Thanks! Ok, just wanted to start this ATFAQ off easy. Here we go...
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The difficult thing about reducing food waste is that leftover ingredients rarely come in easily measurable amounts that fit perfectly into a recipe. Even with the vast searchable power of the internet, it's hard to find recipes that use up 'three limp stalks of chard' or 'a bunch minus 1/4 cup of dill'. So our goal here is to help you learn the techniques and ideas that will help you use up that random amount. We want to give you the basics, then help you taste and refine what you've made according to what you have and what you like. We want to make this whole no-food-waste idea work for YOU. And since everyone's situation is different, that means a certain amount of vagueness. If you have a specific question though - get in touch!
We've organized ingredients in groups that are somewhat botanically related, but mostly based on similar cooking styles. We did this because the majority of recipes both online and in cookbooks are described by specific ingredients (e.g. Cilantro Pesto with Walnuts). That specificity makes it difficult to realize that you can swap out similar ingredients. The cilantro pesto recipe might say in its description that you can substitute parsley or arugula, or use pine nuts instead of walnuts, but you might never have found that recipe if you searched for those ingredients directly. Plus, if you have a less common ingredient like gai lan and search for that you might not find much. But once you know that it can be cooked similarly to broccoli, that opens up a lot more potential dishes.
Our goal is to help you find many more recipes, both on this site and on other sites, by learning about a whole group of ingredients in a category. As you gather this information and gain confidence in making substitutions in the kitchen, it'll gradually get much easier to use up ingredients instead of throwing them out!
As perishable foods that change as they age (i.e. start to wilt or change colors), vegetables are one of the most commonly wasted ingredients. People are more likely to buy meat or seafood with a plan since it's more expensive. We've started with a lot of vegetable-focused recipes, but will continue to add more recipes of all kinds as we go. If there's a type of recipe you're interested in seeing...
Thanks for letting us know! We're still building out this site and will be adding many more recipes and strategies every week. Let us know what you'd like to see on the Contact and Feedback page and we'll work to get your questions answered. Got other questions? We'd love to hear from you.