I’m a lover of leftovers, and as such, I’m always encouraging others to give a second life to food items otherwise destined for the trash. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, 40% of food in the U.S. is wasted. Meaning that nearly half of what is produced never gets consumed, and is decomposing in a landfill near you right now. At the same time, 20% of families with children in this country are food insecure at some point during the year. This is shameful, but you can take steps to reduce your own food waste.
FoodStand , a very cool app for anyone remotely interested eating well and sustainably, has dedicated the month of June to highlight where food waste happens along the supply chain. Sign up for their app to learn more and to get some great recipe ideas, too. Post your own tips on how you reduce food waste this month and you’ll have the chance to win a gift certificate to Brooklyn Kitchen.
And now for my own tip.
Bread is a problem in my household. Rarely does a whole loaf get eaten before it’s stale or moldy. A a result, I’ve taken to freezing anything I won’t be using within a week or so. But there’s another way to use stale bread, and that is to make croutons.
Every salad needs some sort of crunch, and this week I elected a stale baguette to step in for the job. This salad would be great to take to work. Keep the croutons separate to prevent them from getting soggy. Kale is a hearty green and will stand up to the dressing if you want to add it to the salad the night before. Otherwise, store it separately. Any leftovers would be great on a sandwich, or another salad.
A note about smoked paprika: This is different from regular old paprika. All paprika is made from peppers. When the peppers have been dried over flames, you get smoked paprika. It has a deep, and yes, smoky flavor. There are many varieties of paprika, so look for Spanish smoked paprika dulce, which is the milder of the options.
Smoky Kale Salad for One
2 to 3 cups of Tuscan kale, ribs removed and thinly sliced. To ease this process, after removing the ribs I stack leaves on top of each other, roll up and then thinly slice.
1/3 cup garbanzo beans
Handful of olives (or however many you want to use)
One or two radishes, thinly sliced
Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss together.
Half a baguette (or whatever you have on hand)
One garlic clove, sliced in half
Cut baguette in half lengthwise. Rub garlic clove over all sides of the bread. Cut bread into half-inch cubes and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle smoked paprika over bread (about a teaspoon if using half a baguette), then drizzle with olive oil. Finish with a good shake of salt. Mix everything to ensure the bread is well coated and then place in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Croutons will be lightly browned and crispy when done.
1/2 cup tahini (aka sesame paste)
Juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup water (or a little more or less, depending on how thick you like your dressing)
1/2 to one tsp smoked paprika (depending on how spicy/smoky you like your dressing)
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk tahini and lemon juice in a small bowl. Tahini is very thick so it will take a couple of minutes for the mixture to come together. Whisk in the water and then the paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste.