Tag Archives: Food waste

Waffles for supper

Meatless M0nday – unless if when you hear waffles, chicken isn’t far behind.

Chicken and waffles is not meatless, but a great supper any day of the week

Chicken and waffles is not meatless, but a great supper any day of the week

In keeping with my resolution to reduce food waste, I had to come up with a way to use the buttermilk left over from the Irish bread baking of last week.

I once tried to cross reference my various recipes for just this sort of occasion…it was a hopeless muddle. I just wanted to group all the 1 cup of buttermilk recipes, all the 2 tablespoons of tomato paste recipes, all the…you get the picture.

But because I was reading Marion Cunningham, she neatly solved this buttermilk conundrum for me.

A waffle iron was one of the best small appliances I ever indulged myself in. I’ve actually worn out several. I don’t buy the high-end semi-industrial machine.

This waffle iron is a beaut - but at 200 bucks...I won't eat 200 dollars worth of waffles in my lifetime!

This waffle iron is a beaut – but at 200 bucks…I won’t eat 200 dollars worth of waffles in my lifetime!

I wait for a sale at Benny’s or Target, and get a perfectly respectable machine for under $30. It  has always served well for years. Now that I make waffles less often (read: New Years Day and maybe once or twice in the year, as opposed to maybe 25 or 30 times a year) my current waffle iron should last for decades.

Waffles also have an historic element – you knew I’d be working the food history angle in here eventually –

Waffles as good time food c. early 17th century:

This is a detail from a Pieter Bruegel painting about Carnevale. Notice the waffles as headgear!

This is a detail from a Pieter Bruegel painting about Carnevale. Notice the waffles as gambling booty and  headgear!

This is a 17th century waffle iron from France - It had to be heated over the fire. It's hard to tell from this photo, this might be a wafer iron, which are waffles super thin, extra rich cousins

This is a 17th century waffle iron from France – It had to be heated over the fire. It’s hard to tell from this photo, this might be a wafer iron, which are waffles super thin, extra rich cousins.

 

CORNMEAL WAFFLES

1 cup cornmeal

1 ¾ cups AP flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, separated

2 ½ cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons of butter, melted

3 tablespoons of sugar

  1. Start heating the waffle iron.
  2. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks. Add the buttermilk and butter to the egg yolks, blending well.
  4. Combine the liquid mixture with the flour mixture, mixing well.
  5. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff, slowly adding the sugar.
  6. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
  7. Spoon ½ cup waffle batter in the hot greased waffle iron.
  8. Bake until golden. It will smell like popcorn.
  9. Enjoy!

Makes 6-8 waffles, depending on the size of your iron.

The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Twelfth edition. Edited by Marion Cunningham with Jeri Laber. Alfred A. Knopf: New York. 1979.p. 500.

the-fannie-farmer-cookbook-57448l1

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Potato Peel Broth

Peeling Potatoes - Vincent Van Gogh

Peeling Potatoes – Vincent Van Gogh

There are times when ‘going meatless’ and ‘reduce food waste’ can go hand in  hand. In my freezer is a container that gets all the tough ends of things, the wilted parsley, the ends of celery, the not pretty or not prime. When it’s broth making time they get added to the meat and bone OR they get used alone

But most veggies alone don’t have the heft to give substance to a broth.

russet potato

Russet Potatoes

The lowly potato is nothing if not hefty.

Anna Thomas in The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two has  a very simple truly GENIUS meatless broth.

Vegetarian Epicure Book Two - Anna Thomas

Vegetarian Epicure Book Two – Anna Thomas

BUT before you begin, you have to decide what potato dish you will making with the potatoes. Potato Soup or Potato Gratin or some other dish that uses 6-7 good sized potatoes. It makes no sense to save the peels and throw the potatoes away.

Anna Thomas

Anna Thomas

Potato Peel Broth

Vegetable based (that would be meatless) broth

1 large onion

1 stalk celery

2 carrots

6-7 large brown skinned organically grown potatoes (You are using the PEELS here, people. Organic DOES make a difference here. It’s about 3 pounds. Buy the special bag.)

