Last year, scientists from Pennsylvania State University released a report revealing that the average US household wastes about 31 percent of the food it buys — that’s one in three bites ending up in the bin. And while the best way to prevent waste is to stop buying more food than you need, some ingredients come with bits that seem like they simply cannot be used for cooking. Luckily, there’s plenty of recipes showing that’s not always the case.
Below, you can find six recipes curated by Eliza Sullivan at MindBodyGreen, which prove that food scraps you might have previously thought as unusable can make for super-yummy meals:
- Curried Cauliflower-Stem Soup. Although they are both delicious and highly nutritious, cauliflower stems are often overlooked when preparing meals. This soup recipe offers a tasty and creative way to use them. Since it has a relatively neutral flavor, the veggie really lends itself to the rich flavors of onion, leek, garlic, and curry powder present in this dish. Get the recipe here.
- Zero-Waste Salad With Kale-Stem Pesto. Kale stems are yet another ingredient that might seem unusable at first glance. While they’re tough, even after cooking, this recipe from Max La Manna provides an ingenious way to use them in pesto-like salad dressing. Get the recipe here.
- Artichoke Leaf & Stem Soup. It’s hard to think of a way to put the spiny leaves and tough stems of artichokes to good use, but this recipe does the job perfectly. By peeling off the outer layers of the stem and sautéing the leaves, the flavor of the artichoke is introduced to a luscious soup with potato and vegetable stock. Get the recipe here.
- Radish-Top Pesto. Coming from Local Roots NYC founder and food waste expert Wen-Jay Ying, this recipe uses the peppery greens from the tops of radishes in a pesto that you can add over your favorite pasta or smear on some roasted vegetables. Get the recipe here.
- Carrot-Top Pesto. As you may be noticing, making pesto is a great way to cut food waste. This recipe uses carrot greens, which are actually totally edible and have the same health benefits as many other leafy greens. The one thing you may want to keep in mind is that they are a tad bitter, so it helps to combine them with other ingredients to balance the flavor. Fortunately, this makes pesto (with olive oil, parmesan, and walnuts) the perfect choice. Get the recipe here.
- Spicy Scrap Soup. This recipe is non-exclusive and can feature any veggie scraps you have on hand, including peel from potatoes and carrots as well as broccoli and cauliflower stalks. The recipe’s author, Nadiya Hussain, recommends saving scraps in a storage container in the freezer until you’re ready to make them into this soup. Get the recipe here.