Recipes To Reduce Food Waste

Special thanks to Slow Food Urban San Diego volunteer Jenny Ikoma for these great food waste fighting recipes!

Cooking With Rind

How to get the most out of your food and reduce waste.

Parmesan is a wonderful ingredient in the kitchen but did you know that you can use the rind as well? Stop wasting those precious rinds and save them up in the freezer for some amazing uses. The natural rinds of cheeses like Parmesan, Pecorino, and Romano is air dried like a crust and edible. The rinds can be used to flavor soups, stews, rice and bean dishes almost like bay leaves. Parmesan rinds can even be thrown together with other vegetable scraps such as onion, celery, carrot, mushroom stems, and herb steams like cilantro or parsley to make a delicious and nutritious broth.

Basic White Beans

1Lb. dried white beans (great northern, cannellini, navy, zolfino for example)

10 cups of water (or broth as mentioned above)

1 bay leaf

3 cloves of garlic peeled and smashed (more if desired)

1 Tbs olive oil

Cheese rind

Heavy pot or slow cooker


  1. Wash beans and place in pot with water, bay, garlic, and oil.
  2. Bring to the boil over high heat. Once at a boil turn to low heat
  3. Simmer 30-60 min or until beans start to soften then add cheese rind and continue to simmer until fully cooked
  4. Drain if desired and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Do not add salt or use salted stock/broth at the beginning of the cooking process so that the beans cook quickly and evenly.

Any fresh or dried herbs can be added to the cooking process as desired.

Once cooked beans can be eaten as is or added to soup, pureed into a dip, topped on pizza, mixed into pasta, tossed into salad, or pared with rice.

Dried beans are versatile, healthy and cheap!

Fish Stock

How to get the most out of your food and reduce waste.

If you ever take a Saturday morning trip over to the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market at the Port of San Diego you will see a dazzling array of seafood for sale direct from the fishermen who just caught it. While you can get a whole fish at a fraction of the cost of the grocery store it can be a bit daunting to purchase. What do you do with a whole fish? There is a butchering station there that will cut it up for you but don’t waste those heads! Make your money go even farther by cooking up some fish fumet that can be used to make healthy and delicious soups and pastas. Use it in chowders, bisques, cioppino, miso, even as a warm cup of “bone broth”.

Fish Fumet

1 Fish head (I used Opah) and bones if desired

1 large onion, small dice

2 carrots, small dice

3 celery stalks, small dice

2 Tbs butter or olive oil

2 bay leaves

2 Tbs peppercorns

6 sprigs thyme (or ½ tsp dried)

1 bunch parsley or cilantro stems

¼ Cup dry white wine or lemon juice

Aprox. 2 quarts cold water or enough to cover bones

Large pot

  1. Wash head and bones well and set aside
  2. Melt butter in large stockpot over medium heat and add onion, carrot, celery, bay, peppercorns, thyme and parsley, stirring often until vegetables become soft but not brown.
  3. Place fish head and bones in pot. Cover pot and let cook about 10 minutes or until bones have turned white
  4. Add wine or lemon juice then cover with water and let simmer on low heat approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Strain through a cheesecloth set inside a fine mesh strainer and cool over an ice bath if not using immediately.
  6. Once cool refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 months. Like all homemade stock it will have a jellied consistence when cool but will melt when reheated.


Great way to use up vegetable trimmings as well. Feel free to add other vegetables such as mushrooms, leek, garlic, fennel but avoid strong flavors like broccoli, asparagus or bitter greens.

Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel have a strong flavor and will make a stock right for their own chowders but will be too strong for other applications.

Easy stocks can also be made using crustacean shells like shrimp or crab.

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