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When we first wrote about Los Angeles-based celebrity chef Matthew Kenney’s upcoming NYC-based vegan restaurant, XYST (or “Exist”), we were understandably excited.

Kenney is already known for successful plant-based restaurants such as Plant Food + Wine, which has multiple locations across the country and the NYC vegan pizza concept, Double Zero. His upcoming restaurant, which will open up in Chelsea, will feature a Mediterranean-inspired menu with vegetable-centric dishes such as Tunisian-spiced squash with curry leaves and wild mushroom fattoush.

Just check out some of XYST’s dishes!

Screen Shot 2017 10 26 At 11 14 30 AmMatthew Kenney

If the menu wasn’t enough to get us excited, their cocktail menu was created by famed NYC-based bartender Meaghan Dorman and all of the drinks will be made from repurposed, organic kitchen scraps.

“I see a great opportunity to collaborate with the kitchen,” Dorman told Well and Good. “We use ingredients to the best of their potential and do not keep perishable items around that may go to waste.” For example, for her “Reverse Monarch” cocktail, Dorman makes the cucumber shrub from cucumber trimmings while the juice in her Crimson Spritz cocktail is made from fruit that’s “too ugly to plate” and leftover scraps. Cheers to reducing food waste!

Here at One Green Planet, we know all too well that plant-based food is one of the most sustainable ways that we can eat. However, food waste, particularly discarded produce, remains a major problem in the United States. According to the 2016 Food Sustainability Index compiled by the non-profit Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition and the Economist Intelligence Unit, the United States ranked third-last in terms of reducing food waste even though we consume more food than any other nation.

When broken down on an individual level, that amounts to the average person throwing away 20 pounds of food every month. Of course, grocery stores and restaurants also play a major part in the amount of food waste that is sent to landfills each year. In New York City alone, about one-third of the four millions tons of waste sent to landfills annually is comprised of food and unfortunately, a lot of that food can be composed or repurposed.

That is why we’re so excited that XYST is setting an example by not only showcasing delicious, sustainable plant-based food, but also showing that amazing cocktails can be made using kitchen scraps. We hope that Kenney’s new restaurant can inspire future restauranteurs to come up with creative ways of reducing food waste and our carbon footprint.

Recipes to Reduce Food Waste

Looking for creative ways to use up your leftovers? Here are a couple of our favorites, courtesy of the Food Monster App:

Juice Pulp CrackersJuice Pulp Crackers 1

Juicing is a wonderful way to get your daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables, however, there is one downside: wasted juice pulp. That is unless you have a recipe that uses juice pulp like these Raw Juice Pulp Crackers by Bianca the Green Creator! That’s right, these crackers are made with juice pulp, chia seeds, flax meal, tamari, spices, and water. The result is a crunchy, sturdy cracker that is perfect for dipping.

Almond Pulp ‘Ricotta’Ravioli

These raw zucchini roll-ups stuffed with Almond Pulp Ricotta are a spin on traditional ravioli from bloggers Nikki and Zuzana. These are an extra-healthy alternative to a traditional pasta dish! Make some homemade almond milk, save the pulp, and make “ricotta” with it!How to Reuse Leftovers to Create New Dishes and Reduce Waste and What to do With Leftover Herbs.

If you enjoy articles like this and want more, plus sustainable plant-based recipes, we highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!

Lead image source: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock