minutes, or until the flesh is soft.  Remove from oven and let cool, then peel the skin away from flesh. 
  3. While the squash roasts, slice the apple and onion into wedges and arrange on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt/pepper, and roast for 20 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.  During hte last 10 minutes or so, add the whole garlic cloves to the baking sheet.  
  4. In a blender, add pumpkin mash, roasted onion, apple, garlic (remove skins), coconut milk, ginger, cardamom, cayenne and salt.  Puree until smooth.  If too thick, add a bit of water or broth to thin and blend again.  
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking!  

Candied Sweet Potatoes (V)

This vegan twist on a Thanksgiving classic is a must for many people, and now that we’ve got vegan marshmallows in stock, you can make sure no one at your table has to miss out.  Add a little bourbon or rum to give some punch to this one!  


  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 5 Tbs Earth Balance Butter spread
  • 2 cups mini vegan marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Add sweet potatoes to a 13x9x2 glass baking dish. 
  2. Combine sugar, maple syrup, Earth Balance, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in a small saucepan and cook gently until all ingredients are combined.  
  3. Pour warm mixture over sweet potatoes and toss to coat evenly.  Cover dish with foil.
  4. Bake sweet potatoes for 50 minutes.  Uncover and bake until potatoes are tender and browned.  
  5. Raise temperature to 500 degrees F and top with marshmallows and pecans.  
  6. Bake for about 3 minutes, or until marshmallows and nuts start to brown.  

We’ve got what you need!

Tips for a Green Thanksgiving  

Have a waste management plan!
If you’re hosting a lot of family or friends and you don’t have enough dish ware, consider using compostable plates (yes, you can get ’em here) instead of plastic or coated paper.  Of course, this means you’ll need to be composting.  Don’t have space or want to bother? Check out our zero waste friends, the Compost Pedallers for help.  
Grow Your Own Food
Okay, maybe it’s a little late to start growing your own food for this Thanksgiving, but consider starting a garden this season and perhaps by next Thanksgiving you’ll be harvesting your own herbs, greens, and root vegetables for the big meal. Need help? Ask YardFarm – they’re experts!
Buy Direct from Farmers
Seek out your nearest farmers market to get produce, meats, and cheese directly from the producers.  Not sure where to go? Try SFCTexas Farmers Markets, or HOPE Farmers Market.  Be sure to tell them we say hello!



We’ll be closed Thursday AND Friday of next week! 

Support Local 

In addition to a few choice items on sale through Wednesday, we’ve also got some special deals on wine, cheese plates, recipe bundles, and a delicious new Texas product made with vinegar, drinking shrubs! 

Recipe Bundles: Purchase a featured recipe bundle and save 10% on all the in.gredients!

Wine Special: Buy Any 2 Bottles of Wine and Get 50% OFF a Cin Cin Wine Bottle Carrier (holds up to 6 bottles)

Holiday Cheese Plate: $24.99 for a Selection of Cheeses

Shrub Special: Free lemon w/ a Shrub Purchase

Organic Valley Cultured Butter: $6.69 ea (Save $0.30 ea)

Local Sweet Potatoes: $2.09/lb (Save $0.36/lb)

Stahlbush Frozen Cranberries: $4.31 ea (Save $0.48 ea)

Copyright © 2014 in.gredients All rights reserved.

Store Hours:
Monday – Wednesday 9 am – 10 pm
Thursday – Saturday 9 am – 11 pm
Sunday 10 am – 10 pm

Happy Hour(s):
Monday-Friday 4-7pm

Contact Us:
2610 Manor Road, Austin TX 78722

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Written by Josh Blaine

November 21, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Urban Composting

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If you live in an apartment or other highly urban setting, chances are composting might seem tricky or impossible. Lack of outdoor space may prevent you from being able to have a compost pile, and composting indoors might not seem like the most intuitive process. Fear not! It’s indeed totally feasible to save those scraps from the landfill by composting indoors, even in a small setting. Outlined below are two ways to have an indoor compost without odor or mess:

Counter-top (or under sink) Composting

Counter-top composting can be done by putting leftover kitchen scraps, newspaper, coffee grounds, and other organic material in a container that lives on the counter or under the sink. On average, whatever you put in should break down in about 45 days. Keep in mind, with this method, you shouldn’t add things like dairy, meat, or cooked food. The compost doesn’t get hot enough to fully break them down. For more information on what to add to your compost and how to manage it, check out Apartment Composting Tips.

For this method the container you pick is crucial. You’ll want a container that’s not too big (think about how much kitchen scraps you will actually accumulate – it’s usually not that much) to keep things manageable. Also, as composting’s an aerobic process (meaning it requires air), the container needs to be ventilated. And finally, to minimize odors, a carbon filter is quite nice for indoor composting systems. Not to discourage DIY’ers in any way, but for these reasons, buying a container designed for composting may be a better way to go versus just using an old container of some sort. Check out some of the kitchen composters available through Amazon – many of these look like great options, and start at about $20.

Bokashi Composting

Alternatively, there’s the Japanese method of anaerobic (air-free) composting that requires an air-tight container and a starter culture of Effective Micro-organisms (EM), and wheat bran. Using this method, you can add almost anything to your compost, including dairy, meat, bones, avocado peels, and other notoriously hard-to-break-down stuff. The reason for this: the EM/bran mixture jump starts the anaerobic fermentation process, which is quicker and heartier than aerobic decomposition. Learn more about this from Bokashi Composting.

