In the United States alone, it is estimated that 30-40% of food is wasted. While that fact may come as a shock, we can take responsibility and initiative in our own household by implementing the tips listed in my newest post, ‘5 Ways to Reduce Produce Waste at Home.’
Whether you stock up on produce weekly at the grocery store or have your fruits and vegetables delivered, it’s imperative to have a plan. If you shop yourself, create a meal plan and then a list that’s based on that plan. Those few extra minutes of planning can significantly reduce the chance of impulse purchases, which often go to waste. In addition, most produce delivery services offer some level of customization whether it’s the size of the box or its contents. Be sure you select the right size box for your household and the ratio of fruits and vegetables that’s most realistic.
PROPER FOOD STORAGE IS KEY
Correct food storage can add days, weeks or even months to your food. Keeping several different food storage options on hand and understanding how and when to use them can greatly reduce the risk of food going bad. Also, resources like the USDA’s food storage guide or apps like Foodkeeper can help minimize the need to toss produce.
LET’S GET CREATIVE
If you notice your fruits and veggies are starting to take a turn for the worse, it might be time to get creative in the kitchen! Following or creating recipes that use several different types of produce at once (think soups, smoothies, broths and stir-fry’s) are an effective and delicious way to combat food waste.
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CREATE A COMMUNITY
If you use a produce delivery service, connect with friends, family or neighbors that do the same. Try swapping or sharing items you have too much of or simply giving away the items you won’t need that week. Not only will you be combating the need to waste but also cultivating a sense of community.
While tossing seemingly boring leftovers can be tempting, challenge yourself to get creative! Vegetable stir-fry can make an excellent omelet filling and last night’s protein makes a great base for tonight’s tacos. Little tweaks can make an otherwise ordinary or repetitive meal, extraordinary.
This Crispy Romaine & Grilled Shrimp Salad With Tahini Dressing is perfect for spring! Crunchy romaine creates a classic base that’s quickly jazzed up with zesty red onion, juicy tomatoes and fresh cucumber and finally finished with a creamy, flavorful dressing.
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and diced
- 2/3 red onion, thinly sliced or shaved
- 6-12 fresh shrimp, prepared as desired (optional)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1/2 small garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Crispy Romaine & Grilled Shrimp Salad With Tahini Dressing
- Thoroughly wash, spin and chop lettuce to desired size and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Add cucumbers, onion and tomato.
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend together tahini dressing ingredients – adding more water for a thinner consistency or tahini for thicker.
- Gently toss salad with 1/3 cup dressing until lightly coated, adding more if desired.
- Finish with fresh ground pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon and protein of choice.
Note: Extra dressing keeps well in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.
These delicious Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies are adapted from the new book Kinstsugi Wellness by chef and author Candice Kumai. This recipe is a healthy take on a classic treat and uniquely finished with a hint of traditional Japanese matcha.
- 3/4 cup gluten free, all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 egg
- 1½ ripe medium bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon matcha, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with silicone baking mats (or parchment paper) and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine coconut oil, vanilla and sugar. Once blended, add the egg and stir thoroughly.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add mashed banana, stirring until well incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Once dough is formed, fold in oats and chocolate chips. Sprinkle in sifted matcha powder and gently fold.
- Chill dough for 15 minutes before using a tablespoon to scoop out 1½-inch balls. Place them 1-2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet, baking until lightly golden on the top (about 10-13 minutes). Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.