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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Street Style Elote CornHunger

Meatless Monday: Elote Corn

Meatless Monday, A Thoughtful Approach to Preventing Food Waste

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

Mexican Street Style Elote Corn

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

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

For the Grill

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

For the Air Fryer

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

Yields: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

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

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

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

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

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Whay Wate Food Wednesday InternFood Waste

An Interns Journey to Fight Food Waste and Reduce Hunger

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

By Kelly Alarcon

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

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

Student, Kelly Alarcon

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

Food Waste is a Problem

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

43% of food waste stat

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

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

Food that became over 13 million meals.

Resources and Education

USDA Food Keepers App

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

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

Meal Planning

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

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

Tip For Cutting Food Waste

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

Nutrition Talks Program

nutrition talks from Food finders1

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

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

Resources for Seniors

#StopFoodWasteWednesday #nutritiontalks #tipsforzerowaste #foodfindersinc

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

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

Budget Bite Monday Recipe

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

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

Chicken and Broccoli with Dill Sauce

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

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

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

Tips

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

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

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

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Nutrition Talks ProgramCommunity

More Than Just A Meal: Food Finders Nutrition Talks Program

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

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

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

More Than Reducing Hunger

Recovery Community Cares Fridge

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

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

Community Education

Nutrition Facts Label Workshop

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

Q & As

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

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

Information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Food Waste

Can Wilted Spinach Be Saved?

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

Is There Any Way to Use Wilted Spinach?

Sometimes the vegetable drawer can turn into a mystery box with groceries and produce forgotten at the bottom. When it comes time to clean it out, coming across a bag of wilted spinach lost at the bottom can be a big source of annoyance; a whole bag of spinach is forgotten and now its only destination seems to be the trash. What a waste!

Wilted spinach doesn’t need to be thrown out and is still safe to eat. The greens can even be used as an appetizing breakfast favorite.

According to The National Capital Poison Center; Lutein and its close relative, zeaxanthin, are pigments called carotenoids that are related to beta-carotene and lycopene. The name lutein comes from the Latin word, lutea, meaning yellow. At normal concentrations in food, it is a yellow pigment but can appear orange or red at high concentrations. Lutein and zeaxanthin are made only by plants, so animals normally get them by eating plants. The highest concentrations are found in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, swiss chard, and mustard and turnip greens − although these nutrients are also found in a variety of other vegetables. Lutein added to chicken feed intensifies the yellow color of egg yolks. – 1 cup of spinach contains 20 mg of Lutein.

wilted spinach food finders

Scrappy Skillet

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

Let’s Start With This Simple Scraps Recipe

The scrappy skillet recipe can use that wilted spinach very nicely. No spinach wilting on the bottom of the fridge? Turnip greens can be used just like any sturdy greens and they might be sweeter than you’d expect.

Take wither wilted leaf and add it to a breakfast skillet that also makes use of wilting spinach you don’t know what to do with. Turnip greens and sautéed spinach make a delicious nest for baked eggs and feta. Feel free to make it your own too! You can add in any bell peppers or ham you may have, and mix in any other favorite veggies. (Go ahead–clean out that veggie drawer!)

This recipe works just as well for dinner and has such a nice protein boost. Don’t forget the toast! 

Here’s a tip: Baking the single slab of feta results in a texture that’s a little chewy on the outside, and soft and creamy on the inside. If you can only find crumbled feta, wait to add it until the very end of the baking time or right before serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp (15 ML)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp (2g) fresh thyme leaves, removed from stems
  • 1/2 cup (125g) turnip greens, leaves roughly chopped, stems finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
  • 91/2 cups (283g) wilted baby spinach
  • to taste fine salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) feta (block, not crumbled, ideally around 1/2-inch (1cm) thick)
  • 4 eggs

Optional Garnishes

  • splash hot sauce
  • 1 small heirloom tomato, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 cup (45g) Kalamata olives

The Step-by-Step from Ikea Scraps Book

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). 

Step 2

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (ideally one that fits in your oven) over medium heat. Add the garlic and thyme leaves, cooking until the garlic is fragrant and starting to soften, about 1 minute. 

Step 3

Add the turnip stems and leaves, stirring occasionally until the stems start to soften and greens begin to grow tender, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach in 2 to 3 batches, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Lightly season to taste with the sea salt. 

Step 4

Make 5 indentations in the greens to create nests for the feta and eggs. Place the feta in 1, and carefully crack an egg into each of the other 4. Bake until the egg whites are set and the yolks are cooked to your liking, 5 to 10 minutes. If your skillet is too large for your oven, or isn’t ovenproof, use a smaller skillet, split the ingredients between 2 skillets, or use another ovenproof dish. 

Step 5

To serve, divide the eggs, greens, and feta between 2 plates. If desired, sprinkle with hot sauce and garnish each plate with half of the tomato, cucumber, and olives.

Share any pictures you have of making this or other #WhyWasteFoodWednesday meals!


Who is Food Finders?

Food Finders is a food rescue nonprofit organization with a primary focus on reducing hunger while also reducing food waste. We coordinate the daily pick-up of donated excess food from grocers, restaurants, hospitals, schools, manufacturers, and more; food is then distributed directly and immediately to nonprofit recipients, such as pantries, shelters, youth programs, and senior centers, to be used for serving hot meals or as grocery distribution for people who are struggling and food insecure.
Our Food Rescue program ensures millions of pounds of wholesome food helps feed people, not landfills. Operating from a single headquarters in Orange County, California, we serve multiple counties within Southern California. By engaging a huge network of volunteers, we’re able to quickly scale and rescue enough food for 30,000 meals per day.

