Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cooking with Trash

No not real trash, but scraps of food I used to throw out...

My friend Kim has inspired me to save veggie scraps and ends to use to make my own chicken stock.  So when these veggie scraps become available throughout the week I place them in a ziplock baggie in my freezer.  This is where they stay until I am ready for them.  No more moldy science experiments in the fridge.  Ends (like carrots, celery, onions) and limp veggies work fine for stock.

My family does not eat the heels on loaves of bread.  I have found ways to incorporate these into our meals.  (1) These work great in grilled cheese sandwiches if you turn the heel side in.  No one notices it's a heel.  (2) Cook them up in french toast.  Slice them into french toast sticks.  (3) Cube them and save in a baggie in the freezer until there is enough to make breakfast casserole with (or make bread crumbs for recipies).  (4) Someday I might be ambitious enough to try them as croutons.

I read somewhere how much food we throw out in the United States.  It's an incredible amount.  I know I contribute to that.  I have tried to improve on this a little at a time.  This is one way I accomplish that.

And just for fun, here is a breakfast casserole recipe that will help you use up some of those heels...

Sausage and Egg Casserole 
1 pound lean pork sausage
6 eggs, slightly beaten
6 slices of bread, cubed
1 cup grated cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried mustard
2 cups milk

Brown sausage and drain. Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased 9x13 casserole dish. Refrigerate at least 12 hours, or overnight. May also freeze at this point.

Serving Day:
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. If using from frozen, thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator before cooking.


  1. i love the grilled cheese sandwich idea. that's brilliant! thanks for linking up to the frugal tuesday tip and using our button! http://juliecache.com/2011/04/05/frugal-tuesday-tip-11/.html

  2. I have a window sill laden with dried out old bread heels, just waiting to be ground into breadcrumbs. I save all kinds (rye, whole wheat, wonderbread white) and it all goes in one breadcrumb heap.

    Croutons are simple. Just toss the cubed bread in olive oil and herbs (oregano, basil, chives, black pepper, garlic/onion powder. Bake low and slow (like, 250 for two hours). Let cool and store in airtight container.

  3. I'll admit to being super duper guilty of wasting food! I do make my own chicken stock, but it never occurred to me to freeze the extra veggies to save them for the stock.

    And that breakfast casserole sounds delish! It would be great for Easter Brunch!