WH-Hunger-ConferenceHunger

Food Insecurity and Food Waste: A Review of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

Overview

On September 28, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration held the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. As Food Finders’ new Outreach and Advocacy intern, I have been asked to review the conference, which is the first of its kind in over 50 years. The goal of the conference is to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity in order to reduce diet-related diseases in Americans by 2030. The Biden-Harris administration announced that they had received over $8 billion in private- and public-sector commitments. There are over 20 partners, including AARP, Chobani, Doordash, Google, and the University of California System. Each group pledges to create programs that address food-insecure vulnerable populations by improving access to nutrition programs in the United States. 

The areas I will cover in the post are:

  • the five pillars identified in the National Strategy,
  • how the pillars relate to Food Finders’ mission, and 
  • what is missing from the strategy.

[Photo 1: President Joe Biden speaks during the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health on Sept. 28, 2022, Link]

“Together, we can build a healthier future for all Americans” – President Joe Biden

The Five Pillars of the National Strategy

The National Strategy identified five hefty pillars to address hunger, nutrition, and health:

  1. Improve food access and affordability.
  2. Integrate nutrition and health.
  3. Empower all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices.
  4. Support physical activity for all.
  5. Enhance nutrition and food security research.

Each pillar aims to address issues that plague our communities and promote healthier lifestyles for children and families through improving access to healthy foods, safe locations for physical activity, and nutrition and health education. The fifth pillar, which focuses on food security research, encompasses all the pillars. Increasing research in these areas would allow organizations to understand just how current and new programs and implementations are impacting the issue of food insecurity. 

[Photo 2: Impacts of Food Insecurity from the White House National Strategy (page 6) Link]

Pillar 1 and Food Finders

While each pillar is important, Pillar 1 aligns the most with Food Finders’ current mission, which is to eliminate hunger and food waste and improve nutrition in food-insecure communities. The first pillar aims to reduce hunger and increase access to healthy meals for everyone first by “helping all Americans become economically secure” through the expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit and increasing the minimum wage (p. 8). Increasing the incomes of households is an incredibly important step toward increasing access to healthy foods. While this pillar focuses on the economic side of food insecurity, Food Finders works to get food directly to those who need it. Food Finders has several programs, such as the Food Rescue Program, Food4Kids, and community Food Hubs. The organization coordinates daily pick-ups of surplus food from grocers, schools, and restaurants through each program. It distributes the food directly to pantries, shelters, youth programs, and senior centers for either hot meals or grocery distribution. Overall, their goal is to keep food from going to waste and divert it to adults, families, and children who need it the most.  

Panels on the pillars

The White House held ten panels on the National Strategy Pillars. Each pillar had two panels, and the agenda for each panel and its corresponding YouTube link can be found here. The first panel for Pillar 1 is “Nourishing Brighter Futures: Ensuring affordable food for all children and families.” This panel features several experts discussing the common barriers to food access, such as the stigma around food insecurity and inadequate wages. The discussion emphasizes the importance of nutrition education for children and improving children’s access to food at home for families and at school.

[Photo 3: Panel 1A Mike Curtin, Jr. moderates a conversation with Shavana Howard, Donna Martin, Mark Ramos, and Shannon Razsadin, YouTube]

What is Missing From the Strategy?: The Importance of Food Waste

Despite the enormous negative impact of food waste on the environment, the White House National Strategy dedicates only five bullet points to address food recovery. When uneaten food piles up at the landfill, the decomposition process releases huge amounts of methane gas, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Wasting food also wastes freshwater, cropland, and fertilizer, not to mention the time and effort put into planting and harvesting the crops by farmers and agricultural workers. 

[Photo 4: Environmental Impact of Food that is Produced But Never Eaten, ReFED]

The Strategy cites the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as leading resources for preventing food loss and waste. But it does not mention food surpluses due to overproduction or the efforts of local community organizations to allocate food to the right places. The document also ensures that the Department of the Treasury will “clarify the enhanced charitable deduction calculation to support businesses donating food”. Still, it does not mention the need to support farmers to harvest unprofitable crops due to cosmetic reasons (p. 14). The State of Pennsylvania has a program that does this. Later, in the Call to Action, the Administration asks to state, local, and territory governments to “enact food waste reduction and recovery policies such as providing tax incentives to food donors” (p. 16).

According to ReFED, 40% of all food is not eaten, while over 50 million Americans remain food insecure. To Food Finders, the issue and solution are obvious, and the organization combines both of these problems to promote a mission that prioritizes sustainability over consumerism and overproduction. In 2021 alone, Food Finders rescued 7.2 billion gallons of water, 8.6 million pounds of CO2 emissions, and provided 13.2 million meals to Southern Californians. This year the organization expects to surpass those numbers. 

Although the National Strategy is far-reaching in its mission to increase access to healthy foods for Americans, it fails to adequately highlight the need to reduce food waste and its subsequent detrimental impacts on our environment. It also fails to highlight the connection between reducing food insecurity through reducing food waste. While governmental organizations are pushing for change, it would have been very powerful for the White House to give more attention to this aspect of the hunger issue. However, this slight oversight only fortifies Food Finders’ determination to increase the visibility of their efforts on a local and regional level and the efforts of other anti-food waste organizations in the United States. 

What Can You Do To Help?

Food Finders works daily to change how food waste is distributed to eliminate hunger and food insecurity. If you would like more information, please visit our website, volunteer, or help our operations by making a donation.

#Hunger #Nutrition #Health #WhiteHouse #FoodFinders

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Nutrition

Vegan Walnut and Lentil Bolgnese

#MeatlessMondays

A store-bought jar of marinara is such a beautiful thing—it’s a shortcut that doesn’t short. Tomatoes are an ideal food for preserving and jarred marinara sauce is no exception—loaded with wonderful, slow cooked tomatoes and herbs, it’s a time-saver that really delivers. And in this case, it pairs up with lentils and walnuts to make a flavorful, rich vegan bolognese sauce that packs a huge nutritional punch, too! Healthy, hearty, vegan, rich, quick, easy, yummy—this walnut and lentil bolognese is an update on childhood favorite and a weeknight superstar.

“Boldly flavored, super hearty and incredibly easy, this vegan walnut and lentil bolognese recipe takes your plant-based eating goals to new heights.”

How to Buy and Store Walnuts

  • Buy them in sealed packaging. This will ensure that they’re as fresh as possible when you first get them.
  • Store them in the fridge or freezer. Once you’ve opened the package—or if you’ve bought walnuts from the bulk section—store the walnuts in the fridge. Or, if you want to store them for more than a month or so, store them in the freezer.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • 1 cup finely minced yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dried brown or green lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 cup red wine, such as Pinot Noir
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound cooked pappardelle or tagliatelle, for serving
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese or vegan Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or braiser over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the carrots, celery, and onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
  2. Add the walnuts and lentils, stir to combine. Add the stock, marinara, wine, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, pepper, and salt. Stir to combine again, then increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the lentils are cooked to your liking, about 35 minutes.
  3. Transfer 2 cups of the sauce to a blender or food processor and blend until mostly smooth. Return the blended sauce back to the pan and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt as needed.
  4. Serve the bolognese over your favorite pasta, topped with Parmesan if desired.

