One of our goals for 2020 was to reduce food waste through better meal planning and by trying new preparations for familiar foods. When you’re meal-planning for a busy family, this can takes a concerted effort.
Fortunately, Misfits Market, a new produce delivery service, has entered the Columbus market. Misfits makes it a mission to reduce food waste by purchasing fruits and vegetables that were deemed unfit for grocery store shelves. The produce is perfectly good to eat; it’s just slightly misshapen or too large or too small. They redirect the produce to consumers through home delivery, so it’s not just thrown out.
Misfits boxes come in two sizes, The Mischief ($22 for 10-13 pounds of produce) and The Madness ($35 for 18-22 pounds). They shared a couple Mischief boxes with us, and we found it to be a great way to challenge ourselves by introducing new foods and new ways to augment our meal planning.
Like a traditional CSA, you don’t quite know what you’re getting each week, so you have to be ready to roll with the punches. We found ourselves preparing a lot of these items as snacks or sides to our meals. It’s good to plan how you’re doing to use the items, so they don’t go waste.
Generally, though, the shipments should be a fun match for someone who likes cooking, likes to try different recipes, like surprises and is flexible in their meal planning.
Through our two shipments we received oranges and apples, cucumbers and celery, potatoes and pears, onions and squash, mangos and green beans, and many more.
One night, for instance, we were whipping up fish cake sandwiches and roasted the green beans and sweet potatoes as a side.
We tried to make the green beans more attractive to our boys by mixing them with orzo pasta, butter, and sea salt. And everyone loves sweet potato fries!
Another night we roasted some of our Misfits veggies as a side. We tackled the beets and the eggplant because people often shy away from them. Beets in particular are very healthy. We peeled them, chopped them up, tossed them in olive oil, and roasted them.
The eggplant we sliced in half, then cross-hatched it like an avocado or mango, and drizzled it with olive oil and Italian seasoning. This preparation makes it easy to scoop out as a side; and it allows you to taste the eggplant better than other preparations like breading and frying it.
Using these Misfits veggies demonstrated the ease of adding healthy nutrients to a dish that wouldn’t be considered very nutrient-filled, like a basic pasta and red sauce.
For another meal, we simply roasted potatoes and served them as a side, or saved them to serve with eggs and bacon at breakfast.
It one shipment we received delicata squashes. These are common squashes often seen in the fall at farmers markets, recognizable by their yellow skin and green stripes.
We prepared them like acorn squash, halving them and scooping out the seeds.
Then we added butter and brown sugar, and roasted them ~45 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown and soft.
We then laid out the roasted squash like a baked potato bar! This is a great way to clean out the fridge and use up other leftovers and ingredients. We used leftover pulled pork, avocados, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream.