In the kitchen, music playing, chopping boards out, veggies and cutlery spread across every counter, happily chopping away, adding the desired parts to a bowl for later cooking and discarding the unwanted parts straight into the bin, and then I paused, “hold on, how much of that edible vegetable had I actually just thrown away?” And then comes the fun!
Recently I’ve been experimenting and researching different ways we can use most of our food waste in a more positive and productive way, especially with a growing global awareness about our environment, our farms, our nutrition and the large quantities of food waste in many countries.
Many actions in life we do without giving much thought to them, such as breathing, blinking and moving, but is throwing away useable parts to so many vegetables and fruits become such an automatic habit for many. In the developed countries, I think it really has, as we have the privilege of a shop on every corner and knowing that we can buy whatever it is we desire that day. Our attitude has become very fussy and confused, because we choose to only use the good-looking parts, simply because we can.
Magic happens when we re-use what we thought was waste - changing our mentality of what we thought was normal
And as I looked back at the items I was planning on throwing out, I started to think how else could all these parts of the veggies be used? How many other people throw out numerous usable ingredients every day?
Thinking back to my childhood growing up in Africa and how the locals would use every part of the plant, fruit or animal they were planning on cooking. Nothing went to waste; they were very creative with using as much as possible. I realised their mentality seemed a more well-rounded understanding of the use of food and valuable ingredients.
This dish is quick and simple, it uses many of the discarded parts of vegetables from most households I have seen within the UK. These are cooked together with a few added herbs and seeds for a very tasty vegetable side dish.
These leftover ingredients include:
1 Cauliflower stalk
1 Broccoli stalk
Handful celery leaves
Peeled parsnip skins
1 red onion
1 tblsp Sesame seeds
1.5 tblsp pumpkin seeds
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp Thyme
½ tsp Black pepper
2 garlic cloves
Onion in this mix is great because I’ve noticed people end up with many onions just lying around getting old, which is so weird to me because I eat way too many onions every week! The other odd ingredient is the celery leaves, as most people buy celery for their stalks, but the leaves are delicious and a very useful edible element too!
The cooking method is simple:
Grate the broccoli and cauliflower stalks, set aside,
Mix the parsnip skins with a drop of olive oil, black pepper and nutmeg, cook in the oven on 200 degrees Celcius for about 10-15mins, keep on eye on them, they cool fast,
Thinly cut the onion and cook in a spoon of olive oil in a large pan for 5 minutes, add crushed garlic, cook for a further 2mins then add the grated vegetables, thyme and seeds, cook for a further 5 mins, add the roughly chopped celery leaves last,
Remove from the heat, drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar if desired,
And done, serve both of these warm as a side dish.
Hopefully I’ve inspired you to try re-use more of your vegetables in the kitchen. I would love to know how you get on or what leftovers you re-use in a delicious and creative way. More ideas coming soon regarding re-using leftover and discarded food bits.
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Lots of love,
Bridgette from Hyper Health Nut,
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