Nutrition

  • Calories 320
  • Protein 10g
  • Carbohydrates 23g
  • Total Fat 19g
  • Dietary Fiber 7g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 344mg
  • Total Sugars 7g

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#meatlessmonday #foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Sweet Potato SaladFood Waste

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cilantro-Cashew Dressing

#MeatlessMonday

Rich roasted sweet potatoes, toothsome raw kale, a squeeze of lime, a hint of jalapeño, and lots of creamy avocado—blended into the sweet potato salad dressing and cubed up in the salad, too—this health-bomb of a vegan salad is self-care in a bowl. Plenty of protein—from black beans in the salad and cashews in the dressing—and healthy fats like avocado, olive oil and nuts mean that it you’ll feel full and satisfied for hours. And we haven’t even talked about those glorious roasted sweet potatoes yet—they’re a pretty magical food, so we figure they deserve their own little spotlight.

“A hearty mountain of roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, black beans and raw kale are tossed in a creamy lime-cashew-cilantro dressing in this brightly flavorful, vegan sweet potato salad recipe.”

Are Sweet Potatoes Good For You?

YES! Health-wise, sweet potato benefits are many and varied! Simple roasted sweet potatoes are as complete a snack or side dish as you could hope for—this colorful, sweet-and starchy root vegetable is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium, many B vitamins, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. A drizzle of olive oil before roasting—at 400°F for 30 minutes—doesn’t just make the sweet potato taste good, it helps your body to absorb all that nutrition, too. A few more things to know about sweet potato nutrition:

  • How many carbs in sweet potatoes? With 27 grams of carbs per cup of cooked sweet potato (and about 17 grams of net carbs) they’re not a super duper low-carb food, but they are still a healthy choice and can be enjoyed as part of all but the most restrictive low-carb diets.
  • How many calories in a sweet potato? One whole sweet potato has about 100 calories—and considering how filling they are (thanks, fiber and complex carbs!), and how many nutrients they deliver, they represent a really great bang for your caloric buck.

Ingredients 

  • 3 sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 2 bunches kale, stems removed, torn into 2 inch pieces (6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado, large sliced

Vegan Cilantro Cashew Dressing

  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded
  • 1/2 avocado

Tools

  • A baking sheet for the roasted sweet potatoes.
  • A good blender for making the lime-cilantro-cashew dressing.
  • A sharp knife.
  • A large bowl for tossing and serving.
  • Salad tongs are nice to have, but not an absolute must.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 400°F.
  2. Cut sweet potatoes into 2” cubes. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil and taco seasoning. Arrange on a baking sheet, careful not to overcrowd. Roast on the center rack in oven for 30 minutes, flipping the sweet potatoes half way through. (If sweet potatoes aren’t tender enough, cook for an additional 5 minutes.)
  3. In a high-powered blender, blend all ingredients for the dressing. You should end up with about 1 ¼ cups of the vegan cilantro-lime dressing.
    *For a thinner dressing, add a little more lime juice.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the kale, cilantro, green onions, black beans, roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, with desired amount of dressing. Enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories 359
  • Protein 11g
  • Carbohydrates 41g
  • Total Fat 19g
  • Dietary Fiber 12g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 303mg
  • Total Sugars 7g

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#meatlessmonday #foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Vegan Potato Soup

#WhyWasteWednesday

Thick, hearty and creamy Vegan Potato Soup. It’s really simple to make and very budget-friendly. You can enjoy it just as it is, or get crazy with toppings. I like to finish mine off with some crumbled tempeh bacon, crispy roasted potato chunks & a sprinkle of parsley for a pop of color!

Who’s up for a bowl of the best comforting, creamy, vegan potato soup?

If so you are in the right place! Soothing, Comforting, Full of veggies, Low in fat, and low budget, this soup is the perfect meal for any group!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter , or olive oil, or to make oil-free omit and use a few tablespoons of water for sautéing instead
  • 2 medium onions , chopped finely
  • 2 ribs celery , diced
  • 2 large carrots , diced
  • 4 cloves garlic , chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons salt , plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper , plus more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour , or gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 2 cups / 480 mls non dairy milk , cashew milk or soy milk are my milks of choice for savory recipes but any other unsweetened creamy non-dairy milk will work too
  • 2½ – 3 cups / 600 – 720 mls flavourful vegetable broth/stock , divided
  • 5 medium / about 700 g potatoes , cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg , (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf

Cooking Instructions

  1. To a large saucepan, add the vegan butter/oil and warm over a medium heat before adding the onions, celery and carrots. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are just starting to get a little color, then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. 
  2. Add the salt and pepper, then the flour to the pan and stir it all around for about a minute to cook the raw flour taste out, then slowly add the soy milk, stirring as you go to work out any lumps. Then add the vegetable broth (reserving about ½ a cup / 120 mls) , chopped potatoes, nutmeg and the bay leaf. 
  3. Stir really well then let it simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and just starting to break down. Add all of, or some of, the reserved ½ a cup / 120 mls of broth if you prefer a thinner consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. 
  4. Serve as it is, or with toppings. See the post above for ideas.

Notes

It is normal for the soup to thicken as it cools. Soup reheats really well. Thin with more broth or water if it becomes a little thick. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 6 servings

Calories: 107kcal

Carbohydrates: 13gProtein: 4gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1264mgPotassium: 269mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 4627IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 125mgIron: 1mg


If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate#meatlessmonday #foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Nutrition

Vegan Stuffed Jumbo Shells with Spinach

#WhyWasteWednesday

These Vegan Stuffed Jumbo Shells are filled with the most amazing spinach ricotta, covered with marinara sauce and baked to perfection! Comfort food that is perfect for feeding a crowd

Tips for Success

  • Don’t overcook the pasta. We don’t want mushy shells, and they will continue to cook a little in the oven. Rinse the cooked shells in cold water as soon as they are done.
  • Try using a piping bag to stuff the shells. It makes filling the shells a breeze! You can also use a small spoon.
  • Frozen or fresh spinach – I use whatever I have on hand, and either is perfectly fine.
  • Make ahead – You can assemble the shells in the casserole dish ahead of time, such as in preparation of a holiday meal. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. I would not let them sit longer than 8-10 hours before baking. Give them a few extra minutes to cook since they will be cold going in.

