Food Waste

Tips for Reducing Your Food Waste This Thanksgiving

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

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

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

How to Reduce Food Waste at Thanksgiving Dinner

Food waste is a year-round concern, and the large Thanksgiving meal can present a challenge. You’re buying many more ingredients, and you’re making large-scale recipes with lots of potential leftovers. You may be preoccupied with the business of the holiday season, so keeping your food waste in mind can become a small concern. But there are easy ways to reduce food waste and, therefore your environmental impact, even around the holidays. Here are a few tips geared toward Thanksgiving dinner.

Plan How Much Food to Make

Until you know how many people you’re cooking for, you’ll be unable to plan portions accurately. Press for answers and get people to commit. Not only will this ensure you’re not overcooking, it will also benefit party planning in general.

Make an Entire Thanksgiving with Fewer Ingredients 

The variety of dishes is a key part of Thanksgiving dinners. Part of the problem is that it can mean separate lists of ingredients for every recipe. But it’s ok if there’s some overlap between your courses; it’s smart, thrifty, and eco-friendly, because it means less packaging and less of a chance that you’re going to have lots of half-used bottles and cans hanging around your fridge or pantry waiting to go bad. Even better, synchronizing ingredients and flavors can make your meal seem like a well-thought-out package and make you look like a genius menu planner. 

Use Every Ingredient Wisely

After you’ve shopped and before you reach the leftovers phase, there are ways to make smart use of the extra bits of various ingredients. A great read is a piece by Food editor Joe Yonan’s; “root-to-leaf and seed-to-stem cooking.” He shows you how to use the more expected seeds and the less expected peels of butternut squash for a crispy garnish that would work on any soup or salad. When you have peels left from an apple pie, toss them with cinnamon, sugar, and lemon juice and then bake them to make crisps. At the very least, hang on to scraps for vegetable broth. Freeze the scraps, or make the broth and then freeze that.

The same line of thought applies to whatever meat you may be serving, as well. Rendered or strained fat can be refrigerated and saved for roasting vegetables or sautéing ingredients for hash made from leftovers. Get the most out of your turkey carcass by simmering them with some aromatics for an outstanding stock to be used in future soups. Giblets included with your turkey can become part of the dressing or gravy. Extra pie crust or crust trimmings can be brushed in butter, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, twisted into any shape you want and baked for a quick sweet treat.

How to Use and Store Leftovers

Even if you’ve calculated the exact amount for the number of people at your Thanksgiving, you’re probably going to end up with at least some leftovers. And, to many, leftovers are an important part of Thanksgiving.

To prepare, have lots of containers for packing up food on hand. Your usual glass or plastic hard-sided options are perfect. If you’re planning to send guests home with food, consider asking them to bring their own storage containers. That way, no one is scrambling when it comes time to pack up.

And be mindful of how long food is put out for. Perishable food, including turkey and many sides, can be left at room temperature for 2 hours. Even less is better, so as soon as everyone is done eating, start cleaning up, as much of a drag as it can be. Eat your refrigerated leftovers within four days. If you need to buy yourself more time, go ahead and freeze them before the four days are out, though ideally sooner for the best quality. Hand out leftovers to guests when they leave.


Krystal, B. (2022, November 10). Advice | how to reduce food waste at Thanksgiving dinner. The Washington Post. Retrieved November 14, 2022.

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

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

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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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MAc & Rinds from above on white marble tableFood Waste

Mac & Rinds

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

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

Scraps: Cheese Rinds, Stale Bread

Enjoying a selection of cheese is always a treat, but often leaves leftovers with no set purpose. With such offerings, let’s make a béchamel with all those ends. Rich and delicious, it’s sure to be enjoyed!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 ml) milk
  • 1 cup (225 g) cheese trimmings
  • ¼ cup (56 g) butter
  • ½ cup (65 g) flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 1¾ cups (250 g) macaroni
  • ½ cup (120 g) cheddar or mozzarella
  • ¼ cup (30 g) bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup (60 g) parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Gently simmer the milk over medium heat with the cheese trimmings in a medium-sized pot for about 15 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Strain and set aside.
  3. In a separate medium-sized pot, melt the butter and add the flour.
  4. Cook on low heat until the butter and flour comes together. Continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until the raw flour taste disappears.
  5. Slowly drizzle the infused milk and cheese mixture into the flour, whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Simmer gently until the mixture comes together and looks smooth. Season with salt.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, reduce heat, and gently boil until al dente, according to package directions.
  7. Drain the macaroni, add to the sauce, and stir. Once the macaroni is well coated, transfer to an ovenproof dish.
  8. Evenly sprinkle with cheddar or mozzarella, followed by the bread crumbs and Parmesan, if using.
  9. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

Notes

I like to use Parmesan rinds, ends of brie, or any soft cheese. The stronger the cheese flavor, the stronger the sauce flavor. Avoid blue cheese and goat cheese if you don’t like the strong aroma.