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MEATLESS MONDAY RECIPE BURRITOFood Waste

Meatless Monday Recipe

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!

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl

Vegetarian Burrito Bowl with avocado crema. The Modern Proper. (n.d.). Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://themodernproper.com/vegetarian-burrito-bowl-with-avocado-crema

For this #meatlessmonday, we’re sharing a delicious recipe for Vegetarian Burrito Bowls. This easy, nutritious meal is packed with flavor. Ideal for meal preppers and vegetarians and anyone who has some veggies in the pantry that may begin to look like they will be thrown away!

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans waste nearly 40 million tons — 80 billion pounds — of food every year. That’s estimated to be 30-40 percent of the entire US food supply and equates to 219 pounds of waste per person. Having a Meatless Monday menu can help us to treat our vegetables with more focus–since so many are thrown out because they go bad. This Vegetarian Burrito bowl can be made with any combination of vegetables. We hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

  • Cauliflower (or any other vegetable in the pantry)
  • Bell Peppers, make this burrito bowl as colorful as possible with a combo of red and green peppers
  • Onions
  • Olive oil 
  • Limes for topping and the avocado crema
  • Taco seasoning – homemade or store-bought
  • Beans – Pinto or Black 
  • Jarred Salsa – or homemade 
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cilantro-lime rice

Directions

Making a burrito bowl is mostly an effort of assemblage. Most of the ingredients can be prepped beforehand, and in doing so make the meal much easier to assemble. Here’s one way to approach this burrito bowl recipe:

  1. Make the cilantro-lime rice. Burrito bowls are always a great use for leftover rice—either from takeout or from a homemade meal—so you can also just season some leftover rice with a little cilantro and lime juice.
  1. Roast the veggies! Roast cauliflower florets, peppers, and onions—all seasoned with a little taco seasoning—for about 30 minutes. This can also be done at least 2-3 days ahead of time if you’re meal-prepping.
  1. Buckle up for one of our very best tips, ever! Season your beans by simmering them for a few minutes with some salsa. Voila! Instantly delicious beans! You could do this ahead, we supposed, but it takes only a couple of minutes, and the burrito bowl is best if the beans are freshly warmed, so this is a step we reserve for the day of.
  1. Avocado crema time! (easy to make, find the recipe below) Mix this up while the beans simmer.
  1. Assemble! Have everyone assemble their burrito bowls however they see fit, and ta da! A super-healthy dinner loaded with fiber, vitamins, and whole grains that everyone will love

DIY Avocado Crema

The burrito bowl itself is already flavorful and delicious. However, if you want to go that extra mile and spice it up a little, whip up this easy-at-home avocado crema and add on top. 

  • Avocado
  • Garlic
  • Sour cream (or, if you want to keep your burrito bowl vegan, just use a vegan sour cream—they’re easy to find at the store, usually close to the traditional dairy sour cream, or near the tofu.)
  • Lime juice
  • Cilantro

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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Why Waste Food Wed potatoFood Waste

Are Sprouted Potatoes Safe to Eat?

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

What Can We Do With Old Potatoes?

We have all done it. We cannot resist buying that big bag of Idaho potatoes, yams, or delicious sweet potatoes.

It is sometimes cheaper to buy that whole bag of potatoes, so we do it with the best intentions to make delicious and nutritious meals. But then reality kicks in–that bag sits on the counter for weeks sprouting little round ‘eyes’. And sometimes, if it sits long enough, some of them will have a green color. Is this safe to eat?

According to the National Capital Poison Center (poison.org):

Potatoes contain two kinds of glycoalkaloids, both natural toxins, called solanine and chaconine. Exposure to light greatly increases the formation of chlorophyll and glycoalkaloids. Chlorophyll is responsible for the green color of many plants and is not toxic. However, the green of chlorophyll is a marker that can let you know that there could be an excess of glycoalkaloids. The entire potato plant contains glycoalkaloids, but the highest concentration is found in the leaves, flowers, “eyes,” green skin, and sprouts. The lowest concentration is found in the white body of the potato.

Sprouted spuds aren’t necessarily destined for the landfill: the potato itself is likely still safe to eat, so long as you cut away the little growths and green spots. And you can cook it up, and mash it with salt and butter, but what if you made something even more fun?

Homemade Chips

Homemade-chips

Making your own potato or vegetable chips, whether you fry or bake them, is easier than you think. We have found that once you do make your own, it is hard to go back to the oversalted store version!

Here are the advantages: You get to pick which vegetables to use. And you choose the spices and seasonings you want to use for your homemade chips. And: Making your own chips is fun and easy.

Some Tips: Root vegetables are best, such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and beets. Not only are they colorful, but they each also have a flavor of their own. Just make sure you remove those little “eyes” and cut off any part of the skin that looks green.

Recipe

Ingredients
1 large carrot, trimmed
1 large parsnip, trimmed
1 sweet potato
1 Yukon Gold potato
1 large beet
Canola oil, for frying

Basic Seasoning Mix:

2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

The Step-By-Step from Spruce Eats

There are plenty of recipes out there to make your homemade chips, but Spruce Eats is one of those sites that is always thinking about food waste. Here is this weeks recipe:

Step 1

Get all of your ingredients together first. This makes the whole at-home cooking process much easier. So start by pulling all of those potatoes and questionable veggies. Get your seasoning choices out. Bowls, oil, pans, and peelers too!

home-potao-ships-why-waste-food-wed1

Step 2

Peel off the skin, making sure all those little ‘eyes’ are gone as well as any green tone on the Idaho potato.

