I stumbled on this amazing company in Spain: Imperfectus. On this website you can order a box filled with 'imperfect' fruit and vegetables. I love it so much that I currently have a weekly subscription with them. Every Tuesday I receive a box of 8-10 kilos of fruit and vegetables that are considered too ugly in terms of shape or size to be sold in the supermarket. You do not know what will be in the box as it depends on what's in season, but the products are always fresh. One of the other advantages of this box is than none of the produce is wrapped in any plastic, unlike in all of the supermarkets here in Spain. Every week I will try to come up with new dishes inspired by the contents of my Imperfectus box.
This week's box included zucchini, red bell pepper, mini green bell peppers, potatoes, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin, kale, plums and different types of peaches.
Baked zucchini, tomatoes and bell peppers
A really quick and healthy recipe for a light lunch or a side dish: baked vegetables in the oven. I used the zucchini, red and green bell peppers and tomatoes from this week's box. I added some Parmesan cheese from the supermarket as I still had some in my fridge. Slice the vegetables and put them in a baking tray. Sprinkle them with some olive oil, salt, pepper and top it with the cheese. I used Parmesan cheese, but mozzarella cheese would also be nice. Put it in the oven (180-200 degrees Celcius) until they are cooked the way you want them.
Pumpkin, potato and bean chili
OK, I admit... this dish might fit a cold winter day better than the hot weather Valencia has right now, but I couldn't resist when I saw the pumpkin in the box. I love making simple chili's as they are really easy to make and pack a lot of flavour. From this week's box I took the pumpkin and potatoes for this dish. I also used one of the onions of last week's box as they were still good. I bought minced meat, crushed tomatoes (400ml), green beans, red beans, garlic and shredded cheese in the supermarket.
Cut the pumpkin and potatoes into cubes, leaving the skin off. I baked them in the oven with some olive oil, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper. Bake them until they begin to soften. While in the oven, sauté the onion and garlic in some olive oil. Once they start to soften, add the minced meat and bake it with some salt and pepper. Add the crushed tomatoes when the meat is cooked. Now you can also add the herbs you want in the chili. I added salt, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and some extra garlic. My beans were already precooked so I just added them to the meat sauce. Cook this mixture until the beans are heated through. Meanwhile, my pumpkin and potatoes were done. I have a really big pan, so I also added these. I'm not going to lie, it was a challenge to mix everything without spilling, but that actually makes it fun for me. You can serve this with some rice, bread or tortillas. I just added some grated cheese on top.
Kale, chicken, peach, avocado and feta salad
Other than the pumpkin, the kale attracted my attention in this week's box. As I also had a lot of fruit again, I decided to make a salad with kale and peach. From the supermarket I got avocados, chicken and feta cheese. I cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and marinated them with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Then I shredded the kale, put it into a bowl and massaged it with some olive oil. By massaging the kale you will get a softer texture into the raw kale, which is nicer to eat. While baking the chicken, I cut the peach and avocado into slices and put them on my panini grill. After the chicken is cooked and the peach/avocado are grilled I added everything together with the feta cheese.