“Food Waste: Why Almost Half Our Food is Never Eaten”

K found this really interesting piece from KCRW’s “To the Point” about food waste. It’s definitely worth taking the time to listen to this. We found it quite helpful and informative. The “food waste” discussion starts around the 8:30 mark:

KCRW’s “To the Point”: Food Waste- Why Almost Half Our Food is Never Eaten

Just a couple of points I jotted down while listening:

1. We’re wasting almost 40% of the food supply.2. 1 in 6 doesn’t have enough to eat.
3. The “sell by”, “enjoy by” “eat by” dates are about freshness (ie “peak flavor”); NOT safety.
4. “We have to grow for cosmetic perfection to make a sale, and so a lot of food gets lost because of that.” (Nick Papadapalous from Bloomfield Farms)
5. Approx 20% of the grown food never leaves the farm.
6. “Food is the #1 component of a landfill.” (Doug Rauch- former president of Trader Joe’s)

And, if you have the time, they mentioned this link to help clarify these dates on products that are confusing to most of us:


C & K

what to do with all those stems!

I know I know STEMS???? A little know fact is that many stems have more flavor then the leaves or the roots that we use. Take Italian parsley as an example, the leaves delish! The stems even more so, so be sure to minced them up and add them to what ever your making. I love to fry Italian parsley in hot olive oil with garlic smashed flat as a piece of paper, hot chili flakes a good pinch of salt and pepper and toss it all with linguini or other pasta. A grate of Parmesan and a really satisfying dish is made in minutes. How about chard stems, try tossing  them in a little olive oil then oven roasting at 425 for about 10 minutes, drizzle with your favorite vinaigrette for a great side dish or use kale stems by blanching in salted boiling water for a minute or two, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process and dip in hummus or green goddess for a refreshing vegetable. Use basil stems in your long cooking pasta sauces add in the beginning of the cooking and add the shredded leaves at the end for a one two punch sure to please. I love to use rosemary, thyme or sage stems under my roasted chickens.One of the first chefs that I ever worked with told me to “never throw out flavor”. Keep that in mind this week and use those stems! 

Parmesan Cheese Oil

I don’t know about you but I HATE to throw out my Parmesan cheese rinds but what to do with them? I have been making Parmesan oil with mine. Just take the rinds and soak in a good quality olive oil. Extra Virgin ( never even thought of it heehee) to cover the rinds let soak a room temp for a couple of days then pop into the fridge to keep. I use it in salad dressings, drizzle over vegetables or fresh mozzarella and tomatoes for a little umami kick! I just keep adding oil to cover and more rinds as I have them. I also add them to minestrone soup of other soups that could use a little lift in flavor then I take them out before serving. Parmesan rinds are just too good to throw out! Enjoy.


Don’t throw your extra celery away… Plant it!

Did you know that you can plant a celery stalk and it will regrow into another full stalk? When you get your celery home (and before you start pulling any apart), cut off the base (about and inch and a half up the end). Then just dig a small size hole in the ground (or a pot) and place your cut off piece in there, stalk side up and cover with about an inch of dirt. You’ll start seeing action in about 3 days to a week!

Pretty cool huh?!


Extra Rice? What do you do with it?

If you’re like me, no matter how many times I try and judge it, I always make too much rice with our meal. So annoying! So here is an easy recipe for what to do with leftover rice:


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups cooked brown rice (can use white rice as well)
1 15-ounce can lentils, rinsed, or 1 1/3 cups cooked lentils
1 carrot, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional- don’t have to use if you don’t have!)


1. Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add rice, lentils, carrot and parsley; stir to combine
2. And that’s it!


To Make Ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.



toasting New Mexican chili peppers

This is a great technique to add to your tool box. Not only do dried peppers add an amazing flavor profile to your dish but they are dried so they have a very long shelve life. You may want to use gloves when handling them especially the hotter varieties as they can leave a very spicy residue on your hands and you don;’want to touch anything tender ( if you know what I mean) after handling them. Save the oil that you toast them in and saute onions or other vegetables or just save and use a hot chili oil to brighten up vegetables or dipping sauces. 

Very Pertinent Article

Been meaning to post this article on the blog.. A very pertinent and interesting article about waste in the U.S.

Go Waste Free Cooking!!

C & K






1 Year Anniversary!

We can’t hardly believe it, but we recently celebrated working on the cookbook for one year! I remember taking pictures of Karen and her deliciously prepared food during a cooking class last March.  After the class was over,  we were relaxing with a glass of Malbec and talking about projects to do together in the future. The next thing you know, we were like “we should work on a cookbook together! There’s really nothing out there like what we want to do!”


And so Waste Free Cooking was born.

We recently had a celebratory dinner starting with appetizers and cocktails at Mistral Kitchen, and followed by some seriously delicious food (and a few more cocktails!) at Local 360. We had a great time and we recommend trying those 2 restaurants if you haven’t!


This past year has been exciting, difficult, thrilling, fun, and has involved an extreme amount of hard work. We wouldn’t change it for the world and look forward to our next year together!

Carol & Karen


Proposals Out and Recipe Tester Photo

Hello again-

We have been working super duper hard to get the cookbook proposal as perfect as humanly possible, and are excited that we’ve had 4 go out already, with more going out over the next few weeks. So exciting! We look forward to the “we would love to publish your book” email anytime now!

As we’re continuing to test recipes for other chapters, we had one of our recipe testers, April Fourre,  use the leftover turkey she had made in our “Turkey Scaloppini with Rosemary and Garlic” recipe and used it in a pizza! What a great use of  leftovers. Very creative and looks delish! Nicely done April!



Carol and Karen