Step 3

Now slice them thin. It helps if you have a mandoline, a food processor fitted with the 2 mm slicing blade, but if don’t have one then a sharp knife works just as well when cutting the vegetables into very thin slices (1/16-inch thick).

home-potao-ships-why-waste-food-wed1

Step 4

Fill a large bowl with ice water and transfer the carrot, parsnips, sweet potato, and either Yukon gold or Idaho potato to the ice water. [Note: do not miss this step! soaking any starch produce item in cold water like this makes an absolute difference!]

Now, fill a small bowl with ice water and transfer the beet slices to the smaller bowl of water. Let the vegetables sit in the water for 30 minutes.

home-potao-ships-why-waste-food-wed4

Step 5

Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Drain the vegetables and arrange them in a single layer on the towels. Pat the vegetables to remove any excess water.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed5

Step 6

First, Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.

Second, line 2 plates with paper towels.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed7

Step 7

Heat three (3) inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 F using a deep-frying thermometer. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed8

Step 8

Add about 1/2 cup of vegetable slices to the oil and fry until crisp and golden brown, about 2 minutes.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed9

Step 9

Remove the vegetables to the paper towels to drain.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed10

Step 10

First, remove the paper towels from the baking sheets and spread the fried vegetable chips in a single layer on the baking sheets. then place in the oven to keep warm.

Repeat with the remaining vegetables in batches, making sure to maintain the oil temperature of 350 F.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed11

Step 11

Put the warm chips in a large bowl, add the seasoning mixture of your choice, and toss lightly.

Our basic seasoning mixture from above: In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Feel free to be creative here and try different spices on different batches.

homemade-potato-chips-why-waste-food-wed12

Enjoy!

Benefits of NOT Wasting Potatoes and Vegetables

In addition to saving the planet we all live on, when households save food through consumption, you personally save money. But more important is gaining the knowledge that one small action (throwing out just one potato with ‘eyes’) has a ripple effect in your own neighborhood.

  • Water is conserved
  • CO2E is contained.
  • Landfills grow smaller.
  • Your family learns an important lesson in community action–because not everyone in your neighborhood has enough nourishing food on their plates tonight.

Remember: Think before you buy food. Plan your meals and use every part that is edible to #StopFoodWaste.

For more benefits of stopping food waste go to the EPA.gov site here.

*************************

Who is Food Finders?

Food Finders is a food rescue nonprofit organization with a primary focus on reducing hunger while also reducing food waste. We coordinate the daily pick-up of donated excess food from grocers, restaurants, hospitals, schools, manufacturers, and more; food is then distributed directly and immediately to nonprofit recipients, such as pantries, shelters, youth programs, and senior centers, to be used for serving hot meals or as grocery distribution for people who are struggling and food insecure.
Our Food Rescue program ensures millions of pounds of wholesome food helps feed people, not landfills. Operating from a single headquarters in Orange County, California, we serve multiple counties within Southern California. By engaging a huge network of volunteers, we’re able to quickly scale and rescue enough food for 30,000 meals per day.

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Why Waste Food Wednesday trashFood Waste

How can we all cut food waste?

#WHY WASTE FOOD WEDNESDAY

According to Refed

Our food system is radically inefficient. In 2019, the U.S. let a huge 35% of the 229 million tons of food available go unsold or uneaten. We call this surplus food, and while a very small portion of it is donated to those in need and more is recycled, the vast majority becomes food waste, which goes straight to landfills, incineration, or down the drain, or is simply left in the fields to rot. Overall, ReFED estimates that 24% of all food in the U.S. – 54 million tons – goes to these waste destinations.

That’s almost 90 billion meals’ worth of food that we’re letting go unsold or uneaten each year, roughly 2% of U.S. GDP!

Taking Action To Help Cut Food Waste: 3 Quick Steps

Every household in the United States can do small actions to make a big impact on Food Waste.

  1. SHOP SMARTER. Every household buys too much food. 43% of the food that ends up in landfills comes from individuals. And it is food that doesn’t need to be thrown away. SOLUTION: Buy what you need. Think ahead and make lists of the recipes and meals you will prepare–and prepare them! Get on Instagram and start jotting down some of those amazing meal recipes and then buy only what you need for that week. Sure, it’s a hassle to have to go to the store a couple of times a week, but think about all the food destroying our atmosphere!!
  2. STORE YOUR FOOD CORRECTLY. Be curious about your food–knowing which foods can sit on the counter. For instance, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, and onions should never be refrigerated. These items should be kept at room temperature. Other items should NOT be stored together. For example, foods that produce more ethylene gas than those that don’t is another great way to reduce food spoilage. Ethylene promotes ripening in foods and could lead to spoilage. Bananas, Avocados, Tomatoes, Cantaloupes, Peaches, Pears, Green onions –you want to keep potatoes, apples, leafy greens, berries, and peppers away from them to avoid premature spoilage.
  3. DON’T BE JUDGEMENTAL WITH YOUR PRODUCE. This is the most ironic of all the tips (and there are many, many more!) Ugly fruits and vegetables get tossed every day–by you, by your family, even by the grocery stores. But “ugly” doesn’t mean not incredibly delicious and nutritious. A carrot with two tails is just a carrot with two tails–it shouldn’t be scary or avoided. Some Italian cooks swear by the “ugly tomatoes” they find in the markets and some grocery chains are even saving space for those delicious odd-shaped produce items. think out of the box and reach for items that are more likely to be unsold and tossed…I am sure that somewhere in heaven you will get extra points for not being judgmental!! Check out some of our fun recipes for ugly food here.

