Stem-to-root recipes: Don't let nutrition go to waste!

Stem-to-root recipes with Chef Jess. (ABC7)

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, nearly one-third of the food produced in the world goes to waste, with fruits and vegetables topping the list. One of the biggest problems is people tossing away scraps that are just as nutritious. Registered dietitian Jessica Swift, better known as Chef Jess, shared the benefits of stem-to-root eating with recipes to get you started. Learn more chef-jess.

Beet stem pesto, over pasta or zoodles

  • 4 cups of beet greens, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of almonds (or another nut)
  • 3 tablespoons of parmesan
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Optional: a handful of herbs such as basil or parsley


  • In a food processor, combine all the ingredients minus the olive oil. Drizzle in oil slowly until fully incorporated

Asparagus Soup

  • 2 pounds asparagus (separate tips from ends, reserve both)
  • 2 cups veggie stock and 1 cup water
  • 1T oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1/2 lemon juiced and zest
  • 1/4 Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper

Optional Toppings

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Crispy bacon or prosciutto
  • Asparagus tips
  • Lemon zest


  • Place the asparagus ends, sock, onion in a large pot and fill with water to cover one inch above the asparagus. Simmer 30-40 minutes until asparagus is soft
  • Blend the asparagus and liquid it boiled in using an immersion blender until smooth, then strain all of the fibrous pieces, reserving the liquid.
  • Add oil and asparagus tips to pot, sauté until soft, add liquid reserved from asparagus ends. Remove from heat and blend again.
  • Stir in lemon juice, zest, yogurt, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Option: garnish with an optional topping of choice

Spicy Broccoli Stem Slaw

Ingredients for slaw

  • 3 large broccoli stems, peeled and grated
  • ½ jicama root, grated
  • 1/2 cup red onions, sliced
  • 1T of each chopped parsley, cilantro, basil

For the dressing combine the following:

  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1 t. honey or agave
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: 1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

Method: Combine all slaw ingredients, dress with the vinaigrette and let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.

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