Amy Klitscher is the face behind The Sustainable Food Co., New Zealand's first zero waste catering company. A graduate of Panuku Development Auckland's, The Kitchen Project, Amy is helping Kiwis change their perceptions of foodthrough her vibrant, plant-based catering menu and private chef experiences, all the while contributing zero-waste to landfill through the entire process. Here Amy shares her at-home kitchen essentials with us.
My kitchen at home is… my creative studio. It's where I get to combine my love for food and sustainability. It's always getting used, always has music on and is always filled with delicious ingredients to play with.
If I could change anything I would have a… macadamia tree, an avocado tree and a field of raspberries in my backyard that magically ripened all year round.
Items that are always in my fridge are… lots of chutneys, dips and olives fresh from local markets.
My pantry is always full of… Jars jars and more jars! And reusable containers. I have an impressive collection of both filled with all kinds of nuts, nut butters, seeds, spices, grains and flours. Every time I shop, I try to get ingredients that I haven't had in the last few months. It keeps things interesting and is a great way to challenge myself.
My favourite ingredient to cook with is… any kind of lentil or legume variety. There's so many to choose from, especially from bulk bin stores. Every time I go I feel like a kid in a candy store. Some of them even look like mini M&M's. Because they have such a neutral flavour you can flavour them any way you like and they just soak it up - the world is your oyster! The trick is not to overcook them – they are best eaten al dente.
My go-to meal is… cajun-spiced chickpeas, a wild assortment of any greens and herbs from my garden, avocado, crumbled cashew feta, with a swirl of peach chutney on top.
I cook at home… every day. My home kitchen is Council-approved so I can prepare all our event catering and private chef prep from there. Plus I always like to cook for friends and family.
My most-used appliance is… my blender. Once you've used a good blender you'll never look back.
My least used is… the rubbish bin. I really don't use it at all. I compost any waste and have a small amount of recycling.
A kitchen gadget everyone should own is… a handheld blow torch. Too much fun!
A spice I can't live without is… cinnamon. For both sweet and savoury recipes. I came across a cinnamon tree in Tahiti last year in an edible forest. You could peel the bark straight off the tree and it smelt like pure heaven. Warm, punchy, slightly spicy yet so gentle.
My advice for living well is… eat well and enjoy every mouthful. Soak up the sun. Swim in the ocean (especially when it's cold!). And find what you love, take it and run with it.
Try Amy's healthy recipe: Broccoli and coconut bacon salad