The Goods

Don't toss it, eat it: Recipes for making the most of those kitchen scraps

Use coffee grounds to up your grilling game and more inventive uses for food waste.

Use coffee grounds to up your grilling game and more inventive uses for food waste.

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Cooking in the kitchen can create a lot of waste. Thankfully, most of those scraps are compostable, but there are also a few that are actually edible! Now, we're not advocating for eating garbage, but there are a few foods that can have a new life before they hit the bin. Put your trust in Chef Shahir and see what new, delicious opportunities coffee grounds, watermelon rinds and broccoli stems can provide.

Use coffee grounds to marinate steak

Use your old coffee grounds to marinate a steak. Mix in any combo of spices you want and cover the steak completely — Chef Shahir's go-to is a mix of fresh grounds, coriander, thyme, garlic and onion powder with a bit of olive oil. Simply let it marinade 4-6 hours (or overnight) and brush off the excess marinade before cooking. For a sort of coffee jus, strain the marinade liquid into a pot to discard the grounds. Bring it to a boil, then thicken with equal parts 1-2 tbsp cornstarch and water, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and cook an additional 7 minutes or so until it's thickened and glossy and you've got a new fave recipe for BBQ season!

Turn watermelon rinds into Watermelon Quickles for charcuterie boards or salads

Stop before you throw your watermelon rinds out and make a quick pickle! Just like cucumbers, they make for a tasty, and tangy treat. All you need to do it cut off the thin layer of dark green and all the bite marks from the rinds. Pickle them in a brine of anything you want for 20 minutes or leave them in the brine in your fridge.

Shahir suggests using a brine made of 1 cup each of cider vinegar, white vinegar and white sugar. Slice up a 2-inch knob of ginger and toss it into the brine along with 2 tsp kosher salt and some aromatics such as 2-3 star anise, 2 short cinnamon sticks and 1 tbsp pink peppercorns. Bring all of these ingredients — except your rinds — to a boil, remove from heat and pour over watermelon rinds already in mason jars. Just let the jars cool slightly, cover with lids and refrigerate. This food scrap snack will keep in fridge for 4 weeks and it's the perfect addition to your next charcuterie board or salad.

Turn broccoli stems into latkes

Don't toss out the stems anymore! They're packed with nutrients, too, so these veggie-packed latkes will keep them out of the compost and pack a nutritious punch. Just just trim and peel 2 stems and grate them into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, grate one potato and a small yellow onion and then squeeze off as much liquid from them as possible before combining with the broccoli. Add in 2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley, 2 tbsp of flour, one egg, 1 cup of grated cheddar, mix everything up well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a couple of tbsp of vegetable oil in a large frying pan, over medium heat. Form medium-sized patties and and fry on each side for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Then, bake the latkes at 400F on a parchment paper-lined tray drizzled with oil for approximately 15 minutes, turning them over half way through. Serve hot with sour cream and chopped scallions for a delicious meal or snack, that's packed with veggies. And, for a vegan option, you can skip the egg, and it will still bind beautifully!

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