When Life Gives You Leftovers, Make a New Meal!

Posted by Jewcology on behalf of Cadette Girl Scout Troop 4056

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Cadette Girl Scout Troop 4056 is pleased to present, as its silver award project, this cookbook of recipes that not only use leftover or excess food as ingredients but also conform to Jewish dietary laws, or kashrut. In preparation for this project, the troop earned the New Cuisines badge and experimented with cooking foods from different times, places and cultures. The troop also volunteered in the kitchen at Martha’s Table, a Washington, D.C. organization that prepares over 1,000 meals per day for needy residents of the city. The Troop learned about the Biblical commandment not to waste food, and brainstormed ways of using food that might otherwise go to waste. Members of the troop collected recipes from their families. They tested recipes, typed and edited copy and provided photographs of completed recipes.

This cookbook contains recipes that use three different categories of “leftovers.” The first category includes traditional leftovers–dishes prepared for one meal that are then repurposed into a second meal. For example, if roasted chicken and rice are served on Monday, any leftover chicken can become a chicken pot pie or chicken jambalaya later in the week and the leftover rice can be reused in kugel or as fried rice. Other common leftovers in this category are leftover cooked vegetables and leftover cooked pasta. The second category includes leftovers that are not previously cooked but that might be tossed out as garbage, such as potato and carrot peels, chicken wings and necks (which come with the whole cut up chicken but which my family doesn’t eat), or a pumpkin that has been used for a Fall display. The third category includes foods that were purchased in bulk and are in the refrigerator or pantry but will spoil or go stale if not used. These foods include milk, eggs, bread, cereal, bananas and apples, and for any family with a backyard vegetable garden, tomatoes and zucchini, in season.

Troop 4056 developed this project as a part of the 2013 Year of Jewish Action on the Environment, developed by the Jewish-environmental organization Canfei Nesharim and its Jewcology program. The year-long program focuses on actions to save energy and reduce food waste, practical actions called for by the Jewish mitzvah of bal tashchit. Jewcology.com is a social media portal where Jews who care about the environment can connect and share resources. As part of the Year of Action, Jewcology members can take action and check a box to see their personal impact, and can also see the shared impact of the entire Jewcology community. You can see the full program at www.jewcology.org/action.

This cookbook is the featured online tool for the Year of Action’s “Food Waste Action #8: Make Leftovers” and, as such, will be distributed to Jewish communities worldwide. Troop 4056 wishes to thank Evonne Marzouk and Canfei Nesharim for helping develop the project and for distributing the cookbook.

Laura Warshawsky

Advisor, Troop 4056

Silver Spring, MD

September 2013

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