Cooking With a Conscience: 5 Waste-Free Recipes From Cookbook Author Christine Tizzard

Christine Tizzard

Newfoundland cod cakes were and still are a staple growing up on the East Coast of Canada. Photo: Reena Newman

Eat well. Waste less. Save more.

This could well be the mantra of Christine Tizzard, Canadian recipe developer, cookbook author and former host of CBC’s “Best Recipes Ever.” With global food costs still soaring,  her cookbook Cook More, Waste Less couldn’t be more timely.

But it’s not just about the wallet. Unused food that ends up in our landfills is one of the main sources of harmful greenhouse gases. In fact, according to the David Suzuki Foundation, landfills are responsible for 20 per cent of Canada’s methane emissions (a potent greenhouse gas).

Globally, about 17 per cent of the food produced each year is wasted, amounting to 931 million metric tons (1.03 billion tons) of food, according to a recent UN report.

“The inspiration for this book came about five years back now, learning more and more about climate change, food insecurity, and then, in turn, learning about how much food we waste,” says Tizzard. “Then hearing the questions over and over again, ‘What can we do? What can I do?'”

Christine Tizzard


Mastering Leftovers


Cook More, Waste Less is brimming with advice on how to shop, store, prep and keep food at its peak to reduce food waste everyday at home.

The Newfoundland and Labrador native also shares recipes and tips for transforming leftovers. For instance, turning already cooked salmon or trout, along with yesterday’s mashed potatoes, into fish cakes. Or how about turning your avocado into a vessel to use up roasted veggies or leftover chicken or shrimp?

Here, we dish up five recipes from the book — including such palate-pleasers as the aforementioned avocado boats and fish cakes — but first, some culinary tips from Tizzard.

Christine Tizzard
Photo: Megan VIncent

Insider Tips

Can you share your favourite flavour boosters — and any other secret weapons?

Everyday: citrus juice (not just lemon but grapefruit, and orange), hot sauce, ground sumac, smoked paprika, fresh ginger, Dijon mustard, fresh herbs and fancier flaked sea salt.

For desserts: vanilla extract, orange oil, cardamom, rose water and fresh ground nutmeg.

Off-the-beaten path: dill pickle brine, fermented garlic flowers, black bean sauce.

Easy Entertaining

What is your go-to dish for stress-free cooking/entertaining?

I love a main that has WOW, I can prepare in advance and takes minimal time in the oven. From Cook More, Waste Less, it would have to be The Whole Fish. Baking a whole fish looks like a showstopper, is super easy, cooks quickly and is super versatile. You can make it spicy, briny, citrusy, herby — whatever you’re craving.


What items or ingredients do you keep stocked in your pantry/fridge?

Oh my. I love a well-stocked pantry. There is even a list of this in my cookbook and how important I find this in helping reduce food waste. Pantry staples go a long way in building out a meal without the worry of perishable foods.

A few pantry must-haves: canned tomatoes, canned tuna, coconut milk, olive oil, nuts and seeds, canned beans, dried lentils, popcorn, quinoa, dried pasta and dried rice noodles.

Simple baking supplies: flours (regular and gluten-free alternatives), sugar, baking powder, chocolate chips, dried unsweetened coconut, oats, pure vanilla extract (I make this and the recipe is in the cookbook), coconut oil, dried fruit or berries.

A few must-have condiments for your fridge: hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, pickles, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, nut butter, soya sauce, jam and salsa.

Finding Comfort

What is your go-to comfort food dish?

Chili. I love chili because of how versatile it is, it uses up lots of bits of different ingredients and makes for great leftovers.

Snack Attack

What is your favourite snack, healthy and otherwise?

I am a sucker for sweets, especially chocolate, but if we are talking healthy, half an avocado with salt and hot sauce makes me pretty happy.


Favourite dishes to cook with the kids (or grandkids)?

