Prevent Holiday Food Waste with a “GREEN STEW”

Holiday food waste is at an all time high at the November-December holidays.  So, what can you do to avoid waste? Planahead, share, save, and repurpose.


·       Plan Ahead: Shop your pantry and fridge before heading to the grocery store to avoid overbuying. If family members/friends are preparing the meal with you, ask them to bring ingredients from their kitchens.

·       Share: Save your clean, recycled pasta sauce jars and large plastic yogurt containers to use as to-go containers so your friends and family can enjoy leftovers at home.

·       Save: Freeze leftovers in single-serving portions for quick and easy meals. Freeze leftover mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, or stuffing in single portions by placing ½ -1 cup dollops on a parchment paper-lined cookie tray. Once the single servings are frozen, transfer to large ziplock bags and place in the freezer for future use.

·       Repurpose: If you don’t want to eat the same leftovers for a week after your holiday meal, try repurposing them into other recipes. Soups, sandwiches, casseroles, or salads are easy ways to reinvent your holiday leftovers in a fresh, tasty way.

Prevent Holiday Food Waste with this “Green Stew” Recipe

Environmental Specialist Tobie Mitchell demonstrates a simple, easy and delicious way to repurpose your Thanksgiving holiday leftovers in this Sustainable Ventura News video (below)

  • 8 c. chicken or vegetable broth (homemade stock can be made in the slow cooker with the turkey carcass)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1½ c. sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1½ c. cubed squash
  • 1½c. chopped kale
  • 2 bay leafs
  • Italian spice seasoning blend
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red chili pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 c. Leftover turkey or ham diced or shredded (optional)
  • 1½ c. Leftover prepared rice or pasta noodles (optional)
  1. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over low heat on the stovetop and add in onions and garlic, celery, and carrots and sauté until slightly golden.
  2. Place the broth, meat, other vegetables, and celery and onion mix, 2 bay leafs, Italian seasonings, and a few dashes of salt and pepper in a large pot*. Bring to a boil and simmer about 1.5 hours or so.
  3. If adding prepared rice, noodles, and/or leafy vegetables, add these for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  4. Taste the soup and see if it might need more seasoning. For a little “kick” add in a dash of red chili pepper flakes to taste.
*To cook this stew in the slow cooker, combine ingredients in step 2 and cook on HIGH for three hours. Proceed with the remaining steps.


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