Food & Drink

Use The Whole Vegetable: Waste Less, Discover Recipes You Never Knew Existed

Don't be afraid of those stalks and stems. EAT 'EM.

Food waste is a huge problem, and that's an understatement. According to World Bank estimates, up to one third of the food produced worldwide is thrown away. The proportions get worse in the United States, where Americans throw away almost half of their food. All this is going on while about 49 million Americans, and about 805 million people worldwide are food insecure.

There are a lot of methods to combat food waste. You can show up to the supermarket or farmer's market with a plan so that you don't buy too much food and end up throwing it away. You can freeze a lot more food than you might expect. (Did you know you can freeze guacamole, for example?) You can use neat little tricks to help your food last longer in the fridge, like wrapping washed greens in paper towels and separating your onions and potatoes. You can also compost -- and we swear it's neither scary nor difficult. You can also learn to use the whole vegetable.

It's time to stop throwing away your turnip greens and carrot tops. Hang on to your broccoli stalks and kale stems too. You can use all these pieces to make stock, of course, but you can also sauté them, shave them into salads and even mix them into veggie burgers. From world renowned chefs to home cooks, everyone has been celebrating vegetables recently, no longer relegating them to humble side dishes and instead putting them on center stage. To these chefs and cooks, using the whole vegetable isn't viewed as an inconvenient responsibility, but an awesome challenge, a way to showcase creativity and a way to honor vegetables.

In her forthcoming book "A Girl And Her Greens: Hearty Meals For The Garden," which comes out this April, April Bloomfield shows off the beauty of using whole vegetables, with recipe like Roasted Carrots With Carrot-Top Pesto And Burrata and Grilled Whole Tokyo Turnips. Let Bloomfield (author of "A Girl And Her Pig," and a chef famous for meat-centric restaurants like The Breslin and The Spotted Pig, where the most famous item on the menu is the burger) inspire you to love vegetables -- and the whole vegetable at that.

We've rounded up 14 recipes that use the whole vegetable to immediately inspire you, and when you're ready to dig a little deeper, check out Tara Duggan's "Root-to-Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable." Once you start using broccoli stalks and carrot tops, you'll never go back to tossing them in the trash again.

1
Spicy Stir Fried Broccoli
Kalyn's Kitchen
Get the Spicy Stir Fried Broccoli recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen
2
Warm Beet Greens With Sour Cream Dressing
Food52
Get the Warm Beet Greens With Sour Cream Dressing recipe by Amanda Hesser from Food52
3
Pickled Chard Stems
Food52
Get the Pickled Chard Stems recipe by angela brown from Food52
4
Broccoli Slaw With Cranberry Orange Dressing
Simply Recipes
5
Broccoli Stem Veggie Burgers
According To Elle
Get the Broccoli Stem Veggie Burgers recipe from According To Elle
6
Green Gumbo With Turnip Greens
Simply Recipes
Get the Green Gumbo With Turnip Greens recipe from Simply Recipes
7
Radish Top Soup With Slow Roasted Roots And Fennel
Food & Style
8
Dan Barber's Cauliflower Steaks With Cauliflower Purée
Food52
9
Sweet And Spicy Sautéed Kale
The Endless Meal
Get the Sweet And Spicy Sautéed Kale recipe from The Endless Meal
10
Anna Klinger's Grilled Swiss Chard Stems With Anchovy Vinaigrette
Food52
11
Radish Leaf Pesto
Chocolate And Zucchini
Get the Radish Leaf Pesto recipe from Chocolate And Zucchini
12
Carrot Salad With Carrot Tops, Currants And Toasted Cumin
Food & Style
13
Salad Of Edible Radish, Beet And Carrot Top Greens
White On Rice Couple
14
Turnip Greens Frittata
Food52
Get the Turnip Greens Frittata recipe by Amanda Hesser from Food52

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