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

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

The scrapsbook. IKEA. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2022.

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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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CANstruction posterCommunity

CANstruction

CANstruction is going to be coming to a close soon! There’s still time, today and tomorrow, to head over to the Cove Hotel (200 E Willow St, Long Beach, CA 90806), and check out the three amazing pieces this year’s teams designed and put together. Centered around the theme “Yes She CAN!” the sculptures were made to honor pioneering women of the past and future.

The first sculpture you’re greeted with is made in honor of Amelia Earhart. Her trailblazing contributions to the field of aviation still have massive impacts today. This sculpture recreates the plane she used to perform many of her feats, the Lockheed Vega. The piece reminds the viewer of the many records she broke during her career, and the massive advancement of women in aviation. Tragically lost over the pacific ocean, in her attempt to fly around the world, her career was cut short. Her tremendous achievements are remembered even today, honored in many ways by men and women who she inspired and who look up to her. This team used some unique tools to achieve the amazing final product. A combination of wire and custom circular attachments at the end of cans allowed them to put together long poles of cans, necessary for their final stunning sculpture. 

The second sculpture is a re-CANstruction of the Hearst Castle. The castle itself was designed by Julia Morgan, a Civil Engineering graduate of UC Berkeley. In 1919, she was commissioned by William Randolph Hearst to design what would come to be known as the Hearst Castle. This CANstruction pays homage to not only the amazing engineering and design she achieved, but also her long lasting influence and legacy. A women engineer and architect at the turn of the 20th century, who pioneered the way for women in Engineering and Architecture. 

The final sculpture you’ll come across looks towards the future. It envisions the first female astronaut on the moon. The sculpture relied on the use of different platforms that allowed the designers to create unique shapes, wider in the middle and narrower down at the bottom. We were told the astronaut herself was particularly difficult to build, needing precise measurements and careful balance. The final completion is a beautiful look into the future, what could be and what we can hope and strive for. 

These sculptures will be up through tomorrow at the Cove Hotel. Come down with cans of your own to vote on your favorite creation, and check back at the end of the week to find out if your favorite won. In benefit of food finders, the cans used for the pieces and the cans donated by patrons will all be collected by Food Finders and redistributed to our partner agencies after the 26th.

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Food Waste

No Waste Carrot Gnudi

#WhyWasteWednesday

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

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

A great way to reduce your food waste is trying as often as you can to cook meals using as many parts of the ingredients as possible. This Gnudi is a perfect example, making use of the entire carrot. Gnudi are gnocchi-like dumplings made with ricotta cheese instead of potato, with semolina. Pillow-y and lighter than gnocchi, this fresh Carrot Gnudi, as a delicious way to reduce your food waste. 

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch baby (Dutch) carrots, trimmed, leaves reserved
  • 500g carrots, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250g fresh ricotta
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup (40g) finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
  • 2 heaped tbsp plain flour, plus extra to dust
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wash carrot leaves and set aside. Place chopped carrots and baby carrots on 2 baking trays and drizzle each tray with 2 tbsp oil. Season, then roast for 40-50 minutes until tender and lightly caramelized. Set the carrots aside to cool.
  2. Melt 20g butter in a frypan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes until soft. Transfer to a food processor with chopped carrots (don’t use baby carrots) and whiz until almost smooth.
  3. Transfer to a bowl with ricotta, egg, parmesan and flour, and stir to combine. Season. Using two dessert spoons, shape spoonful’s of mixture into ovals and place on a baking paper-lined baking tray dusted with extra flour. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over high heat.
  4. In 3 batches, cook gnudi for 2-3 minutes until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
  5. Melt remaining 40g butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook gnudi, turning gently, for 3-4 minutes until golden. Remove and keep warm.
  6. Add baby carrots, leaves and lemon juice and zest to the pan. Season. Cook, tossing, for 2-3 minutes until wilted and warmed through.
  7. Serve gnudi with baby carrots, leaves, extra parmesan and lemon wedges.

