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,



How to Use Fall Fruits and Vegetables

*Quick, upfront disclaimer: this post is based on produce that is in season across the USA. Sorry if it does not apply to all climates.

With the autumnal equinox upon us, it’s time to celebrate one of the best parts of fall: the food! In addition to the obvious favorites like pumpkins, butternut squash, and apples, autumn offers an array of other fruits and vegetables that can be used to make great healthy dishes or indulgent desserts. Given the purpose of our organization and the fact that there are plenty of recipe guides to seasonal produce out there (such as these for October and November), this post is going to focus on making the most of your purchases. That means finding a use for parts of fruits and vegetables that are typically disregarded and/or creatively using up produce once it’s no longer fresh.

fall-applesauceApples: Apples are best kept in the pantry.

Don’t toss apple peels: crispy chips, apple peel tea, or apple cider vinegar

If apples are getting old: applesauce, apple cider, or apple crisp

Beets: Store beets by chopping off the leaves and storing each in separate plastic bags in the refrigerator.

Eat beet leaves within 2-3 days: frittata, pesto, or just saute similarly to kale or collard greens

If beets are starting to go soft, try: pizza crust, hummus, or chocolate cake

Broccoli and Cauliflower: These vegetables are very similar and should be stored in sealed plastic bags in the fridge.

Don’t throw out leaves: roast, smoothie, as a raw salad base, or try the beet green recipes

fall-grapesGrapes: Grapes should be stored in the fridge. Alternatively, they can be easily frozen to serve as ice cubes that will chill wine without diluting it.

If grapes are starting to go soft, try: grape pie, grape gazpacho, or grape vinaigrette

Parsnips: Treat parsnips like carrots – store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Use the whole parsnip, peel and all: honey parsnip bread, roasted with onions, or baked fries

Pears (Bosc and Comice): Ripen pears at room temperature, store in fridge once ripe.

Treat pear peels like apple peels.

If pears are going soft: pear crème pâtissière, pear butter, or spinach-pear soup

Pumpkins and winter squash: Store these fall-centric gourds in a pantry. Butternut and kabocha squashes should be peeled, but the skin is edible on other varieties.

Roast your seeds: cocoa, rosemary-sage, or sweet and spicy (or use them raw in muffins, granola, bread, etc.)

How to make pumpkin puree, which can be frozen.


Have a flavorful fall!


A Culture of Waste

Food is a necessity. Since the beginning of time, animals have had a primal instinct to guard their food to ensure that they always have enough to eat. As humans, we ought to share these instincts to covet food as something precious – so why is it that cultures across the world have traditions of deliberately wasting food?

TomatinaConsider La Tomatina, the annual Valencian festival in which citizens and tourists from around the world gather to pelt each other with tomatoes in the city streets. One would think that the event might have originated one year when there was an excessively plentiful harvest, such that the townspeople found themselves with more tomatoes than they could possibly use. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The story of the festival can be traced to 1945, when an angered man began hurling tomatoes from a nearby vegetable vendor at his friends. Bystanders quickly took up tomatoes as well, and the messy melee that ensued has since been repeated annually. So, the event is nothing more than a glorified food fight in which participants chuck perfectly edible tomatoes at one another.

GingerbreadLiterally throwing fresh vegetables is the most blatant example of waste, but there are plenty of other, less obvious customs that misuse food. In western culture, for instance, there are the holiday traditions of carving Jack O’ Lanterns and decorating gingerbread houses. While it is perfectly possible to eat the insides of the pumpkins hollowed out for Halloween decorations, most people just throw them away. In 2014, British newspaper The Independent even published an article about how Britons toss about 18,000 tons of pumpkin around Halloween every year. Similarly, gingerbread houses are perfectly edible in theory and probably were meant to serve as cute desserts when they first became popular in 16th-century Germany. However, the bland gingerbread pieces and the colorful icings and adornments sold today are usually so artificially sweet that it’s not only unhealthy but downright repulsive to try to eat the candy constructions. Moreover, they tend to go stale as they sit out as decoration.

No, I’m not trying to launch a global initiative to end all food-wasting customs and celebrations. The idealist in me would like to, but the realist knows that people would only consider abandoning these traditions if they were facing a severe food shortage. After all, these practices are defended as ‘culture.’ Still, the least I can do is urge you to keep this in mind as the food-wasting holidays approach. This page offers tips specifically for preparing a former-Jack-O-Lantern for cooking purposes, and you can find plenty of recipe inspiration in this gallery. When December rolls around, construct gingerbread houses that are actually appetizing and find people to share them with.

If you aren’t convinced that the concept of wasting food ‘just for fun’ is appalling, at least consider the money you could save by actually eating the food that you buy rather than just decorating with it.