If each one of us can stop food waste at home–the problem begins to shrink. Here is a great resource from the EPA. Stop Food Waste

The Good News?

Food Waste is a solvable problem

We can stop food waste

Every household can do something to stop food waste. Start with the three simple steps above and be mindful that we are wasting food.

Then, Volunteer your time and efforts to help rescue food. Yes, RESCUE food! It is a real thing. Food Finders goes out every day and picks up thousands of pounds of good food that would normally end up in landfills. Through our network of volunteers, we rescue the food and then deliver it to community partners who service families in our neighborhoods. The benefits of Food Rescue Volunteering include, helping our planet and preserving millions of gallons of water from waste, but did you know that in rescuing food you are also helping to feed millions of people?

Hunger is a problem and food Insecurity is a complex issue (and we are not here to solve that.) What we are working toward is a solution to feeding and nourishing people (families, children, and seniors) who need access to food.

Feeding people is important to our community and to our economy. When people are nourished and fed they feel better, and perform better in school and in their jobs. We all benefit. When Food Finders picks up food from a grocery store or bakery, we give it to local non-profits at no cost, so that they can feed their community. We are feeding all of our communities!

Make time to be a Food Waste Hero

It doesn’t take much to be a hero.

All of us have two to three hours a week to offer a helping hand. That’s one less Netflix movie watched, or several hundred mindless moments gained not swiping through our social media feed. And what if you could do something that changed the earth, impacted people’s lives, and also gave you something really cool to post on your Instagram? Being a Food Rescue Hero has perks!!

Volunteer This Month To Help

If you live in or near Long Beach, California, we have got something really important coming up. The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) is closing for the summer on the 15th & 16th of June. They do a really great job of donating excess food several days a week throughout the school year, but at the year-end, it’s time to empty out the cupboards and refrigerators so that nothing goes to waste.

Food Finders has over 80 Schools in Long Beach that are closing for the summer and we need all hands on deck to collect and deliver the food. Here are the details:

Wednesday, June 15th from 1 PM to 3 PM

Thursday, June 16th from 8 AM to 11 AM

Reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator, Kevin via email or call him at (562) 283-1400 x 112 if you can help Food Finders to rescue all of this food from over 80 schools in Long Beach!

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Food Recovery Tell All RecordingFood Waste

Food Recovery Tell-All Panel (Recording)

#WHY WASTE FOOD WEDNESDAY

In case you missed the live presentation of the Food Recovery Tell All Panel from Food Rescue Hero last week, we have the recording to share with you.

This incredible three-person panel included Food Finders with Diana Lara, Executive Director. What is food recovery? How is this impacting our communities? What are the challenges and insights from three industry experts who are leading the food waste recovery industry.

Food Recovery Panel with Diana Lara of Food Finders

The topic of course was Food Recovery–the process and the challenges of rescuing food. so many great questions and insights. In case you missed the live broadcast of the Food Recovery Tell-All Panel we have the recording below!

Click here: https://youtu.be/ixZQvMHs9H4

Enjoy the panel discussion and please share with those you think would find this information helpful!

If you would like more information about Food Recovery or Food Finder’s work in Southern California, please email dlara@foodfinders.org

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Regrow-romaine-lettuce-at-homeFood Waste

Don’t Throw It Out! Regrow It!

Some people don’t have enough food, while others are eating too much. There’s only one way to fix this problem—WE DO SOMETHING.

43% of food waste comes from individuals.  Not restaurants or large businesses—you and me!  The good news about that number is that we can do something about it every single day!

#WhyWasteFoodWednesday

Today we are going to stop a common food waste problem and give you even more food in the process.  No, we don’t have a magic wand over here at Food Finders, but we do have an incredible tip to get our Wednesday started.

Don’t Throw Away The Bottom of Your Romaine Lettuce

You can grow another one!

Bottom of the lettuce stop food waste
  1. Cut off the bottom of the lettuce.
  2. Place the flat part of the lettuce bottom in a bowl
  3. Put in water
  4. Change the water every day
  5. Wait for it to grow roots
  6. Magic! Another meal is growing.
https://www.gettystewart.com/how-to-regrow-romaine-lettuce-from-the-stem/

Food Waste is Destroying the Earth

Throwing out romaine lettuce is like shooting a hole in our atmosphere (with C02E from the landfills) and emptying out precious gallons of water (that go into growing that lettuce!)

Americans waste 150,000 tons of food each day – equal to a pound per person

Do Something To Make A Difference

Why throw good food away when you can do one small thing to make that food into a delicious meal—for your family or for others who need it.

Food Finders is working every day to rescue food in Southern California.  We pick it up with the help of hundreds of committed volunteers and then deliver that food to local non-profit agencies who share it with our neighbors in need.

Food Finders Volunteers picking up donated food and delivery it to a community non-profit

If you are looking to be a part of the solution and would like to volunteer your time to help pick up and deliver rescued food, click here.

Become a Share Table Member and Multiply Your Impact

If you would like to help grow our operations with a monthly donation that will help to create meals, then click here.

Share this tip with ten people you know and ask them to share it with ten people they know. If we can all do just one thing every day to stop food waste imagine what our neighborhoods could be!!

Food Finders is a food rescue nonprofit organization with a primary focus on reducing hunger while also reducing food waste. We coordinate the daily pick-up of donated excess food from grocers, restaurants, hospitals, schools, manufacturers, and more; food is then distributed directly and immediately to nonprofit recipients, such as pantries, shelters, youth programs, and senior centers, to be used for serving hot meals or as grocery distribution for people who are struggling and food insecure.

