Rescuing vegetables and preventing food waste at home (e.g. by making leftover dinners) requires some creativity. It happens sometimes that I pick up discounted vegetables from a supermarket or market, but then don’t really know what to do with them. Looking for a recipe around these vegetables doesn’t always work, because it usually requires getting more ingredients than the ones you already have. 

But there is a way around it. Each world cuisine gets its unique flavors from the mix of spices and herbs. So when I feel like making a dish from a certain part of the world, I use the vegetables that are available in the Netherlands (no looking for exotic ingredients) and spice them up in a certain way. Remember that once you start practising these mixes it will become your second nature. And no recipes needed!


Photo by Jakub Kapusnak on Unsplash

Base: Cook on the basis of olive oil and garlic. 

Best vegetables: Almost any vegetable will do for an Italian-style dish, for example tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, carrots, onions. 

Spices and Herbs: Use a mix of dry herbs like oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, and thyme

Grains: Serve your Italian-style dish with pasta or short-grain rice like Aroborio

Top up: finish your dishes with fresh basil, cheese, and/or olives.


Photo by Nick Nice on Unsplash

Base: Cook on the basis of olive oil or butter, garlic, and onions. If you’re making stew, use red wine and vegetable bouillon as liquids.. 

Best vegetables: celery, carrots, onions, mushrooms, green beans, asparagus, potatoes, eggplants, zucchini.

Spices and Herbs: Use fresh thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and ground nutmeg. 

Grains: Fresh bread.

Top up: Fresh thyme, rosemary, or parsley.


Photo by Dmitry Dreyer on Unsplash

Base: Cook on the base of olive oil, garlic, and onions. 

Best vegetables: Tomatoes, peppers, olives, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, eggplants, cucumbers, potatoes, 

Spices and Herbs: Dried oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, thyme, and paprika powder

Grains: Pita bread, rice, or orzo

Top up: Finish the dish with a squeeze of lemon juice, crumbled feta cheese, or serve with tzatziki sauce. 


Photo by Cody Chan on Unsplash

Base: Cook on the base of sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. 

Best vegetables: Bok choy, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cucumber, radish, daikon, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, spring onion.

Spices and Herbs: Get the unique Japanese flavour by adding a few teaspoons of soy sauce, sake, and miso paste into your dish. You can also use them to prepare a salad dressing. Optionally, try adding some honey or sugar to sweeten the dish

Grains: Short-grain rice (e.g. sushi rice), rice noodles, ramen or udon noodles.

Top up: Finish your dish with toasted sesame seeds, nori or other seaweed. 


Photo by Pille-Riin Priske on Unsplash

Base: Cook the stews on ghee or coconut oil with ginger and garlic.

Best vegetables: Potatoes, spinach, legumes (lentils/split peas), broccoli, cauliflower, eggplants, leafy greens.

Spices and Herbs: Chili pepper, coriander seeds, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds. You can also use read-made curry paste (red, yellow, or green). To get the stew consistency, use canned tomatoes and/or coconut milk (add vegetable bouillon if needed).

Grains: Long grain rice (e.g. basmati) or Chapati bread.


Photo by Ryan Kwok on Unsplash

Base: Cook on the base of peanut or sesame oil with garlic

Best vegetables: Bamboo, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, paprika, onion, cabbage, bok choy, leafy greens

Spices and Herbs: Fennel seed, cinnamon, cloves, star anise. Use soy sauce, sesame oil and/or oyster sauce for dressings or sauces. 

Grains: Egg noodles or rice


Photo by Tai’s Captures on Unsplash

Base: Cook on vegetable oil or lard with chili pepper and garlic

Best vegetables: Tomato, black beans, avocados, potatoes, corn, onions, paprika.

Spices and Herbs: chili powder, cayenne pepper, coriander seeds, cumin, cinnamon 

Grains: Corn tortillas, wheat burritos, rice

Top up: Finish you dishes with a squeeze of lime juice and fresh  coriander leaves.

Middle Eastern

Photo by Kyle Brinker on Unsplash

Base: Cook on olive oil with garlic and onion.

Best Vegetables: Eggplants, tomatoes, onions, chickpeas.

Spices and Herbs: Cumin, sesame seeds, sumak, thyme, dried marjoram, 

Grains: Couscous, bulgur, rice, or flat bread.

Top up: Finish your dish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and fresh parsley or mint leaves. You can also serve your dish with hummus or grilled halloumi cheese. 


Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

Base: Use red, green, or yellow curry paste as a base for cooking. Add coconut milk for stews. 

Best Vegetables: Paprika, eggplant, carrot, broccoli, leafy greens, green peas, spring onion.

Spices and Herbs: Ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, garlic, chili pepper (or use pre-made curry paste)

Grains: Jasmine rice or rice noodles

Top up: Finish your dish with few leaves of (Thai) basil or coriander, cashew nuts or peanuts, a squeeze of fresh lime juice. 

Eating eco-friendly can be tricky when you lead a busy, fast-paced life, and no-one knows that better than university students.

Exams, parties, and long hours spent in the library – all these make it so that in our university days, cooking isn’t at the top of our priority lists. As students on the go, we’d rather look for something that is quick, simple and (preferably) delicious. With convenience as our prime objective, it can be easy to get swept up in an onslaught of ready-made meals, losing track of all the fresh ingredients going bad in our fridges.

The result? Stale bread, mushy bananas, and vegetables that have surely seen better days, all rotting in our kitchens. But while these leftovers don’t sound overly appetizing, you shouldn’t discard them as useless just yet – with just a little bit of creativity and enthusiasm, they can still be turned into tasty, simple-to-prepare snacks.

The following three recipes show you how to use some of your residual food to prepare snacks that are both healthy and delicious, and that take mere minutes to make.

The added bonus? These recipes are perfect for social events. Whether you are hosting a potluck dinner, or are simply having a gezellig round of drinks with friends, these quick bites are guaranteed to hit the spot.

So ask some of your friends to come over, crack a beer open, and let’s get cooking!

© 28bysamwood

Veggie Chips

Veggie chips have been growing in popularity recently, and for good reason – they are crunchy, delicious, and make for the perfect complement to a movie night-in.

But what’s even better than buying veggie chips, is preparing your own. Not only does this homemade version taste as good as the original, it’s also healthier, comes with zero plastic packaging, and costs you very little to make.

old vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beetroot, parsnips and sweet potatoes work best for this recipe)
a drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 200C, and line a baking tray with some parchment paper. Very thinly slice your veggies into ribbons (using a vegetable peeler works great for this) – the best part of this recipe is that is also uses the vegetable peels, which would otherwise surely be wasted. Spread the veggie strips on the tray and drizzle them with olive oil (think “less is more” – too much oil makes for soggy chips). Add salt and pepper to taste and bake for 20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through. Serve with some ketchup on the side and enjoy!

BONUS TIP: If you wish, you can season your chips with additional spices to give them any flavor you like– options include paprika, oregano and basil.

