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I want to show you some kitchen magic. And no, this is not a plug for dish soap. Many of the food scraps and old food you toss are reusable or regrow-able.
Stiff Tortillas – Stiff or stale tortillas make great pizza crusts. Just spread a thin layer of thick tomato sauce, top with lunch meat and grated cheese, and sprinkle with oregano, garlic powder, or any herb you like. Put it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Wa-La!
Peels, Stems, and Ends – When chopping veggies save the peels and ends from onions, garlic, carrots, cabbage, and celery. Save them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer until you fill the bag. Then simmer in a pot of water for an hour or so to make veggie broth. The stems from carrots and herbs make excellent additions, as well as pear and apple rinds. Add bones to make chicken or beef broth.
Stems – Broccoli and cauliflower stems are perfectly edible. Thinly slice the stem, and cook it with the broccoli or cauliflower.
Greens – The leaves from many veggies such as radishes, turnips, and red beets are edible. Use them in salads or in place of cooked spinach and kale.
Stale Bread - Before donating your stale bread to the ducks, try these ideas:
Any recipe that has you toasting bread cubes, works great with stale bread. Use it in breakfast casseroles and stuffing.
Make bread crumbs! Toast your stale bread until it is bone dry. Pulse in a food processor and add spices if desired. Store in the freezer. Use them in any recipe that calls for bread crumbs.
Use it in panzanella salad, bread pudding, French toast, or bread soup.
Any grilled sandwich such as grilled cheese works fine with stale bread.
Make croutons. Toss the stale bread in olive oil, salt, and spices and toast on a sheet pan until golden and crispy.
Potato Peels – Fry potato peels on oil, and use them as a crunchy topping on your mashed potatoes.
Regrow - A few vegetables can be regrown. Yes really! Try these:
Immerse celery ends in a bowl of water. After a few days you will see leaves and roots starting to grow. Pot the celery. Let it grow into a new head of celery. Harvest and repeat!
Place the white root ends of scallions and leeks into a glass jar with water. The green stalks will regrow. Once the plant is mature, snip greens as you need them.
Plant any unused ginger in potting soil, and water it like a house plant. After a while, a beautiful ginger plant will grow. You can pull up the plant, cut off the amount of root needed, and re-plant.
The next time you’re tempted to throw away food, consider the kitchen magic you can make with it!