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Casa Youth ShelterCommunity

Our Community Partner Casa Youth Shelter

On any given day in the U.S., thousands of teens go homeless and hungry. Too often, youth reach a breaking point, unable to face another day of school bullying, parental abuse, stress–or hunger. Yet when we think of homeless people, our minds often form the image of an older male adult curled up on a sidewalk or a park bench. Shockingly, 34% of homeless people in the U.S. are actually under 24 years of age. This is why Casa Youth Shelter right here in our own community is such a significant, often lifesaving, resource.

The shelter houses 12 youth (aged 12 to 17) when at capacity, and in addition to offering a safe harbor and hot meals, they provide group activities, peer interaction, and counseling services for both the youth and parents. Ideally, after spending time at the shelter, the residents return to their families or move on to a safe, crisis-free living situation. While at the shelter they are on a temporary break from school, focusing on improving their situation and receiving the help they need. Some former residents continue with counseling services, and the services are offered remotely to nonresidents as well.

Recently, there has been a change in the typical resident profile, according to Josue Montenegro, a 7-year staff member. Many of the youth seeking safe harbor are transgender and have been rejected, bullied, and abused by family and friends. For them particularly, a place to find support and to reset is essential. And it comes as no surprise that in this past year during the pandemic, teen depression and anxiety have skyrocketed, so Casa Youth has been an invaluable haven.

Food Rescue Helps Homeless With Meals

Food Finders has been partnered with the shelter for 20 years and donates wholesome food twice a week. The staff prepares meals, sometimes engaging and teaching the residents cooking skills, and generally ensures that everyone receives a healthy meal. Any excess donated food is made available via an onsite pantry, free to area families or youth in need.

Food Finders is so grateful to count Casa Youth Shelter as one of our many partners that help serve our local communities. Thank you for all you do!

Updated Study on Homeless by the Chamber of Commerce

Read more about homelessness: https://www.chamberofcommerce.org/homelessness-in-america/

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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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why-waste-food-wednesday-carrotFood Waste

The Mighty Carrot: Don’t Waste It

#WHY WASTE FOOD WEDNESDAY

Carrots are a hearty vegetable with so many nutrients that it is impossible not to use every bit! Here are some tips to keep you storing and preparing the best possible way without waste.

Storing Carrots

Remove the tops of carrots if you buy them with the green leaves attached.  Keep them in a plastic bag in the coolest part of your refrigerator for about two weeks.  And a warning: keep carrots away from apples and potatoes—their gasses will make your carrots bitter.

Another interesting storage tip is that you can store carrots in empty, cleaned milk cartons.  Seal it shut and they should last longer.

Recipes Galore

  • Peel your carrots, slice them into rounded coins and toss them into a mixture of butter and honey.  Make sure they are fully coated and then roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350.  Delicious hot or cold.
carrots roasted with honey
  • Shred your carrots and put them in your salads, sprinkle them on top of sandwiches for an added crunchy bite.
  • Mashed carrots can be eaten alone or blended with mashed potatoes.  If that doesn’t sound good, then sautee some onions in butter and throw in the mashed mixture.  Add ginger for a spicy taste.  The onions add a whole new dimension.
  • Shred your carrots and some beets and apples.  Blend the altogether with a little mayo for an amazing salad experience.
  • Blend up your carrots with apples and you have an incredible smoothie to get your day started!

Don’t Waste Carrots

Soup is nothing without carrots so if you have some lying around then add them to any broth you are making.  Their sweetness adds a nutritional dimension to any type of soup.  Plus pureed carrot soup is wonderful!

And of course, if all else fails, slice up the carrots into sticks and snack on them.  Don’t like raw?  Then steam them.  The flavor of steamed carrots is exceptional!

40% of carrots are thrown into the trash—which means all the water that went into growing them is also thrown out.  Try new ways of preparing these nutritious vegetables.  Your body will be happy and so will the earth!

Adding carrots to soup is delicious

If you have any interesting tips for preparing food to avoid waste, send them to us at marketing@foodfinders.org

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going bananas about food wasteFood Waste

Going Bananas Over Food Waste

#WHY WASTE FOOD WEDNESDAY

What is the Impact of Uneaten Food?

When food goes uneaten and is thrown away, all the resources that went into preparing that food go to waste as well. Think about water for a moment…without water, we cannot live, and yet, when there is an ugly, over-ripe banana on the counter we can toss it in the trash without a thought.

About 5-gallons of water per day is required for one banana tree.

One banana tree takes about 9-months to produce bananas

Over the 270 days it takes to produce bananas, that tree will use over 1,300 gallons of water.

Americans throw away 5 billion bananas every year!

That means billions of gallons of water are thrown away too!

Let’s Make Eating Bananas Fun & Easy with Banana “Ice Cream”

Sarah, A flavor-loving nutritionist at Live-Eat-Learn posted a great recipe for all those ripe to over-ripe bananas you are considering tossing into a landfill. With just one ingredient and a great how-to recipe, we can show you how to prevent good food from being tossed away.

1-Ingredient Ice Cream. source: live-eat-learn

The Uglier, The Better!

If you are lucky enough to have bananas at home that look like the “over-ripe” picture above–then you are in for a real treat! The darker the banana peel, the sweeter the flavor of ice cream. Plus, that means you don’t need to add any sweeteners to make a delicious dessert.

