Melbourne's #1 Food Market

Using All the Food

As a food Market we’re passionate about reducing waste, with recycling and sustainability programs part of our everyday operations.

And, whilst we know you do not have access to the same machinery and equipment that we do, something that all of us can do at home is reduce food waste and the simplest way to do this is to ’use the whole thing’. Plus, as an added benefit, you will find yourself saving money when you reduce wastage and make the most of everything in your fridge.

To help, we’ve put together a few ideas on how to make the most of your food and reduce your food bill, including ways with bones and how to choose and use lesser-known cuts.

Who knows, maybe you’ll discover some new favourite eats and dishes to add to your weekly repertoire!


Root To Stem Cooking

Carrot tops, potato skins, broccoli stalks, celery leaves, asparagus ends, cauliflower leaves, pumpkin skins – these are all parts of vegetables that are commonly thrown away. But they can all be used!

From root to stem; they’re nutritious, delicious and versatile.

You can create a delicious vegetable stock, and that saves you buying it. Put all the leftover parts of the veggies (ensure they are washed first) into a pot with some water and simmer until they’re breaking down. If you have leftover stock freeze it!

Roasted skins also make for a delicious snack. Potato skins and pumpkin skins are amazing when sprinkled with olive oil and salt and roasted. You can even rub in other spices such as paprika and cumin for extra flavour.


Sauté Those Leaves

While leaves from cauliflower, beetroot and broccoli usually end up in the bin or compost, they are actually ideal and delicious to create a sautéed side or a warm salad.

And don’t forget, if you’re making a stir fry use the whole veg. Those stems and leaves are packed full of nutrition and add extra flavour and texture.


What About Those Limp Veggies?

Limp doesn’t always mean bad (wink!) and while some veggies may be too soft to enjoy raw, don’t throw them in the compost just yet. They can still be transformed into delicious dishes. Think about a soup such as carrot and fennel or zucchini and beans. Or, to warm up a cooler day, a pie, casserole or ratatouille. Plus, carrots are great in smoothies!

Slow cooking is super forgiving and will help your veggies shine; even when they are past their prime.


Don’t Throw Out the Bones!

If you’ve bought meat on the bone, or whole fish, keep those bones to create nourishing home-made bone broths or stocks. Whether it’s a chicken carcass, osso bucco bones, ribs, snapper bones, fish heads or prawn shells, there’s a tasty stock just waiting to be simmered up.

Some top tips:

  • Think about adding veggies for extra flavour and nutrition
  • Start with cold water; this allows for the proteins to come out and creates a richer stock
  • Don’t add salt. Season as required at the end
  • Don’t over simmer, as this can turn veggies like carrots and celery bitter
  • If you’re making a stock with ribs, consider wrapping in a cloth and breaking with a hammer (the cloth is to avoid splinters) as this will let out extra flavour
  • Regularly skim the top of your stock as it reduces, but don’t stir
  • Strain the stock at the end to remove any impurities


Think About the Less Popular Cuts

While we are talking about using all of the food, think about using all of the animal in cooking. Some of the lesser-known cuts of meat are just as flavourful and versatile. They’re also usually cheaper than the more popular cuts. Talk to our helpful butchers in Bracher Arcade about lesser-known cuts they recommend.

Here’s some cuts to try:

  • Hanger Steak (often known as the butcher’s cut as they would keep it for themselves) – rich and full of flavour, Hanger steaks are great pan seared, grilled or made into skewers
  • Flank Steak – this does not have a lot of fat so be careful to not overcook. We recommend marinating the meat to break down the proteins and assist with tenderisation. Perfect in stir fries or fajitas
  • Rump Cap – this cut is particularly flavourful and very popular in Brazil. It is a flat boneless cut from the cap of the top sirloin. Its thick cap of fat that runs across the top, adds a depth of flavour when it is cooked. Rump cap is great roasted whole, cooked on a BBQ rotisserie or cut into steaks
  • Chicken – thighs, wings and drumsticks. Many people instinctively buy the breast, but these other cuts are great for roasting, frying, barbecuing or slow cooking. And remember, those bones can make a great stock
  • Pork shoulder – often overlooked, this cut is ideal for slow roasting, slow cooking or braising. Did somebody say pulled pork?
  • Lamb neck – if you love a stew, lamb neck is worth a try. We recommend buying lamb neck chops.



If you are keen to try out some of our suggestions, check out these ideas from ex-Masterchef contestants Mandy Hall and Simon Toohey – you’ll find recipes for Pulled Banana Skins, Celery Salt and Pumpkin Skin Nachos: 

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