Waste Not Want Not

I still remember the smells wafting from my great grandmother’s kitchen. We kids would be playing in the back field near the garden, and a lingering smell of sweet and sour filled the air. Pickled beets, I guessed.

Maw, as we called her, was an enthusiastic gardener and an avid canner. On her 10-acre property in southern Oklahoma, she grew beets, okra, onions, collard greens, and tomatoes, among others. Peach and pecan (she pronounced PEA-CAN) trees peppered the landscape. Amidst the clotheslines full of linens and great grandfather’s garments, the array of bounty peeked out of the ground.

Sometimes, Maw would invite me into the kitchen to help her finish off a canning project, and I relished those sacred hours. One of Maw’s mantras was not to waste anything, using all of the vegetables and fruits in her dishes and industriously preserving the harvest. I watched in awe as she transformed vegetables I never would have touched into a delicious masterpiece of a dinner that all the kids loved.

While Maw has been gone for more than 20 years now, I still carry on her tradition of using the whole vegetable. With root vegetables in particular, we are blessed with not only the roots like beets, carrots, and turnips, but also the hearty greens. They’re not only edible, but delicious. Using the whole vegetable is not only superior nutritionally, but saves on waste—and your pocketbook.

It’s easy to get back to our roots in our fall meals, and I love prepping this fall frittata ahead of time for a quick, warming breakfast.

Tip: For the freshest root vegetables with greens intact, head down to the Bellingham Farmers Market—open Saturdays through December, 10am–3pm.


With carrot top pesto & beet greens


8 large eggs (find Misty Meadows Farm eggs at the Co-op, or Foothills Farm or Twin Cedars Farm eggs at the Bellingham Farmers Market)
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. olive oil + ½ tsp. olive oil or butter for greasing pan
1 bunch beet greens, chopped
½ medium onion, diced


2 cups carrot greens
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (or juice from ½ lemon)
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese)
¼ tsp. salt
ground pepper to taste
¼ to 1/3 cup olive oil

Add all pesto ingredients to a food processor with an “S” blade and blend until desired consistency. Add more olive oil or water as needed.


•Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9 inch pie pan with olive oil or butter.
•In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and pepper.
•Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp. olive oil or butter and add onions, a pinch of salt and sauté 3–4 minutes, until almost soft. Add in chopped beet greens and cook until wilted.
•Pour eggs into pie pan. Add pesto and stir into eggs. Then add the beet greens and onion mixture and incorporate.
•Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy. My great grandmother would be proud to see you make the most of your veggies!

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"I still remember the smells wafting from my great grandmother’s kitchen."