Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Fish Heads And Potato Scraps

The business section of last weekend's newspaper had an interesting article with the catchy title of Save money with fish heads and potato scraps, which was about shopping and cooking so as to not waste food

I learned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a family of four throws out roughly $1,500 worth of food each year.  I guess our family is helping to keep that average down, because I think I do a great job of using up the food I buy. Any savory food scraps and peelings I have go into a bag to make broth.  Fruit remains go into the compost pile, as does the occasional piece of rotten produce from larger bags or packages. However, I figure I can always learn how to do even better, so I was interested in some practical tips (and a few that I thought were offbeat) that came from chefs and restaurant owners:
  • Fish heads: You can debone the head and make lettuce wraps with the meat.  (I don't think I've ever bought a whole fish, but this is good to know)
  • Carrot tops: If you mix them with leafy tops from other root vegetables, carrot tops can make the foundation of a pesto.
  • Potato scraps: Are good for making potato pancakes.
  • Kale stems: Can be turned into kale fries.
  • Citrus juice: Makes a good kitchen cleaner, because it's biodegradable, nontoxic, and a good degreaser.
  • Bones: Use to make soup.
  • Plant scraps:  Instead of throwing them into the broth bag, if you chop them they can become a veggie burger.. Or, if you have some wildflowers or leftover herb cuttings from your garden, you can add them to a jar of honey to flavor it.
  • Protein trimmings: Extra meat trimmings can go into enchiladas, tacos or on top of homemade pizzas.
Five years ago today: Too Much!


  1. great tips! I do use bones for soup, preferably with meat left on them!

  2. I'm going to have to try those kale fries.

  3. I compost all my scraps, which eventually goes into my garden to make healthy vegetables ..... not meat scraps, but I rarely have anything to toss.

    1. I bet that between the humans and the animals in your house all the meat scraps DO go :-)

  4. I have to admit that I am not very good at this sort of thing. I do waste food and I am ashamed of it. We don't have a compost heap, because I found a family a rats living in it and I won't poison anything so I simply removed the 'attraction' - but we do have a food waste bin which the council collects so my food waste does go in there.

    I have a bit of a problem with using peelings. I try to avoid pesticides, and I read once about just how much residue there is on various crops, in particular carrots. The advice from watchdogs here in the UK is to peel them and remove the top inch and discard it, because the greatest build-up of pesticides will be in that section (the part above the ground, or near to the surface, I suppose). Apples are heavily contaminated, potatoes are nearly all sprayed with a fungicide for storage, etc. I just don't want to be eating that, so I don't know what the answer is unless everything I buy is organic, which isn't always possible.

    1. You know, if I found critters in my compost pile I'd take it down, too. As far as pesticides go, I figure if I've made it this far in my life not worrying about them I'm not going to start now.

  5. Oh, and I've made kale 'fries' in the oven - they are delicious!! I wash and shred the kale, sprinkle it with olive oil and parmesan and cook rapidly till crisp. You can add salt if you like, but I don't.