Happy Earth Day!
I flew home from Nashville last night, where I was celebrating one of my best friends from high school for her bachelorette weekend, just in time to shop and prep for an Earth Day themed segment on CBS Live From the Couch this morning.
I’ll be posting the link to my press page later today (after I recover from the 5am wake-up, and weekend of fried chicken). But I wanted to share with you one of my favorite green tips/recipes that I chatted about on the show.
Like many people, I’m always trying to live a greener life. But when it comes to daily waste, especially in New York City with an absence of compost bins and backyard gardens, a lot of it comes from my kitchen. There are easy ways to change your cooking habits to make the most of the ingredients you buy, and help keep needless trash to a minimum. And I try to follow my own rules about 50 percent of the time. (It’s tough!).
Since much of our food waste comes from the prepping process, this recipe for recycled veggie stock is a great way to reduce your garbage pile. Every part of the vegetable contains flavor, even if they aren’t pleasant to munch on as-is. My trick is to use two garbage bowls when prepping – one for non-edible scraps, and the other for various parts of my veggies. At the end of cooking, I’ll add those scraps to a ziplock bag and store them in my freezer. Every time I cook, I add to the same bag. When I’m catering (as you can see above/below), that one bag often becomes three.
One day a month, I’ll make a big batch of stock using the contents. The garlic and onion skins, thyme and basil stems, tops and bottoms of zucchini – the list goes on – all add so much flavor to the broth. I save money that I would have ordinarily spent on store-bought stock, and help keep the planet a greener place by allowing my waste to dissolve in a pot of simmering water instead of a trash bag on the street.
There you have it. What are some of your favorite ways to reduce waste in the kitchen and live a greener life? Please share them in the comments!
Recycled Veggie Stock
- 4 cups veggie and herb scraps carrot peelings, onion and garlic skins, celery leaves, fennel fronds, tops and bottoms of zucchini, herb stems
- 8 cups water
- 10 peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- Combine the veggie scraps, bay leaves, peppercorns, and water in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 2 to 6 hours, until deeply colored and flavorful. Set a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl. Pour the stock through the sieve. Discard or compost remaining solids (many will have dissolved). Store the stock in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer until the next time you make soup.