Zero Food Waste Challenge

People throw away a ton of food. Most of it is still quite tasty, nutritious, and filling, and it is a shame that people are wasting so much food.
At the Penniless home, we're all about eliminating food waste. (Not perfect yet, though, but getting there.) I always have such an urge to share with readers when I discover a terrific and delicious way to use up food that otherwise would have gone into the trash, and so this challenge is born.

Each Thursday, I'll be posting the Zero Food Waste Challenge, where I'll share how I salvaged food and made a yummy dish for my family. Then it'll be your turn to share what you've done, either by linking up to a post on your blog on the subject, or just sharing in the comments below.
You can share anything from cooking with a part of food that people usually throw out, like chicken skins, carrot peels, cabbage cores, watermelon rind, or anything like that. Alternatively, you can share details about meals made with revamped leftovers or salvaging foods that are past their prime.

I can't wait to hear from you, what food's you saved from the dump this week!

This week, the foods I saved were:

Mushy and half rotten tomatoes became a tomato sauce, then used in tomato eggplant salad.
Starchy water from boiling pasta became the base for my onion soup.
Vegetable scraps became broth, which was the base for my chilled beet soup.

But best of all- I made two dishes based on banana peels. I'll share recipes with you next week, but I'll give you a short taste now- banana peel chutney, and crispy fried banana peels. Mmmmm, it was so yummy that my kids just wanted more and more and more and more... There was nothing left to photograph, but I have a few more bananas on my counter, so guess what I'll be making again next week?

Now it's your turn. Link up below to share what food you've managed to save from the trash this past week.
Why should you partake in this challenge?
A) Encouragement. It's much easier to do something when you're doing it as a group. By taking part in the challenge, you will be able to be a part of something "bigger", and get high fives from people who think what you're doing is awesome.
B) Pat yourself on the back. I bet you're already doing some things to save food from the trash and you're so proud of yourself. Instead of sharing your ideas with friends who may think you're a bit nuts, share it here so we can all give you a round of applause because we think you're awesome.
C) To get ideas how to prevent food wastage, and to give ideas to others.
D) To increase readership for your blog. If your post looks interesting, people will head over to your blog and might just stick around.
E) You'll get a comment from me on each post you link up.

What are the rules?
Follow blog etiquette and link back to me, please.
Family friendly content only.
Any post related to minimizing food wastage is fine, whether a recipe, musings, a list of what foods you've made from salvaged food, dumpster diving food, you name it. I'm not picky. It should just be at least remotely related to stopping to waste food though.
Feel free to grab my challenge button.

Ok, so what are you waiting for?

How did you help reduce food waste in your home this week?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. We collect bones and make our own dog food. Even chicken bones! We collect all our bones, pressure-cook them for about an hour and a half, and let it cool enough to handle the bones. Some beef, lamb and pork bones partially soften, and turkey bones seldom soften at all, so we go through to take out anything that has not softened. Then we put it in a blender in small batches. We pour it up into a large pot (usually the pressure cooker, so that we don't get anything else dirty), and put in veggie leftovers, cut-up kale stems, broccoli stems, cauliflower, any leftover meat bits that we simply couldn't face eating again, any stale rolls or croutons, and even brown rice, and bring it all to a boil until the flavors are melded. (Sometimes, we even go so far as to saute the greens before putting them in, for extra flavor.) At the end, we mix in a little gelatin with some cold water, and add it to the mixture, ladle it all into plastic tubs (like they sell slaw/potato salad in at the grocery store) and refrigerate. Our dog loves it, and our veterinarians are always amazed that we don't just feed the dog "scraps"--but actually try to make it into some kind of "taste-good" dish for him.

  2. Best thing I have started doing is saving side dishes that aren't big enough for leftover meals in a large ziplock bag in the freezer... have a little bit of corn or broccoli leftover, put it in the bag. Have a little leftover rice, open the freezer and add it to the large bag. When you get enough in the bag or want a nice soup just take it out and add to your favorite soup or stew recipe :)

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