Ingredients

(1) 12-ounce package jumbo shells

(1) 26-ounce jar marinara sauce (about 3 cups)

Spinach Ricotta

2 cups raw cashews

(1) 14-ounce firm tofu, drained from package

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons dried basil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

(1) 10-ounce package chopped frozen spinach, thawed, or 2-3 cups fresh

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Boil the Shells: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the jumbo shells. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until done. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Some will likely break, but you will only need about 3/4 of the package so that is okay.
  3. Make the Spinach Ricotta: Add the cashews to a food processor, and process until fine and crumbly. Now add the rest of the ricotta ingredients EXCEPT the spinach. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides as needed. Now add the spinach, squeezing out excess water before adding. Pulse to combine.
  4. In a large casserole dish, evenly spread about 1 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom.
  5. Stuff the Shells: Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the spinach ricotta into each shell and place open side up into the baking dish. Repeat until all the filling is used up. I love using a piping bag and large tip for this, it makes filling a breeze!
  6. Spoon remaining marinara sauce on top of the stuffed shells, and place in the oven. Cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nutrition

serving: 1serving, calories: 425kcal, carbohydrates: 51g, protein: 20g, fat: 18g, saturated fat: 3g, sodium: 954mg, potassium: 815mg, fiber: 6g, sugar: 8g, vitamin a: 4563iu, vitamin c: 12mg, calcium: 154mg, iron: 5mg


If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#meatlessmonday #foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Nutrition

‘General Tso’s’ Cauliflower

#WhyWasteWednesday

General Tso’s Cauliflower is a delicious alternative to classic Chinese takeout General Tso’s Chicken. It’s crispy, super tasty, and might just be better than the chicken version!

CAULIFLOWER: A GREAT VEGETARIAN STAND-IN

Vegan, healthy, and even gluten free, if you use Tamari instead of soy sauce. Here you go for all of you vegans and vegetarians who want to get in on the General Tso action. Enjoy this one!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

Cauliflower

  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 to 3 cups peanut or canola oil (for frying)

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons ginger (finely minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • 5 whole dried red chili peppers (optional)
  • ½ tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup water (or chicken stock)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
  • 1 scallion (cut at an angle into half-inch pieces)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Cut the cauliflower into 1- to 2-inch chunks. Mix the cornstarch, baking soda, salt, sesame oil, white pepper, water, and ¾ cup of rice flour in a large bowl until it forms a batter. Toss in the cauliflower and fold together until the cauliflower is well coated. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of rice flour over the cauliflower, and stir until everything is sticking to the cauliflower. There should be no more batter at the bottom of the bowl. If there is, just add a little bit more rice flour. If the batter looks dry or crumbly add a teaspoon or two of water.
  2. Next, sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds evenly over the cauliflower. Heat the oil to 375 degrees in a cast iron pan or small pot. Fry the cauliflower in batches until light golden brown and crunchy (about 3 minutes), and transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in your wok over medium heat. Add the minced ginger, and let fry for 15 seconds. Add the garlic and dried red pepper. Stir for 10 seconds. Add the Shaoxing wine, and immediately add the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and water (or chicken stock). Turn the heat down to low, letting the entire mixture simmer.
  4. If you fried the cauliflower in advance and want the pieces to be extra crispy, re-fry the cauliflower in batches for about 20 seconds or until golden brown, and drain on paper towels. Add the cornstarch slurry gradually to the sauce while stirring constantly, and let simmer for 20 seconds. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon.
  5. Add the cauliflower and scallions, and toss the entire mixture until everything is well-coated in the sauce. Serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal (18%) Carbohydrates: 33g (11%) Protein: 4g (8%) Fat: 23g (35%) Saturated Fat: 2g (10%) Sodium: 660mg (28%) Potassium: 316mg (9%) Fiber: 3g (12%) Sugar: 6g (7%) Vitamin A: 20IU Vitamin C: 46.9mg (57%) Calcium: 32mg (3%) Iron: 0.7mg (4%)


If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate #meatlessmonday #foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

General Tso’s Cauliflower. The Woks of Life. Retrieved August 9, 2022.

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Nutrition

Vegan Broccoli Soup

#WhyWasteWednesday

You’d never guess that this creamy vegan broccoli soup is totally dairy-free! It’s made of a rich, savory blend of potatoes, veggies, and herbs.

Drumroll, please! This vegan broccoli soup recipe is super creamy, comforting, and brimming with cheesy flavor. This vegan broccoli soup recipe is not to be confused with cream of broccoli soup. It’s made with leeks, coconut milk, broccoli, lemon, and spinach. It’s light, healthy, and tastes perfect for any day.

This recipe – vegan broccoli cheddar soup – is thicker, richer, and more cheese-like. I think you’re going to love it.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ⅓ cup chopped carrots
  • 1 lb. broccoli, stems diced, florets chopped
  • 1 small Yukon gold potato, diced (1 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups cubed bread, for croutons
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 small baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, broccoli stems, salt, and pepper and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and garlic and stir, then add the broth and simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Let cool slightly.
  3. Set aside 1 cup of the broccoli florets to roast as a topping for the soup. Place the remaining florets in a steamer basket, and set over a pot with 1-inch of water. Bring the water to a simmer, cover, and let steam 5 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, place the reserved broccoli florets and the bread cubes on the baking sheets. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and roast until the bread is crispy and the broccoli is tender and browned around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the soup to the blender and add the cashews, apple cider vinegar, and mustard, and blend until creamy. Work in batches, if necessary. Add the steamed broccoli florets, dill, and lemon juice, and pulse until the broccoli is incorporated but still chunky. The soup should be thick; if it’s too thick, add 1/2 cup water to thin to your desired consistency.
  6. Season to taste and serve the soup in bowls with the roasted broccoli and croutons on top.

Notes

Note: many readers have had enjoyed blending a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast into the soup for an extra “cheese-like” flavor. You can find it at Whole Foods or other health food stores. If you can’t find it, no worries, it’s delicious without it too!

Vegan broccoli soup. Love and Lemons. Retrieved August 9, 2022.

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hummus bowl platedNutrition

Healthy Vegan Hummus Bowl

#MeatlessMonday

We Waste Too Much Produce

Produced but uneaten food occupies almost 1.4 billion hectares of land – roughly 30% of the world’s agricultural land area. (RTS) 80% of that is good, edible food that is thrown out.

Why would we throw out good food? Sometimes it “doesn’t look good,” and other times, we just don’t know how to prepare something healthy for us but unfamiliar. The latter is why we offer #MeatlessMonday and #WhyWasteFoodWednesday recipes: edible food should be eaten and not thrown away. Planning is the number one to consume all that we have available. Let’s plan to eat all of the produce in our refrigerators with creative and delicious recipes.

Vegan Is Just Another Option

We wanted to switch things up this week with a healthy recipe for a vegan hummus bowl. This dish is a bit lighter choice but has enough fiber and vitamins to keep you feeling full! Start your Monday off right with this fresh meal choice you can make in 3 easy steps!

