Lots of things can change your life: getting a very short haircut; moving to a city where you don’t speak the language; buying a large dog. I recently bought a new knife, which has sparked a revolution in the way I use – and use up – vegetables. I first saw the Wusthof Classic Nakiri Vegetable Knife with Hollow Edge mentioned in The New York Times Food Section and for the whole day I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

Had to have one. Ordered it that night.

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It arrived on my doorstep a few days later and I have been living a changed life ever since.

This knife is very light and has a sweet sharp edge. It’s easy to balance. It looks like a cleaver and speaks to clean, clean cuts. I want to slice and chop every bit of food in the kitchen.

Grab a Nakiri Knife & Chop Your Way to Less Food Waste:

1. Fresh Herbs. Prepare them up them as soon as you bring them home. Wash and spin dry. Pile up on the cutting board and chop to bits. Store in a container in the refrigerator for up to a few days. Add to grain salads, pasta dishes, and smoothies. Slather a piece of toast with hummus and top with chopped herbs.

2. Chopped Salad. I simply can’t stop making this. Open a can of beans (any kind), drain and rinse, and put in a salad bowl. Add about 1 tablespoon of your favorite dressing and toss well. Assemble any of the following or whatever else you can find in the refrigerator: carrots, cucumbers, radishes, celery, scallions, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce and greens, olives, avocados, leftover cooked potatoes, fresh herbs. Chop them all into tiny bits and add to the bowl with the beans. Toss well and eat for days. 


3. Greens (kale, spinach, Swiss chard, etc.). Wash and spin dry. Remove tough stems, grab a bunch, roll them into a big cigar shape, and slice into thin ribbons. Repeat until they are all cut. Heat a large frying pan, add a little oil or water, dump in all the greens and cook, stirring, until they are nicely wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Eat hot. Store leftover greens for several days. Chop again, reheat in the microwave, and add to hot grains or toss with pasta.

4. Roasted Vegetables. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Raid the refrigerator for asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, peppers, mushrooms, and find the onions, potatoes, and sweet potatoes in your pantry. Peel as you prefer, chop them, put them on a baking sheet, toss with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for about 25 minutes or until they’re all tender and just starting to brown. Eat some hot from the oven. Store leftovers and use within three days as fillings for tacos or wraps, add to grains, greens, or pasta.

5. Endless Inspiration. For more great ideas to use more, and waste less, food, check out our handy 12 Great Ways resource collection.

And remember: All you need is a great knife and some new ideas.

Georgia Orcutt, Oldways Vegetarian Network program manager

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