© Emily Meijaard/ TBYW

Mediterranean Bruschettas

If you think eating your week-old bread sounds less-that-enticing, think again. These oven-baked brushettas are garlicky, aromatic and make for the ideal tapas-style dinner spread.

old/ stale bread
2-3 cloves of garlic
a drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
dried or fresh oregano
dried or fresh rosemary
(optional) sundried tomatoes
(optional) olives, pitted and chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C. Peel and finely mince or crush your cloves of garlic. Cut all your slices of bread in four, and drizzle each part with olive oil. Rub the garlic into the bread and season with the salt, oregano and rosemary. If you like, garnish your bruschettas with some sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Line a baking tray with some parchment paper, and arrange the bread on top. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the bruschettas turn golden. Serve them with a glass of white wine, or simply enjoy them on their own!

BONUS TIP: This recipe is incredibly versatile, and allows you to include any ingredients you have that might otherwise go bad. Got some cheese you need to use up? Grate it and sprinkle it on top before putting the bruschettas in the oven. Have a mushy tomato lying around in your kitchen? Turn it into salsa and use instead of the sun-dried tomatoes.

© bigbasket

Banana Mug Cake

This recipe is perfect for when you have a bunch of overripe bananas in your fridge, but don’t feel like going through the trouble of making banana bread. You can make several mug cakes for a cozy night-in with friends, or just fix one up for yourself as a sweet post-dinner snack.

Ingredients (for one mug cake):
1 overripe banana
4 tbsp flour
1 tsp sweetener of choice (brown sugar, maple syrup and honey all work)
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
5 tbsp milk of choice (plant-based or not)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
(optional) 1 tbsp chocolate chips or raisins to use as a mix-in

Grease a large mug with the coconut oil. Mash the banana and add it to a bowl, along with the flour, sweetener, baking soda, salt, milk, vanilla extract and mix-ins (if using any). Stir well to ensure the ingredients are evenly combined. Pour the mixture in your mug and microwave for 2 minutes at 900W. If the mug cake isn’t cooked to your preference, you can microwave it for a couple of seconds at a time until you reach your desired result. Devoir while warm!

BONUS TIP: Overripe bananas are the perfect vegan substitute for eggs in almost any pastry recipe. So, if you have some extra time on your hands, try experimenting by baking banana brownies or making some banana oatmeal cookies instead.

In this blog you’ll find the five most wasted food products, and some inspiration for what to do with them so they don’t have to go to waste! Find five recipes that are easy and quick to save you time, money and get a delicious meal on the table, following a zero-waste policy. Be a hero in the kitchen and try them!

#1 Bread

Bread & Butter Pudding

240 million slices of bread are thrown in the bin every year. Unbelievable! Let’s fill our bellies instead of bins using the leftover bread to make this amazing bread and butter pudding. Too easy and to good to let it go to waste!


  • 1 egg (if you want to keep it vegan, use 2 tablespoons chia seeds that are soaked for 15 mins in 6 tablespoons of water)
  • 6-8 slices of bread
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter (if you want to keep it vegan, use dairy-free margarine)
  • 500-750 ml (dairy-free) milk of any kind you have left in the fridge.
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • 40 grams of chopped dates/raisins
  • 50 grams of jam (any of your taste)

Cooking method

Grease an oven proof dish. Cut the bread into triangles and spread butter/margarine no both sides. Layer half the bread triangles on the base of the dish. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of sugar over the bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon and half of the dates/raisins.

Layer the rest of the bread over the top. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar, cinnamon, and the remaining dates/raisins. Mix the egg/chia seed mixture with 500ml of milk. Gently pour the milk mixture over the bread. Set the pudding aside for 30 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the milk.

Preheat your oven to 180⁰C.

Once the bread has had time to soak, if there is no milk left, gently tip over another 100-250ml depending on how much liquid was absorbed. The amount of liquid you will need will largely depend on the thickness of your bread. Sprinkle the top of the pudding with the remaining sugar and some more cinnamon. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the pudding is just beginning to go slightly golden on top. Remove from the oven, gently spread jam over the top and then place back into the oven for another 5 minutes. Serve and indulge!

#2 Milk

Rice Pudding

When I was younger, I had to drink my glass of milk before going to school. It was supposed to make me strong and healthy and, according to the advertisement in that time, milk was “The White Engine”. Whatever all the opinions on that might be right now, milk remains the number #2 of most wasted food products. Every year we pour 5.9 million glasses of milk down the sink. Rice pudding is a classic example of the easiest, filling recipe you can make and drizzled with cinnamon or honey it makes up for the best plate of comfort food out there.


  • 1 liter of milk
  • 100 grams of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 95 grams of white rice
  • optional: 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • optional: ground cinnamon
  • Optional: roasted nuts

Cooking method

In a large saucepan, combine about 80% of the milk, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in rice and reduce heat to low. Be sure to adjust the heat so that it is at a gentle simmer. Stirring occasionally, cook for 50 to 60 minutes. Mixture should thicken up to the consistency of yogurt. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla (optional).

Let cool and then refrigerate. The last bit of milk is stirred in just before serving. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. I like to sprinkle some roasted nuts on top, or whatever sweetener I have in my cupboard (raisins, berries, apple etc.)

#3 Potatoes

Potato Soup

5.8 million kilos of potatoes end up in the bin each year. So; before that happens, let’s make this delicious soup of it! Like I promised, it’s easy, fast and only requires a few ingredients.


  • 5 large potatoes
  • 2 green onions, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • Salt and pepper,
  • Water
  • 650 ml of milk (for the vegan version use any plant-based milk)

Cooking method

Peel and roughly chop potatoes. Discard tops and bottoms of green onions and mince the remaining pieces. Add potatoes and onions to a medium-sized saucepan and cover with water. Boil on high for 30 minutes, adding more water to the pot as needed, until potatoes as well cooked and soft. Remove pot from heat and drain the water over a strainer until it is just under the level of your cooked potatoes. Return any onions and basil the strainer catches to the pot.

Add the millk to the potatoes and mash until mostly smooth, leaving a few small chunks for a hearty texture. Add more milk, a dash at a time, until soup reaches your preferred consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste, don’t be shy and use a lot. Return pot to the stove and heat, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes. Serve garnished with additional green onions if desired.

#4 Cheese

Pasta Quattro Formaggi

First of all: cheese can last long! Probably longer than you think. Also: don’t be afraid of mould on cheese; you can scrape it off and use it for cooking anyway (disclaimer: I’m not a medical practitioner, this is just from my own experience). Remember; with cheese you can make an easy bechamel sauce, to pour over your cauliflower, or use in lasagna. This can be frozen, too, to preserve it for longer. Keeping it simple, I present to you a four-cheeses pasta, Italian style.


