Cooking With Kitchen Scraps

At the end of the week, I like to do a quick clean of my fridge (and this is why I’ve never had expired stuff in the deep, dark corners of my fridge…because I always know what’s in those deep, dark corners 😉

But, even if you aren’t a ‘weekly fridge cleaner’, you will, most likely, still find sad looking vegetables and scraps of cheese and bits of mustard and marmalade at the bottom of their jars somewhere in your fridge.

Well now is the time to take those ‘ghosts of meals past’ and make something fabulous with them. Here are a few ideas that I have for you:

Herbs:

You bought some herbs at the store and didn’t use them all (isn’t that always the way??). So here a few ways to make the most of those herby scraps…

  1. If you have a garden, you probably, at some point, threw some chives in there. It’s a fantastic perennial plant (which means it comes back every year) and makes these glorious flowers. Most people don’t use them but look at how pretty this chive flower salt is! If you’d like to learn how to make chive flower salt, look here for details!how to make chive salt
  2. While we’re on the topic of chive flowers, why not try your hand at making some chive flower vinegar? It’s so pretty – imparting a purple hue to the vinegar! If you want to learn how to make chive flower vinegar, look here for details!How To Make Chive Blossom Vinegar
  3. If you’ve ever bought parsley (or most other herbs), you will often find yourself with leftover. Why not mince it and out it under oil like this or make a puree to add to soups and dressing like this?parsley puree
  4. And, don’t throw those stems away! You can freeze them and pop them into your broth when you’re making your next batch!!
  5. If you find yourself with a bunch of sage leaves, try this cool appetizer!Deep fried Anchovy-Filled Sage "Sandwiches"
  6. If you want the herbs to remain fairly fresh looking after they’ve been frozen, then this the best way is to do this!!Freezing your Fresh Herbs

Leftover Cooked Vegetables:

  1. If you have a bunch of cooked vegetables, just puree them, add some stock and seasoning and you have yourself the best (and healthiest) creamy, vegetable soup without the cream. If you need some inspiration, take a peek at this unrecipe for roasted onion and squash soup!Roasted Onion And Squash Soup
  2. You can even use up your grilled veggies from your last barbecue. You know the ones…the grilled eggplant and zucchini everyone said was fabulous! You can chop them and freeze them to add to your next pasta dish or homemade pizza or you can make them into this incredible sandwich and freeze it for another time!grilled veggie sandwich
  3. You can also freeze the pureed veggies in ice cube trays and then pop them into your soups and stews for an added flavour pop!!

Leftover Raw Vegetables:

  1. If you have an odd assortment of raw veggies, you can coat them in a light batter and fry them up to serve as an appetizer!
  2. If you have scraps that are looking kind of drab, add them to a Ziploc bag and freeze. Add in things like vegetable peels, onion skins, etc. and then, once it’s full, you can use this whole bag to make a veggie stock (just add water, herbs and spices and boil away!!).
  3. Have a pile of potatoes that are calling your name? Not only can you cube peeled potatoes and freeze for another time, but you can also bake up the skins until nice and crunchy and you now have a great snack that will save the environment too (we’re all about no waste here!!). Try my potato skin chip recipe I developed for the people over at Produce Made Simple!
  4. If you have leftover salad greens, you can always add those to soups (and the sturdier greens can be grilled like radicchio!) And arugula is a bonus because it has a peppery bite so it’s extra-special!!
  5. If you find yourself with extra greens, here is a tutorial on freezing your greens! This is personally my favourite hack! I eat so many more greens because of this!!!freezing greens

Coffee:

  1. If you have leftover coffee, you can always freeze it into ice cube trays to add to your breakfast smoothies or it can make the best iced latte this summer!!The Hack That Will Make the Best Iced Coffee
  2. You can also repurpose your used coffee grounds to make these delicious almonds!!!How to Use Spent Coffee Grounds: Mocha Roasted Almonds

Leftover Bread:

  1. If it’s just a bit stale, go ahead and make some bruschetta!! Here are more details!
  2. If you have a rock hard baguette, you can absolutely make it into breadcrumbs, but you can also revive it to create a hot-out-of-the-oven bakery fresh loaf!!
  3. Croissants go hard so quickly but did you know you can make a bakery delicacy with stale croissants? Oh yes you can…and here are the directions!!almond croissant
  4. If you have some stale bread and want a fabulous dessert, try my amazing bread pudding using all of the stale bread!!easy bread pudding

Cheese:

  1. If you have odd pieces of cheese left over, save the pieces in the freezer in a Ziploc bag and then you can use it for your next mac and cheese dish or even to make a cheese ball like this!!
  2. And I hope I’ve preached saving your parmesan rinds for long enough! If you’re new here, you have some reading to do! Take a peek here!!

Fruit:

  1. If you’re ever left with a ton of lemons, take a peak here for a million things (okay, maybe not a million) to do with your lemons!!
  2. If you have random bits of fruit (berries are the best here) you can pop them in the freezer and add them to your next smoothie (or better yet, make these smoothie packs for the fastest breakfast!!!make ahead smoothie packs

Miscellaneous Foods:

  1. Leaves from veggies: Did you know that you can make pesto from the tops of carrots? And did you know that the fronds from a fennel bulb is the best way to add delicate flavour to your next salad? And did you know the leaves of celery taste just like the stalk? Use it in your salad!! And, finally, did you know that the beet tops (called beet greens) can be cooked like spinach? Don’t throw ANYTHING away!!
  2. The Bottom of your Jars: Think jam, peanut butter, mustard, etc. When you’re about to throw away that last bit with your jar, think again. If you add some olive oil, vinegar and spices, you can make a great vinaigrette (and peanut butter with apple cider vinegar, sesame oil and honey makes a great slaw dressing)…they also make great marinades!!
  3. Leftover Rice (from takeout!): Make yourself a great rice pudding or add in some of those leftover veggies (chopped) and an egg to make fried rice or add it to your next soup!
  4. Leftover Wine (no, seriously though, what is that even?): If you find yourself with leftover wine, we can’t be friends, just pop it into ice cube trays, freeze it and use it to deglaze a pan or to a simmering stew or to poach fruit.

So there you have it…a few ideas to help you cook with your kitchen scraps!!!

We can save the planet – one kitchen scrap at a time!!

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