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In June we introduced a new donation system for our weekly Wasteless Wednesday Dinner.  In this weeks blog post I tell you what changed and why the new system is necessary for the existence of Taste Before You Waste.

You support us!

Long story short: We adjusted the payment system because we need your help. Taste Before You Waste cannot exist without the financial support of all our lovely guests. In fact the Wasteless Wednesday Dinners play a major role in keeping Taste Before You Waste alive. You probably know that we also offer educational workshops as well as caterings. Unfortunately they are not held on a regular basis yet. If you have any ideas on that, please forward them. Therefore we cannot count on earnings through those activities. The stable income from the Wasteless Wednesday Dinners however guarantees our continuity. We could use your donation to pay the rent for Dokhuis Galerie. Your donation comes in handy when we receive the bill to pay monthly costs for social security or promotion material such as flyers and stickers. Your donation spices up stews because sometimes we need to buy spices such as salt which luckily hardly ever get wasted. You support our food pick-ups through your donation because it enables us to buy bicycle tubes for our two bakfietsen if the glass on the bike lane pierced a hole in a tire once again. Of course this list of examples is not exhaustive. Get a detailed overview about our monthly expenses in our year-end report of 2016. There you will also see that our expenses exceeded our income. We had to invest way more money than we earned and therefore we are with more than 20.000 € in the red.

New donation sheet for the Wasteless Wednesday Dinners.

From suggested donation to pay as you can

Previously we loosely defined a suggested donation of five euros for our three course meal. We never wanted to restrict you in your decision of how much is appropriate for our dinner. Now we hand out flyers whereby you figure out how much you want to donate. Within the new donation system we count on your fairness. If you would like to enjoy a free meal, then it’s our pleasure to serve you one.  We do not judge you. However we would like our guests to pay as they can. You usually spend more than 15 Euro on a one course dinner when you go out? Please have this in mind when you consider donating three euros for our three course meal.

How it works

There are four questions on the flyer:

  • How much do you usually pay on a dinner out?
  • How do you perceive your financial situation?
  • Did you waste food in the past week?
  • Do you come to the dinners often / bring new people /promote TBYW?

The answer options to them are pre-made. Different answer options are connected to different amount of points. You can either earn or loose points. The total count of points shows you which price range would be appropriate as a donation for the Wasteless Wednesday Dinner. However it is up to you to decide how much you would like to contribute. Again: We do not judge. We are rather thankful that you are part of our fight against food waste. We are thankful that you want us to keep up our work and support us. You can count on us. However we also count on you. Our guests show their support through their donation, their volunteering, or their feedback.  See you next week at the Wasteless Wednesday Dinner where we show a short documentary!

 

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.

Ingredients:

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

Method:

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!

(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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

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!

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

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!

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.

(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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  • 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:

Ingredients:

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

Method:

  • 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…

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  • 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!

(c) Mariña Casas

(c) Mariña Casas

Have you ever wondered about the composition of our yummy Taste Before You Waste meals? I know at least some of you did for sure last week because we cooked yellow turnips; so called forgotten vegetables. This vegetable is hardly ever used in today’s cuisine and therefore remains a secret for many taste buds. That’s a shame! Our recipes on the other hand should not suffer the same fate. The ingredients we use and their composition are no secret. Therefore we want to share them with you. Take a look at them and get inspired. Cooking with unwanted veggies is a creative process, you´re going to you have to improvise! Let me take you on our culinary journey…

Ginger-Carrot Soup

Last week’s Wasteless Wednesday dinner started with a real vitamin bomb, a ginger carrot soup. Ginger root contains essential vitamins such as B-5 and B-6. Both affect your digestive system and the latter helps strengthen your immune system. Carrots go very well together with this spicy root. Furthermore carrots contain a lot of vitamin A which is essential for retaining good eye-sight. A superpower soup so to say. The recipe serves two people. Here we go:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cm of ginger
  • 6 carrots
  • a bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 red onion
  • olive oil
  • onion powder, salt and pepper.