Recipe

Step 1: Chop your bananas into chunks and lay them in a single layer on a parchment-lined plate or tray. It’s important that you peel the bananas before freezing! Bananas will take about 2 hours to freeze.

Tip: this is a great way to save bananas for later. source: live-eat-learn

Step 2: Let the bananas thaw a bit (just 5 minutes or so), which will make them slightly easier to blend, then throw them into a heavy-duty blender or food processor. Even an electric hand mixer will work.

source: live-eat-learn

Step 3: To get this delicious treat blending more easily, you can do a few things. Either let the bananas thaw a bit so they do not rock solid, or add a splash of milk (any milk will do!) until things start moving. Scrape the sides and push the ice cream down into the blades of the blender or food processor until you get a smooth, soft-serve consistency.

source: live-eat-learn

Step 5: Storage of all food is critical so to store this banana ice cream, cover it in plastic wrap (or transfer it to an airtight container), and freeze. When ready to eat again, let it soften on the counter for a few minutes before scooping.

Storage is important. source: live-eat-learn

Variety Makes This Even More Delicious

Vanilla: Use the base recipe then add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

Tropical: Use 3 frozen bananas, ½ cup of frozen mango, and ½ cup of frozen pineapple. Instead of using milk to blend, add a splash of orange or pineapple juice.

Mocha: Use the base recipe then add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, and a handful of chocolate chips.

Peanut Butter: Use the base recipe and then add 2 large tablespoons of peanut butter.

#StopFoodWasteWednesday

Nourishing ourselves is important for a long healthy life but there are many people around us who cannot afford to buy food that will feed their whole family so don’t be wasteful! Buy what you need and store safely what you cannot eat before it goes bad. And share your favorite 1-Ingredient recipes with us and PLEASE SHARE

Food Finders, Inc

To learn more about Food Finder’s food rescue programs please reach out to us by visiting our contact page: https://foodfinders.org/contact-us/

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time for spring cleaning food driveEvents

It’s Time For Spring Cleaning

Let’s Gear Up for “Summer To End Hunger” Food Donation Event

Springtime is the best season to think about cleaning out cabinets and drawers and we want to help you make room for summer with some ideas to feel better and make an impact!

Your Kitchen Cupboards Called to Say: “Help!”

Overstocked with Pandemic shutdown “hoarding,” our cupboards may be filled with too much food. Check the labels and start putting food items in a box that are not going to get used. Donating overstocked non-perishable foods are a wonderful way to organize and make an impact in your community.

Food Drives Help To Feed People With The Most Need

So much of our foods get thrown away when they can be donated and redistributed through organizations like Food Finders. See our Food List below

When You Donate Food To Avoid Food Waste and Help The Environment

Food banks are especially important in the food distribution process.  They work with their local communities to ensure that everyone has access to healthful foods. They solicit, receive, store, and distribute fresh produce (when available) and pantry staples (like the foods we are listing below). 

Food Banks and Pantries help people get connected to other essential benefits and serve as community hubs for volunteers who are serving their local communities.

How To Host A Food Drive

Any business, community center, Library, retailer, or city location can host a food drive.  Food Finders will provide a storage bin, signage, and donation food lists. Food Finders will also arrange to pick up all the collected food items from you! 

Email meden@foodfinders.org or give Mark a call at 562-283-1400 Ext 117.

Food Drive

What Kinds of Food Can You Donate?

1.  Applesauce

Plastic jars of unsweetened applesauce serve as a great quick snack with just enough fiber and vitamin C. Applesauce is also a smart choice because it preserves well on food bank shelves.

2. Canned Beans

Full of protein and fiber, canned beans offer a superb and nourishing way to fill an empty tummy. Try to look for low-sodium variations whenever available.

3. Canned Chicken

While canned chicken may seem like a simple choice, it is high in protein content and can be a perfect item for those on the go. Additionally, its versatility makes it a popular item at food banks. Try adding this non-perishable item into soups, casseroles, sandwiches, or crackers!

4. Canned Meat (SPAM and Ham)

Do you have some extra SPAM or canned ham? If so, make sure to drop it off at your local food donation site. It’s shelf-stable, does not require much preparation or equipment to eat, and provides a quick source of protein that keeps individuals feeling full for longer periods of time.

5. Canned Fish (Tuna and Salmon)

Canned fish has various vitamins, especially omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Many food banks are in need of canned tuna and salmon because it makes for such a convenient and easy meal.

6. Canned Vegetables

Residents in need are continuously requesting lively, nutrient-dense, and fiber-rich vegetables. Make sure to grab low-sodium options. Canned variations also last the longest on a food bank’s shelves. Food banks frequently hand out recipes that utilize the items they have in stock. 

7. Crackers

Are an ideal snack or can be used as a base for canned proteins. They are also shelf-stable and portable, making them perfect for snacks and lunches. Whole-grain crackers are the best bet.

8. Cooking Oils (Olive and Canola)

Food banks heavily depend on these essential and costlier items to be donated. Canola and olive oils are the preeminent choices because of their monounsaturated fats and minor flavor. 

9. Dried Herbs and Spices

It is hard to cook a flavorsome meal without herbs and spices. So, drop a few in your shopping cart to donate! We suggest sticking to the fundamentals: oregano, basil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and cinnamon.

10. Fruit (Canned or Dried)

Fruit, whether dried, canned or in plastic cups can make superb snacks for young children and adults. Select those that are packaged in water or fruit juice instead of sugary syrups.

