We are passionate about combating food waste. Whether it’s through buying less for personal consumption, donating to local food banks, or composting for your garden, we are always thinking of ways to reduce what goes into the landfills.

One particularly delicious way to cut down on waste is to cook! We have collected a few recipes that use often tossed food as their main ingredient. If you try any of these out, let us know how it worked for you!

Recipes for the Seasons

Asparagus End Soup

(Developed from students with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies)

Ingredients:

25-60 asparagus ends
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 medium red potatoes (with skins), chopped
½ lemon, zested and juiced
¼ cup of cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1)      In a large pot, place the asparagus ends and cover with water to about an inch over the asparagus.
2)      Bring water to a boil and cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, until mushy.
3)      Blend the asparagus and liquid in small batches and strain to get rid of the hard, fibrous pulp.
4)      Heat oil in large pot and add onion and potatoes. Cook on high heat for about 10 minutes until vegetables begin to look brown and cooked.
5)      Add the reserved asparagus stock and simmer on medium for about 20-30 minutes until all vegetables are cooked through and soft.
6)      Blend until smooth and creamy.
7)      Add salt, pepper, and cream. Garnish with parsley or thyme for flavor.

Pickled Watermelon Rind Stir-Fry

(from Watermelon.org)

Ingredients:

2 cups watermelon rind, julienned (white part only)
1 cup carrots, julienned
1 inch ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup chives, cut into 3 in pieces
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ cup cilantro leaves

Directions:

1)      Heat sesame oil in a pan or wok over high heat. Add watermelon rind and carrots and stir fry, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes. Let sit over high heat for an addition 1 minute without stirring.
2)      Add chives and stir to combine.
3)      In a small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and ginger.
4)      Pour the sauce over the watermelon rind and cook, stirring, 30-60 seconds, until fragrant.
5)      Transfer to a serving dish. Add basil, cilantro, mint and toss to combine.

Roasted Carrot Soup and Carrot Top Harissa

(from Jodie Moreno with What’s Cooking, Good Looking)

Ingredients:

Carrot Top Harissa:
1 cup of green carrot tops, chopped
½ cup of cilantro
5 mint leaves
1 small garlic clove, sliced
the juice of ½ a lemon
½ teaspoon of cumin
¼ teaspoon of salt
about ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

Turmeric Spiced Carrots:
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of kosher salt
a pinch of cayenne
¼ cup of olive oil

Roasted Carrot Soup:
about 10 carrots, trimmed
1 large yellow onion, sliced into thick chunks
5 cups of water (or a chicken or vegetable broth)
additional/optional toppings: a drizzle of coconut cream or olive oil, a handful of toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds

Directions:

Make the spice rub, and roast the carrots:
1)      Pre-heat the oven to 400º.
2)      Make the turmeric spice rub by placing all of the ingredient for the rub into a food processor and pulse until you have a consistent mixture.
3)      Place the onions and carrots onto a parchment lined baking sheet and rub them with the spice mixture. Roast for about 30 minutes, until the carrots are very soft/fork tender.

While the carrots are roasting, make the carrot top harissa:

4)      Place all of the ingredients for the carrot top harissa into a food processor (except for the oil). Pulse a few times, and then drizzle in the oil in a slow stream while the food processor is running, until you have a consistent mixture. Set aside until you’re ready to serve.

Blend the carrots, assemble and serve:

5)      Place the roasted carrots and onions into a high-powered blender with the water (or broth) and the lemon juice. Blend on high until smooth. Taste and add any additional seasoning you feel necessary. If your broth was cold, you might want to heat it up a little in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
6)      Distribute the soup among bowls, and drizzle with a spoonful of the harissa and any other additional topping you like.

Root Vegetable (Mushroom, Carrot, Turnip, Squash, Onion Skins, Garlic skins) Broth

Ingredients:

1-2 lbs of food scraps* (mushroom stems, carrot tops/skins, celery bottoms, onion/garlic skins, turnip tops, potato peelings, etc.)
5-6 cups of water
2-4 tbsp whole spices (bay leaves, all spice, juniper berries, coriander seeds, dill seeds, etc.)
1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

1)      In a large pot, heat oil over a medium heat and sauté vegetables for 5-10 minutes. (Alternatively, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and roast your vegetable scraps for 10-15 minutes.)
2)      Cover all vegetables and spices with water.
3)      Bring to a simmer and let it continue for 45-60 minutes.
4)      Pour the broth through a thin mesh strainer and place your solids in your compost bin.
5)      Once the broth has cooled, store in the freezer or refrigerator until needed.

*Note: You can keep all your scraps in the freezer in a gallon bag and make stock once your bag is full. It’s a good indicator for when to make a batch!