Carrot Top Tabbouleh
Food waste drives me crazy. In today's world, so much food is thrown away because of cosmetic reasons, meaning if your apple isn't perfectly red and smooth, it might find it's way into the trash before a hungry mouth. I used to work at a farmer's market and people would ask us to chop off their beet greens and carrot tops, not knowing that you can totally eat carrot tops! Carrot tops are super delicious and versatile. After getting a beautiful bunch of carrots, I repurposed my tops into a quick and easy vegan carrot top tabbouleh.
If you know me, you know that food waste really grinds my gears. I'm the person who will eat anything wilted, funky looking and less than fresh in the name of saving waste. In fact, when living in Brooklyn, New York, my friend and I would dumpster dive and find some hidden gems in NYC trash - no joke, retailers toss out a TON of edible food.
Why is food waste a problem?
Food waste happens to all of us, despite our best efforts. We've all been there, we buy a loaf of bread not realizing you had one at home, one goes stale, and into the bin it goes. Or you can't eat through that container of lettuce quick enough before it spoils. But why is it a problem? Food waste is bad for the environment. Not only does it contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, but making, growing, and producing food uses a lot of water. Not only that, but when we throw food out, it fails to acknowledge all those living with food insecurity worldwide. All in all, too much food is wasted because we over buy, care too much about the cosmetics, and oftentimes we fail to plan.
What can I do to reduce my food waste?
Luckily, there are a TON of things you can do to reduce your food waste. Here are some of my favorite tips:
Plan ahead before shopping! Take a look at what you already have on hand, and what you have to eat, before heading out to the grocery store - this will help you avoid coming home to find you already had a half eaten tub of yogurt... woops!
Freeze it! If you notice food getting a little less than fresh, pop it in the freezer - you can freeze more than ice cream!
Learn the difference between "best before" and "use by" dates. Best before dated foods are typically fine to eat past that date - your crackers just may not be quite as crispy or punchy flavors, but safety-wise, you're all good. Even use by dates can be viewed as a guide - yogurt and milk are often good a couple of days past - but when in doubt, sniff it out.
Learn to love leftovers - reuse leftovers in recipes, from fried rice, to adding cooked veg to soups, stir fries and soups. If you're a meal planner, plan for 1-2 leftover meal days every week.
Learn to use what you have - from carrot tops to beet greens, don't waste any part of your vegetable - in other words, eat ROOT TO LEAF!
What else can I do with carrot tops?
Make a carrot top pesto - sub it in for your favorite herb and make a quick pesto for your bowl of pasta
Freeze it, and add it to smoothies for a green breakfast
Add it into a spicy chimichurri to drizzle over grilled veggies
Crisp them up by lightly frying, and use it to top a carrot soup!
Make my carrot top tabbouleh!
For more carroty goodness, try my Spiced Carrot Salad!
Carrot Top Tabbouleh
Author: Micah Siva
Total time: 15 min
1/2 english cucumber, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
2 green onions chopped
2 cups chopped parsley
2 cups chopped carrot tops (from fresh carrots)
1/4 cup chopped mint
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper
In a serving bowl, combine cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, parsley, carrot tops, mint, hemp seeds, and sesame seeds.
In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, lemon zest, juice, and olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Pour dressing over salad, tossing to combine.