Large sprig of parsley (or a small stalk of celery – or just the leafy tops – something flavorful and green here)

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1 bay leaf

¼ tsp dried whole thyme (or if you don’t like thyme, whatever herbal flavor note you’s prefer. I love dill with potatoes….)

1 clove garlic, peeled

2 Quarts water

Salt and pepper to taste (fresh ground pepper is sooooo much better and now that you can buy peppercorns in a little grinder in the general spice section, why are you spending money on pepper dust?)

1 dash hot sauce (This recipe was written before the Sriracha, my now go-to hot sauce was part of the culinary landscape. But a drop or two of something spicy gives depth.)

Dash of lemon juice (If you have a lemon, you’ll use a lemon. Yes you will.Don’t forget the lemon)

Plan a dish that uses 6-7 large peeled potatoes (like Potato Soup or Potato Cheese Calzone or… you get the picture)

  1. Peel the onion and quarter it. Put in a large soup pot.
  2. Wash the carrots and celery and chop them and add them to the pot.
  3.  Scrub the potatoes thoroughly (this is a job for Loofa Gloves!) and cut out any blemishes.
  4. Loofah Gloves makes scrubbing potatoes a breeze.

    Loofah Gloves makes scrubbing potatoes a breeze.

  5. Peel them in strips at least ¼ inch thick. This is the very opposite from how potatoes are supposed to be peeled. I have to be rather Zen about this, and mindfully make fat peels. Add the fat,clean peels to the pot.
  6. Whatever peeler works for you - or you can use a paring knife

    Whatever peeler works for you – or you can use a paring knife

  7. Add the parsley, oil, bay leaf, thyme and garlic.
  8. Cover with the 2 Quarts water and bring to a boil.
  9. Simmer for 1 ½ hours.
  10. Meanwhile, use the potatoes for whatever you were going to use them for.
  11. If necessary, add more water to the pot to keep the vegetables covered at all times.
  12. Broth is done when it is light brown, fragrant and delicious. There should be about 6 cups.
  13. Strain. Toss out the spent vegetable bits. Correct seasoning; salt, pepper, hot sauce, lemon.
  14. Use, refrigerate for 2 or 3 days to use or freeze for later use.

Adapted from Anna Thomas The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two. Alfred A. Knopf. 1986. pp.58-9.

Peeling Potatoes - Frank Holl

Peeling Potatoes – Frank Holl

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14 (really 12) of mine for 14

Fourteen is rather more resolutions then I usually make – if I top it out at 12, it gives me a whole month to work on each one….if I remember any of them by the 1st of February. So here, 12 is the new 14.

Since I started with the Food Tank article, there are a few of those resolutions that I’d like to revise a little anyhow.

First off, the order is not quite right…and some of the ‘resolutions’ make assumptions about your time and money, so here goes my version.