11. Nuts

With a handful of nuts, they deliver protein and nutrients instantaneously, which has made them perfect for snacks and lunches. Food banks have a difficult time obtaining them due to their higher price, so they heavily rely on donations. Go for unsalted varieties when possible.

12. Granola Bars

Food banks are continuously in need of fast and easy items that families can throw into lunches or eat on the go. Granola bars are the answer. Try to look for the ones that have fewer grams of sugar, made with oats, or other whole grains.

13. Instant Mashed Potatoes

Instant potatoes last a very long time and require minimal cooking tools and ingredients. They are also a beloved staple item in every age group, making an item that goes quickly off Food Banks’ shelves. 

14. Grocery Meals in a Box

An entire meal that’s shelf-stable and in one package is the best way to nourish a hungry tummy. It is very popular with those who do not have a stocked kitchen or tools needed to prepare a meal. The best options are pasta, rice, and soup kits (particularly those that are lower in sodium and higher in fiber and protein). 

15. Pasta

In Food banks, pasta is a staple item since it can be easily turned into a meal. Opt for whole-grain selections that offer more fiber and nutrition compared to white pasta.

16. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a high source of protein that can be eaten alone or combined with other food items. Since both children and adults like it, peanut butter is easily one of the most desired items at food banks.

17. Rice

This popular item is filling, versatile, easy to prepare, and store. Consider substituting white rice for brown rice instead because it is a healthier option with much more fiber to offer. Quinoa is another great alternative item to donate if feasible.

18. Shelf-stable and Powdered Milk

The best part of this item is that no refrigeration is required to keep it fresh, which makes it available to everyone. More importantly, milk delivers a much-needed source of calcium and protein (especially for a developing child).

19. Whole Grain Cereal

This is another popular item with all age groups. Whole-grain cereal makes for a healthy and quick breakfast or snack. Some selections are low in sugar and high in fiber that helps provide nutrients to good digestive bacteria, which then release substances that help lower levels of inflammation body-wide.

20. Honey

This is a sweet, viscous food substance that can be used as a natural sweetener. It is rich in antioxidants and propolis, which each promote burn and wound healing. It can also be used to help suppress coughing in children. 

21. Soup, Stew, and Chili

These substances act as a warm and satisfying lunch or dinner. You can find these items in canned or packaged form and they are often sold as a complete meal with protein (meat) and veggies. If possible, attempt to find reduced-sodium alternatives.

What to skip when donating to your local food bank:

  • Junk food (chips, cookies, candy) 
  • Packaged items with glass or cellophane (these can be easily broken in transit)
  • Items that require can openers or cooking equipment
    • Instead, try to donate pop-top cans–whether for veggies, meat or fruit

Start Your Own Food Drive with Food Finders Help. Learn More https://foodfinders.org/event/summer-to-end-hunger-food-drive/

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recipes in a bag-blogFood Waste

Food 4 Kids Maruchan Noodle Bag

How do you take 16 ingredients in a bag and turn it into nutritious meals over a two-day weekend? You ask our intern Kelly!

Kelly is a nutrition student at California State University, Long Beach CSULB. Every week we have been challenging her to head out to the Food Finder’s Warehouse, empty one Food 4 Kids bag, take photos, and then come back with recipes to feed a family over the weekend nutritiously.

Nutrition Is In Our Mission

Food Finders has a mission to eliminate hunger and food waste, but did you know that we also have a part 2? “….while improving nutrition in food insecure communities.” It is critically important that people eat nutritious meals. Our bodies need nutrition to get up out of bed, get on the bus to school, and then our brain has to be ready to learn—you need nutritious food to do that!

Kelly has a talent for taking all the ingredients sorted and packed into our Food 4 Bags, and craft some delicious and easy recipes for a family to prepare over the weekend. Keep in mind that she is assuming there are no other ingredients in the house, so anything you add to the mix will boost the nutrition even more! The beautiful part of these recipes below is that you can make nutritious food from simple ingredients when you think outside of the box.

Oatmeal with Fruit Topping

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • Oatmeal packet
  • Fruit mix or fruit cup

Instructions:

  1. Cook oatmeal packet as directed and top with 1/3 of drained mix fruit or 1 fruit cup
  2. Enjoy!

Tuna and Black Bean Casserole

Tuna and Black Bean Casserole

Servings 4

Tuna is good for you and is a rich source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Combined with the black beans that are rich in fiber, potassium, folate and B6 as well as its phytonutrient content and no cholesterol supports heart health.

Ingredients:

  • 3 packages of chicken flavored Maruchan noodles prepared per package instructions leaving one seasoning packet out and drain majority of the fluid.
  • 1 can of tuna, drained
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 can of mixed vegetables, drained
  • 1 can of tomato soup

Instructions:

  1. Place cooked noodles, tuna, black beans, tomato soup and can of mixed vegetables in a pot.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook until heated through.
  3. Eason to taste
  4. Garnish with anything available such as cheese, hot sauce, cilantro, onion and sliced radishes.

Tuna and Tomato Noodle Casserole with Green Beans

Servings 4

Tuna is good for you and is a rich source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Ingredients:

  • 3 packages of chicken flavored Maruchan noodles prepared per package instructions draining the majority of the liquid.
  • 1 can of tuna, drained
  • 1 can of green beans, drained
  • 1 can of tomato soup 

Instructions:

  1. Place cooked noodles, tuna, green beans and tomato soup in a pot.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook until heated through.
  3. Season to taste
  4. Garnish with anything available such as cheese, hot sauce, cilantro, onion and sliced radishes.