Method:

  • Peel the ginger, cut it into small pieces and roast it with some oil in a pot.
  • Add peeled and chopped carrots.
  • Fill it up with water and let it simmer on low heat for 15 minutes until the carrots are soft.
  • In the meantime: chop a bunch of coriander and red onions. Put them into a bowl.
  • Add olive oil. Season it with salt and pepper.
  • Add onion powder, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mix it until it’s creamy. Add the coriander-onion mix and enjoy!

Veggie Medley with Quinoa

The main course is in no way inferior. Prepare your taste buds for a well-balanced medley of fresh veggies in a rich and aromatic sauce. The recipe serves two people.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 turnips
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 200 ml water
  • bay leaf
  • 1 courgette
  • 6 champignons
  • 1 onion
  • 1 glove of garlic
  • 150 gram green beans
  • season with salt, pepper
  • 160 gram of quinoa

Method:

  • Heat olive oil, add chopped tomatoes.
  • Peel carrot sand cut them into chunks.
  • Divide yellow turnips into eight pieces and add them.
  • Season the stew with salt and pepper.
  • Infuse it with red wine and add water.
  • Simmer with bay leaf until the stew has a creamy consistence.
  • Roast courgettes in a different pan, add champignons and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  • Roast onion and garlic in a separate pan. Add green beans. Let them roast until they are done.
  • Just before serving: Add everything to the stew.
  • Heat water on a pot and cook quinoa for 20 minutes.
  • Serve with quinoa or any other side-dish. I recommend buckwheat.

Pear Crumble

Juicy, crunchy, sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, the recipe for the dessert will make you kneel down. At the Wasteless Wednesday Dinner we served it in two versions: One was vegan the other was not. Both were de.li.cious. The pear crumble is an easy winner. The recipe fills a tarte form with a diameter of 20 cm.

Ingredients:

  • 200 gram granola
  • 200 gram flour
  • 200 gram sugar
  • 200 ml oil or 200 gram butter
  • 4 pears
  • 100 gram raisins
  • cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Method:

The filling for both versions:

  • Chop the pears; mix it with 100 gram sugar, cinnamon and raisins.

The non-vegan dough:

  • Mix banana flavoured granola, flour, sugar, a pinch of salt and butter. Knead the mix until you get crumbly dough.

The vegan dough:

  • Mix orange and chocolate flavoured granola with flour, sugar, a pinch of salt, and oil. Your result should also be a crumbly dough.

Use two third of the dough for the bottom, save the last third to make crumbles and put them on the top. Bake the crumble until the topping is golden. This takes about 35 to 40 minutes at 180 ° C.

(c) Mariña Casas

(c) Mariña Casas

General remark: We at Taste Before You Waste do not care about recipes. We cook with the ingredients we have and season them with the spices we got. You should do the same! Don’t let recipes limit your creativity. Not every dish has to consist of all ingredients. This is the reason why we stated what we used instead of what you need. This recipe should inspire you to cook and appreciate veggies in all its beauty. You do not like cooking that much? Come to our Wasteless Wednesday dinners! We cook for you, we serve the food, and together we prevent food waste in the most delicious way.

Two people, two bakfietsen, one mission: save edible food from getting wasted. Thanos and I meet at 10:30 AM. He is a food ambassador for Taste Before You Waste and usually does the Wednesday food pick-ups. Today he takes me along his weekly route. Our goal is to go to markets in east Amsterdam and collect goodies that otherwise would get discarded.  The meals for the Wasteless Wednesday Dinners are prepared with this rescued food. It is a sunny Wednesday and as Thanos calls it “a good day to learn how to ride a bakfiets”. This statement concerns me because I have never tried to ride such a cargo bike before. After today’s pick-up session I will know how to get such a huge bike uphill; even though it is filled with countless kilograms of vegetables. Remark: Only try this if you are already used to ride a normal bike in Amsterdam. Otherwise you will be simply overwhelmed by Amsterdam’s busy traffic.

