What to do with the random groceries leftover? Even the most talented meal planning pros will come across this issue from time to time. I like to call this food waste challenge a trash cooking opportunity. Where wilted lettuce becomes rehydrated and chiffonaded into a spectacular pasta with a bit of breadcrumbs and fried garlic. Ha! No food waste. No more.
Even when it's hot out, cooks still have a need for broth or stock. The fact of the matter is that store bought cubes, concentrates and ready to use broth has a ton of sodium not to mention other undesirables like MSG. If you have 30 minutes to let a pot cook on a stove and 5 minutes to strain broth and package it, you can make broth out of your kitchen scraps that is healing, practically free and the exact flavor you like. Check out our recipe for #WasteLess pressure cooker chicken broth, you'll delight in how easy it is.
For those of us in coastal Louisiana, there is only one oyster of real importance. That oyster, is the Atlantic Oyster. While there are five distinct types of oysters, the Atlantic oyster flourishes in our waters. Gulf oysters, as they are affectionately called, are one of the most important foods in our local cuisine. Our Southern position helps these tasty beauties grow big and flavorful. Perfect for a po' boy. Hello, lunch!
But, after lunch, dinner, breakfast or that dozen or so you put back at happy hour, what becomes of the oyster shells? And, why should you care about them? Quite simply, the oyster shells play an important role in growing new oysters. Beyond ensuring a steady supply of oysters to our local market, the oyster shells provide a medium for new oysters shells to grow. Healthy, native oyster habitat cleans and filters coastal waters, provides habitat for our native fisheries, and helps to stabilize our shoreline.
The good news is that efforts to prevent oyster shells from going to the landfill are already underway. Over 25 local restaurants in partnership with Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana's recycling program have collected over 9 tons of shells. These shells will be returned to the shoreline in the Biloxi Marsh in Bernard parish. The reef requires over 800 tons of shells. For readers interested in diverting oyster shells from trash and recycling them, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are beginning a zero-waste service in March and are looking for 50 households to participate. Just think about this, if we were to send every shell back to the coast, what kind of a positive impact would that collective action have on our future?
Let's honor oysters that feed us so well and send them back to our beautiful coastal Louisiana waters.
Most curbside recycling programs do not accept aluminum foils. To recycle aluminum bakeware and foils, you'll need to find a drop off recycling center. In the New Orleans area, the closest center is in Metairie and Harahan. See our zero-waste recycling map for a visual. Keep in mind that the most important thing is to make sure the aluminum is clean. Contaminated materials will be sent to landfill and may dirty clean materials in the collection bin. Wipe your aluminum foils clean and rest easy; they will be recycled.
To revive bread that has gone stale, not moldy, you have two options.
1. HEAT IT: Simply reheat the bread in an oven at 325 for 5-10 minutes. Watch it carefully as the time depends on the size of the loaf. The bread cam be made into breadcrumbs, ground into flour or simply eaten as, well, bread, toast, good whole-grain carbohydrate goodness.
2. SOAK IT: If the bread is extra stale, you can dunk it in water and it will act like a sponge. This is a crucial step in making the delectable "bread soup" which tastes a bit like a lobster bisque, but is vegetarian. Whoa.