What’s Cooking — Foods You Regularly Toss in the Trash

What's Cooking — Foods You Regular Toss in the Trash

Photo: Unsplash.com/@webvilla

For years, whenever I would buy carrots or turnips I would chop off the greens off and throw it in the trash. That wasn’t edible, obviously. One day I came across a recipe for pesto using these greens and my jaw dropped open. You can eat that? It took a few minutes to process that all along I was throwing good food away. That was immediately followed by concern about what other foods was I wasting.

The fact of the matter is that when you cook you make garbage. Sure those coffee grounds can be recomposted along with banana peels and eggshells, but scraps and odd bits of foods can be repurposed into some edible, nay, something delicious. After all, prices are increasing for quality food and the average American family throws out about $2,000 worth of food a year. And it’s not just in home kitchens, chefs in restaurants around the globe are becoming more conscious about maximizing the use of food to cut down on waste. Just this week, Italian Chef Massimo Bottura is repurposing leftovers from the Olympic Village (estimated to produce 16 tonnes of food waste feeding Olympic teams) to feed people in need in Rio. If that doesn’t inspire you to look mindfully at the way you cook, these recipes will.

Carrot Greens Pesto

What's Cooking — Foods You Regular Toss in the Trash

Photo: Healthynibblesandbits.com


  • Carrot tops from the bunch of carrots, (leaves and tender stems only – you should get about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup of spinach and arugula mixed greens
  • 1 cup of basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup of parmesan, grated
  • 1/3 cup of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons of miso paste
  • pinch of salt, to taste
  • To start, let’s go with the recipe that changed my thinking. The use of lemon juice and miso paste make this unlike any pesto you’ve had before, trust me because I’ve had a lot of pesto. Lisa of Healthy Nibbles and Bits pairs a mix of zucchini noodles and angelhair pasta with her carrot-based sauce. You can use just regular noodles but this combination packs extra flavor and nutrition into a dish.

    Beet Bean Cheeseburger

    What's Cooking — Foods You Regular Toss in the Trash

    Photo: Foodandwine.com


  • 3 cups not packed too firmly of beet pulp (from juicing 1 1/2 pounds beets)
  • 2 cups not not packed too firmly of carrot pulp (from juicing 3/4 pound carrots)
  • 4 ounces of small white mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup of canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ounces of firm tofu, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 1/4 cup of cooked spelt or barley
  • 3/4 cup not packed too firmly of celery pulp (from juicing 3/4 pound celery ribs)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of white miso
  • 1 teaspoon of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • One of the leaders of this movement is chef Dan Barber at Blue Hill in New York City, where he launched WastED—a a curated pop-up dinner by guest chefs using only leftover ingredients. The idea for this very popular burger patty made of beet pulp came from the news that a food incubator in the city was producing one ton of pulp per day cold-pressing juices. Blue Hill now uses some of that pulp in their burger on the regular. There’s a lot of ingredients involved but don’t get overwhelmed, the end result is nothing less than perfection.

    Whole Orange Tray Bake

    What's Cooking — Foods You Regular Toss in the Trash

    Photo: Lovefoodhatewaste.com


  • Butter for greasing
  • 1 large orange
  • 100 grams of self-rising flour
  • 100 grams of ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 175 grams of caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • In the mood for something sweet? Use an orange (skin and all!) to make a light yet flavorful cake. The trick here is the boiled then pureed citrus element that blends nicely with almonds. Don’t let the simpleness of the presentation fool you, this dessert is complex and best served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.