  • 1 package pasta (your choice)
  • 240 ml milk
  • 80 grams of soft cheese of your choice (mozzarella, ricotta)
  • 80 grams of blue cheese of your choice (gorgonzola, Danish blue)
  • Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • Pinch white pepper
  • two types of grated cheese of your choice (parmigiano, pecorino,
  • Fine sea salt (to taste)

Cooking method

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add whichever type of pasta you choose. tir, bring back to a boil and start timing according to your desired degree of doneness and instructions on the package. While the pasta is cooking, in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk over medium-low heat. Add the soft cheeses, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until they are melted and the mixture is homogeneous. Add the nutmeg and white pepper.About 1 minute before the pasta is done, remove it from heat and drain it. Transfer the drained pasta to a large skillet and stir in the milk-and-cheese mixture and the grated cheeses. Cook, shaking the pan continuously and vigorously until the sauce has thickened and the pasta is perfectly al dente and coated in the cheese sauce. Season to taste with fine sea salt.

Serve hot, with additional grated cheese for topping, if desired, and a green salad or vegetables.

#5 Apples

Easy Apple Sauce

1.3 million apples are thrown away. Every. Year. Staggering. And sucha shame for such a great product! Who doesn’t love the apple-break? Store them in a dry and cool place to keep them for longer. Another option is to make apple sauce to go with your vegetables. This is the simplest thing you’ll ever make, maximum outcome. I remember my mom always used to make her own apple sauce and whenever we had dinner guests over it would steal the show.


  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into cubes
  • 180 ml water
  • 40 grams of sugar (use less or more to taste)
  • pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Cooking method

Can you even call this a cooking method? It’s literally; putting everything in a saucepan, heat it over a medium heat for about 15 minutes and mash with a fork/potato masher. Enjoy!

DIY Environmental Heroïsm! This post will give you the best recipes with the least environmental exploitation, so you can sustainably eat your way to 2050. Be a true hero in the kitchen and try them!


The recipes in this post use the guidelines of the planetary health diet that was coined January this year by the Lancet Commission. The Lancet Commission is a group of over 30 scientist that published a report on how we can sustainably feed the estimated 10 billion people that inhabit the planet by 2050. The ideal way to cut greenhouse gas emission and sustain a healthy planet is to leave out animal products such as meat, dairy, fish and eggs as much as possible. Other things to take into account in filling your shopping basket in a sustainable way is to choose seasonal and local products.  More about this you can read in 16th March’ blog post: the Sustainable Future Diet.


The recipes represent some beautiful products which have a high score regarding environmental performance. The calculation of environmental performance considers: the use of fossil fuels, contribution to climate change (Co2- emission), land use and waterstress. Enjoy!


#1 Purple soup


The star of the show is the red cabbage, creating an amazing purple-coloured soup. Traditionally used in the Dutch cuisine as a side dish with apple and cloves to pair with mashed potato (we’re a simple people 😉 ), this time prepared as a fresh soup that requires very little ingredients and is easy to make! The vinegar brings out an amazing zinginess and the apple uplifts the soup with its fresh, sweet flavour. Don’t be afraid to use too much (preferably freshly crushed) black pepper!

Ingredients (serves four):

  • 1 red cabbage, roughly chopped. Grown on farmland in the Netherlands, energy-use for production is low. 
  • 1 large apple, cut in cubes. Apples, either from Argentina, Brazil or Chile, are grown on farmland and shipped per boat, to keep emissions low.
  • 2 red onions, roughly chopped
  • 200 ml plant-based milk.  I used almond milk but oat- or soy milk will do too. Go for the unsweetened one. Almond milk scores low in kg emissions per 200 ml glass, and low in land use but relatively high in water use. Soy and oat milk have the lowest environmental impact. (Poore & Nemecek, 2018)
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • 50 ml vinegar.   I used balsamic vinegar but apple cider vinegar does the job as well. Use what you have in your cupboard.
  • salt
  • black pepper
  •  2 tablespoons oil

Cooking method:

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cabbage. Add salt and pepper and keep stirring. Add the apple. Put the lid on for 3 minutes to let the ingredients soften. Add some more pepper. Next up we’ll add the liquids. Add vinegar and vegetable stock to the saucepan and stir until everything infuses. Then add the almond milk and stir. Now leave the lid on for another 15 minutes until the cabbage is soft. Depending on how small you cut the cabbage it will cook faster. Once the cabbage is soft, Use a blender or hand-held blender to blend everything. Optionally, add green leaves (cress works well) and a dash of almond milk to garnish. Enjoy!

#2 Sweet potato and dark, leafy green vegetable mash with vegan gravy and roasted hazelnuts


Another super easy, impossible-to-go-wrong, nutritious recipe. The gravy is incredibly flavoursome and together with the roasted nuts makes up for a full, hearty meal.


Ingredients (serves four):

  • 1 kg sweet potato. Sweet potato comes from the US. However, as it is grown on farmland and shipped by boat, the environmental footprint remains low.
  • 400 gr winter purslane/spinach/turnip tops. Pick the greens you like! Winter purslane and turnip tops aren’t your regular vegetables but that gives you all the more reason to try! In April they are in season in the Netherlands and they give an amazing nutty, fresh taste to your vegetable mash and have great health benefits.
  • 100 gr hazelnuts, roasted and chopped. Out of all the nuts the hazelnut and walnut are the most environmentally sustainable as they are sourced in Europe, from the Mediterranean area (Turkey, Spain, Italy) (Source:
  • 200 ml almond milk. 
  • 50 gr plant-based margarine
  • 2 tablespoons oil

The gravy:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch/flour
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (smoked) paprikapowder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon corianderseed, crushed
  • ½  teaspoon curcuma
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Cooking method:

Roast the nuts in a dry pan over medium heat. Whirl them around until the skin darkens on all sides. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool down.


Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into chunks (Zero Waste Tip: wash the skin before you peel it and deep fry the peeled skins. Let cool until they are crispy and enjoy them as a pre-cooking snack!). Boil the sweet potatoes in a large pot with plenty of water and some salt. Once the water is cooking, set the timer at 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, prepare the gravy by heating oil in a small saucepan. Add the finely cut garlic and onion and let the onion/garlic juices induce in the oil on low heat. Once the onion/garlic start changing color, add little bits of the water. Then, add the cornstarch/flour and stir well for about 3 minutes. The sauce will now thicken slowly. Add more water if it gets too thick, add more cornstarch if the sauce is too thin. Add the rest of the ingredients while stirring, until it has the desire thickness. Add more salt/pepper to taste.


Once the sweet potatoes are cooked (check with a fork), drain the pan and keep a little bit of the starchy cooking water aside. Add the margarine and almond milk to the drained sweet potatoes. Mash the potatoes. Add your greens while mashing the potatoes more. Add some of the starchy draining water until it has reached the desired creaminess. Heat on a low heat while stirring; once there are no more lumps of potato it’s finished. Serve, put the gravy on top, add the roasted nuts and optionally top with mustard. Enjoy!


#3 Cauliflower and tempeh curry


The cauliflower is a true hero: it’s so versatile and tastes great. Here’s an exotic curry to warm you up on the rainy days that might linger throughout April. Tempeh is a product made of fermented soy beans and serves as an amazing, nutritious, protein-rich alternative for meat. In this recipe the tempeh is marinated to perfection and with its crunchy bite it’s the best sidekick of the warming, soft and creamy cauliflower curry.