Vegan hummus bowl with a fork

Ingredient List:

  • 1/2 cup of baby greens
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 10 olives (Kalamata preferred)
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 2 pita bread slices
  • 1 cup of grain (quinoa or rice)

Preparation:

  1. To start, you will next make the first layer of your vegan hummus bowl. Fill your baby greens into a medium-size bowl to act as your base. Then add grains and hummus to the mix!
  2. You can now garnish your salad. This next layer will consist of tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and red onion. (You can even drop in some feta cheese to make things extra tasty!)
  3. Lastly, add your finishing touch…pita bread! This should complete your bowl, making it ready to serve and enjoy.

It is essential to think about food waste. Every time you throw it out, ask yourself if it couldn’t be used in a way you are not familiar with. Follow this blog and share the recipes to open up other people to the idea of #StoppingFoodWaste. If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email us! Feel free to check out our other #meatlessmonday recipes on our blog if you haven’t already.

You can also make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger by helping us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

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Fight climate change by preventing food wasteFood Waste

Fight Climate Change by Preventing Food Waste

Today, an estimated one-third of all the food produced worldwide goes to waste. That’s equal to about 1.3 billion tons of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, seafood, and grains that either never leave the farm, get lost or spoiled during distribution, or are thrown away in hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, or home kitchens. It could be enough calories to feed every undernourished person on the planet. (WWF)

But it isn’t just about wasted food. Food Waste causes climate change and since 43% of most of the edible food that is thrown into our landfills in the United States is from individual households….this is a problem that we can solve, together.

Food Waste = Climate Change

When we take that wilted lettuce or mushy strawberries out of the refrigerator and toss them into the trash, we are also throwing away all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package that food. Why? Well, when we toss that into the trash it ends up in a landfill and rots. That is what produces methane—a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.

About 6%-8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced if we stop wasting food. In the US alone, the production of lost or wasted food generates the equivalent of 32.6 million cars’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions. (WWF)

How Can A Recipe Help?

Meatless Monday was originally started to get people to stop eating so much meat. At Food Finders, we just want you to think about how to better use the food you purchase and since produce is the most common food type to get thrown out–we wanted to offer you a solution to preparing and planning meals, but also to use all the food in the fridge, even when it looks a bit mushy and strange.

Strawberries should not be washed until you eat them. But if you let them sit just a bit too long, they can still be chopped up and mixed with other foods for a delicious and nutritious meal. Today we want you to pull out those strawberries and make a meal out of them. Make it your responsibility to monitor the fridge contents and find ways to use everything–saving water, energy, and our beautiful planet!

Strawberry walnut salad in a bowl.

Try This Refreshing Strawberry Walnut Salad!

Strawberries, even when mushy, add a flavor and fragrance to a salad that makes it seem like a treat. Today our plant-based meal is also high in fiber, which makes it so filling for a lighter choice. Plus, for every strawberry you can save and eat, you will know that you are doing your part to prevent food waste.

Major Health Benefits

Nutrition is one of Food Finder’s important mission goals. When we feed people food, they nourish their bodies and minds. This delicious salad is filled with many health benefits. First, you have the base… baby spinach. As simple as it sounds, spinach can also be very nutritious as it is a good source of both vitamin A and vitamin C–and it is another food that often gets thrown out because it is left too long. Now you have your strawberries. Not only are they the perfect summer fruit to cool down with, but strawberries can also even help with inflammation. Lastly, you want to add a bit of crunch by adding walnuts. This Omega-3 plant source is much needed as it helps to boost your immune system and decrease the chance of heart disease. Mixing this all up you are preventing food waste, nourishing your body, and enjoying a delicious meal that will hopefully inspire many more!

Ingredient List

For the Salad:

  • 10 oz bag baby spinach
  • 1⁄3 cup of feta cheese
  • 1 lb strawberries, sliced
  • ¼ cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1 red onion, sliced

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 ½ tbsp. of honey
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  •  ⅛  tsp. garlic powder

NOTE: This meal can be made in 15 minutes or less!

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, fill with your baby spinach and other salad toppings. We suggest putting all your toppings in a separate bowl (away from the salad) and shake it to get a nice mix of everything. Then you can add it along with the dressing.
  2. Next you will need to make the dressing for your salad. Whisk all your ingredients together in a small bowl or reusable container.
  3. You can now pour your dressing on your salad to your own liking. If you’d like, you can also add a dash of pepper as a finishing touch.
  4. And that’s it! Time to enjoy your meal.

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email us! Feel free to check out our other #meatlessmonday recipes on our blog if you haven’t already.

Make a Choice

What we do is bigger than food rescue blog

In addition to planning your meals and keeping food from ever going to the landfill, you can also make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger by helping us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

Or Volunteer

#StopFoodWaste

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cauliflower taco headerNutrition

Meatless Monday: Enjoy Cauliflower Tacos!

Spice up your summer with our #MeatlessMonday pick for this week…Cauliflower tacos! This meal is a great way to include a vegetable substitute instead of your usual fish taco. Plus, cauliflower is packed with Vitamin C, making it a healthy alternative!

plated cauliflower tacos
Cauliflower tacos plated, Delish

Ingredient List

For the Slaw:

  • 1 cup of red cabbage (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup of diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeño (minced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
  • Dash of salt

For the Cauliflower Taco:

  • 1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. of chili powder
  • 1 tsp. of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • Dash of black pepper and salt
  • 1 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces (also known as florets)
  • 2-3 corn tortillas

PRO TIP: Using an air fryer is the best way to get your cauliflower to be the right amount of crispy! You can also garnish your tacos with yummy toppings like cilantro, lime, avocado, sriracha, and spicy mayo.

Cooking Directions:

  1. First, combine all the ingredients for your saw in a medium-sized bowl. You will need to let them sit while prepping the other ingredients for your tacos.
  2. You will need to mix the flour and spices next. Use a dash of salt and pepper to add some seasoning. Add in the almond milk and stir to combine. You want the mixture to be thick, but it should also be easy to dip the cauliflower into. (If needed, add more milk to secure texture.)
  3. Then place Panko breadcrumbs in a small bowl. These will be used to add that crisp texture to your cauliflower. Dip the chopped cauliflower (or florets) into the milk mixture and toss it into Panko breadcrumbs. It should be coated nicely so it will fry the entire vegetable.
  4. In batches, place coated cauliflower into an air fryer basket and spray with a cooking spray. Cook at 400° for 15 minutes, and check on them. About halfway through, you should flip and spray once more with cooking spray. (Note: If you use a convection oven, you will need to cook at a higher temperature and for longer. We recommend 425° for 20 minutes.)
  5. Now you can add toppings if you like! For maximum flavor, you can combine mayonnaise and Sriracha (and maybe a hint of maple syrup) into a small bowl.
  6. Time to assemble and enjoy! On a tortilla, place cooked cauliflower, avocado (optional), pickled slaw, and cilantro. You can top it with the Sriracha mayo and serve it with lime wedges for an added touch.

