Cooking in Real Life: Veggie Butts

22 Feb

What the heck are veggie butts?!?

I usually compost all my produce scraps but with the ground usually frozen and a crazy puppy who likes to run around the yard with broccoli stalks and the like I have sort of abandoned this hobby. But I hated wasting all that potential. Hmmm….what to do?!?  I started saving all my veggie butts: carrot tops, zucchini ends, asparagus and green bean ends, cabbage cores, and even jalapeño tops. Every night at dinner time I would place all my veg scraps (not the peels or lettuce usually) on a cookie sheet and then into the freezer. After the scraps were frozen, I started filling ziploc gallon size bags.

Then one day, I had two full bags and a plate full of broccoli bottoms. Time to experiment: I have gotten quite good at making chicken stock and I wanted to try my hand at vegetable stock.

Step 1: Empty ziplocs into a big old stockpot. Add fresh herbs (I used what I had in my freezer – parsley, basil, rosemary). If you are lucky enough to have cheese rinds (the hard, crusty end of the parm, provolone and other cheeses) throw them in for good measure.

Step 2: Fill with enough water to cover all veg. Cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. You want to maintain a bubble but not a ferocious boil.

Step 3: Cook at a steady bubble. Slow boil = big, lazy bubbles. Occasionally push the veg under the water. Cook for several hours until veg have no life left in them.

Step 4:  After the veg have cooked all their flavor out, turn your heat off and let pot cool for a bit. When the scalding heat is a bit calm, you are going to separate your veg scraps from the amazing vegetable stock you have just created.

Step 5: Let your stock cool down and put into freezer container.  Stock makes a great substitute when recipes call for water. Or in place of water when you make rice or barley or cous cous.

Things to note:

1. Each batch of stock will be a little different. For this batch I had jalapeños and cheese rinds so the stock was a bit salty/smoky and spicy.

2. I filled two ziplocs in a matter of a few weeks. The more veggies you and your family eat the faster you will be ready to make stock.

3.  Who knew veggies could be so much fun!?!?

4.  I made soup!! A wonderful veggie soup! I am falling in love with veggies and making soup.

What wonderful adventures are next?!?


14 Responses to “Cooking in Real Life: Veggie Butts”

  1. Kirsten February 23, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    Love making stock. Though I have to admit I forget it’s in the freezer.

    • jeninRL February 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

      silly woman!! freeze them in ice cube trays and then put your cubes in a freezer bag – grab what ya need when ya need it!! no more waste!

  2. Brandie February 23, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    This is such a GREAT idea! I haven’t made veggie stock from scratch yet, but I’m totally gonna try this.

    • jeninRL February 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

      This was my first attempt at veggie stock and it was so easy and yummy!! I will be making stock (and soup) every few weeks! Give it a try, I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

  3. Mizfit February 23, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    love this.
    Ive never ever ever made ANY soup from scratch.

    • jeninRL February 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

      Oh Lady C!! I will have to do a post about my soup!! Seriously, I have a few recipes that are so easy peasy.

  4. Heather February 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    Such a great idea! I have never made any stocks but they are so expensive at the store. I am going to start doing this!

    • jeninRL February 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

      EXACTLY!!! I realized I was spending at a minimum $2 for a quart of broth – and that is only when it is on sale! I don’t know about you but that quart does not last long! Stay tuned for more money saving food tips!!

      xox, jen

  5. Katdoesdiets February 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    You are brilliant. I never would have thought of this!

    • jeninRL February 23, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

      have you seen how expensive stock is at the grocery?!? Making my own stock is the greatest thing ever!

  6. Sheila February 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    I love making soup!! Making your own stock is the best!!


  1. Tweets that mention » Blog Archive » Cooking in Real Life: Veggie Butts -- - February 23, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris_Fairchild, Jen. Jen said: Cooking in Real Life: Veggie Butts: What the heck are veggie butts?!? I usually compost all my produce scraps bu… […]

  2. » Blog Archive » F/V Loaded - March 13, 2011

    […] All the veggie butts become […]

  3. totally veggie super soup « - May 5, 2011

    […] Then pour in 10 cups of vegetable stock (or whatever kind you keep on hand – I make my own vegetable stock  using veggie butts. […]

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