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Less Waste: 3 delicious, sustainable recipes for the Christmas season

Think sustainable cooking is cumbersome and tastes boring? No way! Today we’ll convince you of the opposite with three tasty, Less-Waste recipes. You can spoil your loved ones at Christmas because these recipes also work great as a menu!

The best part? When cooking, you avoid as much organic waste as possible — even if this means there are fewer leftovers for home composting with KALEA. But our kitchen composter is happy to accept this for the environment!

Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar. Du findest ihn hier. (Links to our German blog post)

Less waste, bigger hassle? Not at all!

Basically, "Less Waste" means the general prevention of waste. Even in a cooking session, you have many ways to avoid waste. This starts with the purchase of unpackaged goods in the sense of "Zero Waste", and finishes with the complete recycling of fruit and vegetables from "Leaf to Root".

Of course, you need to know which parts of the plant you can use. On the internet, you will find numerous lists with all kinds of fruit and vegetables. Here’s what you should consider when cooking Less Waste:

  • Buy organically farmed fruit and vegetables because they are grown without chemical sprays.

  • Wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly to remove fine dust and dirt particles.

  • Fresh, young vegetables have a more tender skin than vegetables that have been stored for a long time.

  • Enjoy the pleasure of peels and seeds slowly — your stomach has to get used to the higher fiber content first.

  • Important for allergy sufferers: besides nutrients, shells and kernels also contain larger quantities of allergens. So before you try them out, find out about the plant parts to avoid harming yourself!

Let's get to the yummy part

Our recipes will give you a taste for Less Waste and might surprise you at one point or another. Happy cooking and Merry Christmas!

Something light: Fennel Orange Salad

2 portions, gluten-free / vegetarian

1 fennel bulb with greens

1 orange

1 red onion

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tsp. honey

2 tablespoons walnut or olive oil

Salt and pepper

30 g pine nuts

  • Wash the fennel, dab dry, remove the stalk, and set aside.

  • Cut the fennel and greens into fine strips and chop the stalk into small pieces.

  • Wash the orange and zest the skin.

  • Cut off the peel and thinly slice the orange. Collect juice from the work surface in a bowl and keep the separating skins.

  • Peel and halve the onion. Then cut into fine strips.

  • For the dressing, squeeze the juice from the separated peel and add it to the bowl with the rest of the orange juice. Then add white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and oil. Mix together and season with salt and pepper.

  • Roast pine nuts in a pan without fat until golden brown.

  • Place the fennel, orange slices, and red onion strips in a large bowl. Toss with dressing and arrange the salad on two plates.

  • Serve sprinkled with pine nuts.

Perfect for the season: Pumpkin-Celery Mash with Mushrooms

4 persons, vegan

For the vinaigrette:

1 red onion

1 garlic clove

1 small bunch of chives

½ tablespoon red wine vinegar

½ tablespoons of oil

½ tsp. sugar

Salt and pepper

For the mash:

500 g Hokkaido pumpkin

1 small celery bulb with greens, approx. 200 g

1 pear


250 g of mixed mushrooms (e.g. mushrooms, king oysters, and shiitake mushrooms)

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon of oil

2 teaspoons thyme leaves

½ tsp. sugar

½ tbsp. apple vinegar

Pepper and nutmeg


  • Peel the onion and garlic, then chop finely.

  • Cut the chives into fine rolls.

  • Mix everything with vinegar, oil, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

For the mash:

  • Remove seeds from pumpkin, peel celery bulb sparingly, halve pear and remove the core. Cut everything into small pieces.

  • Cut 4 celery stalks crosswise into thirds and cook in a covered pot with 200 ml water on medium heat for 3 minutes. After 2 minutes, add 1 handful of celery leaves.

  • Remove the celery stalks and leaves from the pot with a skimmer and drain stock in a sieve.

  • Season the stock with salt and add the pumpkin, celery bulb, and pear. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

In the meantime — prepare mushrooms:

  • Clean the mushrooms and cut them into bite-sized pieces as needed. For shiitake mushrooms, remove the tough stalks.

  • Peel garlic and chop finely. Slice celery stalks and cut the leaves into strips.

  • Heat the oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms, celery stalks and leaves, garlic, and thyme until brown all around.

  • Add sugar and lightly caramelize.

  • Deglaze with vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Back to the mash:

  • If necessary, drain some more water from the pumpkin-celery-pear mixture, then mash it coarsely and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

  • Arrange the mash on plates and spread the mushroom-celery mixture around it.

  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.

A timeless classic: French Toast

2 persons

1 egg

100 ml milk (or plant-based milk of your choice)

A pinch of sugar

A small pinch of salt

4 slices old white bread

Butter, oil, or margarine for frying

Cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling

  • Place the egg, milk, and sugar together with a small pinch of salt in a bowl and mix well.

  • Heat some butter, oil, or margarine in a pan.

  • When the fat is hot, dip the white bread slices briefly in the egg-milk mixture. Then fry them in the pan on both sides until golden brown.

  • Sprinkle the finished French Toast with some sugar and cinnamon.

Insider tip: To make use of old bananas, cover a dunked slice of bread with banana slices and top it with a second dunked slice, just like a sandwich. Then fry the banana sandwich on both sides until it is evenly browned. Fresh fruit, jam, or syrup also go very well with it!

Here’s where we came across the delicacies:

Fennel-Orange-Salad: Author: Pichl, Veronika. Cookbook title: "Zero Waste Kitchen" / Cooking instead of throwing away - creative recipes for fruit and vegetable leftovers. Publisher: Riva. Year: 2018

Pumpkin celery stomp with mushrooms: Author: Kintrup, Martin. Cookbook title: "Food for Future"/ The completely good cookbook: sustainable, climate-friendly, and delicious. Publisher: Südwest Verlag. Year: 2020

Classic: Poor Knights: Utopia.de. Arme Ritter: Recipe for bread leftovers - hearty and sweet. In: Utopia.de. [Webblog], September 9, 2019. https://utopia.de/ratgeber/armer-ritter-rezept-fuer-brotreste-herzhaft-und-suess/. Last page visit on: 30.11.2020

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