Growing up, our father instilled in us that wasting food was not acceptable and he was the king of making something out of nothing. I've always held on to that and will find any way to use up everything if I can before it hits the garbage. I'm going to share a few suggestions for using up products commonly tossed or expired before they are used up.
As you can see, it is quite easy and delicious to use up every last bit of things. No need to waste and these ideas are all super simple.
Got some tips to share?
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Too many times have I caught myself right before I've gone to throw out vegetable scraps. It's completely ridiculous to throw out any vegetables especially when we can make stock!
Using the ricer will come down to your preference. If a chunky, hearty mash is what you are looking for, simply grab the potato masher and go to town. If you're a creamy, rich mash kind of person, a ricer is the best way to achieve that texture.
Keep an eye out for this tool while out and about, your creamy, dreamy potatoes are waiting!
Fresh Parsley can pretty much be used for any recipe to add a little freshness, colour, or a beautiful green garnish. It's great to have on hand at all times. Here's a couple tips for working with fresh parsley in your kitchens!
An Asian Skimmer (Spider Skimmer) is an essential kitchen tool originating in Asian & Dutch kitchens. It's name was given to it because of the appearance of the wire basket. It resembles a spider web in some cases. Its found its way here and thank goodness because it is such a helpful tool.
It's the perfect tool for removing pasta from boiling water without lifting and pouring the pot. This is also great for reserving pasta water to use in your dish instead of pouring it down the drain into a strainer. It's essentially for skimming foods out of pots with hot liquids. For example, when frying foods that are submerged in oil, the skimmer comes in handy for removing everything quickly.
Seriously get out and grab one. It is my new favourite tool! They range in price depending on the quality of materials. Look for a handle that is capable of being submerged in hot liquid without melting / warping. Also, look for thin slots in the basket, larger slots will allow foods to slip between essentially ruining the ease of use of the tool.
I can't tell you how many times I've visited the market / grocery store only to find that they were completely sold out of Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. They always seem to have everything else BUT the low sodium veg which I suppose is a good thing as it means more people are enjoying low sodium veggie options. Until I really work out the perfect at home stock I regularly use boxed stocks for soups, sauces, and stews and when push comes to shove, full sodium vegetable stock will have to do.
Full Sodium Stock has significantly more flavour but with that flavour comes an abundance of salt. When using full sodium stocks, dilute the stock cup for cup with cold water. This will keep the sodium down as well as keep you in control of the level of salt and flavour in the dish.
Growing up, we as kids are taught to wash our produce prior to eating it but it was not a rule that I ever religiously followed until I learned more about food.
Every vegetable you purchase must be washed unless it is bagged and that bag specifies the product has been thoroughly washed. Not all dirt is as easy to see as notoriously dirty vegetables like celery, leeks, or lettuce. Dirt hides in all the creases and cracks and depending on whether your produce grows above or below ground, this will determine the scrubbing necessary.
Veggies and fruit that grow above ground like celery, tomatoes, cauliflower, and lettuces can be hand scrubbed and most dirt and grime is fairly visible to scrub away. Unless you are buying organic, you are attempting to scrub some of the pesticide away as well.
In the case of veggies that grow underground, it is important to thoroughly scrub them using a vegetable scrubbing brush. Carrots and Potatoes may appear clean from rinsing off but dirt hides between the microscopic sized cracks and creases in the skin. Peeling these vegetables will obviously remove the problem but you also remove flavour and nutritional value.
Washing produce may be that one annoying step you want to skip but seeing a ring of dirt around your pan after boiling potatoes is not attractive to guests! :p
Having rubber bands around is actually quite helpful for so many things in the kitchen. Most importantly, sealing packages that have been open and are not resealable.
If you're someone who purchases them in bulk listen up and you'll save a few bucks. Save all the elastics that wrap your produce when you purchase it. Ever notice veggies like celery and asparagus come wrapped in elastic? Save them for future use in the kitchen and you can really avoid buying elastics and bag clips.
You're welcome. :)
Potatoes get a bad rap but so long as you don't drown them in sauces and butter and fatty things, they are quite good for you. They are one of the most versatile vegetables available to you at the market. Aside from eating them raw, they can be baked, roasted, fried, chipped, sliced, mashed, boiled, and everything in between. I could rave about potatoes all day.
Did you know that they can also be used to thicken soups, stews, and sauces?
Jonathan - Happy Veg
Dedicated Foodie. Proud Vegetarian. Recipe Creator. Friend to all Animals.