Top 5 Recipes to Reduce Food Waste
Did you know that one-third of all food produced for human consumption around the world is wasted? OzHarvest and other websites have lots of confronting statistics that drive home just what that equates to, including over $1,000/year for the average Aussie household grocery bill and 5 million tonnes of landfill in Australia alone. Those of us who love to cook are in a great position to do our small part to reduce food waste, one meal at a time. Bones and vegetable offcuts become stock, stale bread is blitzed into fresh breadcrumbs and coriander roots are cleaned up to pound into curry pastes – all of which freeze well. So before you go shopping, or throw food off-cuts in the bin, think about what delicious dishes you can create from what you have on hand. Here are five of my favourite recipes using bits that normally go to waste.
Broccoli leaves Pasta – Orecchiette with Broccoli, Anchovies & Chilli
Most greengrocers cut the leaves off broccoli, but I ask mine not to – or to give me a big bag of the trimmed leaves. They’re perfect in one of my favourite pasta dishes, Orecchiette with Broccoli, Anchovies & Chilli, instead of (or as well as) the broccoli florets.
Parmesan rind Soup – Pasta e Fagioli
I love the nutty flavour of the parmesan closest to the rind. But when it becomes too hard to grate I give the rind a bit of a scrub under cold water and add it to the soup pot. It dissolves completely into my Pasta e Fagioli adding a great savoury depth.
Asparagus trimmings Risotto – Asparagus & Goat Cheese Risotto
Asparagus is one of my favourite vegies, so quick and easy to prepare. But there’s a lot of wasted trimmings … unless you simmer them into a quick vegie stock to use as a base for a dish like Asparagus & Goat Cheese Risotto. Green pea pods and artichoke trimmings make great stock too.
Celery, carrot and fennel tops Minestrone – Chicken Minestrone
Minestrone, a rustic soupy stew traditionally made from whatever’s on hand, is a great way to use up all the vegetable tops that usually go in the bin, including carrot, celery and fennel leaves and green leek tops, plus any scraps of broken pasta and leftover vegetables or cooked meat.
Leftover pasta or greens Frittata – Escarole Frittata
I always cook too much pasta for one meal, so I can make pasta frittata the next day (it’s especially good with Spaghetti Aglio e Olio or the Orecchiette with Broccoli above). Fry the pasta in olive oil for a few minutes, until it starts to crisp, pour on the egg, cover and cook. Leftover greens also make great frittata fillings.
Harris Farm Markets is doing its bit to reduce food waste with the Imperfect Picks range – fruit and veg that’s a bit misshapen, or too small or large to fall within the normal specs – at up to 50% less than their perfect cousins.