Reducing food waste is a popular theme these days. According to recent studies, about 40 percent of the food purchased in the United States gets tossed, leading to wasted time, energy and resources for both cook and farmer. To make the most of all your ingredients, incorporate these recipes into your routine.

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homemade chicken brothChicken Broth
This is more about process than a recipe, but simply use a slow cooker to make chicken broth. You'll save on time, you'll create less waste and the resulting broth will be good with mashed potatoes, soups and risotto. When you're done making the broth, use the leftover vegetables for soup.

Prep time: 10 minutes  

Total time: 8 hours  

Yield: 4-6 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 roasted chicken carcass
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped
  • 1-2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 whole peppercorns
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
Cooking directions
  1. Place chicken carcass in slow cooker. Add onion, carrot and celery. Add garlic, thyme, kosher salt, bay leaf and peppercorns. Add enough water to cover ingredients, plus 1 cup. Add vinegar. Set slow cooker to low and let simmer overnight.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to remove bones and vegetables from slow cooker. Set aside. Strain liquid through metal sieve into sealable glass jars. Refrigerate broth for up to one week or freeze.

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Carrot Cranberry Cake
Making smoothies this weekend? Use the leftover pulp from organic carrots to bake a cake.
 

Prep time: 10 minutes  

Total time: 50 minutes  

Yield: About 12 thick slices

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup canola oil, plus extra
  • 1 1/2 cups carrot pulp
  • 1/2 cup cranberry pulp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
Cooking directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Stir well, about 1 minute.
  3. Indent. Add eggs and oil. Stir ingredients until blended, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add carrot and cranberry pulp. Stir until blended, about 1 minute. Add vanilla extract and almond milk. Stir. Add walnuts and raisins. Stir until ingredients are blended.
  5. Lightly coat a baking dish with extra oil. Pour batter into dish. Place on center rack of heated oven. Cook for 40 to 45 minutes. The cake is cooked when a toothpick inserted in the center comes away cleanly. Remove cake from oven, rub 1 tablespoon butter on top and dust with confectioner's sugar. Cool for 60 minutes before serving.

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Potato Leek Soup
Potato and Leek Soup
Ever wonder what to do with potatoes leftover from potato skin recipes? Here's your answer.
 

Prep time: 10 minutes  

Total time: 50 minutes  

Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, baked
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound leeks, trimmed, rinsed and chopped fine
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
Cooking directions
  1. Scoop out the center of baked potatoes. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter and oil in large cooking pot over medium-high heat, until butter is dissolved. Add leeks and onions. Stir, reduce heat and cover pot with lid. Cook for about 10 minutes until leeks are tender. Add potatoes and stir for about 1 minute. Add thyme.
  3. Raise heat. Add chicken broth. Stir and bring to a low boil, about 10 minutes. Add milk and bring soup to a low boil about 6 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Using a ladle, scoop two cups and add to blender. Process ingredients until smooth, about 30 seconds. Return to pot and reheat.

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Two Ingredient Ice Cream
Two-Ingredient Ice Cream
Almost too simple to be true: You can turn ripe bananas into soft ice cream. (And feel free to experiment!)
 

Prep time: 5 minutes  

Total time: 10 minutes plus refrigeration  

Yield: 2 large bowls

Ingredients

  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Cooking directions
  1. Peel bananas and cut into 1-inch sections. Place in a zip-top bag and freeze for several hours, until solid. Blend bananas in batches in a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add peanut butter (and vanilla if desired) and process about 1 minute. Eat immediately for soft serve.
  2. Or place container in freezer for 30 minutes, until ice cream hardens.

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Fromage FortFromage Fort
Here's how you can turn a party cheese platter into something entirely new. Recombine loose odds and ends to create a delectable cheese spread even better than the sum of its parts.
 

Prep time: 10 minutes  

Total time: 10 minutes  

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cheese, any combination of hard or soft cheese: Swiss, Brie, goat, Gruyere
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2-4 ounces dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, any combination, chopped fine: parsley, thyme, oregano, marjoram, chives
Cooking directions
  1. Cut cheese into small chunks. Add cheese to food processor. Add garlic, wine and fresh herbs. Process until cheese turns a creamy consistency. Serve immediately on crusty bread, or refrigerate for up to one week.

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