In partnership withImperfect Foods

10 Recipes to Cook This Spring That Make Sustainable Eating a Little Easier

published Apr 8, 2021
A platter of chili-lime salmon tacos sits on a table next to a two drinks and guacamole.
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Brett Regot

With Earth Day on the horizon, we can’t help but think about our daily practices and how we can improve on them to live a little more sustainably. If there’s one place where we can make a surprising amount of change as individuals, it’s in curtailing our food waste.

That’s why we’re big fans of Imperfect Foods, who bring sustainable, affordable groceries straight to your door. They fight food waste by finding a home for good food that would otherwise get thrown away because it doesn’t look perfect enough for conventional grocery stores.

The grocery delivery service makes the weekly chore of shopping an effortless experience. With scheduled weekly deliveries they help you save time, money, and the planet. Plus, the online grocer is fully customizable. After signing up and inputting your preferences, you’re assigned a weekly delivery date based on where you live. Each week’s order starts with handpicked items, including farm-fresh produce and unique private label items that are responsibly sourced. You’re free to take anything out and add additional groceries.

If you’re shopping Imperfect Foods, you’re already off to a great start. But with a little creativity, you can really work towards a minimum-waste kitchen — and pick up some new favorite dishes. These 10 spring-centric recipes are just a handful of what we can’t wait to cook because they make sustainable eating so easy.

1 / 10
Cucumber-Peel Sandwich Spread
As soon as the weather warms up, we can't get enough of the refreshing crunch cucumbers provide. While they don't always need to be peeled, if your prefer to do so, definitely save those scraps. This quick combination of chopped peels, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, and greens is the perfect base for a spring sandwich. Or simply enjoy it as a dip with crackers!
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2 / 10
Overnight Oat Cookies
Imperfect Foods' granola is sourced from a 40-year-old, 100% organic business that is solar-powered and the largest employer in their small town in Maine. Sprinkle it on your morning yogurt, of course, but also try folding a handful into these chewy cookies, which are wholesome enough to be enjoyed any time of day.
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3 / 10
Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard
Scarred almonds are an Imperfect Foods favorite. These almonds may be minorly chipped and scratched from processing but they're just as tasty. Enjoy snacking on them out of hand or try using them as a crunchy coating for chicken tenders that just so happens to be gluten-free.
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4 / 10
One-Pot Lemon Orzo with Shrimp and Fennel
There's something about fennel's sweet anise flavor that just tastes like spring. The entire vegetable is edible, from the crunchy bulb to the feathery fronds, so don't toss the latter. Here, the diced bulb is sautéed and stirred in, while the green fronds are sprinkled on top of the creamy, lemony pasta.
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5 / 10
Chile-Chocolate Tropical Fruit
Imperfect Foods' sunburnt dried mango is considered "too dark" from sun exposure to be sold in stores but it's just as sweet and chewy. Dress it up by dipping it in melted chocolate that's infused with cinnamon and chili for a snack that can absolutely double as dessert.
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6 / 10
Carrot Peel Pesto
While carrots are available year round, they're at their sweetest in the spring. Standard practice is to peel them before cooking or enjoying raw, but the peels have a lot of love to give. Here they're given new life as a pretty pale orange pesto. Spread it on crostini as a simple appetizer or thin it out with a little extra olive oil and toss it with pasta for a satisfying spring dinner.
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7 / 10
Brown Butter Blondies
These blondies are infinitely adaptable. That means mixing in Imperfect Foods' dark chocolate-covered pretzel pieces, which are made from broken pretzels, is a very good idea. Bake a batch to carry to your first warm-weather picnic.
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8 / 10
15-Minute Chile-Lime Salmon Tacos
Imperfect Foods' wild sockeye salmon pieces are the portions leftover after large retailers order only the center-cut filets. We're big fans of using them for bold, fresh tacos. Here, the salmon is kissed with a punchy chile-lime coating, and stuffed in a warm tortilla with lime-tinged avocado, crunchy shredded cabbage, and a sprinkle of cilantro leaves.
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9 / 10
Easy Homemade Vegetable Stock
The simplest way to use vegetable scraps is to make stock with them. Toss in the green parts of leeks, mushroom stems, and even the woody ends of asparagus. If you happen to have a Parmesan rind on hand, add that, too, to lend salty, umami-rich flavor. Use the stock for soups, making risotto, or simply cooking grains in.
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10 / 10
One-Bowl Yogurt and Honey Olive Oil Cake
Every year, olive growers have a percentage of their crop that just misses the grading standards of premium extra virgin oil. Imperfect Foods wants to ensure this olive oil gets valued and appreciated for how delicious it is. Baking this moist and tender cake that's perfumed with fresh thyme and lemon zest is our favorite way to do just that.
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