Quite a haul!
Last night I almost didn’t go to this dumpster. I walked over (it’s near my house) thinking I’d check it out, and there was so much in there I had to walk back home to get the car!
Not only was it enough to warrant a car-trip, we had to buy a freezer today to save it all! Fortunately, we found an amazing deal (25 bucks!) on a big freezer, so now we can take dumpster-diving and preserving our finds to the next level of awesomeness.
In that pile: TONS (litereally, hundreds) of bananas, red/yellow/orange peppers, grapes, mushrooms, blueberries (my favorite!), cucumber, zucchini, bread, and a whole case of nectarines. There was also a ton of cantaloupes in the dumpster but we have so much frozen cantaloupe already I thought it was best to leave it behind, and another honeydew but this one was weirdly flavorless so I ended up tossing it (not sure if it was under-ripe or over-ripe?).
I got a chance to use some of it for lunch today… I made some grilled tempeh/veggie sandwiches, and a roasted red pepper soup:
This sandwich (too big… to really be a sandwich — it had to be ope-faced!) was made with several of the veggies I dumpstered (zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, and onion) along with some tempeh that I had to take out of the freezer to make space for other stuff. The wheat buns were also dumpstered. I grilled all the veggies and tempeh and then glazed them with a bit of tamari and maple syrup — I probably could have added a pinch of cayenne for a sweet/spicy combo but I wasn’t sure if everyone would like the spicy so I just added some Sriracha afterwards. A little spinach from the co-op and some homemade coconut bacon on top, and this sandwich was pretty darn awesome.
This roasted red pepper soup was almost 100% scavenged. Soups like this are super quick and easy, and a great way to use lots of veggies! I sliced a red pepper in half and roasted it in the oven on 400 degrees for just a few minutes. Cut up half an onion, about a cup of mushrooms, and two zucchinis. I like to make my own veggie broth by putting half the veggies in my blender and blending them nice and smooth. You can make a creamy soup by using rice/soy/etc. milk or do what I did here and make a more vegetable-soup-like broth by just using water. Add the blended half of the vegetables to the chopped half, bring the whole thing to a boil, and there you go. I spiced it with a little salt and black pepper, and some rosemary from a friend’s garden.
I threw a few homemade croutons on top of the soup. Croutons are a GREAT use of stale dumpstered bread and they’re easy to make. Just dice your bread up, drizzle with olive oil, add some spices (I just used salt and rosemary) and bake them in the oven until they’re toasty. They’ll keep practically forever, and they’re awesome on salads/soups/or just as a snack.
No dumpster-diving tonight because of rain, but we’ll see what tomorrow has to offer!