Chips and Dip

Servings approximately 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 Chicken seasoning packet
  • 1 bag of potato chips

Instructions:

  1. Place refried beans in a bowl.
  2. Mix in the chicken seasoning packet thoroughly.
  3. Feel free to add cheese if available.
  4. Dip chips and enjoy!

The Food 4 Kids Program is an amazing collaboration of the City of Long Beach and Food Finders. To learn more here

If you would like to volunteer to help us sort and pack Food 4 Kids bags at our warehouse, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Kevin Burciaga, kburgiaga@foodfinders.org

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Food Waste

Make This Yummy Snack in 5 Easy Steps

Why Waste Food Wednesday

DID YOU KNOW: Fruit is one of the most wasted produce items because it is the fastest to ripen? 🤔

Preventing food from going to waste is one of the easiest and most powerful actions you can take to save money and help the planet Earth to flourish for generations to come!

In fact, the benefits of preventing food waste from ending up in our landfills are quite compelling:

  • Helps us save our money
  • Reduces our carbon footprints
  • Preserves energy and resources
  • Lowers the price of produce and other products made with fruits and vegetables
  • Creates opportunities for food security in low-income communities

So what can you do with some aging apples and a mushy strawberry or two?

Fruit Jam

For our #WhyWasteFoodWednesday post we want to share a quick recipe on how to repurpose parts of your fruit that are often easily discarded. With our recipe for a fresh fruit jam you can put those apple cores and strawberry tops to good use! 🍓 🍎

INGREDIENTS LIST

💚 6 Apples (Cores & Peels only)

💚 3  ½ oz Strawberry Tops 

💚 1 cup of water 

💚 ½ Lemon Juice 

💚 1 cup Superfine Sugar (or Powdered Sugar can work as well)

Now it’s time for preparation! Make sure to follow the steps below. 

5 STEPS FOR PREPARATION:

Step 1: Place ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.

Step 2: Simmer for 20-25 minutes on low heat and mix occasionally until the fruit is completely dissolved.

Step 3: Remove from heat when liquid thickens and scoop out any excess apple cores or strawberry tops.

Step 4: Pour jam into a jar and leave to close (without lid). 

Step 5: Keep refrigerated and enjoy with your favorite bread for up to 2 weeks.

Now Enjoy!

If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #WhyWasteFoodWednesday, please email mbereket@carly-bragg

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

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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Community

Girl Scout Troop 2863: Making A Difference

The Girl Scouts Bronze Award

According to the Girl Scouts: When a troop goes for the Bronze Award, they are representing what Girl Scouts can achieve in their communities. And it’s not just earning a patch and its done!

Earning the Girl Scout Bronze Award involves planning, commitment and the time to complete an Impact Journey in their community. They must build a team; explore their community; choose a project that will have a longer term impact; plan what to do; put that plan into motion; and then spread the word about what they are doing!

They will be out in the community talking about their program, progress and the impact of their volunteering long into the future.

Troop 2863 from Long Beach has chosen Food Finder’s Food 4 Kids Program as their Bronze Award project. Prior to COVID, the Food 4 Kids Program was delivering 385 bags of food every week to 15 Title 1 Long Beach Elementary Schools. In many cases, these bags of food provided families with their only weekend food option.

Starting the Food 4 Kids program back up is exciting for Food Finders because the program was halted during COVID. With the Girl Scouts here to help pack the bags of food, and then deliver them to the schools we are able to get the Food 4 Kids bags out of the warehouse and into the hands of families faster. Groups like the Girl Scouts can help us to fill the need for volunteers needed in the early afternoon hours. Many volunteers can only come early in the morning or late in the day but these bags of food need to be delivered just before school lets out on Friday–just in time for school kids heading home for the weekend.

What Is A Title 1 School?

According to the Department of Education a Title 1 School is: a school in which children from low-income families make up at least 40 percent of enrollment and are eligible to use Title I funds to operate schoolwide programs that serve all children in the school in order to raise the achievement of the lowest-achieving students. For the city of Long Beach, Title 1 students are about 85% of enrollment!

Providing meals for the weekend is critical to the learning of children when they return to class on Monday. One of the site directors at Lincoln Elementary told us: “We noticed that bringing this partnership to our site brought our families closer to the program. It created a better school climate where families felt cared for and considered outside their child’s academics. Families’ well-being and needs became attended to and the responses (to picking up the bags) showed great need.”

Hunger Impacts Learning

The consequences of going hungry on a child are long term. We already know that hunger curbs a child’s physical development but did you know that it also inhibits their ability to focus and perform in class? If children cannot learn how can they have any hope of lifting themselves out of poverty?

The Food 4 Kids Program is an opportunity for all of us to give a child a helping hand somewhere in the future. This is the key to the Bronze Award program Troop 2863 is working on right now. If they can pack and sort, and then deliver food to kids in their own community, then those kids have a better chance of learning more in school. If they learn more their opportunities in life are increased. Everyone benefits!

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.” (Sally Koch)

As Girl Scouts, these girls in Troop 2863 know that they will earn this Bronze award with courage,
confidence, and character because this work to help kids in food-insecure communities is a small act of kindness that will make a big difference in the world they are growing up into!

#GirlScouts #FoodFindersInc #Food4Kids

If you would like to volunteer at Food Finders please contact Kevin Burciaga kburciaga@foodfinders.org or learn more

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

#foodfindersinc  #FoodRescue #reducehunger #foodrecovery #Volunteer #Charity #helpfoodinsecurecommunities #HelpEndHunger #EndHunger #fightinghunger #rescuingfood #Donate #makeanimpact

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