I Quit Sugar’s Sarah Wilson demonstrates how you can eat better, save money and live more sustainably – deliciously, of course. 

It’s September. We all have that back-to-school feeling so it’s the perfect time to turn over a new leaf and get serious about sustainability (whilst eating delicious, healthy treats like Cheeseburger Dim Sum, Sweet Potato Nachos and Shakshouka made from scraps, of course.) My book Simplicious is about just that – sticking it up to Big Food and Over Consumption, and giving your leftovers a makeover.

Which is why, when the book was first published over in my home territory of Australia, I had the idea to take a dress I bought for $3 at the dump when I was 18 and sew food scraps into it. And create a ridiculous bouquet made with bones (which the team on the shoot had to chew to get clean) and veggies sourced, um, from the bin. And pose like Beyonce in the whole silly get-up in a way that delivers a certain nod to my past as editor of a women’s magazine and to needless consumption in general. . . while smiling wholesomely.

And put it on the cover of Simplicous.

My publisher did not agree.

They did, however, print the image of me kitted out in leftovers on the book flap. In Australia at least. But to celebrate September, surely the season to get Simplicous, I’m sharing it with you in the UK now.

You might not be buying a brand new pencil case ready for the first day back, but you can freshen up your freezer (not to mention save money,) with batch cooks, ice-cube trays of stock or raw chocolate and even re-usable food bags. And if you’re trying to wean yourself off your take-out lunch habit, whether for health, expense or wastefulness reasons (the packaging!), you could kick off with my Two Minute Desk Noodles recipe. 

Two-Minute Desk Lunch Noodles

Serves 1

1 – 2 teaspoons red curry paste
1 teaspoon red miso paste
A dash of fish sauce
Small handful of rice noodles
1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut milk or cream (or use 3 cubes frozen coconut milk or cream)
Small handful of frozen peas (or thinly sliced mangetout)
1/2 cup (75 g) Par-Cooked ’n’ Frozen broccoli 
5 cooked prawns, peeled and deveined, or a small handful of shredded chicken
3 – 4 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Coriander leaves and lime wedges, to serve

Place all the ingredients, except the coriander and lime, in a large jar in the order given above. Whack in the fridge when you get to work. At lunchtime, pour over enough boiling water to just cover everything, pressing the ingredients down. Cover and leave for 2 minutes, stirring once or twice. Top with the coriander and a squeeze of lime juice. Eat.