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Christine Tizzard's cookbook has 100 recipes are the fruition of all that tinkering. Her jambalaya recipe focuses on wasting less food through tackling food scraps and leftovers.Penguin Random House Canada

When Christine Tizzard graduated from chef school at Toronto’s George Brown College, one of her first jobs was food styling for big consumer brands. “To me, food is like art so I get immense pleasure in showing it off in the best possible way,” she says.

However, she quickly identified one glaring downside to the job. “The amount of fruit and vegetables thrown away to get a good thing on film is absolutely heartbreaking to me,” Tizzard says. “I just can’t stand throwing food away so I come home with bags of food that I drop off at neighbours’ front porches.”

It’s this respect for food that inspired Tizzard to write her latest cookbook, Cook More, Waste Less, which is perfect for anyone who wants to shop smarter, learn how to store food better and use leftovers in dishes that no one would guess were the remains from a meal the day before.

“It’s staggering to me that one-third of all the food purchased in the world is thrown away,” says Tizzard, who is also an ambassador for a zero-waste initiative in Canada called Love Food, Hate Waste. “Unwittingly, we all play a part. One in every four bags of groceries that Canadians purchase goes to landfills. My goal is to show people how to extend the life of their food, save them money and make them feel better about themselves because they’re doing something good for the planet.”

Tizzard’s obsession with food waste is not new. She has spent countless weekends pawning off food that her food stylist colleagues didn’t claim on family and friends. She’s made fruit pies, huge batches of soup, casseroles, stews, and developed a simple practice of batch cooking, using it as an opportunity to clear out her fridge and freezer – and experiment.

The cookbook’s 100 recipes are the fruition of all that tinkering. For instance, her recipe for banana bread calls for overripe, bruised bananas, skin and all. She makes Crispy Veggie Skins (great as a snack, garnish or salad topping) out of carrot, potato, beat or parsnip peels. Every recipe comes with a list of substitutions – things she’s hoping are sitting in your fridge ready to be used up.

“There is only one thing we have immediate control of: our own consumption habits,” Tizzard says. “And if going zero-waste feels unattainable, remind yourself regularly, as I do, that it is a goal and not a hard target. Start by focusing on what you’ll eat next – and what you won’t throw away today.”

Handout

Jambalaya

Serves 6

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh or 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoons fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • Dash hot sauce or pinch cayenne
  • 1¼ cups chopped smoked sausage (about 6 ounces), e.g., smoked meat sausage, andouille, chorizo, or even spicy pepperettes
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice or 2-3 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • One 14 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup poultry stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb cooked turkey, cubed (or substitute with cooked poultry, chopped)
  • 1 lb peeled cooked or frozen shrimp, thawed (optional)
  • Green onions or chives, chopped, for garnish (optional)

In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the oil and saute the onion, celery, pepper, jalapeno and garlic until softened.

Stir in the bay leaves, oregano, thyme, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, and sausage and cook for 2 minutes.

If using uncooked rice, stir in the rice to coat and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, stock, and salt and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the rice is cooked through, adding more stock if needed.

Stir in the cooked turkey and shrimp, if using. If using cooked rice, add it to the skillet and bring to a simmer for an additional few minutes. If using raw shrimp, it should take no longer than 5 minutes for them to cook through.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Serve in a large bowl and garnish with green onions, as desired.

Keeps for up to two days in the fridge or four months in the freezer.

Excerpted from Cook More, Waste Less by Christine Tizzard Copyright © 2021 Christine Tizzard. Photography © Reena Newman. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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