261. Cooking With Scraps Cookbook and Food52 blog | Lindsay-Jean Hard

Andrea Catherine introduced me to Lindsay Jean Hard who wrotecookingWithScraps

Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems into Delicious Meals

something I’m super passionate about and learning about. She blogs at this place called Food52, which I love reading and I get their emails it’s always exciting! I was just reading somewhere about broccoli stems were even more nutritious then the florets maybe we’re gonna learn more about nutrition too!

Well, i don’t necessarily have a nutrition background but there is a lot to be said as far as nutrients and great things in the peels and things that we tend to discard a lot! There’s benefits to not throwing our scraps away! 

Oh year I was loving he sugar peels looked awesome because I’m always trying to get more fruit and fiber in my diet and I think there’s a lot of fiber in the peel right?

Tell us a little about yourself.

My path to where I am now has been an interesting one

Like you said I got my masters in Urban Planning here at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I worked for our local downtown development authority for a couple of years, so that was a solid 2 years to put masters to good use. Then my husband and I moved to Japan. 

The intersection of cooking and writing. We joined a CSA when we were there where we would walk down the street to the local grocery store and pick up a box of vegetables.

CSA learning process

every week walking into the store to ask

what is in my box

That’s where I first started thinking about cooking with scraps because I knew these farmers taking this time and energy to grow.

putting it all to great use

friends of ours from college

told us they were going to start

Real Time Farms.com

resource to find farmers near them and learn about their growing practices and connect with restaurants and see where those restaurants were sourcing their ingredients from

It was a really exciting time to be working for a start up

We were acquired by Food52.com

It’s a food and lifestyle website. I worked for them for 6 years

community management


Food52 Facebook Cookbook club

Food52 Facebook Baking Club

Food52 Cooking With Scraps Lindsay Jean Hard

I wrote a lot and one of my columns was cooking with scraps

community based so I would hunt for recipes that people shared that found other use for scraps.

Food52 community

wanted to share that with a broader audience that’s where this cookbook came from. 

Wow sounds almost like a real life Julie and Julia and right along with the ups and downs. My mom just made this delicious stock out of the scraps of our carrot peels etc. 

it was so fun!

We had found a cute tiny grocery store we found on a preview trip to find an apartment. One of my husband’s colleagues introduced us to the owner and let him know we were gonna be there and would appreciate friendly faces!

I was shopping there and I saw these vegetables but I knew I didn’t have enough language skills to get signed up for CSA. They did have other produce.

Some of the things I really learned to love but others just never resinated with me

Yamaimo  Japanese Mountain Yam

it was a mountain yam and it was really slimy when you grate it and something I could not get past the texture so I would sneak it into other people’s boxes. The owner of the store just about fell over laughing, he said if there’s something you don’t want just tell us if you don’t like it!

There were a lot of different greens that I hadn’t been exposed to

 and then learned to love

  • variations of bok choi
  • imuzuma
  • lotus root

That’s one of my favorite things now that I hunt out at asian markets to cook with.

What do you do with lotus root?

slice it show off it’s lacy patter saute it with a little bit of soy sauce.

Now that you’re back in Michigan can you add any of those things there?

I have not added many of those things to my garden

not great with starting with seed

starter plants most of the time

shizoh the herb

I grow them from seed almost every single summer

it’s a cousin of basil

just a little bit of a spicy bite then basil does but they’re similar.

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

I actually think it was in Japan for the very first time. We would walk around the neighborhoods and people would grow things in pots. 

Most people don’t have a ton of space but they would have a porch or a lānai and we were like we can do that!

We got a couple of essential window boxes on our patio and tried to grow a few things from seed. I don’t think anything was super successful, it got under our skin enough that when we got back from Japan

I think growing things from seed is difficult. Mike has the patience and persistent to see it through, by misting them lightly and pampering them. I like things that you just broadcast like Buckwheat!

especially with Michigan climate


How did you learn how to garden organically?

