You're doing your best to reduce food waste at home. You're planning your meals, saving your leftovers, cooking with a "first-in first out" fridge mentality.
But what to do with the carrot tops? Or your spent coffee grounds? The liquid your canned chickpeas are swimming in? The rest of that going stale loaf of bread?
Going from waste to taste just takes is a little creativity.
ReGrained's VP of Product, Chef Phil Saneski has you covered with some home kitchen friendly recipes. Make these this Earth Week and beyond.
1. Carrot Top Chimmichurri
Typically, chimmichurri is made with parsley, but a fun fact is carrots are in the parsley family. So it makes sense carrot greens would make a tasty chimmichurri! Drizzle this recipe over any steak dishes or, if ambitious, into an empanada.
1 cup finely chopped carrot top greens (preferably organic)
3 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika (sweet or smoked is fine)
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 roasted garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
- In a food processor, pulse together the carrot tops, garlic and spices, then add ¼ cup olive oil and pulse until combined. Make it as smooth or as chunky as you like.
- Scoop into a small bowl, and stir in ¼ cup red wine vinegar.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
2. Carrot Top Pesto
Serve as a dip for toasted bread, add it to a pasta sauce, or drizzle over roasted carrots.
1 cup coarsely chopped carrot tops (preferably organic)
½ cup toasted hazelnuts or pine nuts
2 roasted garlic cloves
1 big handful of mint leaves (about a cup)
juice of ½ small lemon
½ cup olive oil
¼ parmesan cheese
sea salt & red pepper flakes
- In a food processor, pulse together the nuts and garlic. Add the carrot tops, parmesan cheese mint, lemon, and salt. Pulse again, then add ¼ cup olive oil and pulse until combined. Make it as smooth or as chunky as you like.
- Scoop the pesto into a small bowl, and stir in ¼ cup more olive oil.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, and add in a pinch of red pepper flakes to your liking.
3. Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Beet Cake with Aquafaba Merengue
Ever buy garbanzo bean (chickpeas) in a can? Stop draining that liquid! It makes for an amazingly versatile vegan binder. Sir Kensington's Vegan Mayo uses it as a main ingredient, but I've put it to work here in a cake.
When I first came up with this recipe, I was surprised how moist, fudge and light the cake was when it was served warm. The beet flavor didn’t really come through; I totally forgot I added a pound of beets! Beets contributed more to the gooey texture and their natural sweetness balanced the flavor of the bittersweet dark chocolate. This cake reminded me sugar beets supply one-third of our world’s sugar.
Did I mention this eggless cake is gluten and dairy-free, too? See how saving your canned chickpea water means you don’t have to buy eggs (and you can impress your friends even more) at your next dinner party.
1 ¼ cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chunks
¾ cup Chickpea Water (aka Aquafaba)
½ cup Sugar
¼ oz Olive oil
2 cups fresh Beets roasted & pureed
¾ cup Almond Flour, toasted
¾ cup Brown Rice Flour
½ cup Yogurt
Pinch of Cayenne or desired spices
Sea Salt to Garnish
1. Drain canned chickpea water into a mixer to simulate an eggless meringue. Slowly add sugar. Meringue is ready when it’s shiny and has still peaks.
2. While closely watching meringue, melt chocolate, olive oil, over a double boiler to make your chocolate batter. Add roasted beet puree, flours, spices, and finish with yogurt. The fat from the almonds will help keep the cake moist. I prefer Chioggia beets (an Italian heirloom variety that look like candy canes) because at least here along the California coast, they’re sweeter than the typical purple, yellow, or Detroit Red beets.
3. When meringue is ready, pour chocolate batter into center of mixing bowl. Gently fold into meringue inside-out.
4. Pour batter onto parchment paper lined deep pan and bake at 350°F. Check after 25 minutes.
Cake is done when it starts to pull apart from the sides of the pan. I don’t use any salt throughout this recipe because I’m big on garnishing each cake with plenty of sea salt to provide texture every few bites. I also recommend the cake warm served alongside the yogurt like you would ice cream or crème fraiche!
4. Spent Coffee Ground “Soil”
I’m always curious to see what I could do with my coffee grounds (besides adding nitrogen to my backyard plants), and one morning I save the ground to make a crumble for a fruit plate for dinner later that night. Essentially, this recipe is a streusel (crumbly pastry topping), but the lipids are added warm to make a “soil.” Substitute chilled butter cubes the size of peas, and you could call it a streusel.
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup almond flour
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 tsp cocoa powder
5 tsp spent coffee grounds
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 big pinch of sea salt
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with hands. Cool completely before grinding in a food processor.
2. Spread evenly in a pan and bake for 12-15 minutes at 300°F.
5. Red Wine Pickled Fennel
Fermenting produce is one way to prevent food waste at home. Here’s a simple quick pickle of an ingredient found all over San Francisco. Mix into a green citrus salad, add it to a marinated lamb dish, or over tomatoes and cheese garnished with the fennel greens!
2 medium bulbs fennel, trimmed
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
1. Cut fennel bulbs in two vertically. Slice out and discard solid core and slice each piece very thinly, horizontally. Place fennel into a jar and set aside.
2. Juice and zest orange and lemon, then add to one small saucepan of gently boiling red wine vinegar along with the sugar and crushed peppercorns.
3. Pour gently boiling mixture into jar of fennel. Seal jar with lid and allow to cool. Marinate at room temperature for two days; may be stored at room temperature for up to 4 weeks.
6. Romesco Sauce, with Old Bread Crust
Bread crust is one of my favorite textures in the world, I crave crispy! There are two ways to make food crispy: take out the water or lower the temperature. For this “saucey” Catalan recipe, freezing the bread crust will make it easier to pulse everything together by making a more fine powder in less time—plus the crust is loaded with flavor. Enjoy this recipe with grilled chicken, seafood, potatoes, or anything really; I even put romesco sauce onto day old bread!
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers (or 4-5 fresh, deseeded)
1 cup torn bread crust (ideally frozen)
6-7 cherry tomatoes
½ cup whole almonds
¼ cup fresh cilantro with the stems
¾ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
2 cloves garlic
Juice of one lemon
1. Heat garlic and olive oil in a small saucepan. When you smell garlic caramelizing, add almonds.
2. While frying, first pulse day old bread crust, then red peppers, cherry tomatoes, cilantro and lemon juice.
3. Once it’s smooth, add the garlic, olive oil, and almonds to the puree and blend until the sauce is texturally right for you. The almonds, cherry tomatoes, day old bread crust serves as natural thickeners.
7. Panzanella Salad, With Old Bread Croutons
This simple recipe uses the whole loaf of day old bread to make croutons, then a salad in a short time thereafter.
2 cups of cubed day old bread croutons
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes
½ cup slivered red onions
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Dice whole loaf of bread into ½ inch cubes, toss in a large bowl with olive oil and garlic, roast for 10 minutes. These are your croutons for this salad.
3. While baking combine and mix the rest of the ingredients in the same large bowl. The flavor is deeper when this mix has some time to marinate.
3. When fully chilled, add 2 cups of croutons.