I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned, but I quite enjoy the magazine edible Vancouver. The last few issues have offered a column called “Waste Not”, which offers fantastic tips on reducing waste. Of course, waste is — well — wasteful, but it’s also something to definitely avoid when you’re either a) spending the time, energy, sweat growing your own food or b) spending the extra it may cost for local, hand-grown and/or organic food.
The tips in this column are great. Here are a few of my favourite:
- If you can’t use up all of your fresh herbs, chop them fine, place in ice cube trays, cover with a bit of water and freeze them. Add to soups, stews and sauces
- Save peelings and trimmings from scrubbed carrots, potatoes, celery, parsley stems, etc. (Don’t include cabbage, broccoli or other brassicas.) Keep in a freezer bag, frozen. When the bag is full, make vegetable stock by adding water, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, etc. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour and strain (Note: this is especially helpful for us condo-dwellers who are both not allowed outdoor composters and not thrilled to have worms under the sink!)
- Leftover wine can be frozen in ice cube trays for later use in sauces, soups, etc.
- Discover what is already lurking in your fridge/freezer and pantry. Challenge yourself to use an ingredient for dinner and save it from the waste bin
Taking the last point one step further, Allrecipes.com, offers an ingredient list where you simply tell the database what you have to cook with and what you dislike, and it brings up a selection of recipes for your culinary pleasure!