Here’s to leftovers: waste not, want not cooking ideas

Oak Bay author coaxes more from home cookery with new book

Oak Bay author Cinda Chavich signs copies of her new cookbook this Saturday

Oak Bay author Cinda Chavich signs copies of her new cookbook this Saturday

Disgusted and inspired by the devastating percentage of wasted food in North America, Cinda Chavich embarked on a recipe book to educate about shopping, cooking and eating with zero waste.

She attended a conference in San Francisco last year and was stunned to hear a scientist explain food waste.

“It was one of those shocking things,” says the Oak Bay resident. “We waste 40 per cent of the food we buy in North America,” she says, noting if it were a country, food waste would be the third largest CO2 producer on Earth. She likens it to leaving the grocery store with three bags of food and dropping one in the parking lot.

“I came racing home and decided I needed to write a good magazine story, because that’s what I do,” says Chavich, a food writer for nearly three decades and a full-time journalist longer than that.

“I swore I would not write another book … but this is such an important topic. It’s a really great thing to get people talking.”

Chavich already had a half dozen books under her belt in a bid to “get people to cook, shop locally, support local farmers, to get healthier food in their mouths.

“It’s a huge waste, not only ethically – this is food people could be eating – (but also) it’s an environmental issue and it’s an economical issue. We’re wasting $31 billion worth of food in Canada every year. It’s a huge waste of money and a huge waste of resources,” she says.

“What better way to get people engaged in cooking? A lot of people are concerned about the environment and global warming and you can effect change by cooking one or two meals at home.”

In rapid motion, utilizing her well-honed skills and connections, she launched The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook in record time. The idea came in March, the book launched in August.

“It’s an ‘A’ to ‘Z’ of everything you might have in your fridge,” she says.

It features everything from apples to zucchini and outlines for example how to buy, store and use apples – even past their prime.

Then there’s a “weekly feast” section, featuring a full salmon or turkey – and what to do with the leftovers.

“I”m trying to encourage people to just make little changes,” she says. “I cull through my crisper every day or every other day. I have a clear bin in the middle of the fridge.”

During the cull, she fills it with those items getting “dodgy.”

“I try to create a recipe with what I have. I call it cooking backwards,” she says, likening it to the popular television show Chopped, where chefs get a basket of ingredients and must make a meal. “It’s quite freeing and creative, instead of getting a recipe, going and getting all the ingredients. If you have a few ‘mother’ recipes you can upcycle anything,” she says.

The Waste Not, Want Not Cookbook features more than 140 recipes organized by ingredient and shares countless ideas for using everything up and is available at local book stores and online. Chavich will sign copies of her book at the Root Cellar, 1286 McKenzie Ave. in Saanich, on Nov. 28 from noon to 3 p.m.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

Construction in Oak Bay is nearly all focused on rebuilding new single-family homes and without secondary suites. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay nears regulation of secondary suites

Preliminary report hints there’s no preferred option

A 45-metre tall call tower is proposed for Westhills Stadium. (Black Press Media file photo)
New cell tower proposed for Westhills Stadium in Langford

Tower will increase capacity in congested network: staff report

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bastion Square attack leaves victim with life-altering injuries

Victoria police looking for witnesses, information

A Sooke woman is speaking up after she was almost tricked by a lottery scam, claiming she had won $950,000 with Set for Life Lottery. (File Photo)
‘I wanted it to be true so badly’: Sooke woman almost falls for lottery scam

88-year-old received letter stating she had won $950,000

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna church fined 2nd time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Mount Arrowsmith. Three skiers were rescued from the south side of the mountain on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021 with one woman taken to hospital in Comox. (Nancy Randall photo)
Injured skier among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Submitted photo of Town Park C Block apartment fire.
Apartment fire in Port Hardy forces residents to jump from building

‘Multiple people were transported to the hospital with injuries from falling’

sdf
2nd in-school violence incident in Mission, B.C, ends in arrest

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

Most Read