Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Frugal Eco Farm Fresh Feasting

Frugal Eco Farm Fresh Feasting

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Everyone knows these 3Rs as the basis for being ecologically-minded these days.  It's nothing new, though.  Frugal cooks have been practicing the 3Rs for ages.  If you practice these 3Rs as I outline below, you'll be kind to your body, to your wallet, and to your planet.



Reduce portion size, especially of expensive ingredients like meat.  

To stretch a pound of ground meat into 6-8+ servings, I like to add finely chopped or grated vegetables such as
  • onions
  • carrots
  • celery
  • bell peppers
  • zucchini
  • mushrooms
  • corn 

Use that veggie mix in tacos, meatloaf, casseroles, etc.  My kids have taken to asking me if there is any meat in the meatloaf--I've pumped it so full of veggies.


Chicken Adobo the first time, Summer Rolls the second time around.

Reusing, or more correctly repurposing leftovers, provides you with 2 meals with the bulk cooking done once, saving time and energy.  This doesn't apply only to meats.  If you have extra cooked rice, for example, you can wrap a serving in a patty shape and freeze it.  It's ready when you need just a serving for a snack, with a bit of meat or vegetable or added to soup for a meal.  


Please note:  the thumb is outside of the bag.

Instead of composting, garbage disposaling (?), or throwing away your onion and garlic skins, your celery tops and ends, your carrot peels*, your summer squash ends, pepper tops and the like as you head into soup season, try this.  Start keeping a gallon-size zip top bag in the freezer, and add to it every time you've got flavorful goodies that would otherwise go to waste.  Did you get a large bunch of parsley or thyme for a recipe, but didn't use it all?  Toss that in there too.  Pretty soon you'll have enough to make a vegetable stock (recipe here), a chicken stock (recipe here), or a beef stock (recipe here).

You've made something out of nothing.

And you can eat it.

That's pretty cool, no?

*Always feed your carrot tops and ends to your guinea pigs.  What?  No guinea pigs?  They are excellent additions to your compost routine, and far cuter than worms.  Rescue some today.


  1. I do love this idea, but we have a composting baby turtle, Herman, and her legion of minion crickets that enjoy the tops of things. And I am SO glad to know that the thumb is in fact outside of the bag, and not just another would-be cast off trash! And love the recipe. I will follow your lead and make pesto on Wednesday and pray for warm nights between now and then! I too just received a food processor after 20 years of marriage, but for Christmas!

  2. Lasar, thanks! You inspired me to tackle my pile of papers, glad I could return the favor.

    Felicia, now I want a legion of minion crickets, too! Unfortunately, Simon's terrier comes out when he sees crickets and he'd pounce on each one. Ah well, I'll stick with the pigs. They are probably noisier than the turtle, esp at 6:01pm when their dinner is late.

  3. I'm not sure how I missed this one, but I love the soup packet idea, and I laughed at your comment about the thumb (outside the bag, of course).

    1. Meghan,
      I'm starting to save more strongly flavored veggies for a Veggie Stock like I saw in . . . darnit, cannot find the link. But it was from Kristy's Fresh Foods this fall.
      So I've got 2 types of Soup Packs going right now.


  4. Awesome post! Thanks for sharing and linking up :)

    Happy Belated Thanksgiving...

    1. You are the hostess with the mostess, Heather!

  5. Thanks for posting! You just reminded me that I can use the fiber from my morning juice when I make my soup broth!

    1. That's a great idea! I only have a blender for my smoothies, so I never think about juicing leftovers. I'm pocketing this idea if I get a juicer for Christmas!

      Thanks for stopping by!