Makinze Gore Food Editor Makinze is currently Food Editor for Delish. (2021, November 1). You would never believe these Air Fryer cauliflower tacos are vegan. Delish. Retrieved August 4, 2022, from https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a35787681/air-fryer-cauliflower-tacos-recipe/

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays; please email us! Feel free to check out our other #meatlessmonday recipes on our blog if you haven’t already.

You can also make an impact in reducing food waste and hunger by helping us grow our food rescue operations: Donate.

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Food Waste

Meatless Monday: Let’s Make Gnocchi!

This #MeatlessMonday, we’re sharing a pasta that’s both simple and yummy… Gnocchi! As it is low in cholesterol, Gnocchi is a great choice for your Monday meal. This pasta can be made in a variety of ways and is a great go-to dish for meal prepping. For our recipe, we will be repurposing stale bread as our base and adding butter with sage to give it a subtle flavor.

Plated Gnocchi with fork.

Ingredient List:

  • 7 oz of stale bread
  • 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz of butter
  • 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Place your stale bread scraps in a covered bowl.
  2. Add water to the bowl and leave to soak for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, you will need to squeeze out any remaining excess water.
  3. Mix in your other ingredients: flour, cheese, egg, salt and stir with fork until moist. Try to be careful not to overdo it or else it will be too sticky!
  4. Cover the surface with flour and use it to mold the dough. You will need to shape dough into bitesize pieces (we recommend about 2 inches per piece). Then you can use a knife to cut each piece about 3/4 inch each.
  5. Bring salt water to a boil in a large saucepan and cook ingredients for 4 minutes. Then you will need to drain the gnocchi after.
  6. Melt butter and sage in a skillet and add gnocchi to the pan.
  7. Place on medium heat and cook until gnocchi is slightly brown.
  8. Serve and enjoy your dish!

Torrico, G., Wasiliev, A., & Rooney, D. (2019). The zero waste cookbook: 100 recipes for cooking without waste. Hardie Grant Books.

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email us! Feel free to check out our other #meatlessmonday recipes on our blog if you haven’t already.

You can also make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger by helping us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

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farmer's markets resources and reasonsCommunity

Farmer’s Markets: Reasons & Resources

In support of National Farmer’s Market Week from August 7th to the 14th, Food Finder encourages everyone to get out and support our local farmers, fresh fruit, and vegetable vendors. Many areas of the country are food deserts, and to provide nutritious meals to our families, we must have fruits and vegetables available. Many Food Pantries do not have the ability to store perishable foods, so we must supplement. Wic has a beautiful Farmer’s Market program (details below) because they know that having an array of colorful foods is how we nourish and flourish!

Resources Below

10 Reasons to Support Farmers Markets

From: CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food.

sites/default/files/winter_paredez.jpgFrom savoring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting the people who grow your food, there are countless reasons to support farmers’ markets. Here are just a few!

1. Taste Real Flavors

The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmer’s market are the freshest and tastiest. Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, and no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets—fresh from the farm.

2. Enjoy the Season

The food you buy at the farmer’s market is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the farmer’s market helps you reconnect with our region’s cycles of nature. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the year’s turning.

3. Support Family Farmers

Family farmers need your support now that large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S. Small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.

4. Protect the Environment

Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmer’s market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.

5. Nourish Yourself

Much food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have adverse effects on human health. In contrast, most food at the farmer’s market is minimally processed. Many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.

6. Discover the Spice of Life: Variety

At the farmers market, you find a fantastic array of produce you don’t see in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, stinging nettles, and green garlic, watermelon radishes, quail eggs, maitake mushrooms, and much, much more. It is an excellent opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.

7. Promote Humane Treatment of Animals

At the farmers market, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of animal agriculture.

8. Know Where Your Food Comes From

A regular trip to a farmer’s market is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to farmers and food artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced. CUESA’s seller profiles that hang at the booths give you even more opportunities to learn about the people working hard to bring you the most delicious and nutritious food. Profiles, articles about sellers, and a map of farms are also available on this website.

9. Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas

Few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers will give you tips on how to cook the ingredients you buy. Still, farmers, ranchers, and artisans at the farmer’s market are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling. You can also attend free seasonal cooking demonstrations by leading Bay Area chefs and evening classes on food preservation and other kitchen skills.

10. Connect with Your Community

Wouldn’t you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped-in music? Coming to the farmer’s market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The farmers market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children or just get a taste of small-town life amid our wonderful big city.

Farmer’s Market Resources in Southern California

LB Fresh, in addition to Long Beach Famers Markets, gives pantry location details, as well as volunteer opportunities.

http://lbfresh.org/

State of California Certified Famer’s Markets PDF Listing by County:

https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/docs/CurrentMrktsCounty.pdf

Orange County:

https://www.orangecounty.net/html/farmersmarkets.html

WIC Nutrition Program:

https://www.fns.usda.gov/fmnp/wic-farmers-market-nutrition-program

WIC Authorized Farmer’s Markets:

https://myfamily.wic.ca.gov/Home/WICFarmersMarkets#WICFarmersMarkets

USDA Nutrition Program & Farmer’s Markets

https://www.fns.usda.gov/fmnp/wic-farmers-market-nutrition-program

Seniors Farmers Market

https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/SeniorFarmersMrktNutritionPrgm/

USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program

https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/fmpp

NRPA Farmers Market resource

https://www.nrpa.org/contentassets/dc39f735cdf84adf8a31472f93113cb5/farmers-market-report.pdf

Good Veg Long Beach Farmer’s Markets:

https://www.goodveg.org/

Farmers Market Coalition

We Like LA Lists LA County Famers Markets with History and Facts About Each Location

Ecology Center Farmer’s Market Finder:

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If you have more resources or information on Farmer’s Markets, please message us in the comments section.

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Pesto Pasta SaladNutrition

Pesto Pasta Salad

#MeatlessMonday

Every other Monday we’ll be spotlighting a #meatlessmonday recipe. Quick and nutritious, these recipes and guides are perfect for on the go meals; good for you and the planet. 

Pesto Pasta Salad

For this #meatlessmonday we’re sharing a perfect summer-time treat. Pesto Pasta salad is a delicious room temperature, picnic-ready meal! 

This classic version of pesto pasta features a yummy homemade basil-and-pine nut pesto, a generous amount of parmesan cheese, and ripe grape tomatoes. Any short pasta will do as long as it has good texture to snag the sauce. Fusilli or penne are the most classic, but feel free to use your own favorite shape. Finish it off with your best olive oil to really bring out the flavor. 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. short pasta, such as fusilli or penne
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. basil leaves
  • 1/4 c. finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 pt. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise

Yields: 4 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup pasta water, then drain pasta in a colander. Rinse and transfer pasta to a large bowl to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium-low heat, cook pine nuts until just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Let cool.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine pine nut-garlic mixture, basil, Parmesan, oil, lemon juice, and salt. Pulse five or six times until mostly smooth. Add reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse to reach desired texture.
  4. Add pesto and cherry tomatoes to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve topped with additional Parmesan.

