The moment I started this blog, friend and family started sending me videos, recipes, and articles with food-related ideas to inspire me. One idea I keep seeing over and over again is how to make vegetable broth out of scraps. (Think onions skins, carrot heads, celery leaves, things like that.)
Obviously, that idea is a home run for No Scrap Left Behind. To think that I could turn garbage into something useful and delicious...brilliant!
At least, it sounded brilliant.
The video I saw told me to use onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, mushrooms, and potato peels.
This post is my magnum opus. I know I haven’t been blogging long so that isn’t saying much, but still, I am pretty proud of these sandwiches.
Once a week before my art history class in college, I would often go to the museum cafeteria and order the same sandwich. It was a massive tower of raw vegetables drizzled in salad dressing balanced between two slices of focaccia.
When my husband and I went on a trip to Italy, we kept hearing people talk about gnocchi. I had no idea what gnocchi was, so I simply had to order it and find out.
After trying it I still had no idea what gnocchi was, but I was nevertheless hooked. It's not quite pasta -- it's more of a dumpling that you can make with either ricotta and flour or mashed potato and flour.
Yet you use it just like you would a pasta. Any sauce that goes on pasta can go on gnocchi; any soup you would put pasta in, you can put gnocchi in.
Do you have potatoes and onions that need to be eaten up? Maybe they're getting soft, or they have mushy parts, or they've sprouted arms and legs?
You’re in luck, because I have a recipe that calls for potatoes and onions… and that’s it.
It sounds crazy, but it’s a Julia Child recipe, and everything she touches turns to gold. If you don't trust me, trust Julia.
Did you ever read Julie and Julia? It’s about a blogger who made everything in Julia Child’s cookbook in one year. This potato soup recipe is The One that inspired her to start the blog.
Despite my adamant efforts not to waste food, one or two scraps will inevitably become inedible in my household. I dropped a whole sippy cup of milk on the floor, for instance.
I keep a list on the refrigerator of the small amounts of food I do waste; this helps keep me focused and encourages me to do whatever it takes to keep the list from growing.
When I first started saving all my scraps, I found five strawberries in the back of my refrigerator. They weren't good even when I bought them, and by this time they were wrinkly and had changed to a dark maroon.
Not to mention everything in the back of my fridge freezes, so my mushy dark strawberries were also fruit ice cubes. (Now that I've learned how to eat waste-free, I can't imagine letting five strawberries go bad! Why didn't I just throw them in the freezer and make a smoothie later?)
I love all kinds of pie, but those pastries have a ton of food in them.
That can be a problem when everyone has had two or three slices and they don’t want any more. In my house, we struggle to finish dessert pies, specifically fruit ones.
Betty Crocker gave me the answer!
I'm from the Northwest, and when I married a Southerner, I learned that not all of the United States is the same. At all.
The biggest surprise to me was the cuisine. My husband introduced me to a whole world of foods I knew nothing about.
It’s not easy for a new food blog like mine to stand out from the plethora of blogs on the internet. It occurred to me that if I really wanted to teach families how to use all their food and eliminate waste, I needed to do something unique to get traffic to my site. Maybe I’d come up with my own recipe.
Then I remembered: The Falling in Love Pie.
When my husband and I were newlyweds, I loved the movie Waitress. The main character, Jenna, creates pies based on her emotions and experiences. Example: I Hate My Husband Pie and I Don’t Want Earl’s Baby Pie, aka “Bad Baby Pie.” (I made Bad Baby Pie once. It was yummy.)
A friend begs Jenna to make her "magic" Falling-in-Love Pie. While the movie describes how she makes every other pie, it didn’t explain how she made that one. It was early enough in my marriage that the feeling of falling in love was still fresh in my mind, so I decided to come up with my own version.
(At the end of this article is an extremely healthy, easy, and delicious recipe for a pasta dish jam packed with vegetables.)
Okay, so sure, I want the prize money for the contest I'm about to tell you about -- it would almost completely cover the cost of grad school -- but let's put a pin in that for a sec and talk about how helping me win would be a great thing for everyone else, too.
Home and Family is hosting a contest for the Best Home Cook. I think the fact that I never waste food makes me a unique and memorable candidate, so I made a video about a vegetable pasta sauce made from the random vegetables that happened to be in my fridge today.
The winner will fly to Los Angeles and actually be on the Home and Family show. Yeah. THAT'S pretty cool. All I need are enough likes, shares, and comments on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for my healthy vegetable pasta video to get the judges' attention. Community involvement is huge.
All I need...is you.
Brace yourself for the best way to use leftover french fries... and possibly my new favorite breakfast!
One of my readers contacted me to say he had leftovers after a dinner of cheddar wurst hot dogs and tater rounds, so he "put an egg on it" and converted them into breakfast. He placed the taters and diced sausages in muffin tins, cracked an egg over each, and baked until the eggs were set.