Food moment of the day. Bak Choy with red quinoa miso

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Dumb vegetarian.

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Thought of the day

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Ethical urbanite.

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COSSAC, slogan tees for young rebels

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Ethical urbanite.

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Amidst all similar labels emerging / upcoming, COSSAC – which just celebrated its official launch on October 24 – picks a distinctive position in ethical fashion by bringing back slogan tees with messages.

The postman brought me a carton box that brought me a gift from COSSAC, a new sustainable fashion label from the UK. Yea, you may think, there are many of them out there bearing words like sustainable, eco, ethical like it’s a new Le Smoking. I might as well think so I didn’t check out on this new name that is serious about what it is doing.

I am not sure how people see this but something is really important to me – packaging. There are green companies that appear to be aspiring but you know what they are about when you are 5 minutes into the conversation. COSSAC – likewise, I am not sure how they see this but, again, it is really important to me – does their packaging consciously. No tissue paper, no plastic loop for tags. Trivial it may seem, it does tell whether a brand is here to challenge the status quo. And you know COSSAC is a brand of this kind when you see what I’ve got: Namaste bitches!

WP_20141024_18_31_44_Pro 1Besides this humourous one, there are also ‘Time is Now’ , ‘Never Sorry’, and the long-sleeved ‘This was only an X‘ from the For the Soul collection. The other collection marking the debut is ‘For the Eye’ comprised of fashionable, sculptural pieces using eco-friendly and recycled fabrics like organic cotton velvet and recycled leather. Even more ambitious, For the Soul highlights:

  • Global Organic Textile Standard® (GOTS) certified cotton - in case you don’t know, when fashion labels call their cotton certified, it basically means nothing if it doesn’t come with symbols of GOTS, Soil Association, OE and other professional bodies. When there is GOTS, you can be rest assured that the cotton is really organic because products are both grown and processed to organic standards, and strict environmental and social criteria ought to be met during processing and certified by an independent, third party along the whole supply chain. Okay this is going educational. Back to the topic…
  • Organic African cotton – someone left a comment on my Instagram that she had never heard a term like this. Well this term seems very literally understandable to me, but to some people you always have to break things down alphabetically… Read ITC EFI to see why I reckon it’s important to support. (Because there are indeed billions of people who would never get rid of the loop of poverty without fair trade and fashion business opportunities.
  • By ‘fair trade’ above it means workers in India, Turkey and other suppliers are receiving fair wages and factory audits are carried out to guarantee this.
  • COSSAC operates purely as an online retailer! Because this is a more eco-friendly approach to fashion distribution – hopefully the carbon footprint of delivery is set off by potential emissions saved by not running shops, printing receipts, and delivery details ( which are communicated via email to reduce paper waste.)

What also captivates me is – slogan tees just cannot go wrong. When you do ethical fashion, it will never work or be justified if you don’t want slow fashion. Slogan tees are a case in point. And I look forward to more statements comparable to Katharine Hamnett’s.

As soon as I posted the below photo to social media, friends were already asking me where to buy this. Well, now you know!

cossac.co.uk

One food moment a day.

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Life as an earthling.

6tag_261014-122900The plastic crab does make the cinnamon roll and soy milk latte better tasting.
At Saffron Bakery.

Think of a quick West-meets-East dinner to start with malabar spinach

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Dumb vegetarian.

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When the friendly old man rang my bell, I was anticipating with an empty stomach. 4pm, the clock read. This time with just a HKD140 order, I still received 4 kinds of vegetables – more than enough to last me for a week. For some reason I wanted to start this week’s ritual with malabar spinach. The impulsion quickly developed into the meal above.

As a lazy vegetarian I can hardly be a great cook. But one thing that still encourages me to try is the possibilities for West-meets-East fusion that happens in my tiny kitchen. This three-course meal is another ‘milestone’ I would proudly put into my private cookbook (if there were any).WP_20141029_16_43_49_Pro 1

Malabar Spinach in Chinese kitchens usually becomes light-boiled soup with tofu and pork. It’s considered a very healthy kind of vegetables that helps digestion (because of its rich soluble fibre contents that create the succulence). It is also rich of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron and calcium. Though I only knew what it is called in English before I am doing this post, I cooked it as if it were a spinach curry-lookalike – only with tofu because tofu always goes with malabar spinach in Chinese cuisine. So that’s how I made this:

  • Pan-fry tofu slices.
  • Boil malabar spinach.
  •  Blend the boiled leaves with little water to make a thick soup.
  • Pour the puree back to a pot, heat with a pinch of salt,  pan-fried tofu and a spoon of coconut oil.
  • Top it with parsley (from my rooftop).

