Crowdfunding recipe series: Celebrating the Oven!

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.

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Crowdfunding recipe series!


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:


Endless Dessert!

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!

Tasting the Colours of Autumn!

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.



Elderflower syrup

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!

Tropical Fruit Salad

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!

Baked potatoes, cauliflower stew, warm beans and salad

(c) Mariña Casas

The main was a colourful dish full of healthy nutrients. The potatoes had a crispy skin, the cauliflower stew was creamy, the beans soft and the salad fresh. It is best to start with the potatoes since they take quite some time in the oven. This recipe fills the belly of four people and puts a smile on everyone’s face.


  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 200 gram of pre-cooked beans / one can of beans
  • 400 gram cauliflower
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 red onions
  • 3 gloves garlic
  • any salad of your choice
  • 1 cucumber of
  • A bunch of chives
  • olive oil
  • two cups of water
  • red wine vinegar


For the baked potatoes pre-heat the oven to 180 ° C. Wash the potatoes and scrub them well to clean the skin. Cut them in half lengthwise. Place them on a baking tray, sprinkle them with olive oil and season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Bake them in the oven for 40 – 50 minutes.

In the meantime you grate the cauliflower and set it aside. Cut two carrots into slices of five millimetres. Chop the yellow onion; squash the one glove of garlic and sauté it in a pan with some olive oil. Add the cauliflower and carrots. Stir well and add a cup of water. Let it simmer until the carrots are done (around 15 minutes). Season the stew with salt and pepper. And decorate it with chopped chives.

Squash one garlic glove, cut one red onion into thin slices and roast it in a pan with some olive oil. Add the pre-cooked beans and add on cup of water. Let it simmer until the consistence is creamy. Finish it with some salt to taste.

You are almost done; only the salad needs to be prepared. Start with the dressing. Cut a red onion and a glove of garlic into thin slices. Cover it with three table spoons of olive oil and six tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt. The longer you let the dressing steep, the tastier it gets. Put washed and chopped lettuces in a bowl, grate two carrots, cut the cucumber into chunks and mix all of it. Pour the dressing over the salad 10 minutes before serving and then simpy enjoy your healthy meal!

Gazpacho Andaluz

yummy Gazpacho Andaluz shot by Mariña Casas (c)

The starter was a cold veggie soup that fit perfectly with high the temperatures of last Wednesday: A Gazpacho Andaluz. This refreshing soup originates from the region Andalusia in southern Spain. The recipe is very simple and the preparation won’t take you long. Gazpacho Andaluz is a perfect dish for summer because it nourishes you with a lot of vitamins and it will cool you down at the same time. This recipe serves four people.


  • 1 slice of (old) white bread
  • 4 big and ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 glove garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 spoon of sherry vinegar
  • 2 spoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tipp: If you have leftover peppers, you can use them as well


Put the bread into a bowl and cover it with cold water. Let it soak until you have finished chopping the veggies. Wash all vegetables and chop them into chunks. Put the chunks into a food processor, add the soaked bread, sherry vinegar, a cup of cold water, and extra-virgin olive oil. Mix until the puree is homogenous. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Chill the Gazpacho Andaluz in the fridge for at least two hours. The taste will get more intense through this. Enjoy sour summer in a bowl!

Wasteless Wednesday Dinner recipe 17.05.2017

Photo: mariña casas

The Last Wasteless Wednesday Dinner took place when the sun was shining brightly from a cloudless sky. Few citizens found their way to Dokhuis Galerie to enjoy our dinner made out of surplus food. The ones who did, enjoyed it! We proudly share our recipes for all of you who did not make it because you were working on your tan in a park, for all of those who simple want healthy recipe inspirations, and of course for our lovely guests who were there. We prepared a three course meal solely out of rescued fruits and veggies that otherwise would have been discarded. In our starter, a Gazpacho Andaluz, we work with old bread and squeezed tomatoes. In the main dish, baked potatoes with cauliflower stew and warm beans, we cooked with canned beans that could not be sold anymore. Finally in our dessert, a tropical fruit salad, we give bananas with a brown peel a second chance. We believe that food has value – even after its expiration date or when it does not look perfect anymore. Give it a chance too! You will be surprised how yummy second chances are.