Ingredients (serves four):

  • 1 cauliflower, cut into roses. Produced in France on farmland and transported by truck which leaves a relatively low environmental footprint
  • 500 gr potato, cubed. 
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2×2 cm block ginger, finely diced
  • 200 gr tomato puree
  • 1 can coconut milk
  •  1 block (400gr) tempeh
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons currypowder
    • Make it yourself by mixing:2 tablespoons cumin2 tablespoons corianderseeds2 tablespoons curcumapowder

      1 ½ tablespoon cardemompowder

      ½ tablespoon cinnamon powder

      ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

      optional: ½ teaspoon chili powder

The marinade:

  • Soy sauce sweet
  • Soy sauce regular
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon agave/rice syrup. You can make your own sugar sirup by mixing 1 tablespoon of sugar with some water, and heating this in a saucepan on low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves
  • ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • chili flakes, add to taste

Cooking method:

Start with the marinade. Cut the tempeh in slices of about ½ cm thick. Mix all the ingredients of the marinade together in a flat-surface tray or plate. put the tempeh in there and mix it around. Set aside in the fridge. Set it for at least 30 minutes. The longer you leave it, the better the flavours will marinade.


Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Slowly let the base induce in the oil. Add the currypowder and stir well. If it sticks to the bottom of the pan, add little bits of water. Add the tomato puree and stir well. Now add the cauliflower and potato and stir until they are covered in the mix. Add the vegetable stock and the can of coconut milk. bring it to a boil and let it simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes. All the vegetables should be covered in liquid. If not, add more water.


While the curry is simmering, take the tempeh out of the fridge. Heat oil in a frying pan. Wait until the oil is hot, then add the tempeh. Fry on both sides for a few minutes, until the marinade turns brown and the tempeh gets crunchy.


Once the curry is finished, serve it, put the tempeh on top and garnish with fresh koriander or any other fresh herbs, to taste. Enjoy!


#4 Key Lime Pie


We couldn’t leave the dessert out, of course. In April, the lime usually originates from Brazil, where the Brazilian sun worked it’s magic before it was shipped to Europe by boat which leaves the environmental footprint to remain low. We’ll use this lovely citrus fruit to make the soft filling that goes over the Lotus-cookie crust and together make an amazing key lime pie. All vegan!








Ingredients (serves twelve):


  • pack vegan biscuits. I used Lotus Biscoff biscuits because it has this ginger-cookie flavour which is the best.
  • 120 gram vegan butter, melted. 
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil


  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • Zest of 2 limes (unwaxed)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 220 ml almond milk
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons icing sugar

Optional, to garnish:

  • coconut flakes
  • lime zest

Cooking method:

Preheat the oven at 180°C. Start with the crust. Put the biscuits in the food processor. Slowly add the melted butter. Finally add the coconut oil. Take the mixture and put it in a greased, round baking tray, preferably with a loose bottom. Press evenly until it covers the entire tray. Put the tray in the middle of the over for about 12 minutes.


Warm the tin of coconut milk over a low heat in a saucepan. Add the juice and zest of 2 limes. Let it warm up over a very low heat, to let the flavours infuse gradually. In the meantime, mix the almond milk with the icing sugar in a container. Add the cornstarch and whisk it together until smooth. Add it to the saucepan and stir while it warms up. The cornstarch will thicken the mixture as it warms. Turn the heat off when it has reached the desired thickness.


Take the baking tray out of the oven. Add the mixture to the tray. Cover it with cling film, directly over the filling. Leave it to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Garnish with lime zest or coconut flakes. Enjoy!









  • Poore, J., Nemecek, T. (2018) Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers. Science  01 Jun 2018: Vol. 360, Issue 6392, pp. 987-992.
  • Retrieved at 02/04/2019


Today in our crowdfunding recipe series we would like to celebrate the oven! A multi use wonderland for any chef or cook, the oven is perhaps the most versatile and helpful tool in the kitchen, and many of those who cook would dare to say one of the most valuable tools. It can commonly be misinterpreted that the oven can only be used for baking or cooking single items in. The oven can serve to roast, to steam, as a dehydrator, a slow cooker and many more functions. Similarly, a wide variety of meals can also be made in the oven starting with breakfast and leading all the way to dinner and dessert. The oven can also be an efficient use of your energy and time as you can use your oven for multiple dishes at the same time and leave food to cook for longer periods of time, providing you more time to do other  things. It is safe to say the oven might just be the magical tool we never knew we had.

In this post I want to set out and show you all the wonderful ways to use the oven and in that way prove why our crowdfunding campaign is so important and that we at TBYW could really use a new oven as an addition to our awesome kitchen. With a new oven we will become more efficient, we will be able to process a lot more vegetables and other foods, which would otherwise end up in dumps or landfill and even more simplistically than that, we will be able to serve you better, tastier food that will wow your taste buds like never before. As is with all things, that which is old must eventually be replaced, the same is the story of our oven, it has served its time long, well and graciously, but now it is definitely time for an upgrade, which we hope our campaign will allow us to do through your donations. If you donate, you will be helping yourself, us, and your neighborhood in fighting the good fight. There is much to be done in the way of reducing food waste, and improving our kitchen brings us one step closer in being able to do things better, faster and tastier. So without further ado, I want to share a couple of recipes and ‘tips and tricks’ on how to use your oven’s magical potential.

Before the recipes, I want to point out a couple of ways to keep your oven efficient while maximizing its potential! When cooking in the oven multitask, cook two or three things at the same time. Keep your oven clean, which will maximize airflow and cook your food faster, which uses less energy. Turn it off before you are finished because the residual heat can remain in your over for a long amount of time meaning your meals can finish cooking while the oven is cooling off. Try not to open the door when its in use as you can loose several degrees of warmth by doing that. Make good use of the racks, they are there for a good reason. So if a recipe indicates the use of the top, bottom or middle rack, do so, because different items cook quicker based on their position in the oven. When you can, cover your dishes as it will increase their cooking speed. These tricks can greatly increase the efficiency of your oven but in a similar fashion, they can improve the quality of your food. In the future, be smart when cooking with your oven, and have fun because we should always enjoy our food. Now that you have your oven knacks, here are two fun and interesting ways to keep some ingredients lasting much longer all with the use of your trusty oven!

