Three recipes to minimize food waste, using banana peels, carrot tops and stale bread

In 2020, Nigella Lawson created a stir when she made a curry made from banana peels on her TV show, much to the surprise of some viewers who lamented en masse that the dish tasted bad.

The famous British chef took to social media and said she did not intend to leave her fans “traumatised” with the recipe and promised it tasted “divine”. Lawson also credited her mother for following a zero-waste policy in the kitchen.

“Perhaps because I was raised by a mother who was a child during the war, who grew up with rationing and had a shuddering horror of throwing anything away, I can’t throw away food myself,” she writes in her book. cook, eat, repeat.

It’s undeniable that every time we cook up a storm in the kitchen, there are piles of shells, seeds, and leftover meat on the kitchen counter. While most of us do a quick sweep and throw everything in the trash, the truth is that these can be made into a variety of delicious dishes.

Not only does this reduce food waste, but some of these byproducts are also loaded with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Additionally, they can enhance the flavor of a dish by several notches.

Here are some proven recipes from three international chefs that show us how to turn carrot peels, banana peels, and stale bread into gourmet food.

The Whole Carrot by Chef Kelvin Cheung

Celebrity chef Kelvin Cheung, who recently opened Jun’s in downtown Dubai, says, “I love carrots. Whether raw or cooked, they are the perfect snack to eat and are packed with nutrients.”

The leaves of a carrot are packed with vitamin A, calcium, and iron, while the skin contains 50 percent of the vitamin C and niacin in the entire vegetable. The inner part of a carrot contains xylem, and in general, this vegetable is loaded with calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

“Carrots are naturally very sweet, so they go well with many things, while that beautiful crunchy texture is very filling,” says Cheung, who came up with the recipe shared here during a winter stint in the kitchen. from India.

“I was working on a tomato and burrata dish during a restaurant opening. Although this is a classic pair, the tomatoes were not in season and the ones that were available were flavorless. But the winter ‘halwa’ carrots were stunning and bursting with flavor, so I replaced the tomatoes with them and made a carrot peel marinara with carrot pesto, brown butter roasted carrots, and gluten-free croutons. Carrot skin has a slightly nutty flavor, so its puree goes well with creamy burrata.”

As such, this dish showcases the different textures, flavors, and uses of each part of the carrot.


Serves 2 servings

Ingredients and method for the marinara

100ml olive oil

50g onion, julienned

50g garlic, sliced

250 g carrot peel, chopped

1 bunch of basil

10 ml of red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add the rinsed and washed carrot skins.

Simmer and blend until smooth, then add the basil and stir for 2-3 minutes to infuse the flavor.

Remove basil, then season with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stand aside.

Ingredients and method for carrot pesto

100g carrot tops, blanched and squeezed

50g spinach, blanched and drained

30g garlic cloves

100 ml of extra virgin olive oil

25g Parmesan cheese, grated

1 lemon

Kosher salt, to taste

Put the carrot tops, spinach, garlic and Parmesan in a blender.

Turn on a slow setting, spray the oil. Blend until completely smooth.

On low speed, add lemon juice and season with salt.

Ingredients and method for buttered brown carrots

3 carrots (use the ones you have peeled and chopped for the previous two steps)

Butter, kosher salt, and lemon juice, to taste

Cut the carrots (quantity, to taste) even in oblong shapes

Over low heat, toss them in a generous amount of butter until they are fully cooked and the butter is light brown.

Season with kosher salt and a few drops of lemon juice.


Cut a piece of burrata (120 g) and drizzle generous amounts of olive oil. Season with maldon salt.

Arrange the marinara around the plate with the burrata on top and garnish with the brown carrots, pesto and croutons.

Chef Rahul Sharma’s Bananana

Banana Cream Pie, made from banana peels, by chef Rahul Sharma.

Rahul Sharma, Head Chef at Araku Coffee India, believes in sustainable cooking and using every vegetable to its fullest, be it pea shells, onion skins or watermelon skins. Meanwhile, his popular banana cake is moist and sweet thanks to the banana peels he uses in the cream.

