5 Cookbooks to Help You Toss Less Food

Have you, or has someone you know, made a New Years resolution to cut down on food waste? In addition to perusing our blog, which has shared tons of tips to show how easy it is to prevent waste in general, be sure to check out these anti-waste cookbooks. They are full of delicious recipes that make use of leftovers and oft-discarded ingredients as well as teach readers how to respect food.

1. The Use-It-Up Cookbook: Creative Recipes for the Frugal Cook by Catherine Kitcho

Sample recipes: Braised Short Ribs with Chocolate, Cheese Rind Soup, Cilantro Stem Green Sauce, Potato Peel Croutons, and Pumpkin Seed Mole

2. Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook: A Guide to Eating Well and Saving Money By Wasting Less Food by Dana Gunders

Sample recipes: Banana Sorbet, Buried Chocolate Avocado Mousse, Chilaquiles, and Sour Milk Pancakes

cooking-chop3. The CSA Cookbook: No-Waste Recipes for Cooking Your Way Through a Community Supported Agriculture Box, Farmers’ Market, or Backyard Bounty by Linda Ly

Sample recipes: Chard Stalk Hummus, Fennel Frond and Ginger Pesto, Pea Shoot Salad with Radish and Carrot, Skillet Greens and Bacon Bits with Pomegranate Gastrique, and Watermelon Rind and Jalapeño Pickles

4. The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook by Cinda Chavish.

Sample recipes: Chicken Breasts with Apple and Rosemary, Rosemary Lemonade, Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Chinese Cabbage, and Wild Mushroom and Potato Bisque

5. Love Your Leftovers: Through Savvy Meal Planning Turn Classic Main Dishes Into More Than 100 Delicious Recipes by Nick Evans

Sample recipes:Fire and Smoke Pizza, Jalapeño Popper Potato Skins, Shredded Chicken Hash, Spicy Beef Wontons, and Tomato Poached Cod


Wishing you a happy 2017 full of delicious food,



Midweek Delicacy Time: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms in Cream

Roasted Brussel Sprouts w/Mushrooms

This dish is an old favorite I used to make at the request of many friends, and clients alike. Roasting the Brussels Sprouts brings out their nutty flavor, which pairs well with the mushrooms. I can’t remember where I saw the original recipe. I only remember it suggesting more woody mushrooms such as chanterelles, which can be very expensive. I have since adapted it to a mix of chanterelles, cremini, and shiitake. The latter two are more readily available at your local grocery store.

If you are buying loose Brussels sprouts, select those that are about 1½ inches long. Quarter Brussels sprouts longer than 2½ inches; don’t cut sprouts shorter than 1 inch.

Happy eating friends!



Serves 6

1-1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise (5 cups)
5 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Water
Kosher salt
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 lb. Mushroom mix divided 1/4 lb. Cremini, 1/4 lb. Shiitake and 1/4 lb. wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles or hedgehogs, halved if small or cut into 1-inch wedges (about 4-1/2 cups)
1 large shallot, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Toss Brussels sprouts with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, water, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in large bowl until sprouts are coated. Transfer sprouts to rimmed baking sheet and arrange so cut sides are facing down.Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/Mushrooms & Cream
  2. Cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook until Brussels sprouts are well browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and set aside.Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/Mushrooms & Cream
  3. Heat a 12-inch skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms in an even layer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden-brown and tender and the mushroom liquid (if any) has evaporated, 5 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and transfer to a plate.Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/Mushrooms & Cream
  4. Set the skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When the butter has melted, add the shallot, season with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 3 to 4 minutes.Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/Mushrooms & Cream
  5. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Return the mushrooms to the pan and add the Brussels sprouts and cream. Stir in a few grinds of pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the cream thickens and coats the vegetables nicely, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.Roasted Brussel Sprouts w/Mushrooms

Midweek Delicacy Time: Miso Glazed Salmon en Papillote

Miso Glazed Salmon en PapilloteEn Papillote is a make shift bag made out of parchment paper. Making food in a bag is probably one of the healthiest ways you can prepare food. Your food will come out moist, tender with little fuss. The parchment packet allows the fish and vegetables to cook in their own juices.

