Psst! You're Probably Handling Your Veggie Scraps All Wrong

I'm taking stock of my compost situation thanks to the Food Network Kitchen app.

November 19, 2019


Photo by: TY LIM


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In this series, we're showing off some of the coolest recipes, tips and tricks we've learned from chefs in the all-new Food Network Kitchen app.

Sure, a countertop compost bin is all the rage these days, but I've come to realize there's a better (and tastier) way to handle my veggie scraps.

As I started tuning into classes on the Food Network Kitchen app, I realized that tossing my veggie scraps straight into my compost bucket means I’ve been missing out on a golden opportunity — a liquid-golden opportunity, that is. In episode after episode, chefs have the same solution to food waste: collect the onion bits, carrot tops, celery ends and other scraps to use later in stock.

Food Network Kitchen is exceptional at minimizing waste. Foods that might otherwise go to a landfill are turned into snacks for the staff, and any discarded food is composted. And whenever possible, those flavorful vegetable bits go into stocks and soups. In his Almond-Crusted Pork Chops with Apples drop-in class, Geoffrey Zakarian says “I have what I call a discard bowl — it’s the peels of onions, the ends of carrots, some celery, the shallot pieces, some herbs. Guess what: We don’t throw anything away in the kitchen; this all gets used again. We’ll make a soup or stock,” he explains. “There’s so much flavor right here.” And he’s not the only one. In class after class, I watched chefs save scraps for future pay-off.

Before Food Network Kitchen came along, homemade stock always struck me as a project for people who need projects. Sure, those of us who roast chickens use leftover chicken bones for a basic homemade chicken stock, but going out to buy additional aromatics for the task? No, thank you. By setting aside scraps along the way, my bland stock problem is solved. I just grab veg bits and herb stems when I'm ready with my leftover poultry bits. It’s easy, economical and it reduces waste. Most importantly, it saves me a trip to the grocery store.

Now is the perfect time to get into the habit: Stocking up on stock (see what we did there?) before the holiday season means you’ll have richly flavorful bases for your Thanksgiving sides and holiday trimmings. Stuffing never had it so good.

To get more tips like these, check out the all-new Food Network Kithen app. You’ll be able to drop in for Geoffrey’s classes and learn more tips, tricks and must-make recipes to help prepare you for holiday cooking and beyond.

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