Picture: © Casadefruta

Dried Fruits
Dried fruits are delicious, healthy and an incredibly easy way to prolong the shelf life of fruits and some vegetables which you might otherwise throw away. So when you have bought or collected too much fruit, be they apricots, figs, barriers, grapes, tomatoes, etc, the list goes on and on, you can dry the leftovers with these simple steps. You can choose any fruits you fancy and not only will this help you save your fruit from being ruined, it will allow your summer fruit paradise to last slightly longer into your cold, baron winter. Since its best to buy fruits in season, this is a great way to preserve them and make them last even longer. Here are the steps you have to take to make full use of your oven to dry those wonderful fruits:

  1. Wash and dry your fruits (use overly ripe ones or those on the verge).
  2. Remove any pits or seeds and  stems.
  3. Cut them up if that is what you prefer, whole fruits work too, may just take longer to dry.
  4. To keep them looking perfect, take the washed and deseeded fruits and soak them in some water and lemon juice for about 10 – 15 minutes, then remove and dry your fruit.
  5. Make sure your oven is preheated to about 50-70 degrees, when drying you want fairly low temperatures, but you don’t want them too low because the moisture needs to be removed completely.
  6. Put baking parchment on a baking tray and arrange your fruits in single lines and make sure no fruit is in contact as it will slow the drying process. If you wish, cover the fruits with a silicon liner or another baking tin to prevent them from curling up as they dry.
  7. Close your oven door and rotate the fruit every 2 hours.
  8. It is important to know different fruits take different amounts of time to dry. Similarly, people have different preferences, some enjoy that their dried fruit has some flesh left on it, others like a completely dry product, so this part is up to you. A rough guideline for you is that most pitted fruits take around 6-8 hours to dry, while apricots take 10-12 hours and things like citrus peels take about 8-10. But most importantly keep and eye on them, until they reach the dryness level of your reference.
  9. Once you are happy with your fruit take it out of the oven and place in a plastic container to ‘cure’ it, this just means leave the fruit for 4-5 days to sit in the container to ensure that any extra moisture is evaporated. Shake them up once or twice a day and after the 5th day your dried fruit is ready to be devoured. These fruits can last from 10 months to a year, so you have plenty of time to enjoy your easy oven dried treats, but lets face it, if you are anything like me they will be devoured in days or maybe even hours!

Picture: © The Guardian

Who doesn’t love a good crouton in their soup or salad? And what is a crouton? Bread! Bread is one of the most commonly disposed foods, dubbed a basic item, bread gets thrown away on a daily basis. Since it is not considered a fancy or luxurious item, people have no issues with wasting bread, which seems absurd since leftover bread has so much potential to be made into so many wonderful things which include luscious meals such as: french toast (which is always best with older bread) bread and butter pudding, crumbs, croutons and so many more options. In this post I want to introduce you to the wonderful world of breadcrumbs and croutons. Since I can remember, my grandmother has been making breadcrumbs in this old fashioned, non wasteful, delicious way. All you need is old bread and an oven! It couldn’t be simpler, yet you can change it up in so many ways. My grandma has thought me many tricks in the kitchen and I am always taken aback by her ability to waste little to none food. This practice stemming from her childhood where they could not afford to waste food, has remained in her psyche for years to come. In her words, “why waste something that’s perfectly good?” I think we all could learn a thing or two from that and because of her innovative yet ‘old school’ way of dealing with food I want to share her bread ways with you, not to mention she makes amazing loaves! But back to those leftovers.

Picture: © Blenderbabes

For the most basic breadcrumbs or croutons all you need is to take your old bread and cut it up into even cubes of your preference, the smaller the cubes the quicker the drying time. What you want to do is lay out these cubes onto a baking sheet and put them in a dry dark space until the bread naturally starts to harden, this way you are starting the crumbing process without using all the extra energy but make sure it does not start to mold, which is why you need a dark dry place. Once your bread starts to harden after a day or two you can now put your oven on a low setting, about 50-70 degrees which will start toasting it. Keep checking on your bread every 15 minutes or so and when you have perfectly golden crunchy bread squares you know they are ready to come out. Now you can leave them as they are or you can take them and grind them up finely into prefect breadcrumbs which will last you for months. However, if you are in more of a rush and don’t have a day or two for drying, you can take those chopped bread leftover cubes and immediately put them in a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil and any herbs/spices that you fancy and put them in the oven at around 180-200 degrees for about 10 minutes. Make sure you check on them as they can burn easily and nobody likes a burnt crouton. I have played around with countless  variations, where I have added Parmesan cheese or dried tomatoes and herbs to spice up my croutons. When you are pressed for time, this faster technique works like a charm, thanks to your trusty old oven.

These are just two of hundreds of techniques and ways to use your wonderful oven, so don’t stop there keep exploring and paying great respect to this wonderful machine. Keep, roasting, baking, steaming, dehydrating and anything else you fancy, but don’t forget to be mindful of the waste you could be avoiding by using the oven in a clever way. And don’t forget, talk to the people in your life, they may surprise you with the knowledge of old or new tips and tricks on how to make delicious but non wasteful meals. I sure am going back to talk to my grandma because I know there is a lot more where these recipes came from. And last but certainly not least, don’t forget to support our kickstarter efforts on YOU CARING as every little effort counts, the more you donate the sooner our oven becomes a reality. So keep cooking and keep sharing, so we can make a difference together.


To go along with our crowdfunding endeavor, we decided to start a crowdfunding recipe series! This series will outline healthy, no waste vegan and vegetarian recipes that showcase and outline the use of certain cooking equipment that we at Taste Before You Waste need to buy and use. These recipes will showcase to he usefulness of these appliances and hopefully encourage or influence you to help us raise the money to buy them. In this way we will be able to work with more food and thus prevent more food items from going to waste. We want you to become aware of the foods you are eating and what you are wasting. As a small digression to show you what we are talking about,  I want to point out Wasted: The story of food waste! a movie created by Anthony Bourdain -a famous chef and adventurer – which outlines the absurdity of food waste that exists throughout the world. The aim of this documentary is to involve the cooking community, chefs and restaurateurs to show people that they can make delicious, nutritious and non wasteful meals out of food that most us would throw away. It’s an incredibly smart film, which uses the power and knowledge of the world’s most famous chefs to identify that there is a problem. It seems paradoxical, as most high end chefs and restaurants usually make a lot of food waste, but it is precisely why this film matters. These people are stepping up and saying we have a problem! They are the leading faces in the food industry and so maybe people will listen to what they have to say! Bourdain has put his twist on the movie and without a doubt it will be the fast paced all immersive experience that he always provides in his documentaries and series! So go watch the movie, get inspired and come back to this recipe series. Not only make the recipes that we will present for you, but get out there and make a change in your life, in your neighborhood, city or town and join us at TBYW to support our crowdfunding campaign where you can win some of our ‘merch’ and other incredible gifts. Similarly, be aware of our t-shirt design competition where the winning shirt will be featured in our crowdfunding campaign, so if you design a shirt and support our campaign you and your friends can win and wear that shirt with pride. So without further ado lets talk about the mighty food processor!

As mentioned, one of our most needed appliances in our TBYW kitchen is the mighty food processor! The best friend of any cook or chef and especially any vegetarian and vegan. It is a very versatile machine which can make, dough’s, pastes, juices, crumbs and more. It acts as a slicer, a juicer, a dough kneading machine all in one. It allows us to make wonderfully tasting food for a large amount of people which is exactly what we need at TBYW. The processor is useful in all thee meal stages! It’s very good for starters, mains and desserts! As I mentioned it has an array of functions as it slices and chops vegetables, grinds nuts, seeds, dried fruits and more. It can shred cheese or vegetables, it can puree and mix dough! Thus for us and for you, the possibilities are endless with this machine, so help us get our hands on one of these incredible machines and donate in our crowdfunding page which opens November 1st on YOUCARING, so be there to help us make an even bigger difference! As an example of the usefulness of this machine I would like to present you with this beautiful and delicious dessert recipe in which you can indulge your taste buds for days to come! If you have any cashews lying around and you don’t know what to use them for, this delicious peanut butter teat is perfect for you!