I have always been interested in sustainability and the environment has always mattered to me. It wasn’t something that I 

didn’t consciously

organic garden

it was more like I don’t want to put pesticides or chemicals on what we are growing

really just trail and error

moved back in 2010

raised beds a couple of years later. It’s been about 6 years of expanding our garden

Home and garden shop right downtown in Ann Arbor we really love.

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

The squirrels and chipmunks were our nemesis this past summer!

We lost a lot of our garden, we have 4 raised beds that are surrounded by raspberry bushes. The raspberries always do well with very little attention from us other then thinning them out, then we also have a number of rhubarb plants that do well too without interaction from us

different spot for tomatoes

that didn’t work out quite as well as I would have liked?

So what worked and what didn’t?

we have 4 garden boxes, one is much more sunny

It’s the perfect box for tomato, but we had had tomatoes there for a couple of years in a row

We haven’t done much more then amending the soil other then mixing in the compost we make, so we tried to shift entirely away from our 4 raised beds and put them on the side of the garage so they don’t get as much sun. 

I think they didn’t get enough sun.

I know exactly how that grows. IT’s tough sometimes because you have to do that rotation of crops but some things just fit some places really well. 

Is there something you would do different next year or want to try/new?

I haven’t thought too much about it yet


I would like to get those back in the garden again

I love cucumbers in the past I love how prolific those tend to be

did lemon cucumbers

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Now Let’s Get to the Root of Things!

Which activity is your least favorite activity to do in the garden?

I don’t mind weeding at all

I like sitting there and picking out the weeds

I don’t like dealing with bug infestations mainly becauseI don’t have a ton of knowledge in that area. It’s been learning by trial and error 

It’s frustrating to see bugs and have to go back inside and start googling see if

  • vinegar water
  • hot pepper water

if that’s gonna work


I talked to Siri Jostad who has this awesome plant app. Yesterday I was talking to this interesting guy on farms, the bigger farm scale and he was saying if you have healthy plants you are not going to get any pests at all. He was talking about how having healthy plants will give you healthy soil and he was talking about sugar in the roots and more photosynthesis. I was curious about how it could work on a smaller scale.

I remember talking to people this summer that were saying their zucchini’s were gonna cost like 46$/lb by the time she’s added up all the time picking the bugs and beetles off.

I think its almost meditative

zone of a small

What is your favorite activity to do in the garden?

I would say picking and cooking with it for sure!

Do you want to share some recipes or tips for people with scraps or maybe something they might be surprised that they would say no way I could do that?!

I think the two most surprising recipe

banana peel cake

most people don’t think banana peels are edible but it does make a delicious cake

gardeners love coffee grounds

I like to cook with a lot of spent coffee grounds

In the cookbook I

using them in a nut butter add a nice crunchy texture to it


french silk pie

2 different ways

first to infuse whipping cream for the topping

crushed with some crushed chocolate cookies

That was another thing I saw was super surprising you were whipping up the liquid that came in the beans?

bean liquid is called aquafaba

It’s a really fun ingredient to play around with

cooking water from beans


if you haven’t done it before I kind of recommend you start with the liquid that comes from a can of beans

behaves like egg whites

forms peaks

a couple of ways

In the cookbook to make a mayonaise

vegan mayonaise with it

could be adapted to play with and see it form peaks

But when you add sugar to it, it wouldn’t taste sweet

use it in baking

using it in brownies

brownie recipe isn’t vegan

fun to play

wouldn’t work for whipped cream

make meringues with it

sugar or cocoa powder

Yeah! It would not make whipped cream but you might want to add some sugar flavoring to make merengues if you take it straight up it would taste like

I have the strangest recipe, that you separate the eggs and you beet the egg whites and add them at the end and I always wonder who came up with the recipe idea?

huckleberry coffeecake


I’ve always liked food and cooking but it wasn’t a big thing for me till we were in Japan

tiny kitchen

We didn’t have an oven we had a fish broiler draw

Adapting to cook instead of an oven or stovetop

I started documenting my cooking experiences and  experiments on a blog for the first time

cooking became a big deal

working at that start up and then also at food52 and being surrounded by people who are passionate about food and cooking

So fascinating!

