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I love eating outdoors; it’s so satisfying. I feel like everything tastes better, especially food grown and/or made locally! What can I say? It makes me feel closer to Mother Earth! So, it goes without saying that picnic season is one of my favourites, and I take a whole lot of pleasure making dishes, sweets, and finger food to share. Especially given that eating outside with friends is an excellent opportunity to turn the week’s leftovers into sandwiches, salads, and other goodies. When I think of picnics, I think of special, informal meals where everyone shares, with no one really hosting. Maybe that’s why I feel perfectly fine giving my friends culinary creations made with what otherwise would have gone wasted! I should point out that it’s been years that I’ve been inventing new dishes made from whatever I have on hand, and even infusing fruit and vegetable peels to make broths, household products, and fruit juice. After all this time, I have a pretty good idea of the winning combinations and what blends to avoid. In any case, what’s most important when creating anti-waste dishes is creativity. You need to look beyond the food itself, try to optimize it from A to Z, and always question whether it can be given a second, if not third chance! Here are three ideas to help you save your leftovers and cook your waste, all while impressing your friends at your picnics this summer!

1) A cocktail with fruit-peel syrup

With organic fruit from Rachelle Béry, there’s less chances of you making a pesticide syrup! One of the reasons I always buy organic is, in fact, to be able to reuse the peels! It’s still very important to wash your fruit “waste”—peach, plumb, and apple peels, as well as strawberry tops—before infusing them. After that, you’ll just need one part water, one part sugar, and one part fruit waste, and boil. Once ready, place your syrup in a Mason jar and bring it to your next outdoor event, along with some tonic, sparkling water, or alcohol of your choice. Let it be a topic of conversation while having fun with the blends and becoming a mixologist in your own right!

2) No-waste tzatziki (made with Love Legrand unsweetened plain yogurt!)

If there’s softened cucumber lying in your vegetable crisper, wilted mint leaves awaiting their demise in the fridge, and you just pressed lemon and don’t know what to do with the peel, then you need this recipe! Mix a little Love Legrand plain yogurt (for a vegan version, that is) with oil (or a little mayonnaise for a non-vegan version), and add garlic, lemon zest, chopped mint, and some diced cucumber!

3) Pita, bread, or tortilla chips!

Heat your oven to 300°F. Cut your leftover bread—pita, bagel, tortilla, homemade bread, hamburger or hotdog bun, baguette, etc.—into equal pieces, and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over top (might as well use Stefano Faita’s olive oil and support our local bottling and economy!). Next, top them with local cheeses or a slice of fumoirs Gosselin smoke salmon.