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Using all the Food

Wednesday 8th September 2021

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

And whilst you won’t have access to the same machinery we do, one thing you can do to reduce food waste is to ’use the whole thing’.

So, to help, we’ve put together a few ideas on what to do with those weekly leftovers, including ways with bones and how to choose and use lesser-known cuts.

Who knows, maybe you’ll find a whole new range of 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. Hot tip:   YOU CAN STILL USE THEM.

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

Save cash by creating a tasty vegetable stock. Throw all the leftover parts of the veggies into a pot with some water and simmer until they’re breaking down. 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

Leaves from cauliflower, beetroot and broccoli usually end up in the bin or compost, but these are 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!

What About Those Limp Veggies?

Limp doesn’t always mean bad (😉) and while some veggies may be too soft to enjoy raw, you can still transform them into delicious dishes. How about a soup like carrot and fennel or zucchini and beans? Or how about a tasty savoury pie or casserole? Even a classic ratatouille is a great way to use them up.

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

We’re all about celebrating the whole 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.

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 in 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 marinading 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.
  • 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.

For a little food-spo, check out these recipes using commonly thrown away vegetable parts:

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