(c) Sophie Minihold

Thanos: A happy food ambassador during the Wednesday pick up. (c) Sophie Minihold

The food pick-up
In case you were wondering; my first ride with an empty bakfiets happens without any complications. Our first stop is a bakery where we get – now hold on tight – a piece of chocolate cake!  What a delicious start! The next stop is a Turkish supermarket. The shop owner gives us various crates of salad, green beans, carrots and eggplants/aubergines.  The bakfiets fills up quickly. According to Thanos this has not happened in a very long time. The surplus of food might be due to the changing weather conditions such as higher temperatures. Because the bike is full, we need to get the second bakfiets. Also this rapidly fills up after we visited three other shops. Next step: Navigate the heavy cargo bike to the Dokhuis Galerie. We have to overcome two steep bridges on our way home. Fortunately Thanos supports me during the critical – uphill! – stage. Due to months of preparing my legs for such exertions (ergo riding my bike every day), I am doing pretty well and we make it back to Dokhuis safely.

(c) Roel van Bakkum

Sophia is sorting out red pepper. (c) Roel van Bakkum & Iris Hesse

The cooking
“We hardly ever had so much food before”, says Sophia, todays coordinator of the Wasteless Wednesday Dinner, when she first sees the amount of rescued food.  Iceberg lettuce, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, artichoke, carrots, potatoes, spinach, apples, watermelons are piling up in the headquarter of Taste Before You Waste. Here at Plantage Dokhuis food ambassadors are sorting, washing, peeling, cutting and preparing the meals for the Wasteless Wednesday Dinner.  The food ambassadors are mainly students and Taste Before You Waste interns. Every Wednesday they start the preparation at 2:30 PM. Until we can serve you yummy dinner, some steps have to be taken:

Step#1: Get an overview of the goodies.

Step #2: Decide what can be made with it.

Step #3: Cook it, bake it, broil it, toast it.

(c) Roel van Bakkum

Time pressure and hard work? No problem for our diligent TBYW food ambassadors. They are the best! (c) Roel van Bakkum & Iris Hesse

Due to the fact that we saved so much food during this pick-up, our amazing food ambassadors have to split into groups to do all three steps simultaneously. The distribution of tasks is different each week and relies for a huge part on the amount of rescued food. While some are still sorting products, others are already peeling carrots and cucumbers, or are cutting tomatoes. I ask a girl about her plan for all those tomatoes. Her answer is straight forward “I like tomatoes, and I know the recipe for gazpacho. That’s why the starter will be gazpacho.” Being part of the Taste Before You Waste team means bringing in your own ideas and getting them heard. The food ambassadors are the most essential part of the Wasteless Wednesday Dinners. Because of their hard work you can enjoy meals made with love and support reducing food waste.

(c) Roel van Bakkum

(c) Roel van Bakkum & Iris Hesse

(c) Roel van Bakkum

(c) Roel van Bakkum & Iris Hesse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dinner
The doors open at 6:30 PM. The chalkboard at the entrance gives you a preview of today’s luxurious menu. As every week, three courses have been prepared. Due to the amount of iceberg lettuce, the main dish is a rich salad with roasted veggies. Even the dessert, yummy carrot muffins, includes vegetables. Taste Before You Waste Dinners are a source of vitamins and you can enjoy it for a suggested five Euro donation. This Wednesday we welcome around 70 guests. All seats – upstairs and downstairs – are taken up  quickly. Now it is not only Thanos and me with a mission; it is 70 people who save edible food from getting wasted, and – let me tell you, it feels really good.

(c) Roel van Bakkum

Happy people and loads of good food at the Wasteless Wednesday Dinners! (c) Roel van Bakkum & Iris Hesse

 

 

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