Making Use of Forgotten Vegetables
#WhyWasteFood Wednesday is a call to action to take those almost-in-the-trash food items and turn them into delicious meals!
“At least 1.3 billion tons of food is lost or wasted every year around the world—in fields, during transport, in storage, at restaurants, and in our homes! If each individual made a call to action to stop their own food waste–the planet benefits, we have less hunger, and your own grocery bills will go down through the savings.”UN Food & Agricultural
Forgotten Vegetable Stew
Note: This is #NationalFarmersMarketWeek. Use this recipe not only to make use of forgotten veggies in the house but also to support local farmers and visit your local farmers’ market. See our Farmer’s Market Resources
This tasteful vegetable stew recipe helps clean out your fridge every few weeks and gives you a sense of satisfaction about not being wasteful. The best part is that there are no rules—it’s totally freestyle since you will use whatever you have available, and every time you will enjoy a different flavor. Serve this versatile meal as lunch or dinner, or take it home. It’s a meal, but it is a great side dish if you don’t have enough vegetables to make ample portions. You can serve this meal and impress your guests with a little effort and creativity. No one will know that you are serving from the bottom of your fridge.
- 6–8 cups (280–450 g) leftover or forgotten veggies such as eggplant, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, beans, squash, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale (whatever is available; the more bits the merrier)
- 1 bell pepper
- ½ pepper (chili or jalapeño for heat lovers)
- 1 medium fresh tomato, 2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato sauce, or 1 tbsp (15 ml) tomato paste
- ¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise about ¼ inch (½ cm)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 tsp (6 g) or salt and black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup (12 g) leftover herb stems with or without leaves, chopped
- Gather up forgotten, unused or half-used vegetables. If using eggplant or potatoes, cut into 1-inch (2½ cm) cubes and soak in salted water for about 20 to 30 minutes before using. Rinse and pat dry. If using zucchini or carrots, cut them the same size as the eggplant. If using cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, or kale, blanch separately in salted boiling water and cool in cold water. Cut stems to about 1-inch (2 to 3 cm) pieces. If using a bell pepper (any color available), sliced lengthwise about ½-inch (1 cm) thick. If using a jalapeño or chili, add a very small amount or as much heat as you can handle. If using fresh tomato, peel and cut into about 1-inch (2½ cm) pieces. If using tomato paste, dilute 1 tbsp (15 ml) with ½ cup (125 ml) water.
- Heat a big pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and onion slices, and sweat for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic clove and sauté for two more minutes. Stir in all vegetables except the tomato. Place the tomato pieces, sauce, or diluted tomato paste on top of the vegetables. Season with about 1 tsp (6 g) or to taste of salt and black pepper. Cover the pot, lower the heat, and cook for about 30 minutes.
- Check the vegetables for doneness with a fork. They should be soft but still holding their form. Add the herbs and stems.
- Remove and cool with the lid on until the stew reaches room temperature. It’s better to serve at room temperature with your favorite rice or slices of crusty bread to sop up the sauce.
- This aromatic, delicious meal tastes even better the next day.
- Take it out of the fridge half an hour before serving.
- Gluten-free, vegan-friendly.
If you have a recipe you would like to share with us for #whywastewednesday, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.If you would like to make an impact on reducing food waste and hunger, help us grow our food rescue operations: Donate
Ikea scrapsbook – zero-waste recipes & ideas. IKEA ScrapsBook – Zero-Waste Recipes & Ideas – IKEA CA. (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2022.