Bokashi composting has many advantages. When done properly it’s odorless, quick, and tidy, making it ideal for an indoor environment. Not to mention, you can really reduce the quantity of outgoing garbage you have since you can put practically anything from your kitchen into the system.

Things to consider with this method, though, include that you pretty much have to buy a specially designed “system” (also available on Amazon) in order to do it since the container needs to be air-tight, and drainable. You’ll also need to purchase the EM/bran mixture on a regular basis, or otherwise find out how to make it yourself, because you have to add it in continuously to keep things breaking down.

Ultimately, whichever method you choose (and these aren’t the only ones!) will have you on your way to reducing waste and improving soils. So go forth and compost!

(image: That Bloomin’ Garden)

Written by jmalsky

December 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm

6 Ways to Use Overripe Produce

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Before you take those be-speckled bananas to the compost pile think how nice some warm, homemade banana muffins would be. As it turns out, the soft consistency and strong flavor of overripe bananas make them the best to bake with. You probably already knew that about bananas – maybe you asked your mom or your grandma why they always put questionable looking bananas in the freezer and made the connection several months later when presented with a slice of banana bread after school. Oh moms! There’s method in their madness…

But did you know you can do the same with zucchini? A little overripe zucchini or yellow summer squash would never hurt a coffee cake or tea bread, promise! What about apples? Those apples that are passed their prime for snacking have not missed their calling to be saucy!

And don’t give up too early on  tomatoes or cucumbers either, they could still be great as soup (or pasta sauce) or relish.

So that’s five ways right there to make use of produce before giving it back to the earth. Here’s one more just for good measure:

Especially great as a holiday season dessert, if you have a bit of overripe fruit, try making a gelato! This is a base recipe that works great with any kind of fruit, so you can get really creative. Think of all the possibilities: cinnamon-pear, pomegranate, pumpkin spice, vanilla-orange, persimmon-pecan. These and so many others would make great seasonal gelati!

(image: Earth911)

Written by jmalsky

November 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Zero Waste Living Spotlight: Amelia Raley

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This feature’s the first of a series of spotlights on Austin residents who’ve decided to “go zero waste,” and have agreed to share their story so our community can learn and gain perspective on how reducing waste translates to daily life.

Amelia Raley:

Vegan since 2007, Cherrywood resident, soon-to-be co-owner of new Eastside vegan ice cream parlor.

I was thrilled to meet Amelia, our first zero waste interviewee, on an obviously hot August morning. Her Cherrywood home was remarkably peaceful – windows open, curtains waving in the breeze, clothes drying on a rack. As I’ve talked to zero waste households (via in.gredients) I’ve been excited by how different zero waste looks for different people. The lifestyle and the family mold to fit one another in a new, unique way. Amelia takes on zero waste from an angle I hadn’t encountered before our interview – the old-fashioned way. Enjoy!

Brian: “So, how’d you decide to pursue zero waste?”

Amelia: “I lived in intentional communities for the past five years. It was during that timeframe when I began pursuing zero waste. Bulk foods helped spark the idea – some of the first things you’d notice in the kitchens I lived in were giant containers of pasta and rice. When I was there I learned a lot of what I was buying could be bought in bulk, without all the packaging – and that it’s actually cheaper that way.”

Amelia's "transforming" pantry.

Brian: “Were there any other ‘sparks’?”

Amelia: “Well, perhaps not a spark exactly, but I grew up in rural Arkansas, where I’d go camping a lot with my family. It was interesting to go out to the wilderness with only a few things. When you needed something, we used what we had to get the job done. Going zero waste sometimes incorporates that resourcefulness and inspires you to use or re-use what you have.”

Brian: “What was the mental transition to zero waste like for you? Was is easy, hard…?”

Amelia: “It was quite a transformation. It’s really hard at first because it’s such a big adjustment. Being zero waste forces you to be creative and resourceful, and to re-arrange your time. You’ll spend more time cooking, to be sure – but the way I see it, what would you have done with that time otherwise?”

Brian: “Tell us about your zero waste life now – what does it look like?”

Amelia: “I take a lot of my cues from the Great Depression. When you think of all the things you have in your house, just remember that most of the stuff didn’t always exist. What did we use before dishwashers? Or before dryers? I think of the 1950s as the rise of obsolescence. Before then, getting things done required a great amount of ingenuity. I wash my clothes in my bathtub, and hang them to dry on an old-fashioned drying rack. I also try to live without electricity one day a week.”

Antiques in Amelia

Brian: “I love your furniture. Where’d you get it?”

Amelia: “All of the stuff in my home is either from the trash, antique shops, or left behind by previous inhabitants. It’s a rotating cast of characters.”

Amelia's "rescued" couch, covered with a quilt.

Brian: “What advice would you give someone thinking about taking the plunge?”

Amelia: “If you’re going to do it, don’t do it all at once. That may cause you to be paranoid about all the waste you’re still taking in to your home. I’ve been at this for three years, and again, it’s really hard at first – but keeping at it allows you to align your living behaviors with your ethics.”

Written by Brian Nunnery

August 17, 2011 at 9:59 am

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