What is the best gardening advice you have  ever received?

that’s a good one

we’ve mostly gone to that gardening store that I mentioned for advice on different organic products to try. IDK if I have asked for advice on growing things?

i think when we first started growing raspberries

I was excited when they were growing more densely and we had more and more canes coming up and I didn’t know you were supposed to thin them out.

One of the best things a gardener in my neighborhood I think he said

3 stalks per every 18 sq. inches

much thinner then what I had and I think that helped our wall of raspberries

We had the weirdest thing, a few years ago they just kind of petered out.

We hardly ever make it inside we have a daughter

I had a big goal to grow more raspberries and bushes last year. I had a hard time trying to give up plastic, buying all this plastic every time I’m in the store I want to get blueberries and strawberries…  I also went to a friend of mine’s house who had these monster blueberries growing an they were monsters and I think if she can grow them we can so I’m going to really do that this year.

I would like to add more berry bushes, that’s a good goal for 2019.

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be.

No, we should have

I have thought about that multiple times, because they have really cool tools but we were just doing the window boxes

The next time we should whenever we get back and visit next

tiny handheld shovel

Did you get to see any farms when you were there. I know there are great gardeners. The person who wrote the One Straw Revolution

I probably learned more about rice then I had known before our friends would get excited at the fall harvest and they thought it tasted the bst and was the best time to pick it!

hadn’t been exposed to that much rice before so I hadn’t thought about it before

Did you find different ways to cook it?

a rice cooker

still going strong

But I only know how to push one button so I can’t make it do what I like it

form it into rice balls


recipe for that

  • corn cobs
  • slicing off the corn
  • corn milk and corn flavor

cook the rice along infused with that corn flavor.

I was so sick one summer and mike fed me that corn water from the corn it was so good like chicken noodle soup it saved me. My mom always chewed down the inside of corn on the cob the white part.

A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?

I would say, I really like and will often grow butternut squash

hard winter squash

pumpkin gut scones

It makes use of all that stringy webbing

We know to roast the seeds of any winter squash

stringy webbing often gets disposed into the compost bend but when you 

cook it down and blend it up

flavor to scones!

When I cook , I am trying to think of when I cook my pumpkin. I fell in love with this cabaza squash the one I used was from Jamaica so IDK if we can grow it here in Montana but my friend Dacia gave me this seed from a pumpkin that grew p in her compost pile it was a cinderella pumpkin I hope it is going to grow 

A favorite internet resource?

I have to show out


It’s so great for a variety of things! 

From finding interesting articles

from the whole collection of recipes from the community everyday

You can find something for anything

And get on the email list it’s one of the ones I get excited when it pops up!

A favorite reading material-book or mag etc you can recommend?

I am most often turning to the internet for gardening specific

Like youtube?

Do you have a book last year that you would recommend.

I just did an interview with a woman with a book all about berries and fruit trees in the northwest. Tara Austin Weaver



Growing Berries and Fruit Trees in the Pacific Northwest: How to Grow Abundant, Organic Fruit in Your Backyard

A Man, A Pan, A Plan: 100 Delicious & Nutritious One-Pan Recipes You Can Make Right Now!

A Man, A Pan, A Plan: 100 Delicious & Nutritious One-Pan Recipes You Can Make Right Now! 

Paul Kita is the James Beard Award-winning Food & Nutrition Editor at Men’s Health.He’s the founder of MensHealth.com’s popular food and cooking blog, Guy Gourmet. I just used one of his tips the other day, because I was cutting an avocado.

And then Siri’s Book club from Siri Jostad who has the Smart Plant app has an awesome book club!

