Let’s start with the why. Why should you use all of your vegetables? And what does that even mean?
The answer is pretty simple: because it produces less waste and saves you money. What I mean by “use all of your veggies” is to use as much of the vegetable as you can. This means leaving the skin on when possible (potatoes, tomatoes for soups/sauces, carrots – they don’t even have “skin” but lots of people still take off the outer layer – etc.)
Which vegetables can I use entirely?
Lots and tons! I won’t name every single vegetable but here’s some that you might not have thought of using the whole thing:
Broccoli – Yes, even the stem. Chop it up into smaller bite sized pieces or shred it and add it to your dish (salads, roasts, soups, etc). Broccoli is absolutely delicious!
Caulifower – Just like broccoli, you can chop up the stem to use in soup, on the grill, in the oven, or on the stovetop. You can even steam it and just add butter!
Carrot – There’s no need to shred off the outer layer of a carrot. The only part you shouldn’t eat is the very top (where the leaves normally come from). If there are little strings coming off the bottom, either pull them off or eat them. If you wash the top those, you can use it in a smoothie or soup (especially if you like to make your own veggie broth).
Celery – Try to eat as much of the celery as possible. The leaves of celery you use in soup/broth, a roast, a stir-fry or even eat them in a salad (choppped up or whole). The only part you might not want to eat is the base. Place the base of the celery into a glass container with a little bit of water on the bottom. Continue to water and watch as a new celery grows. Then, you can plant it in a small amount of dirt or keep it growing in your water.
Tomatoes – You don’t really have the cut out or off the top of the tomato. Just chop it up with the rest of the tomato and enjoy! This would be great for salads, soups, and even sandwiches.
Pretty much every vegetable – If there are parts that you don’t want to eat, wash them and freeze them. Once you have enough, boil them in water with your favorite herbs and make your own vegetable broth. This is another great use for your celery leaves!
To make your own vegetable broth with leftover vegetables, simmer your vegetables in a large pot with water and spices for about an hour (really, the longer the better). This will allow the flavor to really develop. Good spices for soups include: mixed herb, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, thyme, and parsley. You can also add tomato paste or a can of tomatoes.
Pro tip: you may want to sauté garlic and onions in olive oil (additional not just what was leftover) before adding the rest of your vegetables and water.
To read more about my recipes and why I create them the way I do (without specific measurements, times, and temperatures) check out this blog post. Post a picture of your soup and vegetables to your stories on Instagram and tag me (@its.mary.taylor) so I can see and share it to my story too!
If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!
Mary Taylor <3