Mid week delicacy: Crispy Polenta Cakes

saynotofoodwaste.midweekdelicacy.recipe.healthy.happy.food.love.share.5While spring is almost around the corner, the recent cold spells are probably keeping you bundled up in layers. This week we layer up with the traditional dish of lasagna, but add in lots of colors from vegetables. Not only will this Crispy Polenta Cakes recipe keep you warm, but it will remind you of all the different colors awaiting you in Spring time. The best part, this deliciousness takes only 40 minutes to make. So what are you waiting for? In less than an hour you’ll be eating a tasty, healthy and colorful version of an Italian staple.

Happy eating friends!
Hokuma & Ingrid

Here’s what you’ll see inside:
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Mid week delicacy: Pho

saynotofoodwaste.midweekdelicacy.pho.recipe.healthy.sustainable.yummy8Cold days just beg for warm dishes. There’s nothing like delighting your taste buds and raising your body temperature with a bowl of Pho. The popularity of this staple has soared in the USA in a span of a few years. Sometimes we are even forced to stand in a long line before we can enjoy a few gulps of this goodness. Of course, then there are days when there are no lines but we forget to bring our cash and have to opt for something next door that accepts a credit card. Rather than waiting in line or looking for cash, download this recipe, go to a supermarket to buy the ingredients and make this deliciousness in the comfort of your kitchen. You’ll be warm, proud and happy. Ready to try it? Here’s the Pho recipe.

Happy eating!
Hokuma & Ingrid

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Mid week delicacy: Stewed Okra

saynotofoodwaste.recipe.south.grits.healthy.delicacy.sustainable.healthy.6As the weather in the North gets cold we crave warmer weather. This week we take you to the south with warm and comforting food. Stewed okra with grits. Sounds good? Wait until you taste it. As always, this recipe will sure be a hit with all picky eaters, that includes the kids. Download the Stewed Okra recipe and give it a try, and let us know what you think.

Happy eating!
Hokuma & Ingrid

Here’s what you’ll find inside:   

Mid week delicacy: Cumin-roasted Cauliflower

saynotofoodwaste.midweekdelicacy.recipe.healthy.vegetarian.withmeat.pasta.6Have you ever noticed that herbs and spices can add amazing flavors to any dish by uplifting its aroma and taste?  We did too and that’s why this week we mix the deliciousness of cumin with vegetables, ensuring that any picky eater will want to take a bite of this pasta! And those who are in love with meat, and eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, don’t worry, we got you covered! Carnivores and omnivores rejoice, here is this week’s Cumin-roasted cauliflower recipe.

Happy eating!
Hokuma & Ingrid

Here’s a look at the instructions:
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Mid week delicacy: Moist Chocolate Cake

recipe.food.chocolatecake.sweet.valentine'sday.holiday.happy.share.love.saynotofoodwaste.9It’s February! This marks a month of love and holds the promise of a coming spring. What better way to celebrate the two than with a chocolate layered, chocolate filled and chocolate frosted cake? Here is a super easy to make recipe of the Moist chocolate cake that will leave everyone, from friends to loved ones, drooling and jumping for joy. Below you’ll find what’s waiting inside this mid week’s delicacy.

Happy Eating!
Hokuma & Jenny

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Mid week delicacy: Pasta with Brussels Sprouts

saynotofoodwaste.healthy.vegetables.recipe.diet.sustainable.delicious.yum.food.good.12Getting picky eaters to consume their daily dose of veggies can be tricky, especially if the veggies are not common on a menu. Solving this challenge can be simple. The trick is to combine the ingredients least likely on their mind with something they like. In this case, we paired brussels sprouts with pasta, and for the meat eaters, we added bacon as an extra reward for changing things up. Try this delicious Pasta with Brussels Sprouts recipe by Ingrid this week! When you do, let us know how it goes. We’ll be happy to hear your feedback and post your food images on our social networks.

Happy eating!
Hokuma & Ingrid

This is what you’ll find inside the pdf:

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Mid week delicacy: Winter Chili

midweekdelicacy.veggiechili.superbowl.healthy.hearty.ingrid.cooking.recipe.sustainable.diet.saynotofoodwaste.2On cold, rainy and snowy days of winter, nothing adds heat and color like a warm bowl of chili. This week, Ingrid shows us how to make spicy 3 bean Winter Chili. It’s perfect when craving something hearty and healthy, as well as, when throwing gatherings at home. (Hint: Super bowl is coming up soon!)

Enjoy the dish and send us your photos so we can upload them on our Instagram account, or tag them with #saynotofoodwaste.

Happy cooking!
Hokuma & Ingrid