Unsure what to do with leftover chicken bits or the piles of vegetable scraps created when preparing a meal?
Nelson food writer Nicola Galloway’s latest book Homegrown Kitchen has recipes and ideas for ingredients that may otherwise end up in the rubbish.
Galloway has recipes for 'compost' vegetable stock, fish stock, and chicken stock. She told Kathryn Ryan her best advice is to think twice what food you might throw out, including chicken bones.
“You can easily just pop that into a bag which you can continue to add bones to in your freezer, and then when you have enough or you have the time, you can simply put them in the pot and add the other ingredients and let it boil it away and let it make a beautiful stock or home broth to use in soups and stews and casseroles and all that goodness.”
Galloway also suggests adding vegetable trimmings or a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the pot to draw out extra nutrients.
The stock can boil for between three and 24 hours, depending on if it’s on a stove top or a slow cooker.
Once the stock has cooled, Galloway says to scoop off the fat which will have congealed at the top, to reuse as cooking fat in place of butter or oils.
Then using a colander, drain the stock and pour into jars for freezing or to keep in the fridge for up to five days.
Using a similar process, Galloway also makes fish stock, and vegetable stock.
“Compost vegetable soup consists on many vegetable trimmings that would end up in the compost, if not the rubbish bin, including onion skins, carrot peel, celery leaves, garlic skins, broccoli stalks, mushroom offcuts and herb stalks.”
While preparing meals, Galloway freezes the trimmings as she goes.
“Then when I want to make the vegetable stock I grab a couple of big handfuls of these trimmings that I’ve saved, into a big… pot, about two litres of cold water and simmer that away for about 40 to 45 minutes.
“That draws all those beautiful flavours out of those trimmings you otherwise would’ve thrown away.”
She says the stock can then be used for all kinds of delicious food, including soup, stocks or a curry.