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zero waste kitchen

Live Waste Free

Carrot Top Pesto

Hey all! I assume since you’re here reading this blog, you’re either: a good friend of mine who’s doing me a solid by proof-reading before publishing, my mom (who has always been my number 1 super fan) or you are genuinely intrigued by the phrase ‘Carrot Top Pesto’. Regardless of the reason, welcome! I’m happy to have you!

As some of you may know (and have followed), I attempted my very first Urban Garden this summer. With this garden came many challenges and much effort. It also allowed for immense growth, on my part and that of the veggies 😉

With my garden, I was introduced to a new form of Zero Waste revolving around my own personal food chain. I like to consider myself pretty creative and gutsy in the kitchen; always taking into consideration that I need to make sure that whatever I don’t use, I need to at least compost afterwards. Well now, I’m on a whole other level of being aware that most of what I’d just toss into the compost can be used up. Not just used up, but used in a way that’s incredibly yummy and nutritious. By experiencing first hand what it takes to make vegetables grow, I am way more reluctant to just toss out whatever does not appeal to me. Now, the cores and peels of the veggies now get frozen until I’m ready to make a broth and the leafy tops to oddly shaped carrots got used up in a way I never thought of. I cannot take full credit. I did see someone in one of the many Zero Waste groups on Facebook discussing what they could do with their tops. Someone on there mentioned a pesto and I swear, it was a eureka moment for me. Of course! Why not?! So simple and huge bonus points go out because I frickin’ love pesto! So thank you, random person on a post that I saw that one time, in that group surrounding ZW. Thank you for this idea because I now can use up the tops of my carrots in an excellent way!

If you’ve read any of my recipe posts before, you’ve caught on that I try not to use exact measurements. Alter the quantities based off of what tastes good to you. I also go based from how much I actually have lying around. I won’t go out of my way to leave ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder in my jar because the recipe only calls for 2 tsp. You bet I’m tossing it all in there and starting fresh the next time I shop! With this in mind, please enjoy my version of a carrot top pesto!!

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of whole salted almonds (they can be crushed almonds of you prefer-it’ll all get chopped in the end)
  • 1 bunch of carrot tops-approximately a cup and a half packed
  • ½ cup olive oil (maybe ¾ cup if you find the mixture too thick)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder

Directions:

Cut the carrots from the stems. Put them aside, because they won’t be used in this sauce.

Wash the carrot tops under cold water. Coming from the garden, they were understandably full of dirt. Do your best to get out all the residue. Once you’re confident that you’re in the clear of crud, pat the stems dry.

You’ll need to grab out your food processor (or use some serious knife skills-which I sadly do not have). Start by pulsing your almonds finely, into tiny chunks. To the nut chunks, add in the stems, basil and oil. Pulse everything together until it makes a green smear against the walls of the food processor. To the smear, add in the rest of the ingredients. Pulse the processor until everything is well incorporated. As stated before, add more oil if you find that the mixture is too thick. Taste as you go. If you prefer it saltier, add more salt. If you want it more ‘basilly’, add another couple of leaves.

Boom. That’s it! Add the sauce to your favorite recipes. I eat it often on cold pasta salad and it’s fantastic!

It’s also noteworthy that leftover sauce freezes quite well. I put the extra in my ice cube tray and once they were frozen, added them to one large Tupperware. I take out the cubes as needed. Enjoy!

For more tips and tricks, head over and like my page on Facebook  Live Waste Free. Where you’ll get daily ideas to keep you going on the Zero-Waste path.

 

Or follow me on Instagram @livewastefree for random pics and funnies!

 

 

Live Waste Free

One Mean Bean Salad

You guys! I made possibly the best bean salad I’ve made in forever! It’s beautiful, delicious, vegan and fully Zero Waste! I decided to go the vegan route on this one because it was going to be my potluck dish for an event my vegan friend hosted. I figured, she’s being so generous and hosting this event at her place, the least I could do was make a dish that she could also enjoy. So I got at it and added all kinds of goodness. The best part, I already had everything on hand and took maybe 15 minutes to prep.

Side note: My beans were already prepped and in the freezer, so it took a simple rinse to unfreeze them and into the salad they went. You can find how I did it here.

Ingredients:

Salad-

1 cup of cooked red beans

1 cup of cooked chickpeas

1 cup of cooked black beans

1 red bell pepper diced

1 yellow bell pepper diced

2 cucumbers diced (you can peel them if you don’t care of the skin)

1 small head of broccoli (about a cup worth) cut into small chunks

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

Dressing-

½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

½ lemon, juiced

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of dried parsley

Dash of dried basil

Directions:

Wash and chop all veggies. Toss them all into a large bowl.

Add all dressing ingredients into a bowl and mix. I added mine to a mason jar, sealed it up and shook it like crazy. You can play with the dressing to adjust it to fit your tastes better. I took what was closest to me in my spice drawer and took a chance. It was a good thing I did because it turned out to be a win!

Add half the dressing to the salad mix and store the rest for later. It’ll save for a few weeks in the fridge. Mix the dressing and the veggies together and voila!

You now have a super fresh, simple and delicious dish for any time. I’ve also made this for week lunches and picnics. It’s just lovely.

If you wish to add a non vegan twist, feel free to throw some feta or bocconcini cheese into the mix. Whatever you can find at the fromagerie (cheese store) without packaging. This salad is great both ways! So the next time you’re looking for a protein packed salad and are tight on time, keep this recipe in mind. Bon Apetite!

 

For more tips and tricks, head over and like my page on Facebook Live Waste Free. Where you’ll get daily ideas to keep you going on the Zero-Waste path.

 

Or follow me on Instagram @livewastefree for random pics and funnies!