As an ethical vegan I thought I had a pretty firm grasp on just how much us humans impacted the world with our eating habits. The realities of plastic, factory farming, and lifestyle inflicted disease did not escape me. But perhaps I was naive to think I was doing all I could by simply consuming only plants, perhaps I was keeping my world too small believing that I was living as sustainably as possible - it’s no fault of my own but once we know better, it’s time to do better. #dobetterin2019
That is why when Misfits Market reached out to me to try a box of their “ugly” produce I cried before I even hit the reply button. Team organizer, Brenna, hit me with some cold hard facts that I had never even thought about - for instance, we throw away $1 TRILLION dollars globally in uneaten produce every year, meanwhile over a billion human beings are starving around the world. If we were to save just a QUARTER of that produce, we could feed every all of those who are hungry. Now, of course, it’s not that simple - A LOT goes into the global food problem including accessibility, politics, war, etc. but can you just imagine what the world would look like if we solved the food waste problem? Can you envision a world where there were less hungry people because we intelligently and effectively learned to manage our overproduction of fruits and vegetables, getting those life-giving foods into the mouths of those who need it most?!
THINK ABOUT IT - American grocery stores and consumers throw out food because it doesn’t look appealing - a funny shaped apple, a discolored orange, a giant (yes, as in too big and therefore not appealing) head of lettuce. We literally toss out the most vital, life-giving foods because of a tiny imperfection and then rip into a package of chemically processed junk to consume instead. We have got it so backwards?!
Now, I must admit, although I could care less about what the fruit and veg I eat looks like now, I WAS one of those kids who wouldn’t eat the weird apple or the lumpy potato. I was reminded of this when I tasted just how AMAZINGLY fresh and delicious all of the produce from Misfit Market. I could almost hear my grandmother in the back of my head, always encouraging that we waste nothing at all, “Seeeeeeee, it won’t hurt ya!”, she’d say. There’s a reason we those in her age group “the greatest generation” - we could all learn a lot from them now!
Any who….The best part? Misfits Market delivered this perfectly-amazing, seasonal and otherwise wasted produce right to my door in CONNECTICUT at HALF of the cost that you’d spend in the grocery store. Now, if you live in my area you’ll know that the Northeast isn’t exactly a hub for this sort of progressive food behavior so this is a big deal you guys! I was so thrilled to learn that Misfits Market is a local company, serving local farmers, local customers and delivering locally.
Here’s a little recap about purchasing from MM incase you needed it. You are:
Enjoying deliciously nourishing fruit and veg
Saving said fruit-and-veg from the bin, and saving the farmer from having to lose out on the profit off his/her produce
With Misfits Market, it’s a win-win-win. Box prices range between $19 - $42 and include anywhere from 10-20 lbs. of produce! You can subscribe for weekly/bi-weekly deliveries or just order up a box when you feel so inclined.
Use my discount code “LiveCleanKitchen“ at checkout for 20% off your first order! I know, amazing!
My favorite thing about receiving my box, other than the fact that it felt like a plant-lovers Christmas, was that I was instantly inspired to cook with all of my rescued-produce right away. When I saw carrots, sweet potatoes, gold potatoes, onion and the most gorgeous head of Napa cabbage, I knew, a delicious winter detox soup would soon be coming out of my kitchen.
The result was a little bit less of a recipe and a little bit more of a method but scroll below to check out what I crafted using some of the amazing things in my box. Other goodies in the box included - one of the BEST cucumbers I have ever eaten (no lie), a huge head of iceberg, the most crispy-delicious apples, two juicy ruby red grapefruits and two nearly-ripe avos. Yum! Needless to say that on top of this soup, I also enjoyed a ton of salads and snacks from just this one box of goodness.
I hope that this post inspires you to check out Misfits Market or at the very least, not discard or ignore the slightly-less-than perfect produce right in front of you. In 2019, let’s focus on education, outreach and love - now that we know better we will be better.
Detox soup? Yep. This super clean, super nourishing soup is going to get you feeling RIGHT after all of that holiday WRONG. Now, being someone who might have eaten four or so vegan donuts for lunch, I am not going to judge you on your eating habits BUT I am all about balance and I have a feeling that if you’re like me, you might be craving some pure, whole-food goodness right about now.
This soup is winter-wonderful, warm, cozy and clean. Garlic, onion and ginger will clear any congestion and the UMAMI goodness of mushroom and cabbage plus a whole lot of root veg will have your digestion back on point. Add beans or lentils for a more hearty variation but I have a feeling that you (ahem, me) may want to keep it light.
Of course, as not to waste, feel free to make your variation of this asian-inspired noodle-less soup with anything you have sitting around in your pantry or fridge. The omission or addition of any vegetables you can think of would be perfectly acceptable here.
Serves: 4 • Prep Time: 20 min • Cook Time: 30 min
In a small bowl add all of the dried shitake mushrooms and cover with apx. 2 cups boiling water. Soak the mushrooms for 10-20 minutes or until the water has taken on a brown color and the ‘shrooms are fully soft. While they are soaking, dice your onion, garlic, ginger, carrots, cucumber, gold potatoes, sweet potato and fennel. Add all of the veg to a large pot with half the soaked mushroom water. Allow the veg to soften and the water to nearly evaporate. In a separate smaller pot, add in a carton of low-sodium vegetable stock (you can of course make your own, but who has time?!) and bring to a simmer.
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1” knot of peeled and minced ginger *optional
2 small carrots, peeled and diced
2 small celery stalks, diced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 small Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 6 oz. package dried Shitake mushrooms
1/2 large head of Napa cabbage
1 16 oz. low sodium vegetable broth
fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram or parsley
1 tbsp. white miso paste
1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
Once the onion is translucent and the veg fragrant (apx. 5 min), stir in miso, seasonings, and chopped herbs. Cover with a lid and add more liquid if nessesary. Carefully chop the softened dried mushrooms into strips and add to the pot. Cook for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, chop half of the head of Napa cabbage. Once veggies are nearly tender, stir in the cabbage and cover again until the cabbage is wilted but still slightly crisp.
NOTE: There should still be a small amount of liquid in the pot to ensure that the vegetables do not burn. At all times during the cooking process, add some of the simmering broth when needed.
When the cabbage is tender/crisp check for seasoning and serve; put 1/4 of the vegetable mixture into a bowl and ladle over the hot broth. Top with more fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon. Keeps for a few days but best enjoyed fresh.