Easter and Passover are fun holidays for a cook because there are so many great spring ingredients to use in different recipes. As with any big meal, you may end up with lots of food waste. So what should you do next?

Get creative—and think ahead to future meals, says Brandon Fortener, product development chef at Kroger. Here are his tips on how to keep the food waste from your Easter and Passover celebrations to a minimum:
1. Put down the peeler
If you were ever told that you must peel your vegetables, ignore that advice says Fortener.

“Most vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes and even beets, are perfectly fine to eat unpeeled as long as you scrub them well. Much of a vegetable’s fiber is actually in the skin, so leaving it offers extra health benefits.”

Note: For mashed potatoes or steamed vegetables, you may want to remove the skin and compost it. For roasted veggies or other preparations, retaining the skin is fine and may even add some texture to your dish.

2. Don’t toss those bones
Both Passover and Easter usually showcase some sort of roasted meat as a center piece. For Easter, it’s often lamb or ham, for Passover it’s often a roasted chicken. All three of those proteins have bones that are worth retaining.
Brandon suggests re-purposing the ham bone to add flavor when cooking beans (use in place of a ham hock), collard greens or as the base for split pea soup. If you are serving lamb, you can use the bones to make bone broth, which is currently popular for its many health benefits. People who celebrate Passover rarely serve lamb for their main dish, but they do need a lamb shank as one of the ceremonial foods for the Seder plate— so you want to consider asking a friend who celebrates that holiday if they want your lamb shank.
Passover is a popular time for matzo ball soup, which has a chicken broth base, so using the bones and trimmings from the chicken makes perfect sense for the soup if you are slicing the chicken in advance for dinner. If not, hold onto the bones after dinner and make a quick chicken stock for the freezer.
3. Get creative with herbs
Spring is a great time of year to showcase herbs, but unless you grow them in your own garden and can snip them as needed, there is often waste. Brandon recommends some ways to use up the herbs in your crisper:

  • Rosemary: You can take leftover sprigs from a lamb dish and infuse them into a cocktail (see Brandon’s Rosemary Collins Cocktail recipe).

  • Oregano: Often used on lamb or chicken, the leftovers can liven up a salad dressing.

  • Any herbs: Infuse any leftover herbs into olive oil, or chop them finely and create a flavored butter for bread or fresh pasta. Put dill or other herbs in matzo ball soup and/or the matzo balls, or use them a quiche for Easter brunch (or a crustless version for Passover). You can also place the herbs on the ceremonial Seder plate, which calls for a green element.