10 Zero Waste Food Recipes: Cooking with Waste and with Taste

cooking with vegetable wastes

Actually this is not just a recent trend, since the no waste cooking was very popular among our grandmothers. At that time, nothing was thrown away and everything was reused in the kitchen, and the resulting dishes were always excellent, considering that the most renowned recipes in the world always hail from poor dietary habits.

So, if you love cooking and are trying to reduce wastes in the kitchen as well as to save money without renouncing to gourmet meals, zero waste recipes are the answer. After all, how many times have you thought that you had paid those artichokes so much that it was a real pity to throw away part of them?

From today wastes will be the secret ingredients of your recipes! Here are 10 zero waste food recipes to reduce waste without renouncing to taste! The per-requisite is that you try to buy vegetables without packaging. Obviously some ingredients like oil or cheese cannot be sold without packaging for practical or legal reasons. But at least when we talk of fresh vegetables, try to say no to plastic. 

Vegetable broth stock

The first suggestion that will be useful to make some of the following dishes, is to use all the vegetables wastes like stalks, leaves and peels to make a broth. Boil everything together, add some salt and once the ingredients are soft enought, blend well. Put the mixture in a pan on low heat until you get a cream. Freeze in an ice cube tray . When you need it, take a cube and put in hot water. It will be the base for all your soups and all your sauces.

vegetable broth

Fruit skin biscuits

If you have organic fruit like oranges or lemon - whose zest is usually thrown away - chop it and add it to the dough of your favorite cookies.

Fruit skin biscuits

Potato or carrot skin chips

Fry the potato peel (or carrot, or beetroot or even better a mixture of all) in boiling oil: they will crisp up into delicious bites! Sprinkle with salt and paprika. In case of potato peel season with grated cheese and black pepper (very popular in Rome now). For a healthier variant, bake the peels instead of frying.Potato or carrot skin chips

Cream of broccoli stalks

Cook the broccoli stalks in vegetable broth: blend, add a tablespoon of Stracchino and a handful of Parmesan cheese to make the cream denser. Season with curry or curcuma.

Cream of broccoli stalks

Omelet with radish leaves

Chop the radish leaves, boil in hot water and pan-fry for a minute in oil. Add the whipped eggs and some Parmigiano Reggiano and you'll have a tasty and slightly spicy omelet!

Omelet with radish leaves

Carrot peel pesto

Mix the carrots peels  with almonds, a clove of garlic, a little oil and a pinch of red pepper. Blend and use to season bruschettas or to make a tasty pasta dish. In this case add some boiling water and pecorino shaves to contrast the sweetness of carrots.

Carrot peel pesto

Leek leaves

Blanch the leek leaves and use them to wrap your meatballs. You can also chop up a few leaves and add them to the meat mixture to give a touch of extra flavor.

Leek leaves

Artichoke stem sauce

Boil the artichoke stems and stalks as well as the outer leaves in salted water. Drain, add a handful of nuts and a drizzle of olive oil and blend. Add some boiling water and use to season pasta.Artichoke stem sauce

Pods cream

If you have eaten fresh peas or beans, don't throw the pods away and use them to make a delicious cream. Cook in boiling water together with a chopped potato or in vegetable broth. Drain approximately (remembering to keep some liquid to add to the cream in order to get the right consistency) and add a dash of milk, a tablespoon of oil and, if necessary, some of the liquid set apart. Season with paprika or ping pepper and serve with baked bread: really fantastic!

Pods cream

Tea with orange peels

Cut the orange peels into strips and make them dry in ventilated oven at 120°F for about 2 hours. Use them to make digestive tea adding two grains of pepper and a sprig of thyme.

Tea with orange peels

Fish broth with bones and heads

Use the skin, the bones, and the head or the shell of the fish to make broth: just boil them with a carrot, a potato, a stalk of celery. You can use it to make a seafood risotto or serve as consomm√©. 

Fish broth with bones and heads