BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Today's Reuse Roundup post comes from Devrah Lawver, of San Ramon, CA.

I hope her tip inspires you to send me your best kitchen tip(s) for waste minimizing--you could win a Google Nexus 7 tablet and signed copies of both of my cookbooks. Only 2 days left to enter the contest (it ends March 7th)!!

Email tips to 

Devrah says:

My tip to reduce kitchen waste is to meal plan! So basic! Meal planning allows you to only shop for what you need, not just what looks good, plus, it also usually ensures that you eat a little healthier and don't do that "I have nothing to eat"- fridge stare down.

I don't use a paper chart or app, having this big white board on the wall works for me. I take a photo of it before I go to the grocery store (and I use scratch paper to make a shopping list). I know there are cute notebooks ( has super adorable meal planning notebooks that are personalizable), but I have enough notebooks and charts to keep track of in my life. I like it simple.

What I like about meal planning, is that I also account for leftovers. Oftentimes leftovers are for lunch the next day. You can see that this week I am having veggie tacos one night, but then I use the leftover ingredients in a mexican cassarole. Now that I am living alone, meal planning keeps me from over-buying. I can't go to the store and just pick stuff out or else I end up with too much that ends up going bad and wasted. I am also in grad school two nights a week, so I don't have time to run to the store just to pick up something for dinner, I do all of my shopping on the weekends, making two or three stops depending on my list (sprouts, trader joes and target... I don't bother with Costco or Safeway unless I need something specific).


Today's Reuse Roundup post comes from Ian and Tanya Grant of Seattle, WA. Their tip involves their kale, smoothies, a bunny, and a dog.

Hopefully they will inspire you to send me your best kitchen tip(s) for waste minimizing--you could win a Google Nexus 7 tablet and signed copies of both of my cookbooks. But get on it because the competition closes this Friday, March 7th! 

Email tips to 

Ian says: 

Ok, so here's what we do to reduce waste. We make smoothies! If our fruit/kale collection for the week is going to hell, it gets thrown into our Ninja blender and gets annihilated into a giant explosion of vitamin nourishing amazingness.

I hate vegetables, so as long as I'm not tasting it or can look it in the eye, we're good.

My wife Tanya is anti-throwing away, so she'll even take the things that would be gross and feeds them to Bunny (our bunny) and Riley the dog. They'll eat anything.

Here's what Tanya says because she says I'm not being helpful:

"When it comes to produce I hate throwing things away - it feels like such a waste. When bananas get overripe I tend to throw them in smoothies, or peel and freeze them for future smoothies. Any fruits or veggies can be frozen and added to a "green" smoothie in place of ice. When it comes to the parts of fruits and veggies that people don't normally eat, it helps to have some pet garbage disposal on hand. Our rabbit and dog love to eat kale ribs, apple and bell pepper cores, and carrot tops. They're all filled with vitamins, so even the pets get a healthy boost."


Raising Whitley and Blueberry Applesauce

  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 35 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $7
  • 1 Comment

Last night, I had the incredible privilege to appear on my friend Kym Whitley's reality show, Raising Whitley on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network! Kym and I met in November at the taping for the Young & Hungry pilot (she stars as Yolanda, housekeeper extraordinaire). At the taping, Kym told me about her 2 1/2 year old son, Joshua and her struggle to find healthy, easy-to-cook recipes for the two of them to enjoy together. Joshua has a lot of allergies, and Kym doesn't have a lot of cooking experience, so she was faced with a challenge. A few weeks later, Kym called and asked me to come down to LA and give her a cooking lesson.


I arrived with groceries for some healthy, fun food, and copies of my books, The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook and Pizza Dough: 100 Delicious, Unexpected Recipes, to help Kym continue to cook after I left.

Together, we made three simple recipes: 

Crunchy, easy Brussels Sprouts Chips

My Basil-Feta Turkey Burgers (minus the feta)

And this delicious applejuice-sweetened Blueberry Applesauce. (I'll get to the recipe shortly.)