Tip

You can make the pesto up to 3 days ahead, just wait to add the water until the day of serving. Transfer to an airtight container and top with a glug of olive oil, which will help the pesto maintain its pretty, nearly emerald green color. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

Matthias, A. K. (2022, May 16). Pesto pasta salad will be the first thing gone at every picnic. Delish. Retrieved July 19, 2022.

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Leftovers QuicheFood Waste

Managing Extra Leftovers

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

We’ve all bought more than we have had a use for. Maybe we had different intentions of how we would use it, or the vegetables and packages of meat or dairy were just too large. No matter the cause, what can we do to make use of this excess? Avoid wasting food, save money, increase sustainability, and maximize convenience; there are many reasons to plan meals around the food on hand and make use of items you may otherwise have thrown out. There are many ‘go to’ lunches and dinners that are a perfect way to use this surplus. 

A great plan is to cook food today so it lasts longer for future meals. Wilting spinach today can be cooked and saved for meals up to three or four days longer than if left raw. 

Use the food you have on hand in a delicious and super easy Quiche recipe. Extend food life and avoid wasting food by using the vegetables, dairy, and meat you have in your home right now; true home cooking idea. This recipe helps you make a delicious, nutritious, and now sustainable, healthy quiche.


#WhyWasteFood Wednesday is a call to action to take those almost-in-the-trash food items and turn them into a delicious meal!

At least 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted every year around the world—in fields, during transport, in storage, at restaurants, and in our homes! If each individual made a call to action to stop their own food waste–the planet benefits, we have less hunger, and your own grocery bills will go down through the savings.

UN Food & Agricultural

Leftovers Quiche

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yokes use whites to brush the pastry for golden brown color
  • 2 cup dairy or dairy substitute: cream, milk, sour cream, ricotta, creme fraiche, plain yogurt, cottage cheese use up what you have; 2 cups / 300 grams
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp pepper and spice to taste
  • 1 cup cubed, cooked meat use up what you have; 1 cup / 150 grams
  • 1 ½ cups vegetables (uncooked or cooked) use what you have, or one package of frozen; 1.5 cups / 200-250 grams
  • ½ cup cheese use what you have; 0.5 cup / 75 grams
  • 1 sheet shop-bought pastry – puff pastry or pie crust or made a quick pastry from your pantry

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Directions

Prepare the Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C
  2. Line tart/pie dish with rolled out pastry (rolled out at 5 mm or thickness of a nickel thick)
  3. Put parchment paper over the dish and fill with ceramic baking beans/rice/lentils
  4. Bake for 5 minutes; remove from oven; remove parchment paper and baking beans/rice/lentils
  5. Brush pastry base, interior sides and top crust with egg white, OXO Good Grips from Amazon has excellent pastry brushes and more
  6. Bake again for 5 minutes until golden – your crust is now “Blind Baked” and ready to be filled

Make Filling

  1. Lightly beat eggs and egg yolks in a bowl
  2. Add dairy (cream; sour cream; ricotta; crème fraiche; plain yogurt; cottage cheese; milk) and salt, pepper, spices (to taste) and continue to beat until mixed together

Assemble the Quiche

  1. Place the cubed, cooked meat and vegetables inside the blind baked pastry crust
  2. Pour in the egg mixture
  3. Bake for 30-45 minutes until golden brown and fully set

Serve slices warm or cold. Keeps well refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Notes

Great Combinations Include:

  • ham and cheese
  • spinach, cauliflower or broccoli and cheese (cauliflower & broccoli and other tougher vegetables are best cooked first)
  • roasted vegetables
  • asparagus and salmon
  • roasted potatoes, cubed or sliced thinly
  • fresh tomato and cheese
  • mushroom and onion, with cubed steak/pork if you like

Be inspired to bake your own creative combinations from your favorite foods.  Perhaps taco meat and cheese.  Whatever you enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 slice

Sodium: 310 mg

Calcium: 16 mg

Vitamin A: 51 IU

Sugar: 1 g

Potassium: 9 mg 

Cholesterol: 25 mg

Calories: 16 kcal

Saturated Fat: 1 g

Fat: 1 g 

Protein: 1 g

Carbohydrates: 1 g

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #whywastewednesday, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger, help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

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Meatless Monday Recipe-Cauliflower Food findersNutrition

Cauliflower is good for you and the planet!

Meatless Monday

Every other Monday, we’ll be spotlighting a #meatlessmonday recipe. Quick and nutritious, these recipes and guides are perfect for on-the-go meals; they are good for you and the planet. 

Tons of food is wasted every year. Good, nutritious food is thrown into the trash because it might not look right, wilted, or even if we just don’t know how to cook it! It’s estimated that approximately 20% of produce gets thrown out for cosmetic reasons–like weird shapes, odd colors, or blemishes on a peel you don’t even eat. That’s 1 in 5 fruits and vegetables getting tossed into landfill even though they’re just as nutritious and delicious to eat. Check out how to store Cauliflower so you don’t waste it (below)

https://savethefood.com/storage

Buffalo Cauliflower Kebabs

For this #meatlessmonday, we’re sharing a tangy, savory recipe for buffalo cauliflower kabobs. Kebobs are the best recipe to clean out the veggie drawer and prepare all your misc items in a delicious, family-pleasing way. Glaze the kebabs in zesty buffalo sauce, grill until the cauliflower is tender, then top with a drizzle of blue cheese and serve!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted 
  • 1/2 c. vinegary hot sauce
  • One head cauliflower, florets only
  • Four stalks celery, cut into 1 ½” pieces
  • One large yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 ½” pieces
  • One large orange bell pepper, cut into 1 ½” pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Blue cheese dressing for serving

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together butter and hot sauce until combined. Add cauliflower, celery, and bell peppers, season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high for 3 minutes, and soak skewers in a shallow pan filled with water for 10 minutes to prevent scorching. Thread the cauliflower, celery, and bell peppers onto the soaked skewers. Reserve the hot sauce left in the bowl.
  3. Transfer the kebabs to the grill and cook for 3 minutes, turning halfway. After the first 3 minutes, brush the skewers with the buffalo mixture. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and slightly charred.
  4. Transfer kebabs to a platter, drizzle with blue cheese dressing, and serve.

Yield: 4

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes 

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#meatlessmonday #foodfindersinc  #foodrescue #stopfoodwaste #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

Recipe Source:

Justin Sullivan , Assistant Food Editor. Justin Sullivan is the Assistant Food Editor for Delish. (2022, June 1). Grilled buffalo cauliflower kebabs will make your meatless Monday. Delish. Retrieved July 11, 2022.

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Food Waste

Simple Avocado Smoothie Recipe

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

What Can We Do With Overripe Avocados?

