Vegetarian cooking without waste with potatoes, carrots and fennel

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EEven though you still strive to look for the “ugly” products in the grocery store and composting becomes an art form, finding ways to cook with leftover food still feels like you earn bonus points in the kitchen. cooked. Oh, you thought those beet stalks were inedible? No, they’re great for adding texture to salads. Excuse me, were you about to throw away those citrus zest? Don’t you know they make the perfect baked potato chips for gut health?

Ali Rosen, creator of Potluck With Ali, is another person who enjoys using leftover food and creating litter-free meals. “I’m very passionate about reducing food waste and composting, but more importantly I’m just a lazy cook,” she says. “I don’t want to spend time peeling carrots or potatoes, so I always test the limits to see how far I can get.” In his opinion, cooking with leftovers has many benefits: it’s good for the planet, cuts down on meal prep time, and adds more nutrients to your meal because virtually all leftover food is full of fiber.

In Rosen’s new book, Modern frozen meals ($ 18), she shares a no-waste vegetarian baking recipe that uses parts of three vegetables – potatoes, carrots, and fennel – that a lot of people tend to throw away. “I think fennel intimidates a lot of people because of its size and fronds, but it’s so much easier than you think,” says Rosen. In this recipe, she uses the flowering plant (which is part of the carrot family, for the record) to add a subtle sweetness that balances our earthy carrots and potatoes. “I also wanted to use it here because fennel stems and fronds are so often misunderstood and thrown away,” she says. “You can really eat every part of the fennel, and it’s important to give cooks the confidence to! “

Besides fennel leaves, Rosen also uses carrot tops, which are mixed with lemon juice and cheese to make a vibrant pesto, and potato skins. “I also think [carrot tops] are a great herb on salads or an extra green in a smoothie, ”she adds. “They also do well in soups and broths. “

Below, Rosen shares her recipe for her waste-free vegetarian cooking, but before we begin, she offers this tip: keep your salt shaker nearby. “Remember to salt each layer,” she says. “The biggest mistake I usually see is not enough seasoning, but when you cook a dish with subtle ingredients it can turn a star dish into a flop.” Ready to cook? Read on for the recipe.

Vegetarian cooking without waste

For 4 to 8 people

Ingredients
3 heads of fennel
1 lb carrots
2 large russet potatoes
Extra virgin olive oil for the pan
2 tbsp. salt, divided
1 cup of ricotta
1 jar (24 oz) tomato sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 400 ° F. Cut off the top of the fennel and cut the bulbs into slices. Remove the leaves (the grass-like parts) from the stems and set aside. Finely chop the stems. Remove the tops of the carrots from the root. Cut the carrots into long halves (or into quarters if the carrots are particularly large). Finely chop the carrot tops. Cut the potatoes into ½ inch pieces, leaving the skin on.

2. In a large baking dish (it can be circular or square and almost any size, it will all cook the same), spread a layer of olive oil on the bottom. Arrange the potatoes in rows, overlapping them to cover the entire bottom of the pot. Add a generous pinch of salt to the potatoes. Spread a thin layer of ricotta on top (it may look more like penny-sized spoonfuls if your ricotta has a thick texture), salt it, then spread a layer of tomato sauce. If your tomato sauce isn’t salty enough, be sure to add salt – this dish needs every layer of salt! Sprinkle all the carrot tops over the tomato sauce, with another pinch of salt.

3. Lay down a layer of fennel slices. Add another layer of ricotta, then tomato sauce. Add a layer of carrots, remembering to salt each layer as you go.

4. Garnish with another layer of ricotta and tomatoes, then add the chopped fennel stems on top. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 60 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and sprinkle fennel leaves and Parmesan cheese on top.

If you eat now: Cook uncovered for another 30 minutes. Serve hot.

If you freeze for later: Let the vegetarian cooking cool completely. Cover with a layer of plastic wrap, then cover with an additional layer of foil. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 ° F. Remove the plastic wrap and foil and cook, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through.

Watch the video below to see how to make zero waste ice cream pops:

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