The first recipe of the series is Peanut butter mini cheesecake!

Picture: Eden Recipes

For the crumb:

  • 280 grams of any dairy biscuit (can be gluten free) I used oreos
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

For the filling

  • 225 grams of cashews (soaked for a few hours or overnight and drained)
  • 60 ml of lemon juice
  • 70 grams of coconut oil (melted)
  • 140 ml of coconut milk (better if you can use the separated cream from the top but the whole milk works too)
  • 118 ml of maple syrup or honey (use 170g of honey)
  • 85 grams of peanut butter (use a natural organic PB crunchy or smooth)

For the ganache:

  • 130 grams of dairy free vegan dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut milk


  1. Preheat oven to 180 ℃.
    Blitz your biscuits in your Food Processor until you have a nice crumb, then add the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Mix on low     until blended.
  2. Line your muffin tin with muffin liners or baking parchment. Use one tablespoon of the crust mixture to line the bottom of the muffin liners. Spread the mixture with the back of your spoon until its nice and even.
  3. Bake the crust for about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the cashews, lemon juice, coconut milk (or cream scooped from the top), coconut oil, maple syrup or honey and peanut butter to the food processor and mix until its blended and smooth. Your mixture must be perfectly smooth, without any lumps or bits.
  5. Pour evenly onto into the muffin tin, on top of the baked cookie crusts.
  6. For the ganache, bring the 3 tablespoons of coconut milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Once hot pour over the chocolate chips and leave to sit for a couple of minutes. Then stir the mixture together until it is nice and smooth.
  7. Spread the ganache onto your cheesecakes, as much or little as you want.
  8. Top the cheesecakes with any chocolate or PB cups you like and freeze for a coupe of hours.
  9. Take them out of the freezer when ready to eat, let them sit for 10 minutes and enjoy your frozen cheesecake wonder treat!

Wasted Trailer:


Watching the great British bake off on a rainy fall afternoon has got me thinking about desserts and baking, and let’s be honest, I will do anything to trick my mind into thinking it is spring time, to experience the wonderful feeling of a clear spring day, while a fresh bake is in the oven, there’s no better feeling. Of course now that I was thinking about it, I had to go ahead and bake. This got me thinking about quick, delicious and non-wasteful vegan and vegetarian desserts. People are always afraid of vegan desserts because all the “good stuff” can’t be used, but in fact, vegan desserts can be even tastier, all the while being much healthier. So if you ask me it is a win-win type of situation. To get you into that wonderful great British bake of spring mood, where the birds are chirping and the sun is shining, I want to share some wonderful and easy vegan/vegetarian recipes that use ingredients that we would otherwise throw away. This is the best type of cooking, when you use up every ingredient to its utmost and full potential. Knowing that you are not wasting anything makes the dessert that much better, and not wasting is so easy, probably easier than actually wasting. For example, I want to show you throughout this article how to use overripe fruits and other surprise ingredients that most of us don’t even know can be used in baking. I want to share four easy recipes, namely: fluffy pancakes, vegan truffles, a delicious matcha ice cream and an avocado brownie. Yes you read that correctly, you can have both the chocolate and avocado goodness all in one dessert.

To start off I want to show you how easy these American style egg-less pancakes can be. This is a vegan recipe but can be used by people who have both egg and dairy allergies and it tastes just as good, if not better than the original recipe. If you have never heard of it, in this recipe you will be using aquafaba which is the liquid that you find most tinned legumes in. More specifically, it is the liquid that remains after legumes such as beans and chickpeas are cooked in water. So when you make a delicious falafel dinner for example, save that chickpea liquid either form a can or from having cooked them, as that is the essential ingredient for our pancakes. For the pancakes inspired by Korasoi you will need:

  • 275 grams of plain flour (you can use any flour, even almond just be careful because different flours have different consistencies, therefore you may need to use more or less)

    Picture: The Secret Formula

  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of caster sugar
  • 320 milliliters of any plant based milk of your preference (you can also use normal cow milk)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1/4 of a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
  • 100 milliliters of aquafaba (in this case chickpea water)
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of groundnut oil (or any other frying oil)

The method is pretty simple as are most pancakes:

1. First combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl.
2. In a second bowl mix together the milk, the apple cider vinegar (which will act as an agent to make the milk into a sort of buttermilk mixture, which is the secret ingredient of a good American style fluffy pancake), the sugar, vanilla and oil. Leave the mixture to sit for 5 to 10 minutes so the vinegar has time to activate and do its job.
3. In another bowl, mix the aquafaba or chickpea liquid with a mixer, because it will act as an egg or binding agent. A quick tip is that 3 tablespoons of aquafaba equal one egg, while 2 tablespoons equal one egg white. Keep mixing the liquid until stiff peaks form, it looks exactly as if you were mixing egg whites into a meringue.
4. Now add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk it until it is combined, do not over mix.
5. Lastly, gently fold in the whipped chickpea liquid mixture until you have a light and fluffy batter.
6. Heat up a pan or pancake pan on medium heat and scoop out pancakes either with an ice cream scoop, or make them any size you prefer. Cook on one side until bubbles form and then flip over and cook until nice and browned. Make a wonderful pancake stack and enjoy with some jam, maple syrup, or spice it up in any way you like.

These are the easiest and tastiest pancakes you have ever made. To make it more exciting in the cooking process you can also add some fruits to the pancake, for example blueberries or bananas. Enjoy this delicious, resourceful and non wasteful breakfast or dessert, because if you ask me pancakes are a meal for any time of day.

As we move on, the recipes get easier and easier. Here you will be making delicious, indulgent and super easy vegan truffles. The recipe is both for dark and white chocolate truffles. For the dark chocolate truffles inspired by Crazy Vegan Kitchen  you will need:

Picture: davinderojalla

  • 130 grams Vegan dark chocolate ( for example Alter Eco)
  • 100 grams of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons of organic maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cocoa powder for the final coating
  • And if you are feeling frisky, one teaspoon of liquor of choice

The method is as simple as the ingredients:

1. Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan on low heat, do not let it boil, instead simmer it. In another bowl, break up the chocolate into small squares, once the milk is hot pour over the chocolate squares.
2. Let it sit until the chocolate melts completely. Mix it through until you have a smooth and silky ganache.
3. Chill the ganache in the fridge for about 2-3 hours and stir occasionally. The ganache is ready until it is firm enough to be scooped out.
4. Once the ganache is firm, scoop out bits and roll into little balls, the size of your preference.
5. Once you have rolled the ganache roll it in the cocoa powder, refrigerate until you are ready to devour them and enjoy!