It’s summer time and this hot weather is not very kind to our avocados. If you have some avocados just sitting on the counter, they will get mushy! While it might be tempting to throw them away, we challenge you to reconsider. So much of our produce ends up in our landfills when it could have been repurposed into something else instead. This Wednesday, we are sharing a simple avocado smoothie recipe that you can make in 3 easy steps!

Fresh Avocados
Fresh avocados on cutting board.

Avocado Smoothie Ingredients

💚 1-2 overripe avocado(s)

💚 1 ¼ cup of whole milk

💚 1 tablespoon of sugar

💚 1 ½ tablespoons of lime juice

💚 1 tablespoon of chopped basil

Source: Bonappetit

Step 1: Scoop out edible avocado bits!

It’s important to know what state your avocados are in first! Cut them in half and check the inside of your avocado. If the inside appears to be turning brown, please know that it is still safe to be eat. Fun fact! The change in color is usually a sign of a chemical reaction happening and not of a spoiled avocado. Use a spoon to scoop out your avocado bits and put aside for the base of your smoothie.

NOTE: If there appears to be mold, remove by cutting off molded portions (if it can be salvaged). Avocados that are rancid smelling will be harmful to your body, so dispose immediately.

Stale avocado that is turning brown in color.

Step 2: Mix in key smoothie ingredients and lightly purée.

Blender with avocado bits and smoothie ingredients inside.

Now that you have a solid avocado to work with, you’ll want to gather all the ingredients needed to make a delicious smoothie!

This list includes: lime juice, chopped basil, sugar, and whole milk — plus avocados of course! Add a cup of ice and blend until smooth.

Step 3: Time to garnish and serve!

Healthy avocado smoothie

After the purée is finished, it is now time to garnish and serve!

We recommend chilling the glasses ahead of time as it makes the drink taste much cooler. This will be just perfect on a hot summer day! Now pour your smoothie into a glass and accent with basil as a finishing touch.

And that’s it, yay! You’ve just made a delicious smoothie in 3 simple steps!!

If you have any other repurposed recipes, please send them to us at marketing@foodfinders.org !

Make an impact on reducing food waste and eliminating hunger by donating food to our Summer to End Hunger Food Drive.

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Street Style Elote CornHunger

Meatless Monday: Elote Corn

Meatless Monday, A Thoughtful Approach to Preventing Food Waste

Every other Monday we’ll be spotlighting a #meatlessmonday recipe. The Meatless Monday movement started several years ago to encourage people to reduce their meat consumption for their personal health and the health of our planet. We thought that starting each week by practicing Meatless Monday, the focus at home may also lead people to think more thoughtfully about the food they buy and eat–throwing less away which helps our planet even more!

Mexican Street Style Elote Corn

Digital Food Producer , Camille Lowder. “35 Vegetarian BBQ Recipes Perfect for Summer.” Delish, 17 May 2022.

For this #meatlessmonday we’re sharing a sweet and savory recipe. Elote corn is tangy and spicy, a popular antojito (little craving or street food) originating in Mexico. Often served on a stick, you can skip the skewer and put it right onto the grill. A perfect side to mix up any classic Fourth of July barbecue!  

Ingredients

  • 6 ears corn, shucked and cleaned
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • Chili powder
  • 1/3 c. Grated cotija cheese
  • Freshly chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Directions

For the Grill

  1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high. Grill corn, turning often, until slightly charred all over, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Brush corn with a layer of mayonnaise and sprinkle with chili powder, cotija, and cilantro. Serve warm with lime wedges.

For the Air Fryer

  1. Cut corn to fit in air-fryer basket. (You may need to cut cobs in half.)
  2. Brush corn all over with olive oil. Working in batches, add corn to air fryer and cook at 400° for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping halfway through, until tender.
  3. Spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise onto each cob, then sprinkle with chili powder, Cotija, and cilantro.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature with lime wedges.

Yields: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Nutrition (per serving): 240 calories, 5 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 17 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 240 mg sodium

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #meatlessmondays, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

#meatlessmonday #foodfindersinc  #foodrescue #stopfoodwaste #reducehunger #improvenutrition #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #Volunteer #Charity #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Whay Wate Food Wednesday InternFood Waste

An Interns Journey to Fight Food Waste and Reduce Hunger

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

By Kelly Alarcon

As a full-time Nutrition and Dietetics student and intern at Food Finders, nutrition and reducing hunger and food waste are an important part of my life.  I learned in my junior year of school at California State, Long Beach how many people in the United States go to bed hungry every night, so many of them children, and my heart broke.  I knew then that my passion for nutrition and eating for wellness was not all I was passionate about.

 I quickly became vested in learning how I could not only educate people on the benefits of healthy eating but also help reduce food waste while getting that food to those in need. 

Student, Kelly Alarcon

I realized that in addition to my love of nutrition, my knack for meal planning and shopping on a limited budget was something that could play a big part in helping people to reduce food waste. The question for me was how could I combine these two skills and make a bigger impact? 

Food Waste is a Problem

Food waste is a huge problem in the United States with the vast majority of waste occurring in the home.  Poor planning and expiration dates on the food we purchase are large contributors.  Many would rather toss food they aren’t sure about, which affects the environment and wastes billions of gallons of water each and every month.

43% of food waste stat

Food Finders is an amazing solution to the food waste problem. They have a mission to “eliminate hunger and food waste” through the rescue of food in Southern California, and then they repurpose that food through a network of local community partners. I especially like the final part of their mission: “…while improving nutrition in food insecure communities.”

That is why I am an intern and a Nutrition Talks Educator with them. I have seen some amazing things while working here and for me, the most impressive is that last year, in 2021 they rescued 15,917,982 pounds of food!

Food that became over 13 million meals.

Resources and Education

USDA Food Keepers App

We are working hard to provide education and resources that explain not only how to properly store food but how to interpret the various expiration dates we see on food such as “use by”, ‘sell by” etc.  

The FoodKeepers application supported by the USDA is a great resource to help people sort through the confusing world of labels and dates.  It can help you not only interpret the varying expiration date labels but can also explain the best storage methods for various foods to reduce waste.  

Meal Planning

Meal planning is one of the biggest ways that all of us can stop food waste.  Who hasn’t gone to the grocery store hungry and bought more than they needed?

When you plan your meals, or even just your shopping, it reduces food waste.  And don’t forget that planning ahead is also easy on your wallet–a big plus!  Planning your meals for the week and then creating your shopping list based on your meals can cut food waste by 15% or more.  Imagine if we all did that?!

Tip For Cutting Food Waste

  • Shop the grocery store weekly ads. With the cost of food up by 25% or more, finding proteins that are on sale that week is where I start my meal planning.
  • DO NOT go to the store hungry. Going grocery shopping hungry guarantees I will buy some overpriced and over-processed snacks that I promptly eat on the way home.  This not only takes me out of budget but is unhealthy.  
  • I stick to your list that coordinates with the meals you want to make for the week.
  • Prepare your fruits and veggies for the week–so they don’t go bad.  If I have salads planned I pre-cut and wash my lettuce, carrots, red cabbage, and cucumbers. I also wash and cut up any melons or fruit for the week as well.  Doing this makes busy weeks easier and allows for a nutritious snack of fruit that is easy to grab.

