Thursday, January 6, 2011

Recycle Food?

"Use it up, wear it out. Make it do, or do without." Words to live by! As part of my food recycling plan I am working harder at using up all the little bits of food I used to toss. Today, it is the chicken carcass... stock anyone?

Thanks to my wonderful mother in law, the cooking genius, I have a fantastic recipe for chicken stock. Now, you are probably thinking, "a recipe? It's chicken bones and water." But you would be missing out on some good flavor if you stopped right there. To the chicken bones and water, add one bay leaf, and one cut up onion. Yum! Also, if you have it, include the chicken skin in the stockpot.

If you have never made broth (like me about 6 months ago) you may be wondering at what temperature and how long you simmer. I simmer at about medium to low heat and I simmer until it looks like broth. Sometimes this can be up to 2 hours. That is a good time to do laundry or another task that could take some time.

Additional notes: There are a lot of other ways to recycle food. Here are just a few:
1. Beet greens in stir-fries, risotto, or sauteed with garlic
2. Add vinegar and oil to the mustard jar and shake. Voila, you have salad dressing.
3. Leftover stirfry can be thrown in the pan and beaten egg poured over it, makes a tasty breakfast.
4. Hard bread ends and stale muffins can be used for croutons. Cut into chunks, spray with oil and season to taste. Then bake.
5. Squished fruit can be saved for smoothies or canning recipes. Stick it in a baggie and pop it in the freezer until it is needed.

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