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‘The No-Waste Kitchen Cookbook’ book review: A book that can change how you cook

‘The No-Waste Kitchen Cookbook’ book review: A book that can change how you cook

Cooking always felt like a chore. Till it didn’t. I don’t remember when I started enjoying cooking. Perhaps, it was during the Covid 19 lockdowns when my husband and I didn’t have the option to order from different restaurants or go out to eat, depending on what we were in the mood for. All of a sudden, I was making biryanis, butter chicken, a variety of soups and salads, etc.

As much as I enjoy indulging in my newfound hobby, one thing that puts me off is the amount of waste. From onion peels and lemon rinds to vegetable scraps and chicken skin and bones, there’s just so much I have to throw out every time I step into the kitchen to prepare a meal. My mother composts but I’m too lazy to do that. So, I wallow in guilt every time I throw out a trash can full of scraps.

I came across ‘The No-Waste Kitchen Cookbook’ by Arina Suchde at Bookverse in Civil Mall, Kathmandu, while hunting for some new cookbooks. I confess I bought it without even reading the blurb because the cover was so interesting. It had images of watermelon rinds, orange peels, corn husks, and such on a pastel-blue background. The cover also proclaimed that there were 75 recipes to begin your zero-waste journey. I was sold.

The book offers many ways in which we can reduce wastage of resources in our kitchens. It provides the readers with tips on how we can grow our own herbs. There are also recipes for basic pantry staples that can be made at home—this reduces the need to buy different condiments while ensuring our food is as preservative-free as possible. Suchde gives you 75 vegetarian recipes across seven sections. They are not just food recipes. You can also learn to whip up some mean cocktails. She also shines the spotlight on composting.

Some of my favorite recipes from the book include ‘Leftover Subzi Pav Bhaji’, ‘Carrot Peel Pasta Sauce’, ‘Wilted Lettuce Dressing’, and ‘Banana Peel Sleepy Tea’. These recipes drastically reduce kitchen waste as everything can be salvaged. You can throw every vegetable that is about to go bad as well as scraps and peels into the pot to make the Leftover Subzi Pav Bhaji. The Carrot Peel Pasta Sauce puts all the peels to use and the sauce is delicious. For a household that consumes a lot of carrots daily (our dog alone needs a carrot after every meal), this recipe is such a lifesaver. I don’t feel bad about having a banana daily because the peel can be saved to make a great-tasting tea. (Earlier, I would rub it on my face but I would still eventually have to throw it away. Not anymore.)

The book highlights the importance of sustainability in the kitchen and the author shows how simple steps can go a long way in achieving it. But she also talks about how it’s not possible to go zero-waste overnight and neither should we aspire to do that. We must be consistent in our efforts to manage the resources that are available to us. The No-Waste Kitchen Cookbook arms us with many ways in which we can make small changes in the kitchen that can, in the long run, drastically reduce waste.  

The No-Waste Kitchen Cookbook

Arina Suchde

Published: 2023

Publisher: Harper Collins

Pages: 157, Paperback