  1. Cook. Before you can cook, you probably need some sort of kitchen set-up. So start with Prepare Food . You need a place that offers the four elements – hot, cold, wet and dry: A stove/oven; a fridge/freezer; a sink with water and a counter/table. Each of these sections has it’s own variety of tools, but until you’ve thought what you like to eat and when and how, prep work is still in the fantasy phase. We’ll be working on this. I haven’t read the newest Pollen yet, but I have read interviews and excerpts, and I’ve recommended (and still do) his other books  Cooked
  2. Eat Seasonal Produce
    By purchasing local foods that are in season, you can help reduce the environmental impact of shipping food. And your money goes straight to the farmer, supporting the local economy.  Seasonal makes sense, but unless you live in Southern California, it can be a little limiting. But do take the local option when it is available. In the last few years, whenever I read of the local die-hards limiting themselves to a 100 mile diet year round, I suddenly want  mangoes and pineapples and Parmigiano cheese from Italy and all sorts of things that aren’t the least little bit of local. There are also the Fair Trade issues.which brings us
  3. Consider the ‘True Cost’ Of Your Food
    Based on the price alone, inexpensive junk food often wins over local or organic foods. But, the price tag doesn’t tell the whole story. True cost accounting allows farmers, eaters, businesses, and policy makers to understand the cost of all of the “ingredients” that go into making fast food–including antibiotics, artificial fertilizers, transportation, and a whole range of other factors that don’t show up in the price tag of the food we eat.  On the other hand, the monetary cost IS a factor when you go to cash out, so you can’t ignore it. So put your money where your mouth is, and don’t let the Food Bullies fill your cart (and empty your wallet) for you.
  4. Share Knowledge Across Generations
    Older people have challenges–and opportunities–in accessing healthy foods. They’re sharing their knowledge with younger generations by teaching them about gardening and farming, food culture, and traditional cuisines. It’s also important to make sure that older people are getting the nutrition they need to stay active and healthy for as long as possible. Don’t BE a Food Bully, especially to ‘older people’ who, for instance , may have given birth to you. If anyone gets to eat for enjoyment, it ought to be the 80+ crowd. BUT, take the time to learn about food culture and traditional cuisine. Keep those food traditions alive!
  5.  Go Meatless Once a Week
    To produce 0.45 kilograms (one pound) of beef can require 6,810 liters (1,799 gallons) of water and 0.45 kilograms (one pound) of pork can require 2,180 liters (576 gallons) of water. Beef, pork, and other meats have large water footprints and are resource intensive. Consider reducing your “hoofprint” by decreasing the amount and types of meat you consume. Most traditional foodways have LOTS of meatless options. This also lets your dollars go further.Whole grains are good and good for you.
  6. End Food Waste
    More than 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted each year. Tips to reduce waste include planning meals ahead, buying ‘ugly’’ fruits and vegetables, being more creative with recipes, requesting smaller portions, composting, and donating excess food. This comes across as just a little preachy, but the truth is nearly half of all food purchased is tossed out. Time for a little more Saturday Morning Soup Pot, Gratin du Frigidaire, Whatever Fritatta,  and Stew of the Night Before the Next Trip to the Store. This is also a factor in the True Cost.  PS – You’re PLENTY creative – that’s how you got so much food around in the first place.

    Worm Bins (homemade)

    Worm Bins (homemade) – a whole ‘nother story

     

  7. Meet Your Local Farmer
    Know your farmer, know your food (KYF2) aims to strengthen local and regional food systems. Meeting your local farmer puts a face to where your food comes from and creates a connection between farmers and consumers. Local Farmers Markets are a great place to meet your local farmers. Farmers know all sorts of things about the food they sell.
  8. Buy (or Grow) Organic
    The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that at least one pesticide is in 67 percent of produce samples in the U.S. Studies suggest that pesticides can interfere with brain development in children and can harm wildlife, including bees. Growing and eating organic and environmentally sustainable produce we can help protect our bodies and natural resources. Not all of your local farmers are organic – the certification can be cumbersome -so pick a farmer you know, that’s why you want to know the farmer first. They’ll tell you how they’re growing it.
  9. Now for a few that got “overlooked”  Eat food. If there is an ingredient list, do you recognize what’s in it? Or is it full of things that you can’t pronounce? Read and think.
  10. Eat mindfully. Pay attention to what goes into your mouth. Grazing is good for cows and horses, not so good for people.
  11. Make a meal of it. At least once a day, sit at a table, with a plate. Standing at the counter is not a meal; neither is sitting in front of the TV or reaching into the fridge and ‘tasting’ as you go.  Cereal from a box? Not a meal.
  12. Eat with others. How often depends on how social you are. But once or twice a week.

What are your Food Resolutions for 2014?

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14 for 14

Resolutions, that is.

I’m at Frank Mand’s Sunrise Photo #365 – I’ll have comment on the resolutions tomorrow.

Happy New Year! Buon anno! Bhliain nua sásta!(There are several Irish possibilities…but of course)

from Food Tank:

1. Meet Your Local Farmer
Know your farmer, know your food (KYF2) aims to strengthen local and regional food systems. Meeting your local farmer puts a face to where your food comes from and creates a connection between farmers and consumers.

