Waste Management Teams Up with BrokeAss Gourmet Author to Share “Recipes” to Reduce the Extra 1 Million Tons of Household Waste during the Holidays
OAKLAND, Calif. — Nov. 23, 2012 — During the holiday season, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the volume of household waste in the U.S. increases about 25 percent – that’s 1 million extra tons, according to the U.S. EPA. Moreover, the National Resource Defense Council estimates that Americans dispose of 40 percent of uneaten food.
In order to help curb these trends, Waste Management and Gabi Moskowitz, author of The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook, brainstormed a few creative ways to repurpose and recycle the leftovers from Thanksgiving including turkey, pumpkin seeds, aluminum foil, cooking oil and more.
“If you ever take a step back from the bounties of Thanksgiving, you’ll see a treasure trove of repurposing opportunities,” said Rebecca Parnes, Recycling Program Coordinator, Waste Management. “Of course, the first one that comes to mind is what to do with all of the leftover food.”
Parnes reached out to Moskowitz, a former summer camp friend, through Facebook, and Moskowitz was excited to share some of her Thanksgiving leftover recipes in an effort to creatively reduce food waste.
“Waste can be completely avoided when you think of leftovers as a canvas for new flavor combinations,” said Moskowitz, the former kindergarten teacher-turned food blogger. “Don't throw anything away--the possibilities are endless”
Moskowitz is a chef, writer and the editor-in-chief of the nationally acclaimed BrokeAssGourmet.com. Born and raised in Sonoma County wine country, Maskowitz developed a series of budget cooking classes targeted at frugal amateur chefs. In February 2009, she launched BrokeAss Gourmet, a website featuring daily gourmet, restaurant-inspired recipes that always cost less than $20.
Some of her delicious recipes include Chipotle Turkey Tacos and Leftover Stuffing Pudding with Bacon and Mushrooms (see below). For more leftover recipes, visit brokeassgourmet.com.
“Cooking with Thanksgiving leftovers is a great time to practice cooking with spices or techniques you've never used before but always wanted to try,” said Moskowitz. “Don't just microwave them--reinvent them.”
The other leftovers from Thanksgiving that some folks seem to forget are the things that are used to prep and serve these meals. Listed are some “recipes” for recycling and proper waste disposal:
- Cooking Oil – It usually takes about 3-5 gallons of oil to deep fry a turkey. That’s a lot of oil that can be recycled and converted into biodiesel. Contact your local waste disposal company for information for drop-off sites.
- Aluminum Foil and Pie Tins – You can reuse aluminum foil and pie tins to take home leftovers. In some areas, used aluminum and pie tins can be included in your recycling bin. Contact your local waste disposal company for more information on recycling aluminum.
- Paper-based Napkins, Cups and Plates – In some areas, paper-based products used to serve food can be placed in your composting bin. Contact your local waste disposal company for more information on composting.
- Paper-based Decorations – If you can, save that turkey centerpiece for next year! But if you must, please include it with your newspapers and mailers for recycling.
- Seeds, Seeds, and a Potato – If you really wanted to close the loop on waste, save the seeds from your pumpkin or squash, and start a garden in time for next Thanksgiving. If you really want to show off your green thumb, plant any unused organic potatoes!
“With the holiday season in full gear, it’s easy to forget being green,” said Parnes. “But if you can take a moment and take a step back, you can see the opportunities to conserve every day.”
For more tips, visit www.calrecycle.ca.gov/PublicEd/Holidays/.
Chipotle Turkey Tacos with Cranberry-Lime Salsa
Turkey sandwiches are nice and all, but after 2 or 3 of them, you might find yourself ready for something new. This is one of my favorite ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. Hint: Make this a breakfast taco by adding a scrambled or fried egg!
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, ¾ sliced, ¼ diced finely
- 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 1 lb leftover turkey meat, deboned and shredded
- 1 chipotle pepper from a can packed in adobo, diced finely, plus 2 tbsp of the adobo sauce
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup leftover cranberry sauce
- juice of 1 lime
- ½ jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped finely, plus more for garnish
- sour cream, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Wrap the tortillas tightly in aluminum foil (remember, foil can be reused!).
- Place the wrapped tortillas in the oven (you’ll leave them there to heat while you make the taco filling) (about 15 minutes).
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan and add the sliced onions and ⅔ of the garlic. Cook until the onions are softened and very fragrant, about 7 minutes.
- Add the turkey, chipotle, adobo sauce, 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper and ¼ cup water to the pan.
- Stir well and let cook for 5 minutes, until turkey is heated through.
- While the turkey cooks, whisk together the remaining garlic, the diced onions, cranberry sauce, lime, jalapeño, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, fill the warm tortillas with the turkey mixture and top with the cranberry salsa and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.
Serves 4 (2 tacos each).
Leftover Stuffing Pudding with Bacon and Mushrooms
A light egg custard bonds with flavorful leftover stuffing, and, when baked, a rich, savory bread pudding is formed. Serve this alongside leftover turkey, with scrambled eggs for brunch, or accompanied by a crisp green salad. It’s a great way to transform leftover stuffing into something truly special.
Note: If you want to keep this vegetarian, simply use 1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil in place of the bacon and bacon fat.
- olive oil or nonstick cooking spray, for greasing the pan/ramekins
- 1 ⅔ cup milk (whole, 2% or 1%)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 ½ cups leftover stuffing
- 3 strips bacon, chopped
- about 6 button mushrooms
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch pie pan or 4 4-inch ramekins. Set aside.
- Combine milk and eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk lightly to combine. Add the stuffing and stir to ensure it is thoroughly soaked. Set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 5-6 minutes, until the fat begins to render.
- Add the onions to the bacon and bacon fat, and cook slowly for 6-7, minutes stirring occasionally.
- Increase to medium and add the mushrooms.
- Cook for another 3-4 minutes until mushrooms begin to soften and remove the pan from heat.
- Stir the bacon-onion-mushroom mixture into the soaking bread. Gently fold in the Parmesan.
- Add the salt and pepper and stir well.
- Spoon the bread mixture into the prepared pan or ramekins. Sprinkle with a pinch of Parmesan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until puddings set and the tops are golden-brown and crisp. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
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