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

#whywastewednesday #foodfindersinc  #foodrescue #stopfoodwaste #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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Food Waste

No-Waste Stockpile Soup

#WhyWasteWednesday

This version of minestrone is basically a hearty lamb stew. It should use the best of what is around and can be made at any time of the year. It’s a great way to maximize roast leftovers, plus use up those quarter bags of pasta from the pantry. When it’s warmer, keep it fresher and serve with less broth. In the cooler months, add some bacon, serve it with bread and use it to warm your cockles.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 50g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 100g pancetta, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 1 cup (250ml) tomato passata
  • 250g leftover cooked lamb, shredded
  • 150g uncooked dried pasta ‘ends’ (we used caserecci, risoni and fusilli)
  • 80g sugar snap peas
  • 4 zucchini flowers, stamens removed, stems thinly sliced, petals torn
  • Snow pea tendrils & watercress sprigs, to serve

Lamb Stock

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, carrot, celery stalk & tomato, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) white wine
  • 1kg leftover roast lamb bones (from leg or shoulder)

Cooking Instructions

  1. For the stock, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, tomato, garlic, thyme and saffron. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until onion has softened. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until darkened slightly. Add wine and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until reduced slightly.
  2. Add lamb bones and 3L (12 cups) water, and bring to the boil. Skim any foam from the surface with a spoon, reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring every 30 minutes, for 2 hours or until infused. Remove from heat and set aside for 20 minutes to cool slightly. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Chill for 2 hours or until fat solidifies on surface. Skim off fat and discard.
  3. To make the soup, heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, pancetta, garlic, carrot and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until onion has softened. Add parmesan rind, passata, lamb stock and shredded lamb. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions or until al dente. Drain and stir through soup.
  5. Blanch sugar snap peas in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes or until just tender. Drain and refresh. Pod half sugar snaps, reserving pods. Thinly slice reserved pods and remaining sugar snaps.
  6. Divide minestrone among serving bowls. Scatter with sugar snap pea, zucchini flower, snow pea tendrils and watercress. Drizzle with extra oil to serve.

Serves: 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Ingredients: 22

Difficulty: Easy

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

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

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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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Food Waste

Leftover Chicken, Tostada Cups

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

Wondering what to do with leftover chicken?

A dinner classic, chicken is a staple of any house, and often leaves extra for the rest of the week. Finding new ways to liven them up can become a challenge.  Follow this recipe to make tonight’s leftovers better than yesterday’s family favorite. 

Ingredients

  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inches), warmed
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
  • Optional toppings: Shredded lettuce, reduced-fat sour cream, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, sliced jalapeno, lime wedges, sliced ripe olives, sliced green onions, sliced radishes, and pico de gallo or additional salsa

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Press warm tortillas into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray, pleating sides as needed. Spritz tortillas with additional cooking spray.
  2. Bake until lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Toss chicken with salsa. Layer each cup with beans, chicken mixture and cheese.
  3. Bake until heated through, 9-11 minutes. Serve with toppings as desired.

Nutrition Facts

2 tostada cups: 338 calories, 11g fat (4g saturated fat), 52mg cholesterol, 629mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 6g fiber), 25g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 fat.


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

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

Taste of Home. (2022, March 31). Chicken tostada cups. Taste of Home.

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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.

READ MORE
Food Waste

Great.Com Talks with Executive Director Diana Lara from Food Finders

Feeding Southern California Millions Of Pounds Of Salvaged Food

click image to listen

Danielle Riberio from Great.com interviewed Food Finders as part of their ‘Great.com Talks With…’ podcast. This series is an antidote to negative news stories that aims to shed light on organizations and experts whose work positively impacts the world.

Many think of California as a mecca for the rich, the glamorous, and the famous. But there’s another side to the Golden State. California experiences some of the most significant levels of wealth inequality in the USA. Diana Lara discussed the importance of redistributing food that would otherwise go to waste so that struggling families don’t have to worry about going hungry.

What Is Food Insecurity?