“While the pulp of the banana is put into the cake, the peel is cooked in cream to extract its aroma and nectar. The nectar, once infused into the cream, makes it naturally sweet, so we don’t need to use too much sugar.”


for 4 people

Ingredients and method for banana cake

56g buckwheat flour

80g ragi

15g cocoa

4g baking soda

baking powder 3g

80g brown sugar

188g Yelakki banana, mashed

140g Greek yogurt

40g of milk

30g neutral oil

vanilla essence 3g

9g of honey

Mix the buckwheat flour, ragi, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and brown sugar in a bowl.

In another bowl, mix the Yelakki banana, Greek yogurt, milk, neutral oil, vanilla essence and honey. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients gradually until just combined.

Pour the batter into a lined mold and bake at 170°C until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (about 50 minutes).

Ingredients and method for the banana cream

150g whole cream

20g brown sugar

Peels of 3 Yelakki bananas

Boil the brown sugar and banana skins twice in a food grade bag for one hour at 70°C.

Once cooked, chill in an ice bath and strain the syrup mixture into the whole cream and whisk.


Serve a slice of cake, then place the banana cream on top.

Garnish with a slice of peanut chikki and/or a slice of caramelized banana.

Sicilian-American Lamb Meatballs from Chef Anthony Falco

Sicilian-American lamb meatballs made on stale bread, by chef Anthony Falco.

Anthony Falco, aka Global Pizza Man, makes the most amazing lamb meatballs with, believe it or not, stale bread.

“My grandmother Mary passed this recipe on to me. It was a staple at big Sunday gatherings in the Sicilian-American farming community in Texas, where my father’s family comes from,” says the New York-based international pizza consultant. “My grandmother used to make them with beef , since Texas is a cattle country. I think lamb is a good fit as it appeals to a wider variety of palates.”


Makes 12 meatballs


2 slices of stale bread, cubed

110g whole milk

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons dried Calabrian chili flakes

2 teaspoons of fennel seeds

A pinch of fresh thyme

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped without stems

800g ground lamb

35g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated

65g Pecorino Romano, finely grated

35g sourdough breadcrumbs, toasted

Extra virgin olive oil, to apply to your hand when rolling the meatballs

1 liter of tomato sauce or marinara

200g of spaghetti


Combine stale bread cubes and milk in a bowl. Soak and reserve.

Grind black pepper, Calabria chili, fennel seeds and salt to a fine powder.

In a food processor, add the milk-soaked bread and parsley, then blend until smooth.

Transfer the panade (milk and bread mixture) to a large bowl. Add the ground lamb, spice mix, grated cheeses, and breadcrumbs.

Wearing gloves, gently mix by hand until incorporated, but be sure not to over mix. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 145°C. Roll into a ball, the size of a marble, and cook in a pan. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or spices if needed.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour some extra virgin olive oil into a small bowl. Set aside.

Lightly oil your hands and roll the meatballs according to your size preference. Arrange them on the parchment-lined baking sheet with 1.5cm space between each, then bake for 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers an internal temperature of 75°C.

Add the meatballs (and any rendered fat on the baking sheet) to a pot of plain tomato sauce and simmer in the sauce for 20 to 35 minutes until cooked through.

When the meatballs and sauce are done, boil the spaghetti by portion in generously salted water until cooked al dente.

Drain and reserve about 500ml of the pasta water.

In a separate saucepan add the sauce, 100ml pasta water, meatballs and drained spaghetti. Keep the setting on medium-high heat until the pasta is perfectly cooked al dente. If you need to use more pasta water to keep the sauce loose, add it in small amounts.

When the pasta is fully cooked, turn off the heat, then add two large cubes of butter, a handful of grated Pecorino, and Parmigiano Reggiano. Mix until the cheese and butter blend with the sauce (mantecare) and serve in a pasta bowl.

Garnish with more pecorino, toasted breadcrumbs, basil, and more extra virgin olive oil.

Updated: July 15, 2022, 10:37 PM

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