My favorite part about using this method is you can throw a few ingredients into the parcels and all the work is done for you. You can prep these ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.  Other than being pretty effortless, they look quite impressive when serving.

Serve with a ginger rice. Just add julienne-cut ginger when you add your rice to the boiling water. When I made my rice I was feeling especially adventurous and threw in some lemongrass as well. The combo with the fish was quite tasty.

Happy eating friends!


IngredientsMiso Glazed Salmon

Serves 4

1/4 cup Mirin
1/4 cup Sake
3 tablespoon White/Yellow Miso paste
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Honey
2 teaspoons dark Sesame Oil
4 Salmon fillets, about 6oz each
1 Bokchoy, sliced in bite size pieces, include the leaves
8 Snap Peas, cleaned whole
4 Shitake Mushrooms, sliced
1.5 tablespoon Ginger, peeled and julienne-cut
2 Scallion, thinly sliced


  1. Miso Glaze MarinadeIn a small bowl combine mirin, sake, miso paste, soy sauce, honey and sesame oil.
  2. Pat the fish fillets dry and place in baking dish skin side up. Spoon marinade over fish and turn them over a few times in the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Tip: Do not go over an hour as miso is very salty.
  3. Miso Glazed Salmon en PapilloteWhile fish is marinating prep all of the vegetables.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 450º.
  5. Cut 4 (15 x 24-inch) pieces of parchment paper. Fold in half crosswise. Draw a large heart half on each piece, with the fold of the paper along the center of the heart. Cut out the heart, and open.
  6. IMG_2105Place one fillet near fold of each parchment heart. Top each fillet with 1/4 of the vegetables and ginger.  Tip: Let the excess marinade drip off the fish before placing on the parchment. The fish will release plenty of the marinade as it cooks to flavor the dish.
  7. Fold the parchment over vegetables and fish. Starting at the top of the heart begin tightly folding the open edge of the parchment, sealing edges with narrow folds. Twist the end tip to secure tightly. IMG_2113Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Place on plates; cut open. Top salmon with thinly sliced scallions. Serve immediately.

Tip: If you wish a tighter seal, brush the edges of the paper with beaten egg white.


Midweek Delicacy: Roasted Chicken & Kimchi Smashed Potatoes

Roasted Chicken & Kimchi Smashed PotatoesI made this dish once for a client who wanted a twist on everyday roasted chicken and mashed potatoes. I’ve added a salad and rice to complete the meal. You will find all but the rice in the instructions. To not waste any part of the Kimchi I used the liquid as part of the dressing. It gives a delightful taste to both the salad and the chicken with the potatoes making a wonderful naturally low-fat meal.

Many of you know Kimchi as something sold at asian markets and health-food stores all over. I have even found it at my local grocery store. It is a low-fat and high fiber red, fermented cabbage dish (occasionally, with radish) made with a mix of salt, vinegar, garlic, chile peppers and other spices. What people do not realize are its many benefits. Because it is fermented, like yogurt, it contains “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli that aids in digestion. Another by-product of the fermentation process are the probiotics which fight off various infections in your body.

Here are some other benefits you can gain from eating Kimchi. It lowers cholesterol levels, facilitates healthy body development and clear vision. Kimchi makes your outer appearance shine by producing radiant skin and shiny hair. A study done at the Chungnam National University discovered Chinese cabbage and radish are able to prevent stomach cancer as well. It slows down the aging process.  There are more benefits but such boosting your immunity and loosing weight. If none of these reasons entice you know when mixed with other things it can make for a delicious meal.

Happy eating friends!




