‘Each recipe is fighting waste’ Oddbox shares best recipes to minimise food waste at home

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Not only has Oddbox delivered over two million boxes to Britons’ doors since its launch in 2016, it has also saved almost 16,000 tonnes of food waste. The brand also offers a plethora of both easy and healthy recipes on its website for you to try at home.

Emilie Vanpoperinghe, CEO and Co-Founder of Oddbox, spoke to Express.co.uk about the importance of being aware of the environment when preparing and cooking food, and how Oddbox can help you do this.

She also went on to share some of Oddbox’s favourite recipes that you can try out at home.

Speaking about her brand, Emilie said: “Each recipe is fighting waste.

“You can find the impact information to show how much energy and water was saved from going to waste if the fresh produce is sourced from our Oddbox weekly fruit and vegetable boxes.

“We’re able to include this because our delicious fruit and veg is rescued from farms where it was either deemed ‘too odd’ to be sold elsewhere, or the farmer had ‘too much’, and is therefore saved from becoming food waste.”

Emilie added: “A massive amount of energy and water goes into growing food, and is also wasted if the food isn’t eaten by us.

“For example, growing just 400g of broccoli generates 520g carbon emissions and uses 34.8L of water, so using these recipes and Oddbox produce avoids that water being wasted and the carbon emissions being generated for nothing.

“We also include tips on how to minimise waste in the kitchen in every recipe in our blog.”

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Emilie stressed the importance of “carefully considering what and how much food you’re buying and how you’re storing it in order to ensure you’re using everything you buy and maximising its freshness”.

She added: “Reducing food waste in the home is a small step everyone can take that collectively has a big impact on the planet.”

Following Oddbox’s recipes can also help you follow a healthy diet, as they contain plenty of vegetables and are all plant-based.

Emilie said: “It might not be the most revolutionary answer, but the classic quota of five fruits or vegetables per day helps to make sure your body is getting the right nourishment.

“We’re [Oddbox] also champions of connecting with food provenance and cooking meals from scratch using fresh ingredients, rather than filling your fridge with heavily processed foods.”

Oddbox recipes

Miso-Roasted Broccoli & Tofu Buddha Bowl with Sesame Dressing

Serves two – three people

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

400g broccoli (stalks and florets)

2 garlic cloves

½ tbp miso paste

1 tsp of chopped ginger

2 tbsp soy sauce

Pinch of chilli flakes

1 block of firm tofu, drained

2 tbsp Sesame oil

2 tbsp Light soy

2 tbsp Maple syrup

Sesame seeds

½ tsp miso paste

2 tbsp Rice vinegar

1 tbsp Tahini

1 tbsp Maple syrup

50ml water

300g of cooked brown rice (quinoa or barley also work!)

Fresh coriander

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Drain the tofu and dice it into small pieces. In a separate bowl, add the tofu, soy sauce, maple syrup and sesame seeds. Mix and spread on a tray and pop in the oven for 20 mins until golden.

Prepare your broccoli by cutting the florets and stalks into small bite-size pieces.

In a bowl, add the miso paste, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a pinch of chilli flakes. Mix the marinade and add in your broccoli. Pour onto a tray and then pop in the oven for 15 mins.

In a bowl, whisk tahini, rice vinegar, maple syrup and miso. Add a little water to loosen.

Time to build. Add your cooked grains for your base, topped with the delicious roasted broccoli, sticky tofu and fresh coriander. Drizzle over the creamy sesame dressing generously.

Aubergine Ragu pasta

Serves two

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

1 aubergine

1 red onion

2 garlic cloves

1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g)

1 tbsp oregano

250g conchiglioni pasta

2 tbsp pine nuts

Parmesan, grated

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method:

Prepare your ingredients: Chop the aubergine in small cubes of 1 cm. Chop the onion and garlic. Toast the pine nuts in a hot dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes, until lightly golden.

Cook the aubergine ragu: In a saucepan, cook red onion, garlic, oregano in a little olive oil over low to medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add the aubergine and cook for 5-6 minutes, until tender. Add the chopped tomatoes and a glass of water. Bring to the boil, and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.

Cook the pasta: In the meantime, cook the conchiglioni pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, reserving some of the cooking water.

Serve the pasta dish: Season the aubergine ragu to taste, and add the cooked conchiglioni. Stir well and serve hot with grated parmesan/vegan parmesan and toasted pine nuts.

Smoky Courgette Tacos

Makes six tacos

Prep time: 35 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

Total time: 55 mins

Ingredients:

For the tortillas:

150g of masa harina (or plain four)

150ml of warm water

Pinch of salt

Taco filling:

2 courgettes sliced into ½ cm thick rounds

1 tin of black beans

1 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle paste

1 teaspoon Cumin

2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1 teaspoon Smoked Chilli flakes (ancho or chipotle)

2tbsp Olive oil

Salt

Coriander & lime mayonnaise:

35g of coriander leaves and stalks (there is so much flavour in those stalks! Don’t worry if your herbs look past their best, they are being whizzed up anyway)

Juice of 1 lime

Salt

1/4 teaspoon smoky chilli flakes such as ancho or chipotle

1 large tablespoon of mayonnaise

2 tablespoon of olive oil

Method:

For the tortillas, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add half the water and mix through until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then, start to add the rest of the water incrementally, whilst mixing regularly until you are able to use your hands to knead. If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.

Knead your tortilla dough for 5 mins; it won’t take very long. Separate into equal, golf ball sized balls, and in circular motions with the palm of your hand, smooth them out.

If you don’t have a tortilla press, you will need 2 squares of greaseproof papers and a heavy bottomed pan, or dish. Place the dough between the two sheets, and press down with your heavy pan. It might take a few goes. but you’ll want it to be roughly 3-4 inches across and about 3mm thick. Don’t worry; they don’t have to be perfect circles!

To cook the tortillas, use a cast iron skillet or a frying pan and heat to a medium-high heat. Cook for 1-2 mins each side or until brown spots form. Wrap in a tea towel to keep warm and pop in a warm oven.

Now to make your mayonnaise. With a hand blender, combine all of your coriander (stalks and all!) with lime juice, a tablespoon of olive oil and blend until all the herbs are chopped up. Season with a little salt, chilli flakes and a large tablespoon of mayonnaise. Mix until combined. This is your coriander and lime mayonnaise

Now to prepare your filling. Slice your courgettes into ½ cm round pieces, and place in a bowl with smoked paprika, cumin, smoky chilli, pinch of salt and 2 tbsp olive oil. Toss until coated evenly.

In a separate pan, cook through your black beans with the chipotle paste and season to taste. Don’t worry if they mush up a bit.

In a very hot pan or skillet, fry off your courgette rounds in a little oil until they are caramelized and have taken on a lovely colour. The spices will help with the colour but flip until both sides are cooked evenly. These are your blackened courgettes. You may need to do them in batches and pop them on some kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil.

Now, time to build your tacos. Start with your smoky black beans, add your courgettes and drizzle over your mayonnaise.

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