Curried roots, potato salad and chocolate bread-balls

(c) Mariña Casas

(c) Mariña Casas

At the last Wasteless Wednesday Dinner of March we served a two course meal instead of the usual three courses. This was due to the fact that the food pick-up was not as successful as the week before. Therefore you could enjoy a main and a dessert. Did your bellies get full though? Oh yes! And was it yummy as well? No need for asking this question… Ja hoor! Of course! Let me tell you how we prepared this Wasteless Wednesday Dinner:

Curried roots and rice

The main dish had the characteristics of a classic curry: bright colours, a wide variety of spices, and an enchanting smell. Curry recipes can be very different all around the world; however they often refer to soupy dishes. Some might be sweeter, others a hint sour. We at Taste Before You Waste always cook with the ingredients we have in our storage. This time we prepared a savoury curry out of various roots. This recipe serves two people.


  • 1 large onion
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 1 cm ginger
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 6 purple, black, white, yellow, or red carrots
  • 200 ml water
  • one cup or 150 gram of Basmati rice
  • Salt
  • Curry mix or prepare your own blend of turmeric, chili, coriander, cumin seeds, saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, and fenugreek
  • Oil
  • Two cups or 300 ml of water to cook the rice


  • Peel the ginger, the onion and the garlic and chop them.
  • Pre-heat oil in a pot and roast ginger, onion and garlic.
  • Add the curry mix or your self-made spice blend.
  • Peel the carrots and cut them into chunks. Add them to the pot and roast for 5 minutes.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and water. Let it simmer on low heat. The carrots are done after 15 minutes.
  • Rinse your rice.
  • Bring two cups or 300 ml of water to boil and add the rice.
  • Cook the rice following the instructions on the packaging. Rice is done when it is tender.
  • Tip: Curry is best when you cook it very slow. The ingredients will develop its full taste even better.

Potatoes and green bean salad

As a side dish we served a rich salad made out of potatoes and green beans. The lemon dressing added a hint of fruity freshness. This salad will fill two bellies:


  • 4 potatoes
  • 100 gram of green beans
  • 1 onion
  • 1 glove of garlic
  • 1 organic lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • Bring water to boil and add the potatoes. Start checking if they are done after 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime you prepare the dressing. Wash and dry the lemon. Grate the peel off and finely chop it. Squeeze the lemon and put it together with the peel into a bowl. If you don’t have an organic lemon, only use the lemon juice. Conventional lemons might have pesticides in their peel.
  • Add a minced garlic glove and the finely chopped onion. Season it with salt, pepper, and olive oil. The longer you leave the dressing, the more tasteful it gets.
  • Peel the potatoes and slice them into five millimetre thick chips.
  • Bring water to boil and cook the green beans for 10 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and the green beans to the dressing.
  • Serve lukewarm.
(c) Mariña Casas

(c) Mariña Casas

Tony Chocoloney´s bread-balls

We made a chocolate sauce from all the Tony Chocoloney’s chocolate milk that we got donated. As if this would not be yummy enough, we prepared crunchy muesli bread-balls. Bread-balls and warm chocolate sauce combined were an eye-opening experience. Mhhhm! The recipe serves four people, or two people who want to eat a lot of the dessert, which I could totally understand…


  • 300 ml of chocolate milk
  • 100 gram of corn flour
  • 250 gram blueberries
  • 120 gram sugar
  • 150 gram old bread
  • 150 gram müsli
  • 180 ml oat-milk
  • 80 ml oil
  • 80 gram any (dried) fruits


  • Pre-heat the oven at 180 ° C.
  • Cut the bread into chunks and soak them in oat-milk.
  • Add müsli, oil, and any fruit you like.
  • Knead the mix and form balls. If the mix is too dry, add more oat-milk or water.
  • Bake the bread-balls until they are crunchy. Check them after 15 minutes.
  • Heat the blueberries in a pot; add sugar, and corn flour. Stir until it becomes a sauce.
  • Slowly melt the chocolate in another pot and add 50 gram of corn flour. Stir until it gets a creamy texture.
  • Serve the bread-balls warm and pour chocolate sauce as well as the blueberry sauce over it. Enjoy!
(c) Mariña Casas

(c) Mariña Casas

53 portions were served at the last Wasteless Wedensday Dinner. You also want to feast with us? Our Wasteless Wedensday Dinner take place every week. We are looking forward to fight food waste with you!