2 Tablespoons Vegetable oil, divided
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
4-5 Large skin-on, bone-in Chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 16oz jar Napa Cabbage Kimchi, drained- reserve liquid
1 Tablespoon Rice vinegar (you can use a mild white vinegar)
4 Cups trimmed bitter greens (such as mustard, mizuna, or arugula)
1 Small handful Parsley, leaves finally chopped
1 1/2 Pounds small Potatoes medley
Salt  & freshly ground Pepper to taste

Kimchi Dressing  Salad w Kimchi dressing


  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Toss potatoes and 1 tablespoon oil on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast turning once, until browned in spots, 10-15 minutes. (If you choose to add rice as well start it now)
  2. While the potatoes are roasting in a medium bowl rub chicken with garlic and season with paprika, salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken skin side down until golden brown and crisp, 8-10 minutes.
  3. Arrange chicken skin side up on baking sheet among potatoes. Roast until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes longer.
  4. Using a large wooden spoon, lightly smash potatoes. Scatter kimchi over potatoes and chicken; roast until kimchi is warm, about 5 minutes.
  5. Whisk reserved kimchi liquid, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl. Toss greens with half of dressing in medium sized bowl.
  6. Serve salad divided among plates with roasted chicken, kimchi and smashed potatoes. Drizzle remaining dressing over plates.

Roast Chicken & Kimchi Smashed Potatoes

Cooking made us human

Dear Readers,

I’ve missed you! It’s been some time since I’ve shared interesting stories, findings, experiences and facts about food. The stories we share on the site are pieces of information that help reveal a different side of something we’ve become so accustomed to seeing. Due to the abundance of food in grocery stores, restaurants and even trashcans, we stopped appreciating it as much as we once did.

Today I’d like to share a fascinating TED talk by Suzana Herculano-Houzel called “What is so special about the human brain?”.

The information she shared left me speechless. My brain was pouncing with adrenaline from so many thoughts firing in my head and my mouth swung open, as it gulped more air to keep me calm from the rising excitement.

Are you wondering what’s so special about her talk? Let me tell you: 1.5 million years ago primates discovered something that would change the course of our history – they discovered cooking. Yes, this small act by today’s standard is what helped us grow, evolve and turn into these ‘unique’ creatures we often think we are.

In the process of heating up food, combining flavors, and making produce easily consumed and absorbed by the body, our ancestors enabled us to extract more nutrients from what we consume. This cut time for eating, but still energizing the body, allowing our brains to grow. Without cooking and still on a raw diet, it would take us nine hours to look for food and consume enough calories to keep the body working. Cooking flung the door open to our evolution, helping us build different cultures and inventing agriculture to make the process of feeding more local and constant.

The human brain

Our brain is 2% of our body, but it uses up about 25% of all the energy consumed and stored by the cells to keep it properly running. Hence, of the 2,000 calories consumed 500 calories are used by our brain. Unfortunately, as our world became more stressful and jobs more demanding, family time and cooking have flown out the window.

cooking.food.saynotofoodwaste.fire.brain.evolution.humandevelopment.agriculture.history.grow.sustainable.healthy.happy.strong.smart.1Big companies have solutions for us, they offer us ‘food like substances’ made from chemicals in the lab and claim that the time we save from not cooking we can use on other better things. Yet, by choosing processed and fast-food options we’re denying ourselves the fundamental feature of being human. To preserve what makes us truly unique and not rob ourselves of our history, we ought to look at cooking as a valuable investment and teach future generations to do the same.

Here, on this website, we share tips, stories, recipes, and inspirational quotes that reignite this million year old love for food and cooking, and show the effects it has on our bodies and the environment.

Did you enjoy reading this post? If so, let us know and share your thoughts/stories/recipes so that we can continue building this community of people who love food.

Let’s get cooking, friends!

Recipe #1

Dear Friends!

As some of you may know, I was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and truly love my country, culture and cuisine!

So, I figured that for all those wishing to taste and re-create those succulent dishes at home, I could help you by making step-by-step photo instructions of the recipe.

This will accomplish 2 things:

A) Will get me cooking more Azerbaijani dishes at home (in an easy manner that won’t compromise the taste).

B) Introduce you to Azerbaijani food, from the perspective of a young girl living abroad who wants to enjoy food from her homeland.

In Recipe 1 I show you how to make Vegetarian Qutabs! Easy peasy and tastes so good!

Since it’s Valentines Day,  you can impress your love or family with this exotic meal.

Cheers and good eating!

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Written by
Hokuma Karimova