Food insecurity means not knowing where your next meal will come from. By some estimates, up to 15 percent of the people living in Orange County, California, live on or near the poverty line. For many families, paying for food means economizing on other essentials, like basic utilities or school equipment. 

A Food Rescue Organization

Food Finders Executive Director Diana Lara explained that a shocking 30 to 40 percent of manufactured food does not make it to our tables, and an even higher percentage is thrown away directly from our refrigerators. Food Finders’ mission is to provide food to those who need it most. Food Finders works with grocery stores, manufacturers, event centers, hotels, schools, and other organizations to rescue edible food and provide it to a network of 600 food donors (a food bank or food pantry).

Listen to the whole interview to find out about Food Finders’ Food For Kids Program, ensuring families don’t go hungry over the weekend. Food Finders also welcomes donations. 

Great.com is an organization that generates money for climate research. Why climate change? Because they believe that the climate crisis is the biggest threat facing humanity right now. How do they generate money? By moving revenue, they earn directly as an advertiser for the New Jersey online gambling industry. Why online gambling? This is a wealthy industry with endless opportunities for profit. They believe it would be better to take this money and put it towards a great cause — like climate research — instead of going to already wealthy casino owners. Find out more about their unique business model.

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Food Waste

Making Use of Forgotten Vegetables

#WhyWasteWednesday

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

“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

Forgotten Vegetable Stew

Note: This is #NationalFarmersMarketWeek. Use this recipe not only to make use of forgotten veggies in the house but also to support local farmers and visit your local farmers’ market. See our Farmer’s Market Resources

This tasteful vegetable stew recipe helps clean out your fridge every few weeks and gives you a sense of satisfaction about not being wasteful. The best part is that there are no rules—it’s totally freestyle since you will use whatever you have available, and every time you will enjoy a different flavor. Serve this versatile meal as lunch or dinner, or take it home. It’s a meal, but it is a great side dish if you don’t have enough vegetables to make ample portions. You can serve this meal and impress your guests with a little effort and creativity. No one will know that you are serving from the bottom of your fridge.

Ingredients

  • 6–8 cups (280–450 g) leftover or forgotten veggies such as eggplant, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, beans, squash, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale (whatever is available; the more bits the merrier) 
  • 1 bell pepper 
  • ½ pepper (chili or jalapeño for heat lovers) 
  • 1 medium fresh tomato, 2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato sauce, or 1 tbsp (15 ml) tomato paste 
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise about ¼ inch (½ cm) 
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed 
  • 1 tsp (6 g) or salt and black pepper to taste 
  • ¼ cup (12 g) leftover herb stems with or without leaves, chopped

Directions

  1. Gather up forgotten, unused or half-used vegetables. If using eggplant or potatoes, cut into 1-inch (2½ cm) cubes and soak in salted water for about 20 to 30 minutes before using. Rinse and pat dry. If using zucchini or carrots, cut them the same size as the eggplant. If using cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, or kale, blanch separately in salted boiling water and cool in cold water. Cut stems to about 1-inch (2 to 3 cm) pieces. If using a bell pepper (any color available), sliced lengthwise about ½-inch (1 cm) thick. If using a jalapeño or chili, add a very small amount or as much heat as you can handle. If using fresh tomato, peel and cut into about 1-inch (2½ cm) pieces. If using tomato paste, dilute 1 tbsp (15 ml) with ½ cup (125 ml) water. 
  2. Heat a big pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and onion slices, and sweat for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic clove and sauté for two more minutes. Stir in all vegetables except the tomato. Place the tomato pieces, sauce, or diluted tomato paste on top of the vegetables. Season with about 1 tsp (6 g) or to taste of salt and black pepper. Cover the pot, lower the heat, and cook for about 30 minutes. 
  3. Check the vegetables for doneness with a fork. They should be soft but still holding their form. Add the herbs and stems.
  4. Remove and cool with the lid on until the stew reaches room temperature. It’s better to serve at room temperature with your favorite rice or slices of crusty bread to sop up the sauce. 

Notes

  • This aromatic, delicious meal tastes even better the next day.
  • Take it out of the fridge half an hour before serving.
  • Gluten-free, vegan-friendly.

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

Ikea scrapsbook – zero-waste recipes & ideas. IKEA ScrapsBook – Zero-Waste Recipes & Ideas – IKEA CA. (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2022.