Theme nights are always a hit, it gives us all a little something to look forward to. Pizza, pasta and taco nights draw us all into the kitchen, it is communal and everyone makes it just how they like it.

This Q&A has been edited and condensed 




Avocado Boats With Turmeric Aioli

Cook More, Waste Less
Photo: Reena Newman


I had been meaning to try stuffed avocados for some time — since half an avocado with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt and pepper is my quick go-to snack — so I always have a half left over! It wasn’t until I demolished them in a little bar in San José, Costa Rica, that I was like . . . why am I not doing this all the time?! In this recipe they are simply stuffed with chopped grilled shrimp and veggies, then drizzled with fresh turmeric aioli. Honestly? If you love avocados, you can easily stuff them with almost any leftover chopped protein, grains, or mixed veggies and serve them with your favourite dressing or sauce for an instant dinner or snack. Here’s my interpretation from San José.


Uses up: avocados, cooked protein, cooked vegetables

Serves: 2 as a main, 4 as a snack

Total time: 35 minutes

Keeps for: the day of

Can substitute:

  • Grilled shrimp with cooked chicken, fish, meat, or vegan protein
  • Mixed veggies with cooked grains or rice



Turmeric Aioli

¼ cup mayonnaise or 1-Minute Mayo (see below)

1 tbsp lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar

½ clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp fresh finely chopped turmeric or 2 tsp ground turmeric

Salt and pepper

Avocado Boats

1 cup chopped grilled shrimp (see substitutions)

1 cup chopped grilled or roasted veggies (see substitutions)

½ cup chopped fresh tomato Zest and juice of half a lime

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil

Salt and pepper

2 just-ripe avocados, cut in half and pit removed

4 leaves of leaf lettuce

Optional Garnishes:

2 tbsp chopped cilantro, basil, or parsley

2 tbsp seeds or chopped nuts



  1. For the Turmeric Aioli: In a medium-size bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
  2. For the Avocado Boats: In a medium-size bowl, combine the shrimp, veggies, tomato, lime zest and juice, and oil. Then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Take each avocado half, and with your fingers carefully peel off the skin. Avocados that are just ripe will still be a little stiff and not too soft, so this will be easy. If your avocado is fully ripe and possibly a little on the mushy side, you can simply scoop out the avocado half with a large spoon.
  4. Portion the stuffing on top of each avocado boat (it may be overflowing) and place each boat on a lettuce leaf. Garnish, if desired.
  5. Serve with the Turmeric Aioli or drizzle with your favourite salad dressing or a few dashes of hot sauce.

Food 911: Avocados, like apples and pears are subject to oxidation and browning. If you are preparing these items ahead of time, place them in a large bowl of water with the juice of a lemon or lime. The citric acid will help prevent browning. Also when storing these items in your fridge, create an airtight seal directly on their surfaces. For example, store guacamole in an airtight container with some water or a wax wrapper directly overtop to prevent browning.


1-Minute Mayo

You got one egg? Then you’ve got yourself a cup of homemade mayo that you can spread on everything. Homemade mayo tastes so much better than store-bought, and it really does only take a minute to make. We all buy the store-bought mayo-like dressings because of their shelf life, but the last thing I need is more condiments to add to my collection. We don’t go through a lot of mayonnaise in our house, so I use this recipe when needed. Reminder, mayonnaise is also a base for, like, 50,000 other sauces and dips, like in my Turmeric Aioli (see above recipe).

Uses up: eggs, neutral-flavoured oil

Makes: a little over 1 cup

Total time: 3 minutes

Keeps for: up to 1 week in the fridge



1 egg

1 tsp white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp salt Pepper

1 cup neutral-flavoured oil


  1. Place the egg, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times to combine.
  2. While the blender or food processor is running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream and count to 30 seconds, or until the oil is completely emulsified and you have a thick, creamy mayo. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.


