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.   

#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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