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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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why waste food wednesday blog postFood Waste

Stop Wasting Food: Plan It Out

According to the FDA, an estimated 30% to 40% of the food supply is wasted in the United States. This is a problem for several reasons. First of all, it costs a lot of money—more than $400 billion in 2019, according to ReFed. In addition, all the water, energy, and labor used to produce this wasted food could have been reallocated for consumption instead of lost. That means that we could not only be saving water and the environment, but helping to feed food insecure people as well.

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

Planning Reduce Food Waste

I have found out that most people are not aware of how throwing away food is changing our planet. Since working with Food Finders, A food rescue organization in Southern California, I have learned that reducing the amount of food that goes into landfills would help address climate change. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true! Food waste that decomposes in landfills releases methane—a greenhouse gas nearly 30 times as potent as carbon dioxide. And since 20% of U.S. methane emissions come from landfills, reducing food waste in landfills would help lessen methane emissions and improve our planet.

How can you help? PLAN.

Low-carb chicken enchiladas, black beans, and Spanish rice

Just by planning out meals each week, in most cases, I can prevent food waste in my home.  Having meals, fresh fruits, and vegetables ready for a busy week is a great feeling.  I know how life is. We get busy and forget what is in the refrigerator. Maybe they order pizza at work and your delicious leftovers go bad. It always made me feel bad to throw away a good meal but now that I know I am hurting planet earth too–well, we can all be better.

One of the ways I reduce my overall waste and save on my grocery bill is to plan out meals, cook them, and package them up for lunches and dinner throughout the week.

I just love the feeling of getting in my home, tired, hungry and opening up the fridge to a choice of delicious meals already prepped and ready to eat.

Avoiding Disaster: FREEZE ‘EM

It is super easy to forget fruits and veggies and when they go bad, it is fast! So I use the freezer to help me reduce food waste. I like to freeze most of my fruits for future use in smoothies, spreads, and salad dressings. I place the fruit in vacuum-sealed bags and label and dated them (you can also use zip lock bags but be sure to remove as much air as possible).

On those weeks when I have prepped and planned my meals and realize that I am not going to be able to eat them all I prefer to reach out to my neighbors. Most of them know I am nutrition student and now a #FoodWasteHero (who is mindful not to throw good food away) so they will usually take the meals off my hand.  Before I started working with Food Finders, I usually didn’t have a backup plan in case they couldn’t use them. Now I am a member of a social media group that is all about giving and receiving for free.  It is where I have witnessed the kindest of strangers cooking hot meals for group members in need and giving away perishables and non-perishable foods.  It makes my heart happy to see my community in action. 

Making A Plan

Start by writing out a grocery list with all the recipes you will cook this week. Not only will this save on your grocery bills, but it makes shopping faster. Next, have a prep day and cook everything you need, dividing portions into containers. Sometimes you can freeze meals, depending on what you are preparing for the week. Households throw away 43% of all the food that ends up in landfills in the United States. That is a horrible statistic and one that is very preventable with planning.

Get the whole family involved in the planning, prepping, and packaging. You might be surprised at how fun and easy it can be to #stopfoodwaste and help save the planet.

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Kelly Alarcon is a full-time student and Intern at Food Finders, Inc.

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make a will month food findrs augustGiving

A Will? Seriously, Why Do I Need One?

August is MAKE A WILL Month

Not that we want to be doom and gloom, but seriously, making a will is a pretty important part of adulthood. A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children. No matter what you have, or whether or not you have children, maybe you have pets–they count too, right?

Your wishes are paramount. If no one knows your wishes and you haven’t taken some time to outline them–nothing will be carried out if you die without a will. And just think of those left behind: your heirs, family, siblings, and loved ones may spend additional time, unnecessary money, and tremendous emotional energy to settle your affairs after you’re gone.

We know that no single document will resolve every issue after your death, a will—officially known as a last will and testament—can come close. So we went to some experts to begin the month of August-Make A Will Month-to start you off with some reason why it is essential to have a will. Plus, Free Will offers everyone an opportunity to make a will, for free! So the cost of creating a will cannot be one of the reasons why you don’t make a will this month.

The ten most important reasons to have a will

Written by Freewill.com

1. Save time, money, and stress for your loved ones.

Almost all estates have to go to probate court to start the legal process overseeing the distribution of assets. But when you don’t have a will, the court process — known as intestate administration — can get especially complicated. Without a will, the court has to name an administrator to administer your estate. And this can be time-consuming, expensive, and even contentious for your loved ones.

