Enemy #1: Planning
If you’re like me, you have no idea of what you’re going to eat during the week when you’re going at the grocery store. I buy a little of everything considering the price and what is low in my fridge and pantry. When it’s time to cook, I like to make something up with what I have and get creative! But there are always cooking remnants, an half cut onion, herbs losing freshness, stale bread…
Here are some ideas to use the maximum of what is left from your leftovers. Think of it as a goal : use what your buy at least twice! It’s easier than you think…
1. Ends of vegetables
I’m in love with my vegetables grater (rediscovering salads) but there’s always the last piece of veggie that I can’t grate.
Solution : freeze it and use in potages or smoothies
Brighten a berry-base smoothie with raw beet
2. Parmesan and cheeses remnants
Getting to the end of your beloved parmesan cheese? There’s more crust than cheese that is left? Let it melt in soups, stews, sauces or pastas. You’ll jazz up your recipe with its rich umami flavour!
3. Greens, herbs and onions : Not so fresh but still clean
This parley bouquet is getting wilted? Still got some mint from the Mojito’s you were making the other night? Blend them into an herby salad dressing or a pesto.
For salad and spinach, you can also freeze them and use it for cooking.
Onions and garlic : roast them to make a paste that you’ll freeze (use in every cooking recipe) or add a kick to this vinaigrette or pesto you’ve blended!
4. Stale bread
Cut it in pieces, add a bit of salad dressing and send to the oven at 350 F until it’s golden. You’ve got tasty croutons!
If the bread is rock-solid, you can blend it to breadcrumps. You can also soften the bread by wrapping it with a damped paper towel (send for 30 sec to the microwave).
Love to make Panzanella with croutons. Try this version from NY Times Cooking.
5. Bruised fruits
So many possibilities : it is really up to you how want to enjoy it :
– Cut and cook them for crumbles, muffins
– Add to smoothies
– Make a fruit sauce or a jam. I love to turn them into a fruit sauce that I’ll scoop on yogourt with granola.
– Make a syrup! I like to keep the juice from cooked rhubarb when making rhubarb jam to make a syrup that I can use for Lemonade or Cocktails.
Montreal Plaza’s La Rosalie Cocktail made from Strawberry Stems syrup
6. What about peels, onions skins, celery stalks and tomato hearts?
Make a rich vegetables stock or add to a meaty broth.