2. Eat Seasonal Produce
By purchasing local foods that are in season, you can help reduce the environmental impact of shipping food. And your money goes straight to the farmer, supporting the local economy.

3. End Food Waste
More than 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted each year. Tips to reduce waste include planning meals ahead, buying ‘ugly’’ fruits and vegetables, being more creative with recipes, requesting smaller portions, composting, and donating excess food.

4. Promote a Healthy Lifestyle
Many diseases are preventable, including obesity, yet 1.5 billion people in the world are obese or overweight. Promote a culture of prevention by engaging in physical activity and following guidelines for a healthy diet. Gaps in food governance must also be addressed to encourage healthy lifestyles, including junk food marketing to children.

5. Commit to Resilience in Agriculture
A large portion of food production is used for animal feed and biofuels–at least one-third of global food production is used to feed livestock. And land grabs are resulting in food insecurity, the displacement of small farmers, conflict, environmental devastation, and water loss. Strengthening farmers’ unions and cooperatives can help farmers be more resilient to food prices shocks, climate change, conflict, and other problems.

6. Eat (and Cook) Indigenous Crops
Mungbean, cow pea, spider plant…these indigenous crops might sound unfamiliar, but they are grown by small-holder farmers in countries all over the world. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that approximately 75 percent of the Earth’s genetic resources are now extinct, and another third of plant biodiversity is predicted to disappear by the year 2050. We need to promote diversity in our fields and in our diets!

7. Buy (or Grow) Organic
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that at least one pesticide is in 67 percent of produce samples in the U.S. Studies suggest that pesticides can interfere with brain development in children and can harm wildlife, including bees. Growing and eating organic and environmentally sustainable produce we can help protect our bodies and natural resources.

8. Go Meatless Once a Week
To produce 0.45 kilograms (one pound) of beef can require 6,810 liters (1,799 gallons) of water and 0.45 kilograms (one pound) of pork can require 2,180 liters (576 gallons) of water. Beef, pork, and other meats have large water footprints and are resource intensive. Consider reducing your “hoofprint” by decreasing the amount and types of meat you consume.

9. Cook
In Michael Pollan’s book “Cooked,” he learns how the four elements-fire, water, air, and earth-transform parts of nature into delicious meals. And he finds that the art of cooking connects both nature and culture. Eaters can take back control of the food system by cooking more and, in the process, strengthen relationships and eat more nutritious–and delicious–foods.

10. Host a Dinner Party
It’s doesn’t have to be fancy, just bring people together! Talk about food, enjoy a meal, and encourage discussion around creating a better food system. Traveling in 2014 and craving a homemade meal? For another option try Meal Sharing and eat with people from around the world.

11. Consider the ‘True Cost’ Of Your Food
Based on the price alone, inexpensive junk food often wins over local or organic foods. But, the price tag doesn’t tell the whole story. True cost accounting allows farmers, eaters, businesses, and policy makers to understand the cost of all of the “ingredients” that go into making fast food–including antibiotics, artificial fertilizers, transportation, and a whole range of other factors that don’t show up in the price tag of the food we eat.

12. Democratize Innovation
Around the world, farmers, scientists, researchers, women, youth, NGOs, and others are currently creating innovative, on-the-ground solutions to various, interconnected global agriculture problems. Their work has the great potential to be significantly scaled up, broadened, and deepened—and we need to create an opportunity for these projects to get the attention, resources, research, and the investment they need.

13. Support Family Farmers
The U.N. FAO has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming, honoring the more than 400 millionfamily farms in both industrialized and developing countries, defined as farms who rely primarily on family members for labour and management. Family farmers are key players in job creation and healthy economies, supplying jobs to millions and boosting local markets, while also protecting natural resources.

14. Share Knowledge Across Generations
Older people have challenges–and opportunities–in accessing healthy foods. They’re sharing their knowledge with younger generations by teaching them about gardening and farming, food culture, and traditional cuisines. It’s also important to make sure that older people are getting the nutrition they need to stay active and healthy for as long as possible.

by Danielle Nierenberg

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