Flavour Variations:

Chipotle: 1 canned chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped + 1–2 tsp sweet chili powder

Herby: 1 tbsp finely chopped herbs, e.g., tarragon, chives, cilantro, or basil

Lemon Garlic: 1 clove finely chopped garlic and 1 tbsp lemon zest

Spicy: A few dashes of your favourite hot sauce or 1–2 tsp prepared horse- radish or wasabi


Zero-Waste Tip: Eggs can last up to one month past their best before date. The age-old crack and smell test is probably your best bet when it comes to knowing for sure. If you are making hard-boiled eggs, you can do the sink or swim test: place the whole egg in water, and if it floats, it’s not fresh anymore.


Curried Chicken and Grape Salad

Christine Tizzard
Photo: Reena Newman


So simple but oh so great. I have to say that there is something quite special about this chicken salad. Maybe it’s the way the layers of curry, fresh turmeric, and ginger mingle with the bright bursts of grapes and fresh peas. And it’s flexible enough that you could sub in a whole bunch of different vegetables and fruits, depending what you have on hand. I strongly recommend taking the extra minute or two to make a 1-Minute Mayo (recipe above) for this. Stack this on crunchy toasted sourdough, tossed greens, or tortillas.

Uses up: cooked chicken, grapes, vegetables

Makes: a little over 2 cups

Total time: 20 minutes

Keeps for: up to 3 days in the fridge

Can substitute:

  • Chicken with turkey
  • Bell pepper and peas with any other vegetable
  • Grapes with sliced apples or pears, berries, cherry tomatoes, or cubed peaches or nectarines



Curry Mayo

¼ cup finely chopped red onion

½ clove garlic, finely chopped

½ tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp curry powder

1 tbsp grated fresh or 1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp lemon or lime juice

½ cup mayo or 1-Minute Mayo (recipe above)

Salt and pepper

Pinch cayenne

Curry Chicken Salad

2 cups (about ½ lb) pulled or chopped cooked chicken (see substitutions)

1 tbsp finely chopped pickles or pickled vegetables

¾ cup diced celery and/or celery tops

¼ cup diced bell pepper (see substitutions)

¼ cup fresh peas (see substitutions)

½ cup halved grapes (see substitutions)

Optional Add-Ins:

1 cup chopped Roasted Vegetables

¼ cup raisins or dried cranberries Chopped Thai basil, basil, or cilantro, to taste


  1. For the Curry Mayo: In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. For the Curry Chicken Salad: In a large bowl, toss all of the salad ingredients, including your desired add-ins, and then fold in half of the curry mayo. Mix gently. Add more mayo to your liking.


Zero-Waste Tip: Reserve the rest of the curry mayo to have with sandwiches, French fries, or roasted potatoes. It keeps for 3 to 4 days in the fridge.


Nan’s Fish Cakes

Cook More, Waste Less
Photo: Reena Newman


Newfoundland cod cakes were and still are a staple growing up on the East Coast of Canada. Traditionally made with salt cod and crumbled saltine crackers, now they have advanced to fresh cooked fish and potatoes. I’m picky about my cod cakes though, for two very specific reasons. They often have: 1) WAY too much potato and not enough fish. 2) Not enough seasoning, making for bland fish cakes. These down-home favourites, on the other hand, are packed with fish seasoned to perfection — match made in heaven for leftover fish and potatoes.


Uses up: cooked fish, cooked potatoes, celery tops

Makes: twelve 2½-inch cakes

Total time: 30 minutes

Keeps for: up to 3 days in the fridge (cooked), or up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer (uncooked). Thaw in the fridge overnight before cooking.