If you have a business to you have any advice for our listeners about how to sell extra produce or get started in the industry?

I feel very lucky to be where I am

when I was actively working at Food52

when I was there I would get asked a lot about how to get into the food writing business

I think it’s about being really passionate about what your doing

if you want to write and start a blog

don’t have to be getting so many hits and readers right off the bat

that will come through in your writing and eventually that following will come

Being open to opportunities that present themselves. I had told a couple of girlfriends my goal was to write a book a couple of years ago

I didn’t have a plan

putting it out

cultivating my columns on food52 led to the book

So being ready and open for that new experience

billing willing to learn

I had never written a book or gone through the publishing process

learning process

going with the flow

Trying to ask as many questions from people you know in the business

Even people I didn’t know really well but I had sort of business relationships with other authors and able to ask 

is this normal?

how do you navigate this space?

People who have been there generally really open and willing to share

Did you start out with an idea and a table of contents or did you have the whole copy done?

I did not, but I think my case was unusual, from what I heard

I had the column on Food52 but that was mostly sharing other people’s recipes

I’m working with a publisher who found me through the column and asked did I have any interest in writing a cookbook

certain amount of time to present a plan and what the table of contents

Once they approved that I had 9 months to come up with recipes

How about any suggestions for that, I try to write columns for the local paper but I am like what would I write?

I think for that case a local newsletter

it would help to come up with a handful of topics

really excited about

that does make such a difference!


don’t really care write one paragraphs

  • super knowledgeable
  • keep going
  • sharing that wisdom and
  • writing it all out

When you started out were you learning and then kind of incorporating them in your own way?


I knew I wanted the book to be laid out a-z

  • appetizers
  • reference guide
  • pick up and access

when they are like Argh! I have this scrap leftover what do I do with it

didn’t fill in completely

A-Z alphabet of scraps

what can I have within this section? Looking for other scraps that it would make sense to work with and fill in some blanks

I totally understand

I hope that it’s a reference guide

I think cooking with scraps can be intimidating or over-whelming so I want to help prove that’s not the case

  • all pretty simple
  • short ingredient list
  • Japanese influence

Most of the time you can find that in the international aisle of a major grocery store

I hope people will start to think of them as other ingredients and not just scraps or strange. 

I think people will like this and think of ways to incorporate. A lot of what we talk about on my show is the high cost of produce and if you can stretch your dollars a little.

good for the planet and it’s good for our pocketbook a win win all around!

Final question- if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

Well, I would say that food waste is an incredibly big problem!

40% of food in the United States is going uneaten

throwing away the equivalent of 100 of millions of dollars but we are also unnecessarily filling our landfills

EPA has a food recovery hierarchy

to help us think about what we should do with these scraps

reducing the

  • feeding animals
  • turning into energy
  • composting
  • landfill

bottom of the list is landfill but that is where the vast majority is going to land

I feel like a lot of the problem, I’m working on the garden course and my first chapter is all about how to build healthy soil, and building compost because I don’t think it’s good to put the food waste in the landfill because it doesn’t decompose organically in the landfill and adds more methane into the atmosphere.

starting in

absolutely agree

I watched the documentary


not to long ago I was just blown away at how long a head of lettuce took to break down in a landfill was like 20years! 

Not having access to air and light and not having the process

  • reducing gases that
  • there is no benefit at all to throwing our food away and letting it go into the landfill

  • eating it ourselves

at home composting is a much better use of that for the environment and your garden and your wallet!

Do you have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

I would stay just give it a try

Don’t hold back and wait until you read a certain book! Or feel like you know enough to do it, just get out and try and experiment


How do we connect with you?

you can find me on social media

most active on Instagram @lindsayjeanhard

facebook and on Twitter 

book is available


Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems into Delicious Meals

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About the author, Jackie Marie

I'm an artist and educator. I live at the "Organic Oasis" with my husband Mike where we practice earth friendly techniques in our garden nestled in the mountains of Montana.

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