Don’t Discard Those Bits…
That's Not Trash, That's Dinner was a great article a few days ago in the NY Times.
After my post last week about eating a whole orange, including the peel, a couple of readers sent me emails to draw attention to this piece which discusses something along the same lines: using 'bits' of food that we might naturally think of disarding, like carrot tops, orange peels (my fave!) and watermelon seeds!
A list of commonly discarded food items is included along with suggestions as to how one might use them (I've edited out the nonPaleo suggestions, of course!):
CARROT, CELERY AND FENNEL LEAVES Mix small amounts, finely chopped, with parsley as a garnish or in salsa verde: all are in the Umbelliferae family of plants. Taste for bitterness when deciding how much to use.
CHARD OR COLLARD RIBS Simmer the thick stalks in white wine and water with a scrap of lemon peel until tender, then drain and dress with olive oil.
CITRUS PEEL Organic thin-skinned peels of tangerines or satsumas can be oven-dried at 200 degrees, then stored to season stews or tomato sauces.
MELON RINDS Cut off the hard outer peels and use crunchy rinds in place of cucumber in salads and cold soups.
YOUNG ONION TOPS Wash well, coarsely chop and cook briefly in soups or stews.
TOMATO LEAVES AND STEMS Steep for 10 minutes in hot soup or tomato sauces to add a pungent garden-scented depth of tomato flavor. Discard leaves after steeping.
TOMATO SCRAPS Place in a sieve set over a bowl, collect the pale red juices for use in gazpacho.
TURNIP, CAULIFLOWER OR RADISH LEAVES Braise in the same way as (or along with) collards, chards, mustard greens or kale.
WATERMELON SEEDS Roast like pumpkinseeds.
Also included is a note to make sure not to fall under the guise that you can eat any part of any plant as some are indeed poisonous, and to call the poison control center if you're not sure.
Anyway, I like the concept as it's very much in keeping with my teachings to be efficient with your Paleo hour in the kitchen, to make extra and use everything!
As my Norweigan grandmother (Mor Mor) used to say, "Waste not, want not!"