The white chocolate truffles are indulgent in their own original way, they are creamy and nutty and taste just like summer by the beach! The ingredients for the recipe you will need are:

  • 70 grams of macadamia nuts or any other nut with high fat content (Yum!)
  • 120 grams of desiccated coconut
  • 55 grams of chopped and melted cocoa butter or vegan white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

How do you make these delicious summery treats in the midst of autumn? Here is how:

1. Add macadamia or other nuts and desiccated coconut into a food processor and blitz until you have a nice creamy paste, because the nuts will release its oils and fats.
2. Add the sugar vanilla and melted cocoa butter or chocolate to the mixture and pulse once more to combine the ingredients. Add in a final pinch of salt and mix one more time.
3. Put the mixture in a bowl and refrigerate for 2-3 hours until the mixture becomes firm, just like the chocolate mixture from the dark truffles.
4. Pour some desiccated coconut in a dish. Take the mix out of the fridge and roll into little balls. Once they are ready roll them in the desiccated coconut, you can also add some chopped or ground nuts of your choice to add to the wonderland of summery flavours! I also like to put a hazelnut in the middle to give me that Raffaello vibe! Your treats are now ready for eating, enjoy them, I know I do!

This vegan dessert thing is looking pretty easy and delicious by now! What if I told you it gets even better! The easiest most delicious 2 ingredient matcha ice cream is here to convince you that it does get better!

Picture: kale&chocolatet

What do you need for this yummy treat?

  •  2- 3 overripe bananas
  •  1 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder

That’s correct, those are all the ingredients! How do you make this ice cream? Simply chop up the bananas and freeze them overnight. Take them out and put them in a food processor and let them blend until they have achieved a completely silky and smooth texture, this may take a while but stick with it, it is worth it! When you have achieved the right texture, add in the matcha and blend it in. Serve as a delicious soft serve ice cream and freeze leftovers for the next time you feel like eating a delicious and healthy ice cream!

Last but not least, we have the king of dessert, the brownie but this time with a twist. It is an avocado brownie. It is perfect to make when you have avocados that are about to get thrown out because they are very ripe. But why should they be thrown out when they can be used in a delicious brownie. To be honest I was unsure about this the first time, avocado in a brownie, sounds a bit wacky. But trust me, it is much better than it sounds! This one does include eggs as it is an important binding agent for the brownie, but of course there are substitutes as we have learned, aquafaba works wonderfully as an egg substitute. Similarly, one tablespoon of flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water equal one egg, however be careful as it does have a nutty flavour to it, but that shouldn’t be a problem in a good brownie. After going through dozens of brownie recipes I have come to the conclusion that this one is the clear winner, so without further ado here it is! The ingredients you need for this recipe that I slightly tweaked  but originates from Frugal Mom are:

Picture: Frugal Mom Eh © Elizabeth

  • 300 grams of dark chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 170 grams of honey or maple syrup
  • 1 (or 2, you can never have enough of it) teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 50 grams of cocoa powder
  • 50 grams of coconut flour

Any brownie is really quick and easy yet so delicious to make, and better yet it can be made in big quantities for parties and dinners and it is always a winner, so the method is as follows:

1. Preheat your oven to 200 ºC. Line your 23×33 cm baking tin with non stick baking paper.
2. Put your chocolate and coconut oil in a heat proof bowl and set over simmering water until it melts. Mix together and move off the heat.
3. Put avocado in a food processor and mix until its smooth and silky.
4. Stir the avocado, honey or maple syrup and vanilla extract into the chocolate mixture.
5. Stir in eggs or egg substitute, one at a time, making sure they are well incorporated before adding in the next one.
6. Lastly, stir in the cocoa powder and coconut flour, but don’t over mix.
7. Pour the batter into your prepared baking tin and bake for about 15 minutes or until it is firm to the touch, keep an eye out on it just in case.
8. Take out of the oven, let it cool and enjoy your fabulous brownie, with others or you know, eat the whole thing by yourself, because it is that good!

There you have it, vegan and vegetarian dessert recipes that I personally would make again and again. Don’t be tricked or scared by substitute ingredients, they are just as good, but much better for you, so look at the bright side because you are the double winner here! Waste less, don’t make a mess and eat well, its never been easier with these delicious recipes!

Photo: Lucija Kerecin

As summer draws to a close, the trees start shedding their leaves and turning golden and amber colours, so does our taste change. As days get shorter and colder our stomachs crave warmer and heartier foods, and what’s better for our cold struck, sun deprived bodies than a hearty healthy stew. Root vegetables and squash are basically the mascots of fall, they characterize all that is beautiful about the season. The falling leafs, the golden colours, the spice lattes, the mesmerizing walks in the park, the sound of rain that lulls us to sleep on a beautiful autumn afternoon, the crunching of leaves under our feet, a new found beauty in the bare trees, the coziness of a warm drink . When I think of fall I think of all those things, but I also think of warm hearty, comforting food, like pie, stew, ragout and soup, and my heart skips a beat, because there is something so comforting about fall food. It is filling  yet healthy, it is warm yet energizing, it is all food should be. Even though hearty comfort food sounds unhealthy, it does not have to be the case. Vegetables like pumpkins, potatoes, carrots, zucchinis, sweet potatoes, beetroots are the perfect fall food, yet they have all the necessary health benefits and more. For example, pumpkins can help you sleep, they have very little calories and a lot of fiber and vitamins and there is nothing better than a healthy yet filling autumn meal. We may immediately associate Pumpkins with soup and limited food options but this does not need to be the case. Aside from soup, pies and stews are the best ways to use a pumpkin or a squash creatively, which is why this pumpkin and sweet potato stew might just be your perfect staple autumn dish. Served with a healthy side of herby couscous, quinoa or zucchini pasta, this stew will hit the spot after a hard days work on a chilly fall day, and the best part is, any left overs can be used to make soup or pie the next day which can be just as delicious as the stew of today. The best part of Jamie Oliver inspired stew is that this recipe is easy and quick to make but its incredibly flavorsome and delicious.