One of the top reasons to have a will is to streamline this court process. When you have a will, you can choose the person you want to handle your estate, making it easier for your loved ones.

2. Determine who will manage your estate.

As mentioned above, deciding who will handle your estate is a great reason to have a will. When you write a will, you become a “testator” and have the opportunity to nominate an “executor.” This is the person who will be in charge of wrapping up all your affairs. 

Being an executor is an important job. Their responsibilities may include everything from closing bank accounts to liquidating assets. So you should choose someone who is capable and who you trust to carry out these activities. If you don’t choose an executor in your will, the court will pick one for you — and it may not be the person you’d want.  

3. Decide who gets your assets and property — and who does not.

Most people know that a will lets them decide who will get their property. As the testator, you can name people as beneficiaries for specific assets. You can also name beneficiaries for any property that you don’t list — the “residuary” of your estate. When your executor handles your will, they’ll be in charge of distributing these assets.

You might not be aware that you can also use a will to help ensure that some people don’t receive anything. For example, you might want to prevent an ex-spouse from receiving an inheritance. Or, if one child received your support through school, you might want to make sure a second child gets their fair share, too.

4. Choose who will take care of your minor children.

If you’re a parent, you can use your will to nominate a guardian for your minor children. The surviving parent will usually get sole legal custody if one parent dies. But if both parents pass, this is one of the most important reasons to have a will. 

A guardian will be responsible for all your children’s daily needs, including food, housing, health care, education, and clothing. And if you don’t nominate a guardian in your will, a court will have to choose one for you. This could mean that someone you would not have chosen will be raising your kids.

5. Provide a home for your pets.

British shorthair and golden retriever friendly

Owning a pet is a great reason to have a will. With a will, you can make sure that someone takes care of your pet after you die. The law considers pets to be property, so you can’t leave any assets to your pet with your will. But you can name a beneficiary for your pet, leaving them to a trusted friend or family member. You can ask that person to act as a caretaker or guardian for your pet, and even leave them funds to provide for your pet’s care. 

6. Leave instructions for your digital assets.

Your digital assets may include online accounts, such as Facebook or email, and digital files or property (photos, videos, domain names, etc). In your will, you can name a digital executor to manage these assets after you pass. You can leave them to specific people, and also include information on how you want them handled (e.g. if you’d like an account closed). 

7. Lower the potential for family disputes.

If you have complicated family dynamics, there’s a good reason to have a will. When you die without a will, your family will have to guess at what your final wishes were. And chances are, they won’t always agree. This ambiguity can create friction, and even fights, which sometimes lasts a lifetime. Creating a will solves the problem by eliminating the guesswork.

8. Support your favorite causes and leave a legacy.

Many people want to leave a positive impact on the world after they pass. And a great way to do this is to support the charities or causes you love most. When you write a will, you can preserve your legacy by leaving a part of your estate to a charitable organization. 

If you use FreeWill to make your will, this is super simple to do. Our tool allows you to select your favorite causes with just a few clicks.

9. Provide funeral instructions.

You may not want to think about your own funeral. But if you do think about it now, and leave instructions with your will, you can lessen the burden on your loved ones after you pass. While these instructions aren’t legally binding, they can give your executors and loved ones some guidance on your wishes. 

When you include instructions, you can name a funeral executor to manage the process, give suggestions for the service and location, make requests for your final resting place, and more. 

10. It’s easy to make a will and gain peace of mind.

Some folks put off creating or updating their will because they assume their loved ones will automatically get an inheritance. But this isn’t always true. Probate can be a long and expensive process for your heirs. Plus, a will only addresses your current circumstances. You should update it over time as your needs and the people in your life change.

When you create or update your will, you can look after your loved ones and give them an easy map to follow after you pass. This gives many people peace of mind, making it one of the most important reasons to have a will.

And it’s easier than ever to make a will. Unless you have a large or particularly complex estate, contentious family dynamics, or feel like you need expert advice from an attorney, you can prepare your will without a lawyer. With FreeWill, for example, you can create your own will for free, using our simple, online self-help tools. 

Get started here.

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Source: https://www.freewill.com/learn/10-reasons-to-have-a-will

To understand your options for legacy giving, please reach out to Lisa Hoffmaster

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