This story is part of and contains tips for optimizing the holiday season.
I have so many childhood memories of standing by the kitchen counter next to my mother and helping her pick the leftover meat from the turkey's bones before turning it into a big one with a mix of bones, spices and vegetables Put pot of turkey soup. I used to fret over the huge pot of soup – the effort involved and how the seemingly bottomless pot meant we would eat turkey for a week. But now that I'm a grown up with my own food bills, I appreciate the ingenuity of my mother's soup preparation ritual. It is a delicious and economical way to use up leftovers.
The idea of cooking with little / no waste is nothing new. Frugal cooks have come a long way to deal creatively with leftover ingredients rather than throw them away (my mother's turkey soup is a repeat of my Russian-German great-grandmother's chicken soup). With innovative eco-friendly products and easy-to-access recipes for every type of ingredient, preparing a low-peak Thanksgiving meal is now easier than ever.
The right equipment
Environmentally friendly equipment because the big day can make a big difference.
Instead of using a disposable pan for turkeys, you should invest in a meat roaster that is suitable for many customers is years to come. A frying pan like this not only reduces waste, but also provides a better cooking experience. The solid stainless steel grates let the heat circulate and drain the meat while cooking, while the handles make it easier to lift it out of the oven.
A series of glass containers provide a versatile solution for preparing smaller side dishes and storing leftovers. Pyrexglas is dishwasher, fridge, microwave, preheated and freezer safe; which means that you can use the containers to cook food and to store leftovers – thanks to the BPA-free lid. Unlike plastic food storage containers, Pyrex glass and lids are non-porous, so they never absorb odors, flavors or patches of food.
Whether you're baking cookies for dessert or frying vegetables to your turkey, you're missing aluminum foil in favor of parchment paper. What most people do not realize, however, is that ordinary parchment paper is not recyclable or compostable. To keep your waste to a minimum, use a biodegradable parchment paper that is unbleached and certified as compostable.
Even if you think you have enough storage containers, there are always a few pieces of crockery left that needs to be packed (hello, 20 pounds of turkey carcasses). Instead of using plastic wrap that gets into the garbage once it has served its purpose, you should stock up on reusable food wrap. Try Bee's Wrap, an eco-friendly, reusable organic cotton food packaging made with sustainably harvested beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin. Bee's Wrap is available in a variety of adorable patterns and keeps your food fresh without the use of plastic. Simply wrap, wash with mild soap and reuse.
When talking about soap and washing, when cleaning up you should consider eco-friendly cleaners and eco-friendly products that help reduce paper waste in the kitchen, including cellulose sponges and reusable paper towels.
Use (almost) any part of the turkey and do not throw your pieces of vegetables in the trash – but compost what you can not cook.
Plenty Of the foods we consume regularly, we make a long journey before they arrive at the store and on our plates. Reduce your carbon footprint by buying locally made ingredients. Whether you're shopping at the local farmers market or at a grocery store, bring your own reusable bags to take home vegetables and other items.
Gnarly bits on carrots. Extra onions. Discarded green parts. Instead of disposing of these trifles, collect all of your vegetable ingredients and freeze them in a freezer-free container (such as these gallon-sized silicone zippered bags), which you can supplement during the holidays. Vegetable waste is the perfect basis for homemade broth, which can then be used in other dishes.
Read more about Chowhound: Simple Ways to Fight Food Waste | Our favorite cookbooks for the use of leftovers, bowls and leftovers
Making pesto or chimichurri with carrot top
Did you know that you can eat carrot tops? Before you throw them into the compost you should turn them into a tasty pesto-carrot sauce or chimichurri sauce, which you can use to give turkey buns an extra touch of flavor. These often neglected greens are also a great supplement for lentil soup. Use immediately or freeze for later use.
Use the turkey neck and offal for sauce
While your first impulse may be to toss these less than desirable parts of the bird, Do not do it. They are full of flavor. Use the neck bones and innards to prepare the perfect sauce with this recipe, which contains a mix of vegetables, kosher salt, fresh sage, rosemary, and whole peppercorns.
Boil the offal for your four-legged friends
While the neck bone is not allowed (the bones are a choking hazard). The innards (including liver, kidneys, heart and gizzards) can be a treat for your dog. Remove innards from the cavity and / or packaging and rinse with water. Next, put the offal in a small saucepan and cover with water or broth. Put on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the innards are cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool before serving to your grateful puppy.
Making Bone Broth
If you do not make turkey soup, you can still make a fantastic bone stock with the carcass (this Instant Pot recipe for bones) broth is a good start. Freeze in smaller portions to give this nutrient-rich broth after the holidays to your hearty stews, soups and chillies.
Spending a meal to a friend means giving away. Log in to your social network. Do you have friends who could not go home during the holidays? What about an older neighbor who can tolerate a hot meal? Show your gratitude this season by inviting others to experience the premium. The more you share, the less you need to re-use and freeze.
This story was written by Simone Paget.