10 Recipes That Minimize Food Waste for Earth Day—and Every Day!

April 22 is Earth Day. To mark this important event, we’re trying to lessen our environmental footprint by reducing waste and maximizing food. Our mission: zero waste! If you’re worried that this is too difficult to do on a daily basis, why not try out some of these no-waste recipes to use up ingredients that might otherwise be considered garbage (or compost). It’s easier than you think!

1. Clean-Out-the-Fridge Vegetable Broth

Carrots that no longer have that crunchy bite, limp celery and wrinkled tomatoes? Into the pot they go! This broth can serve as the basis for several dishes, and it’s entirely made with vegetables that were headed for the compost. Plus, you can refrigerate or freeze it for future use.

2. Kitchen-Sink Fried Rice

This dish basically uses anything left in the refrigerator—like meat, vegetables or rice. Here, you can use any leftover chicken, minced pork or ground beef. In a large frying pan, sauté vegetables along with a hit of spicy sambal oelek, curry and turmeric. Add the meat and rice, and dinner is served!

3. Crusty Spaghetti

A childhood favourite of ours was to eat the noodles that got crispy around the edge of a baked pasta dish. We decided to embrace this love, and make it an (almost) official recipe. Simply put leftover spaghetti into a pan with oil and wait for a crust to form before turning it like a patty. A no-waste dish full of nostalgia!

4. Chinese Fondue Stir-Fry

After an evening of fondue there are often a few pieces of meat, vegetables and, of course, broth left in the pot. You can use these ingredients for a super-simple stir-fry: In a frying pan or wok, brown the meat with onions, garlic and ginger, and the vegetables, then add the broth and serve with rice or rice noodles.

5. Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

One thing is certain: this is the pinnacle of comfort food. By combining grilled cheese with macaroni and cheese, you’re guaranteed happiness. The addition of Gruyère and bacon takes it over the top in the best possible way.

6. Clean-Out-the-Fridge Strata

Stale bread (baguette, loaf, etc.), cooked vegetables and pieces of ham or other meats are used to create a flavourful strata. To these interchangeable ingredients, add milk, eggs, cream and grated cheese. Not only is this a delicious, easy meal, you’ve cleaned out the fridge!

7. Creamy Pasta with Salmon

For this cream-based pasta recipe, we use salmon confit, but any leftover salmon works. Go with whatever pasta is in the pantry and throw together a sauce with cream, what’s left of that bottle of white wine, spinach and any fresh herbs on hand.

8. Kitchen-Sink Green Vegetable Soup

To celebrate spring, here’s a nice dose of greenery! Kale, cabbage, Swiss chard or broccoli; anything goes, as long as it’s green. Peas and baby spinach round out this soup, topped with crème fraîche and grilled pecans, if desired.

9. Ultra Moist Banana Bread

There are always classics, even in no-waste recipes. And banana bread is probably at the top of the list. When the bananas get brown and seem doomed for waste, make this comforting dessert that also works equally well as a snack.

10. Chocolate Croissant and Apple Bread Pudding

Were your eyes bigger than your stomach at Sunday brunch? Make a delicious dessert with all those leftover dry pastries. Just like a bread pudding, cut up pieces of croissants, chocolate and apples, and coat with milk, cream and beaten eggs. Enjoy warm, with a tall glass of milk.

Thanks to all these recipes that use old bread and vegetable scraps, as well as leftover pasta and meat, there’s no more reason to waste. Our new motto: Nothing is lost, everything is cooked!