The easy-squeezy way to fight food waste.

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It’s an exciting day here at Oddbox – we’ve just launched our first cooking pastes.


There are three varieties – Balti, Thai Red Curry and Mediterranean – each made with rescued tomatoes and onions that were “too odd” and “too many” for retail or catering.


We caught up with Deepak, Oddbox co-founder, to get the squeeze on what’s been going on behind the scenes.


O: Hi Deepak. Tell us about the new pastes – where did the idea come from?


D: We’re always looking for new ways to help our growers with crops that are at risk of going to waste. In this case, they had more onions and tomatoes than we could fit into our boxes, so we had to think of a new way to put them to good use.


Having recently made a juice from rescued Lilibet apples, we thought it was an exciting opportunity to push the Oddbox mission in new directions. So we worked with a recipe developer to create three cooking pastes using rescued onions and tomatoes, along with lots of other delicious ingredients.


O: Why were these particular tomatoes and onions at risk of going to waste?


D: The tomatoes we rescued for the pastes are ‘class 2’, which means they don’t meet retail specs for a number of reasons. “Too small”, “too odd” or just not quite the “right colour, size or shape”. Without us, they might have ended up on the wholesale market, or just wasted altogether. 

The onions were also not suitable for supermarkets because of their size or shape, and also because of cosmetic defects which is one of the main reasons onions end up going for dicing. 


O: But, of course, they still taste the same?


D: Oh, absolutely. The tomatoes and onions in our pastes are just as delicious as any others – this literally came down to size and appearance. 


O: How do the pastes fit with the Oddbox cooking philosophy?


D: Our recipes are all about getting creative and using up what you’ve got, which is why we always give a list of ingredient swaps. We want to help our community fight food waste in their own kitchens as well as on farms, so we always make sure our recipes are inspirational and not prescriptive.


When it came to creating the pastes, we wanted them to be versatile enough to work with pretty much any veg. So while each pouch has an easy, three-step recipe on the back, you’re also free to switch things up and swap in any veg from your Oddbox instead.


If you’ve got a copy of our cookbook, there’s loads of really helpful stuff about how to swap ingredients and why some things work better than others. I know I look back at it regularly when I’m not sure what to make for dinner!


O: Which is your favourite paste? Or aren’t you allowed to say…


D: I actually really like them all! Our recipe developer did a brilliant job, and I can’t wait for the Oddbox community to try them.


O: Thank you Deepak – we’re heading to The Odd Shop now.


Want to try our cooking pastes for yourself? You can add Oddbox Balti Paste to your order, along with lots of other rescued items that will go nicely.


Keep your eyes peeled for the next two flavours, coming soon. And don’t forget to share your creations using #OddIsGood. We can’t wait to see what you cook up.