Nutrition Talks Program

nutrition talks from Food finders1

This is all information I use when in a Nutrition Talk event with one of our partner agencies.  I do a basic overview of nutrition and its importance with interactive tools that keep people engaged in what they are learning. One example is my Nutrition Facts Label workshop which starts with a scavenger hunt looking for a pantry item with a nutrition facts label and ties up with a Q & A on what was learned.  This coming week’s talk will also have Isabel Gallegos, my supervisor and co-creator of the Nutrition Talks Program. We will be looking in the partner agencies’ refrigerators and pantries to create a meal with what they have deemed as surplus foods that they have indicated typically go to waste.  It is an eye-opening event!

This is just one more of what Food Finders does to reduce hunger and food waste.  It isn’t enough that we are getting food into the hands of those who are in need but also to educate them on the many nutrient-dense meals that can be created while reducing waste.   

Resources for Seniors

#StopFoodWasteWednesday #nutritiontalks #tipsforzerowaste #foodfindersinc

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Kelly Alarcon, a Student at California State University, Long Beach with a concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics has a passion for showing others the path to wellness through nutrition while reducing hunger and food waste.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-alarcon-194313220/

Nutrition Talks Cooking Demo image 1
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chicken and broccoli with dill sauce served on plateNutrition

Budget Bite Monday Recipe

Budget Bite Monday, an Inexpensive Meal for the Whole Family.

Paychecks do not stretch as far as they once did, and grocery and produce prices only seem to be on a steady rise. For this series, Food Finders will share an easy, low budget meal every Monday, that will not only help you cut down on costs, but also keep your family fed with delicious, healthy foods.

Chicken and Broccoli with Dill Sauce

Chicken and broccoli with dill sauce. Taste of Home. (2022, April 28). Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chicken-and-broccoli-with-dill-sauce/ 

For this #budgetbitemonday we’re sharing a #mealunder10. Juicy chicken and fresh broccoli, all topped with a perfectly bright dill sauce. This appetizing recipe is an inexpensive, savory dish for the whole family!

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, 6 ounces each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill
  • 1 cup 2 % milk

Directions

  1. Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; brown chicken on both sides. Remove from the pan.
  2. Add broccoli and broth to the same skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until broccoli is just tender, 3-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove broccoli from the pan, reserving broth. Keep broccoli warm.
  3. In a small bowl, mix flour, dill and milk until smooth; stir into broth in a pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Add chicken; cook, covered, over medium heat until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 165°, 10-12 minutes. Serve with broccoli.

Tips

  • If you’re buying whole broccoli stalks, don’t throw out the stems! Peel away the tough outer portion and chop the center to use in soups and stir-fries or add to salads and slaws.
  • Fresh sugar snap peas would also work well in this recipe; adjust the cooking time as needed.
  • Add sliced mushrooms and carrots on top for extra veggies and serve with a side of couscous or rice. 

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #budgetbitemonday, please email christian.bearden100@gmail.com.

If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate

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Nutrition Talks ProgramCommunity

More Than Just A Meal: Food Finders Nutrition Talks Program

Have you ever wondered what healthy eating looks like for the 38 million Americans currently facing food insecurity?

Nutrition Talks Cooking Demo image 1
Low Carb Burrito Bowl for Jamboree Residents

In response to SB1383, food recovery and donation programs are in full swing, in an effort to reduce organic waste. As more and more grocery stores, schools, and other food generators scramble to establish their food donation programs, nonprofits gather to secure more resources to feed their communities. Food Finders is addressing food scarcity through programs that go beyond providing a meal for a moment or a day. Through our Nutrition Talks program, we are working directly with food insecure individuals to provide nutritional education and resources to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent further organic waste.

More Than Reducing Hunger

Recovery Community Cares Fridge

Our Nutrition Talks Program, co-created and led by our Nutrition Education intern, Kelly Alarcon is available to any one of our nonprofit partners, free of cost. Kelly is in her third year at Cal State University Long Beach, studying Nutrition & Dietetics. Kelly has been leading Nutrition Talks since the start of 2022 and agrees that “securing food is crucial but the need does not end there.” Together, Kelly and I have presented our educational program to several nonprofit partners ranging from sober living residentials to affordable housing organizations. It is evident that more can and should be done in the fight to reduce hunger.

Providing individuals who experience food scarcity with tools to better understand their health and eating habits, we have been able to better assess the impact rescued food has on nutrition, lifestyle, and sustainability practices. In addition to education, we offer tips for healthy eating on a budget and have even added a cooking demo component that works to put those healthy habits into practice. 

Community Education

Nutrition Facts Label Workshop

Although our talks aim to highlight the benefits of choosing fruit and vegetables over chips and cookies, many emergency relief boxes and grocery store donations do not offer the kind of fresh and nutritionally dense foods that would be optimal for making better choices. For this reason, our presentations are designed to give our partners and their residents the opportunity to bring their questions and concerns about food donation quality and recovery practices into an open forum for discussion.

Q & As

During one of our Q&As, we received inspiring feedback from a resident of our nonprofit partner, Recovery Community Cares who implored food generators donating to please, “give from your hearts and give a donation of quality and dignity.” We would like to thank our partners who have already donated with this message in mind. Whether it be food, resources, your time, or financial contribution, every bit counts towards reducing hunger and environmental waste. To every partner of ours who has welcomed our Nutrition Talks into their programming, we want to thank you for providing more for your clients. 

Special thanks to our partners Recovery Community Cares, Delancey Street Foundation, Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Jamboree Housing CorporationFontana-Sierra Fountains & Ceres Way, and Steph House Recovery

Information

The Nutrition Talks Program is something that we are very proud of at Food Finders. Part of our mission is to improve nutrition in food insecure communities and this program is one way that we can provide more than just a meal.

For more information on how to become a donor, volunteer, or funder, please visit the following links: 

For volunteer opportunities, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Kevin Burciaga (562) 283-1400 Ext. 112

To become a food donor, contact any member of our Food Acquisitions Team, Mark Eden (Ext. 117) and Tray Turner (Ext. 105) (562) 283-1400

To join our Share Table, please contact our Fund Development Director, Lisa Hoffmaster (562) 283-1400 (Ext. 103)

If you are a Non-profit operating in Southern California and would like to host a Nutritional Talk you must be a registered nonprofit and partner with Food Finders, Inc. For more information please contact Isabel Gallegos, at (562) 283-1400 Ext. 111

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Isabel Gallegos, Partner Agency Manager and has worked in the community to help others gain access to rights and tools to reach their highest potential. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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