In 2017, Multi-Michelin starred chefs Alain Ducass and Gordon Ramsay organised a challenge in London. Over a month they cooked solely with unsold food or food to be thrown away, such as stale bread or peelings. Their purpose was to educate gourmets to not wasting food. These “waste awareness” dinners delighted all guests.
Our garbage bins are filled with many edible and palatable things. That’s why I decided to share my tips to recycle your precious “waste” into good food.
Don’t throw away straight away!
Don’t throw away straight away! Feel, touch, taste. Trust your senses and common sense!
We know that one-third of our food supply is ending in a landfill and that health regulations impose very conservative expiry dates that identify food quality, not food safety. However, there is a difference between the bacteria that makes food rot and the pathogenic bacteria .
Plan and Write
Plan out your meals and make a detailed shopping list. Then stick to your list while shopping. Being prepared and organised definitely help to master the quantities and usage of the food you buy. Focus on local, seasonal and organic products.
This is where it all starts. It is obvious for fruits and vegetables but also true for fish and poultry: start with the whole product. Avoid buying fish fillets or chicken breast. Then use bones for broths and liver for pâté. Use plant stems in your dressings, broth or soups. A single product can be used in many recipes.
Cook organic with skin
When you do buy organic plants, everything can be cooked, without peeling. You spare time, you limit waste and you’ve got a bunch of extra vitamins.
Save the withered
If your salad, fresh spinach or rocket look withered, add them to a vegetable soup or a green smoothie. Try for example our delicious red & green smoothie. And while you are there, put the blackened banana left too long in your fruit basket.
Brine & pickle to the rescue
If you’ve got too much cucumber or green beans left or you have bought seasonal big batches, prepare them in brine. Cut them out and weigh them to calculate the amount of salt necessary: you need 5% of salt (5 g of salt for 100 g of cucumber, ). Mix the salt with filtered water until dissolved. Put the vegetables in large resealable jars and cover with salted water. Close the jar and let stand at room temperature at least three weeks.
Keep the greens
Most of the traditional silver beet recipes use only the stems. However, the green part is delicious and nutritious. Use them as cooked spinach, add them to soup or simply mix them in your oven baked stems.
Beet-root grows from long, leafy red stems rich in iron and fibre. Wash the leaves to remove sand and dirt. Chop them in small pieces (so they become easier to eat) and cook like spinach, steamed, sautéed with garlic and olive oil, or in soups… They taste sweeter and less astringent than spinach.
Stop throwing away your radish greens! Rich in folic acid and potassium, they contain more vitamin C than the radish itself. But they also have a subtle flavour, really special, that gives a nutty flavour to your salad or soup. Check my Soupe de Fane de radis recipe.
I have to stop here for now, but you see that the list of waste you can use is infinite. I’m sure you know a lot of tips to recycle your leftovers and accommodate your “waste”. I invite you to share your tips with me by leaving a comment.
Yours in health and wellness