Cookbook Review: Cooking with Scraps by Lindsay-Jean Hard

Note: I received a digital advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have to admit--I am a big food waster. From tossing leftovers that have been forgotten in the fridge to throwing out all sorts of odds and ends when cooking, my consumption style would have Lindsay-Jean Hard shaking her head in dismay. Her approach, to let no ingredient go to waste, is admirable. It takes knowledge, ambition, and ingenuity. Lindsay-Jean Hard takes the mystery out of how to use up those beet greens and banana peels and dishes out some elegant recipes in the process.

The recipes, ranging from Danish Pancakes with Apple Core Syrup to Leek Top Cacio e Pepe are fun, gourmet, and very cook-able. She finds ways to incorporate little bits of leftover into recipes that you've probably already tried, with a twist of course. I was most impressed with a genius recipe for a banana cake that involves blending in the entire banana peel (!!). That's just one example of Ms. Hard's knack for thinking up recipes that make you say "Why didn't I think of that?" The recipes range from entrees to salads to side dishes to basics. There's even a fun little section on adding leftovers to alcohol, leading to some beautiful cocktail ideas. Each recipe is an opportunity to learn a new tip or trick that will make you view your ingredients differently next time you go to cook. 

The book itself smartly reflects the theme, with simple layouts, little splashes of color, and muted tones. It's organized by ingredient, not my preferred way of organizing cookbooks. The writing is straight and to-the-point with lots of helpful tips in the blurbs before each recipe. While none of this is particularly memorable, the basic premise of the cookbook really shines on its own. 

I'm already planning on purchasing this book for my mother-in-law who shares my interest in creative waste-free cooking. For anyone who has wondered if they could do anything with the ends of their asparagus or their apple peels or even the liquid you drain out of your canned beans, this is the cookbook for you.

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

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