Can substitute:

  • Cooked fish with well- soaked salt cod, cooked 5 minutes in boiling water and drained well
  • Potatoes with ½ cup dry breadcrumbs or crushed crackers
  • Dill with savory, thyme, sage, chives, oregano, or curry powder
  • Celery tops with bell pepper



2 cups (about ¾ lb) cooked mashed potatoes (see substitutions)

¼ cup finely chopped onions

¼ cup finely chopped celery tops (see substitutions)

2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley and/or parsley stems

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill (see substitutions)

1 tsp smoked paprika

¹⁄8  tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg 1 egg, beaten

1 good pinches of salt

Pinch pepper

1 lb cooked boneless skinless salmon, cod, trout (any white fish really), flaked (see substitutions)

 ¼ cup oil or butter

Optional Add-Ins:

1 tsp ground sumac Chili powder

Citrus zest

Favourite hot sauce


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed potatoes with the onions, celery tops, parsley, dill, paprika, nutmeg, and any optional add-ins.
  2. Mix in the egg, salt, and pepper. Fold in the flaked fish.
  3. Using your hands, portion out about ¼ cup of the mixture. Form it into a fish cake about 2 to 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. If you have the time, place in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow them to firm and hold shape during frying.
  4. Preheat a large cast-iron pan or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil and fry the cakes until well browned on both sides, 7 to 9 minutes total.
  5. Make your meal a real East Coast one and serve the fish cakes with some Chow Chow and the Best Tartar Sauce.


This Bread Is Bananas

Cook More, Waste Less
Photo: Reena Newman

Yep, the whole banana, peel and all. This version is also insanely better than regular banana bread — denser and more moist.

Uses up: bananas

Makes: 1 loaf

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Keeps for: up to 3 days at room temperature, 1 week in the fridge, or 6 months in the freezer



2 overripe bruised bananas, peels and all

½ cup butter, at room temperature

¾ cup sugar cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder Pinch salt

2 eggs

½ cup buttermilk

1 tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Optional Add-Ins:

½–1 cup chocolate or dark chocolate chips

½ cup chopped nuts and/or seeds



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line or grease a loaf pan. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Peel the bananas and roughly chop the peels. Simmer the peels in boiling water for 5 minutes and then drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until incorporated, light, and fluffy.
  4. In a medium-size bowl, mix the flour with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Using a blender or food processor, blend the bananas, peels, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  6. Slowly beat the banana mixture into the butter mixture until incorporated. Beat in the flour mixture until combined. Stir in any optional add-ins and evenly spread with the crumble if using.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Food 911: Apple slices can keep your baked goods and breads moist, just cozy up a few slices in a sealed container with any extra baked goods you have to prevent them from going stale too quickly.


Guilt-Free Cookies

Cook More, Waste Less
Photo: Reena Newman

I have no idea where I came across this recipe using cooked sweet potato, but I was very skeptical of it until I tried it . . . so skeptical that as I was putting them in the oven, I was telling myself there is no way these are going to work. My timer went off, they came out of the oven, I let them cool, and yes, success! I love these as a post-workout snack or afternoon pick-me-up.


Uses up: cooked sweet potato, flaked coconut, nuts and seeds

Makes: 12–14 cookies

Total time: 20 minutes

Keeps for: up to 3 days at room temperature, 1 week in the fridge, or 6 months in the freezer



1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

2 eggs, whisked

1 tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract

1 scoop favourite protein powder (can be flavoured, like vanilla or chocolate)

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ cup unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

¼ cup dark chocolate chips

¼ cup raw nuts or seeds, chopped if necessary

Optional Add-Ins:

¼ cup dried fruits

¼ cup kasha (buckwheat groats)

¼ cup amaranth

1 tbsp ground flax Sprinkle of cacao nibs



  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with a silicone mat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sweet potato with the melted coconut oil, eggs, vanilla extract, protein powder, salt, cinnamon, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, nuts, and any optional add-ins until incorporated.
  3. Drop the dough by the tablespoon, about 2 inches apart, onto the baking sheet.
  4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through. The dough will be very loose but the cookies bake up and cool perfectly.


Excerpted from Cook More, Waste Less by Christine Tizzard Copyright © 2021 Christine Tizzard. Photography© Reena Newman. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement withthe Publisher. All rights reserved.


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A version of this story was originally published on Oct. 29, 2021.