  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic
  • Herbs (choice of rosemary, thyme, bay leaf or any herbs you enjoy)
  • Spices (cumin, turmeric, pepper, salt, aniseed, sweet paprika powder)
  • Half of a butternut squash ( the other half can be used the next day to add substance to your leftovers soup or pie)
  • 1 Sweet potato
  • 1 Carrot
  • Olive oil
  • Splash of Vinegar (apple or red wine)
  • 2-4 Fresh tomatoes (or one tin of plum tomatoes)
  • 500ml of vegetable stock
  • Quinoa, Cous Cous or zucchini


  1. To start the stew cut up your squash, carrots and sweet potato into small cubes, coat with a tablespoon of olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper and coat in crushed spices of your choice. Toss these together and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 200 C˚. When softened and slightly browned, remove them from the oven.
  2. To start your stew, cut up your onion and garlic and fry them in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. When the onions are soft and translucent add a dash of flour, which will serve as a thickening agent for your sauce. Once your have fried the flour for a couple of minutes add in your chopped fresh tomatoes or prepared tinned plum tomatoes. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add in the vegetable stock which you made either from a stock cube or from previously made vegetable stock. Let this simmer for 15-20 minutes until it is slightly thickened. Add in your chosen fresh or dried herbs and stir.
  4. Finally add in the roasted vegetables and simmer for some 10 minutes.
  5. For your side dish, chop up some fresh herbs, such as parsley or mint and prepare 250ml of vegetable stock and 115g of cous cous.
  6. Bring the stock to a boil and remove from the heat, add in the cous cous. Once it has soaked up the fluid, fluff it up with a fork and stir in your herbs. You can do the same with some quinoa, bulgur, polenta or any other grain. Similarly, you can cut up some zucchinis into thin strips with your vegetable peeler and steam for 30 seconds, and serve it as a pasta. I made my stew on a bed of wild rice so clearly the options are endless.
  7. Finally, serve your pumpkin stew on top your preferred grain or zucchini pasta and enjoy the autumn wonderland of flavour in your mouth.

Photo: Alexandra Turcea

This easy recipe yields enough food for 4-5 people. It can be served with a nice summer salad such as tomatoes or lettuce or cucumber for a refreshing touch. Similarly, the dish usually provides some leftovers, which can be turned into a beautiful soup or pie the next day. If you wish to make soup, pour the prepared stew into a deep saucepan and add around a cup of water to reduce the thickness, let it boil, adjust seasoning and when ready, blend with a stick blender until you have achieved a perfectly smooth consistency. Coat with some pumpkin oil and pumpkin seeds and enjoy the soup. If you want to make a pie, warm up the stew with a splash of water, while this is simmering, prepare a pie crust into a baking dish, pour in the stew, cover with more pie dough and bake in the oven. Since the stew is already cooked you can reduce the cooking time by as much as 30-45 minutes as you bake it mainly to bake the pie dough. So when the dough is golden brown it is ready to be eaten in a new and exciting way. This is the exciting thing about fall, there is always something new waiting for us every day. The trees change colour every day, the temperature changes, the weather changes, no day is ever the same. So with all these changes, we can spice up and change our dinner foods and using one stew we can make three different dishes. So dig in, enjoy your hearty stew and take in all the autumnal beauty, and don’t forget that pie and soup, you won’t be disappointed. And don’t forget, you are not limited by any vegetable choices, you can use any number of root vegetables and different squash types to make this stew. Get creative and enjoy that autumn  spirit.



It’s this season again. Elderflowers are blooming in every park and their white heads decorate the bushes. When you cycle or walk past them you can smell their enchanting scent. For me, the blossoming of elderflower marks the beginning of early summer. Indeed, their season ranges from May to July. In Amsterdam they have been blooming since the last days of May. During our weekly Taste Before You Waste team meeting we talked about elderflower and of how much every one of us loves the smell. However we were all aware that the elderflower season won’t last long. Wouldn’t it be lovely to be reminded of the early summer scent all over the year? Yes, it would definitely be! Therefore we brought up the idea of making elderflower syrup. It worked out really well and we are very proud of our very own cordial. We want you to be happy too and therefore share our Taste Before You Waste recipe with pleasure.

selfmade elderflower syrup (c) Sophie Minihold

Harvesting elderflowers

The Taste Before You Waste team met on a sunny Sunday. Never harvest elderflowers on a rainy day. The delicate blossoms will stick together and the pollen, which gives the cordial its colour and taste, will eventually be washed off. We recommend you to collect the umbels in the nature rather than next to a street with a lot of traffic. You really do not want to bottle blossoms enriched with exhaust gases. Cut them carefully and do not harm the tree more than necessary. Never harvest all elderflowers from one tree. You would destroy its possibility to reproduce. Leave at least one third of all blossoms on the tree. Try to remove all insects and bugs before putting the flowers in your bag.

Plucking elderflowers on a Sunday with friends is lovely! (c) Sophie Minihold



  • 20 heads of elderflower
  • 2 organic lemons
  • 1 kg cane sugar
  • 1 litre water
  • 50 grams of citric acid


Day one:

Remove the stalk of the elderflowers and put the blossoms in a big pot. Peel the organic lemons, cut them into halves and squeeze them. It is very important to use organic grown lemons instead of conventionally grown ones. Again, you really want to avoid pesticides in your yummy elderflower syrup. Add the lemon peel, the lemon juice, water, and let it soak overnight.

Organic lemon peel gives your elderflower syrup a refreshing kick. (c) Sophie Minihold

Day two:

Heat the mix and strain the infused water afterwards. You got best filtered results if you use muslin. Squeeze it until the elderflower blossoms are almost dry. You can discard the blossoms as well as the lemons. They gave all their taste to the water which will now look cloudy due to the pollen. Heat the infused water in a big pot and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar crystals are dissolved. You can turn the heat off and add the acid.

Filtering the infused water. Our syrup appears darker because we used cane sugar instead of white refined sugar. (c) Sophie Minihold

To make your syrup durable, you need sterile bottles with a metal lid. Bottles with a screw plug are not appropriate. Heat a pot with water, add the bottles, the lids as well as a metal funnel and boil them for approximately ten minutes. Place the bottles headlong on a sterile cloth. You can either wait until they are cool or start bottling right away. Pour the hot syrup with the aid of the sterile metal funnel into the bottles. Close them and let them cool headlong.

You can use elderflower syrup in various ways. You can bake cakes, spice up ice cream, pour it over pancakes or simply drink it mixed with water. To celebrate our syrup session we bought prosecco and fresh mint to prepare a drink called Hugo.

Prost! (c) Sophie Minihold

Hugo recipe

Mix sparkling water and prosecco in a wineglass in the proportion of 1:1. Add a shot of syrup and stir. Decorate the drink with fresh mint and preferably enjoy it on a sunny day.

If you do not have the time to prepare elderflower syrup yourself, simply join us at our Wasteless Wednesday Dinners. We serve our very own elderflower cordial at the bar. If you do decide to prepare it yourself: Have fun bottling the essence of early summer!

Photo: Gabriella Thompson

It’s fruity, it’s juicy, it’s sweet, it’s healthy. A fruit salad is the perfect dessert for a hot summer day. This salad is prepared in less than 10 minutes and simply delicious. The mix of fruits you add to your salad is completely up to you. We rescued many cantaloupe melons and pineapples. Therefore those were the main ingredients for our Wasteless Wednesday tropical fruit salad. This recipe serves four people.


  • 1 cantaloupe melon
  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 banana
  • 2 apples
  • Some strawberries
  • 1 Mango
  • 1 lime
  • Fresh mint


Rinse the mint leaves and finely chop them. Squeeze the lime and pour the juice of the fresh mint leaves. Wash all fruits and peel the melon, pineapple, banana and mango. Try to cut the fruits into approximately the same size of 2×2 centimetres. Pour the mint dressing over the fruit salad and enjoy a bowl full of vitamins!