It’s Healthy Eating Week, the British Nutrition Foundation’s annual campaign to encourage people to make positive changes to their lifestyle. No, this doesn’t mean you only have to eat healthy food once a year – the foundation is setting a new health aim every day that we can all strive for.
This year, they’re focusing on eating more whole grains, varying your vegetables, drinking plenty of water, moving more, being kind to your mind, and getting active and eating healthily together. To help everyone from budding home chefs to novice cooks make the most out of this important movement, food waste fighters (and vegetable delivery box service) Oddbox has come up with four summery, plant-based and vegetarian recipes.
Eating healthily and sustainably should be a joy, not a chore, so they’re urging people to consider making these recipes with rescued produce, that is fresh from growers, tasty and planet-friendly, too.
The environmental impact is just as important as the calorie count – 3.6 million tonnes of food is wasted every year in the UK before it even leaves the farm as it’s deemed “too big”, “too ugly” or there’s “too much” of it – so each recipe includes how much energy and litres of water you could save if you used rescued veg.
Scroll down and get cooking!
Miso-roasted broccoli and tofu buddha bowl with sesame dressing
This delicious Buddha bowl recipe is perfect for a quick lunch or dinner – and on the table in less than 30 minutes. Broccoli roasted in umami-packed miso paste, sticky tofu on top of nutty rice, finished with a creamy sesame dressing. Eaten hot or cold, this recipe is great for meal prep too as it will keep in the fridge for a few days. You can swap the broccoli for whatever veggies you like; roasted butternut squash or sweet sticky aubergine – whatever you fancy.
Makes: 2-3 servings
Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins
Impact: Rescuing this broccoli would avoid 520g carbon emissions and 34.8L water wastage.
400g broccoli (stalks and florets)
2 garlic cloves
½ tbsp 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
½ tsp miso paste
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp maple syrup
300g of cooked brown rice (quinoa or barley also work!)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Drain the tofu and dice 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.
2. Prepare your broccoli by cutting the florets and stalks into small bite-size pieces.
3. 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.
4. In a bowl, whisk tahini, rice vinegar, maple syrup and miso. Add a little water to loosen.
5. 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
A quick pasta recipe with simple ingredients that is packed with flavours! The aubergine is chopped very small, and gets nice and creamy when cooked. The toasted pine nuts add a lovely nuttiness to the dish.
Makes: 2 servings
Prep time: 5 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins
Impact: Rescuing these aubergines would avoid 1.1kg carbon emissions and 15.6L water wastage.
1 red onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 tbsp oregano
250g conchiglioni pasta
2 tbsp pine nuts
Parmesan/vegan parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper
1. Prepare your ingredients: chop the aubergine in small cubes of 1cm. Chop the onion and garlic. Toast the pine nuts in a hot dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes, until lightly golden.
2. 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.
3. Cook the pasta: in the meantime, cook the conchiglioni pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, reserving some of the cooking water.
4. 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
Smoky blackened courgette in homemade corn tacos with spiced black beans & coriander and lime mayonnaise – what’s not to love? In this recipe you will make your own tortillas – you can use store-bought ones, or use plain flour if you cannot get hold of masa harina but the texture will be different. If you don’t have a taco press, you can use a rolling pin or a heavy object such as a pan – don’t worry, we can improvise! Courgettes are perfect for this recipe as they keep their form, are meaty and hold the spice well; plus they are so delicious.
Makes: 6 tacos
Prep time: 35 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins
Impact: Rescuing these courgettes would avoid 300g carbon emissions and 12.5L water wastage.
For the tortillas:
150g masa harina (or plain four)
150ml warm water
Pinch of salt
2 courgettes sliced into ½cm thick rounds
1 tin of black beans
1½ tsp of chipotle paste
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp smoked chilli flakes (ancho or chipotle)
2 tbsp olive oil
For the coriander and 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
¼ tsp smoky chilli flakes such as ancho or chipotle
1 large tbsp of mayonnaise
2 tbsp of olive oil
For the pink pickled onions (optional)
1 red onion, sliced thinly
50ml of vinegar (preferably white or cider)
Pinch of chilli flakes (leave out if you don’t like too much spice)
Pinch of salt
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 3-4in across and about 3mm thick. Don’t worry; they don’t have to be perfect circles!
4. 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.
5. Optional: for your quick pink pickled onions, slice your red onion thinly, pop them in a small bowl and add your vinegar, a pinch of chilli flakes and pinch of salt. Place to the side.
6. Now to make your mayonnaise. With a hand blender, combine all of your coriander (stalks and all!) with lime juice, a tbsp 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
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. In a very hot pan or skillet, fry off your courgette rounds in a little oil until they are caramelised 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.
10. Now time to build your tacos! Start with your smoky black beans, add your courgettes and drizzle over your mayonnaise.
11. Optional: finish with your pink pickled onions, a little coriander and fresh lime.
Use both clementine zest and juice in this bar recipe. The creamy clementine filling is layered on top of an almond crust, and baked until set.
Makes: 12 bars
Prep time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 40 mins
Impact: Rescuing these clementines would avoid 210g carbon emissions and 43.8L water wastage.
For the base:
70g ground almonds
100g plain flour
3.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp maple syrup
For the filling:
50g coconut oil
4 clementines, zest and juice
For the topping:
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 tbsp icing sugar
1. Prepare your baking dish: preheat the oven to 180C/160 fan/4 gas mark. Line a square baking dish with baking paper. Make sure to let the paper hang over the sides for easy removal.
2. Make the base: in a mixing bowl, add the flour, ground almonds, melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix well to form a soft dough. Press the dough to the bottom of your baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven (keep the oven on), and let cool aside.
3. Make the clementine filling: melt the coconut oil and honey together. Set aside to cool. Use an electric mixer to whisk the eggs for 5 minutes, until whiter and fluffier. Keep whisking and add a little at the time the coconut oil and honey mixture. Mix until well combined. Use a spatula to gently fold in the clementine juice and zest. Set aside 5 minutes.
4. Cook the bars: pour the clementine filling into the baking dish on the cooled base. Bake for 15-25 minutes, until set at the edges and barely jiggling at the centre. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before removing from the dish.
5. Make the coconut topping: in a pestle and mortar, add the shredded coconut and icing sugar. Mix until combined and dust on top of the clementine bars.
For more delicious, healthy and planet-friendly recipes, visit the Oddbox blog