It was incredibly fun! We made some delicious, simple food and I got to teach Kym the joys of the immersion blender (the best budget appliance a cook with little space and money can own!) Kym is one of most warm, generous, talented people I know, and she kept me laughing and smiling the whole time, as did Joshua.

Read on for the applesauce recipe (which, by the way, is just as delicious with pork loin and potato pancakes as it is on its own), and check out your local listings to tune into next week's season finale of Raising Whitley!


  • 2 pounds tart apples (like Granny Smith), peeled, cored and chopped $2
  • 1 pint fresh or frozen blueberries $3.50
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applejuiice $1.50 for 8 oz.
  • dash cinnamon Optional
  • dash salt Pantry

Recipe Serves 4


  1. Put all ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed pot with 1/2 cup water. 
  2. Cook covered over medium-high heat, until mixture begins to bubble.
  3. Reduce to medium-low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until very soft.
  4. Puree using an immersion blender, regular blender or food processor, until only slightly chunky.
  5. Let cool, then serve or store in an airtight container. The applesauce will keep, airtight, in the fridge for about a week.

Today's Reuse Roundup post comes from Maria Lipkina of Santa Cruz, CA. Maria is a pastry chef and baker, but her culinary prowess clearly doesn't end with with bread and muffins. Read on for this truly kitchen-savvy reader's tips (that's right, plural tips--she had a lot of 'em!). Hopefully they will inspire you to send me your best kitchen tip(s) for waste minimizing--you could win a Google Nexus 7 tablet and signed copies of both of my cookbooks! Email tips to

Maria says:

I saw your call for waste-reducing tips and tricks on Facebook, and thought I'd just use it as an opportunity to brag shamelessly about my waste-reduction projects. Yes, that would be plural. I can't pick just one! This is your official warning that this list is long. So hey, bear with me, and I hope you like some of these. :)

First off, here's my "umbrella" waste-reduction philosophy: If there's an ingredient sitting around in my house with no designated purpose, I'll think of a recipe that centers on that ingredient.

Here's a photo of some apricot thumbprint cookies I made because the apricot jam had spent a few too many weeks on the fridge door.

And here's a blueberry cheesecake, because what was the intended purpose of those frozen blueberries again?

I pretty much try to save whatever I can. I had a brunch party a few months ago, and we made a HUGE batch of bacon in the oven. It seemed like a big waste to throw away all the bacon grease, so I saved it in a little bowl. Now I use it to cook eggs or add richness to other dishes!

My passion for eliminating food waste even extends beyond my own kitchen. I currently work in a bakery as a bread and pastry baker, and I try to do everything I can to save the scraps that are sometimes left at the end of the day.

One way that this manifests is with croissant dough. As we put the sheets of dough through our roller, bits and scraps sometimes need to be cut off to make the sheets of dough more even. As the day goes on, I collect all the scraps in a pile and take them home. I use it to make super-easy cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting at home!

I try to take home whatever would be otherwise tossed at the busy bakeshop, and invent whatever I can feed to my friends, as long as the dough's not going in the trash!

Here are some broccoli/garlic/cheese hand pies that I made at home out of rescued galette dough scraps.

Alright, I think that's the end of my tirade! In general, I just hate seeing food go in the trash, and do whatever I can think of to make sure it goes into people's mouths instead. My grandmother, who grew up in the Soviet Union and can't STAND waste, is my inspiration for that. Here's one last photo-- my babushka's matzah balls!

Our first Reuse Roundup tip comes from Stefani Hutchinson of Conway, South Carolina! Rather than throw out the ends of celery, Stefani has found a way to actually re-grow them. How awesome is that!? Read on for her tip, and be sure to send me your best kitchen tip for waste minimizing--you could win a Google Nexus 7 tablet and signed copies of both of my cookbooks! Email tips to 

Says Stefani:

You can grow your own celery from the ends leftover from the stalks you buy at the store. Cut the bottom off and place the piece in water. Change the water each day to keep it clean and before you know it there will be roots and new stalks. Plant the new celery plant in a nice pot or in your garden and there you are! Fresh, home grown celery from the remains of the one you bought at the store! Here you can see a new baby root just starting at the bottom of the stalk.

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