Make the most of all of your veg, even the leaves and peelings

Use the normally discarded cauliflower leaves to create this frugal but tasty dish

I love to listen to podcasts when I’m in the kitchen. My sister Maeve presented a podcast series with former president Mary Robinson called Mothers Of Invention, all about feminist climate change solutions. It gives focus to the stories of women and girls who have been innovating. Through that podcast I came to realise that there is so much we can do in our own day-to-day lives that can have a positive impact on climate change.

They shared inspirational stories like the Food Insecurity episode with Zoraida Calle in Columbia and Vivien Sansour in Palestine, small-scale farmers breathing life into dead land and feeding the community as they do it. There’s an episode with Blessing Ekanem of Solar Sisters in Nigeria. She works with local women in Akwa Ibom to bring clean energy solutions and the opportunity to mitigate climate change with their solar-powered water purifiers, cook stoves and grills.

We should all be covering the basics in our own homes by having a brown bin or composting all of our food waste, checking our cupboards and fridge before writing our shopping lists, making the most of leftovers and cooking from scratch. It’s a healthier way to cook and eat as well as being more affordable and better for the environment.

A great way to make an impact from your own kitchen is to get into the habit of using sad tired salad leaves for stir fries and soups, saving chicken bones and vegetable peelings for stock and batch cooking the likes of dried beans and pulses. It helps to think outside the box with your leftovers and food scraps. Roast potato skins, carrot pulp from juicing can be made into muffins, quick pickling any leftover chopped vegetables and making a meal of cauliflower leaves.


For this roast curried cauliflower dish I tend to use a blend of garam masala spices and I add a little extra turmeric. It’s a beautiful way to cook what is usually discarded, delicious with couscous or rice, or as a side dish to dahl or korma.

Recipe: Roast spiced cauliflower leaves