Put Extra Food Scraps to Good Use in Your Kitchen

April/May 2015

Edited by Amanda Sorell

Vegetable Stock 

The pleasures of home-prepared food made from fresh ingredients are many, but using up all those odds and ends that don’t make it into the meal can frequently pose a challenge. Thankfully, conscientious cooks can control what happens to some of the nourishment that would otherwise go to waste. We asked editors, friends and fans how they anticipate and avoid food waste in their homes. Hundreds of responses poured in, showing that food “scraps” have a solid standing in the kitchen, if only we help them live up to their potential. To turn the scraps you have on hand into a more substantial dish, try our featured recipes for Beef 'Stoup', Loaded Enchiladas, or Breakfast 'Muffins'.

Thrifty Tips

Dry Herb Bundles

Plan ahead. Leftovers from Monday night’s roast chicken can become tacos on Tuesday and a robust salad on Wednesday. Planning your meals in advance is the first step toward buying only what you need, and using every last bit. This will keep you from filling your cart too full when you’re at the store — and from emptying your wallet too fast. Use a mini-chalkboard, whiteboard or pinned-up printed calendar in your kitchen to list the week’s meals and keep yourself on track. Make your grocery lists accordingly, and when you do plan to cook something substantial, such as a whole chicken or roast, make sure your meals for the following nights incorporate the food that will be left over.