Do the terms sustainable food, sustainable cooking, and food waste sound to you?
Every time we cook, we irremediably produce scraps and leftovers. Most of the time we end up throwing scraps and leftovers in the garbage, we do it automatically without thinking, but we are making a big mistake.
We are throwing away good, healthy food, and we are creating unnecessary waste that we cannot dispose of. It is our responsibility to take care of our planet, respect food and nature, and try to acquire more sustainable habits.
On the other hand, did you know that with almost any food scraps you can create delicious, tasty, and easy to cook dishes?
We want to help you Cooking Easy to Eating Deli, so here are 5 easy recipes to reduce your food waste.
5 Easy Recipes to reduce your food waste.
HOMEMADE TOMATO FOCACCIA
A typical dish of the culinary tradition of Tuscany, Italy, has stale bread and tomato as its protagonists. A quick and easy version to make a DELI homemade focaccia, using tomatoes and stale bread.
Heat the oven to 200 °C and meanwhile soak the bread in cold water for about 10 minutes. Squeeze the bread well, you don’t want any water in it, and spread it in an oven dish on the baking paper.
Wash and cut the tomatoes, spread them on top of bread, and season everything with a little EVO oil, salt, and oregano. Bake for 1 hour approx or until the surface is golden. Enjoy hot or at room temperature.
VEGETABLE SKIN CHIPS
Sometimes we just have to remove the skin of the vegetables to cook some dishes, but did you know that with the skin of the vegetables you can make delicious chips to be enjoyed as an aperitif or to accompany main courses of meat or fish?
Heat the oven to 140 °C and meanwhile, place vegetable peels, oil, salt, and spices of your choice in a bag. Close the bag and shake it well so the peels soak in oil and spices. Arrange the skins on the baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes or until they become crunchy.
Fried fish sticks are the dreams of many children (and of many adults, let’s be honest!). You can make it using only fish leftovers: you reduce your food wast and you get DELI comfort food to treat yourself or to share with your loved ones.
Fish pulp leftovers
Spices (the ones you like the most)
1 Egg yolk
Frying oil / EVO oil
Blend the pulp of the fish and mix it with the spices and the salt, and mash everything with your hands to make it compact. Divide it into small portions and give them the shape of sticks. Soak each fish stick first in the beaten egg yolk, and then in the breadcrumbs (you can repeat this step to have a double reading).
You can fry them in a frying pan with hot oil, or drizzle them with EVO oil and bake them at 180°C until golden, it would be approximately 20 minutes. Don’t forget to flip them halfway through cooking.
There are 2 of you living at home, but once again you made gnocchi dough for 10? Do you love mashed potatoes that much that you always cook tons of it and you have so many leftovers? No problems! We are about to share with you the perfect recipe to give a new life to your potato dough leftovers, and reduce your food waste!
If you have ever made gnocchi at home, you know how difficult it can be to calculate the exact amounts: you prepare the correct amounts, you start kneading, and then for one reason or another the dough is still too wet and you have to add more flour. Add and knead, add and knead … and in the end, you have a delicious dough, but it is more than double what you needed!
This is a good thing: your extra dough is the main ingredient for a dish that I adore: the stuffed roll!
Potato dough (mashed potatoes with flour and salt)
1 egg (if you didn’t use any to make the gnocchi dough)
Cheese (the one that melts best)
Sautée the spinach in a pan with a little oil. Place one foil of transparent film on the counter and one of the parchment paper above. Then flatten the dough on the parchment paper and cover it with cheese, spinach, ham, salt, and pepper.
With the help of the transparent film roll the dough until you have a compact roll. Remove the transparent film and bake the roll at 200°C for about 20 minutes … and voila!
Of course, you can modify it using the toppings that you prefer!
The roll, once cooked, can be cut into slices and frozen: ready to heat in the oven every time you feel like it!
→ READ ABOUT 5 EASY TRADITIONAL ITALIAN RECIPES FOR NEW COOKS
BROTHS AND STOCKS
The simplest remedy to take advantage of the bones and cores of meat and vegetables: broth!
This preparation can be made with any waste you have available: vegetable bark like pumpkin, hard leaves like artichoke, broccoli and cabbage stalks, steak bones, chicken skin … in short, you can make broth practically with any ingredient!
Vegetable or animal scraps
Put the scraps in a saucepan and cover them with water, add salt and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for about two hours. Once cooked, filter the broth.
The broth can be kept in the fridge for 3/4 days, but you can also freeze it to obtain a broth concentrate.
Frozen broth retains the flavor and salt, so you can then use it in place of the concentrated broth in tablets.
What I do is freeze it in ice cube molds, so I can conveniently use the amount I need depending on the recipe.
LEARN HOW TO ADD FRUIT TO YOUR RECIPES WITH OUR COOKING TIP HERE!
Reducing food waste and find a way to use what we wrongly call food waste is not only important for the environment, but it allows us to save money!
If you are interested in trying new recipes based on scraps and leftovers, you can start with the 5 easy recipes to reduce the food waste that we have proposed to you today.
Are you looking for a safe space where you can find inspiration for new flavors, easy recipes, and cooking tips? Join our Cooking Easy to Eating Deli group on Facebook. You will find a community to share your struggles and wins in the kitchen!