There are plenty of ways you can look at what you are eating, cooking and buying to minimise food waste but what I want to talk about is imperfection. If you have grown food or bought from small organic places you may have noticed something. Not all food looks supermarket perfect. Shocking I know. According to supermarkets we'll only eat the most perfect looking food. We may be so confused by a small broccoli or a carrot with legs we wouldn't know what it is. It would terrify us. Or not.
|Feeling Green? Try Swiss Chard and Green Olives|
Volunteering at Occombe I often get to take home vegetables that are too ugly to sell like leafy greens with massive holes in them or courgettes grown too big to be a delicate treat. One of my favourite ways to eat this garden waste is to cook some pasta and toss the vegetables with it. It works after a long day of volunteering and makes even the most hole filled piece of chard look fab. It's also great to clear out your leftover bits and bobs. Think of it as cupboard pasta remixed with a little fresh veg. Here be a rough guide. Pick things from each category and go for it.
80-100g of pasta per person (depending on how much of everything else you put in)
extra virgin olive oil
And Anything, Especially From The Following:
Tomatoes, best de-seeded, halved and cooked until the skin blisters or add raw at the end
Peppers, diced and cooked until slightly softened
Onions, cramalized or diced and lightly cooked
Chard, shredded and cooked until slightly wilted, if you are using stems they take longer
Perpetual Spinach, as with chard
True Spinach, cooked until slightly wilted or added raw at the end
Sun dried tomatoes
Roasted red pepper
1. Cook the pasta
2. While said pasta is cooking heat about three tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the rest of the ingredients too you liking
3. When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the frying pan
4. Toss the pasta with everything and season to your liking
|Feeling Red? Try TVP peperoni, roasted red peppers and fresh cherry tomatoes|
So that is my hidiously rough guide to feeding yourself quickly with things that taste great but don't look it. So go out and buy, or otherwise acquire the imperfect vegetables. Don't let them be relegated to the compost heap, or the bin, when they will be fabulous on your plate. Use them in everything. Give yourself permission to experiment with whatever comes your way.
And if you think I've missed anything that you would throw into random pasta dishes then post in the comments.