Life Eat & Drink Six ingenious ways to cook with leftovers
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Six ingenious ways to cook with leftovers

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“Waste not, want not” was my mum’s favourite catch cry when we were growing up. She was masterful at using every morsel of food and not one scrap went into the bin.

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It’s a great philosophy and one I long ago adopted in the kitchen. It not only saves cents, but there is a great sense of achievement in being resourceful and avoiding wastefulness.

Here are my top six tips:

Who knew carrot ends would make such a great pesto? Photo: Getty
Who knew carrot ends would make such a great pesto? Photo: Getty

Carrot greens pesto

Green carrot tops make a wonderful pesto, which you can stir through pasta, add to soup or use as a dip. Remember to wash the greens very well because they can be gritty.

Put 1 bunch carrot greens (approx. 1 cup), 2 cloves garlic, ¼ cup lightly toasted almonds, ¼ cup lightly toasted pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil along with fresh mint into a food processor and blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Asparagus ends soup

One kilo of fresh asparagus yields about 300 grams of woody ends so they are worth saving to make a soup. Peel the ends for a smoother texture.

In a small amount of oil, sauté 1 clove garlic, 1 chopped onion and 2 peeled, diced potatoes until aromatic. Add 3 cups of stock (see recipe below) and asparagus ends and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Blend until smooth. Stir in chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Roasted toasted sandwiches

This works best with roast pumpkin and cauliflower, however you can use any leftover roast veggies, along with cooked green beans. This is also a great way to use stale bread.

Asparagus ends are great in soup. Photo: Getty
Asparagus ends are great in soup. Photo: Getty

Add some grated pecorino cheese for some ooey-gooey yum and put into a jaffle iron or sandwich maker.

Vegemite Cuppa

When you think you have used all the Vegemite in the jar, think again. Simply pour boiling water into the jar. Carefully swill the water around and stir to release all the Vegemite stuck on the glass and you have a perfect afternoon pick-me-up!

Get fancy and add some chopped spring onions, some rice noodles, or stir an egg stirred through for a protein hit.

Beet leaves

We all know beetroot is fantastic for us, but did you know that their leaves are more nutrient dense than the beets themselves?

Jaffles are the perfect way to use up stale bread and dinner leftovers. Photo: Getty
Jaffles are the perfect way to use up stale bread and dinner leftovers. Photo: Getty

Toss a few leaves into a beet juice; roughly chop then sauté leaves in coconut oil, serve topped with coconut flakes and currants; or make a salad using grated beetroot, shredded beet leaves, walnuts, goat’s feta and a splash of raspberry vinegar.

Vegetable peel stock

Simply save any vegetable peel (except potato) and store in a bag in the freezer until you have plenty to fill a big pot.

Put the vegetable peelings in a heavy based saucepan and add enough water so the contents of the pot are covered. Add a couple of bay leaves and some ground black pepper. Simmer for two hours with the lid on. Drain and freeze in measured quantities.

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