Scrambled egg is common in both Western and Chinese cuisines. But from my boyfriend I have learnt to add milk into the pan for a creamy texture. So tonight scrambled egg is actually mixed with Oat milk (no more dairy under my roof!) and Chinese fermented bean curds. It makes a great balance because egg and oat milk are pretty tasteless whilst bean curds have an eccentric, strong taste. Spring onions from my rooftop, which I have been growing from cutouts months ago, make a great note too.

Green tea noodles with red quinoa - another West-meets-East. What I like about green tea noodles is that it doesn’t take much time to cook. Pour them into boiling water on heat and it is ready to serve in 3 minutes. This time, however, it took longer because red quinoa was sharing the pan. The colour combo reminds me of green tea and red bean ice-cream :)

Bon appétit!

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This is the batch of vegetables I received from the local farm AuLaw today.

Go Green Awards 2014 Ceremony

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Life as an earthling.

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This Sunday I travelled all the way to Stanley for Weekend Magazine’s Go Green Awards 2014 Ceremony. Last year I was there as one of the winners, this year I was here because I was of the judge panel. And I was so glad to see winners, organisations and individuals, who totally deserve the recognition! What’s more, JupYeah had a stall there sharing used goods – gathered from our Crew Juppers team –  raise fund for WWF. :)

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Tofu and veggies in red quinoa soup

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Dumb vegetarian.

All from local farmers.
Simple but filling amidst my self confinement.

Asian Consortium of 10 Day Fest / Social Innovation Festival

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Life as an earthling.

Over the weekend I was honoured to join the Asian Consortium, a programme of the uber-inspiring 10Day Fest. Last year’s 10 Day Fest made itself quite a talk of the town and this year’s line-up was astonishing. Urban farming, upcycling exhibition, screenings of Taste the Waste and Menstrual Man, etc. And the Asian Consortium conference, of which I was one of the speakers, connected potential and bold start-ups around Asia. It blew my mind with all the WOW ideas.

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Food for a dumb vegetarian – Night-Fragrant flower congee

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Dumb vegetarian.

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Night Fragrant Flower – how beautiful this name is! It also smells beautiful, tastes beautiful and nourishes beautifully. Often used in a ‘winter melon urn’ and other Chinese soups, Night Fragrant Flowers (botanically known as Telosma cordata according to Wikipedia) to me are like edible jasmine. In Chinese herbology they are good for liver and eyes. Sounds like something good for my post-exam recovery. So this morning I made this slow-cooked congee with Goji berries, some leaves from the batch of greens from yesterday, a table spoon of Coconut oil and a pinch of salt.

5 reasons to choose local fresh green deliveries

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Dumb vegetarian. / Ethical urbanite.

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Busy days mean unhealthy diet – but no more. I finally had a try at fresh vegetable deliveries, and one order is sufficient to feed you for a week. I don’t even know when it became a popular niche among the health conscious. Ordering veggie deliveries may mean skipping wet market visits, yet it enables us to reach out to organic farmers that deserve our support. I chose Yu Wing as it’s a friend’s choice. For just HKD200 I bought a large stack of assorted veggies delivered by a very friendly old man.

I am not sure how popular such services are in other places but this I reckon must go big in any places because:

  • support local farmers – maintaining a local agricultural industry not only to provide them with a living; you make a choice to provide yourself with a safe source of food grown.
  • eat seasonably – by saying no to foreign exotic imports you give yourself the best choice for yourself. You don’t have to remember what’s seasonal and what’s not – let local farmers decide for you!
  •  easy and convenient – it un-necessitates market visits. Many hours saved!
  • For a balanced diet – don’t let supermarkets set your nutritional limits. Buying assorted vegetables decided by local farmers is a great way to make sure your diet is balanced and diverse enough; which is especially important for vegetarians.
  • Minimal food miles – one baby step to carry out your responsibility owed to future generations and every one of us.