food & sustainability
writer & editor
My grandfather knew how to dress when
he'd take a steer for a walk through town.
Manage your kitchen for less waste through practical strategies, tips, and advice on food purchasing, prep, composting, and storage.
Topics and features include:
Three levels of action for every topic, to help you figure out what's doable
Portioning to avoid leftovers on the plate
Meal planning vs. freestyle cooking
Grocery shopping and dining-out tactics
Storage strategies and how to read expiration dates
Winner of 2018 Gold Nautilus Book Award: Green Living and Sustainability
“I thought I knew enough about reducing food waste, but Scraps, Peels, and Stems showed me how much more I could do—and inspired me to actually do it. Jill Lightner has written an invaluable resource: realistic and empowering, with tips on everything from re-crisping stale cereal (!) to growing vegetables from food scraps, plus recipes for Feta-Brined Lamb Kebabs, Shrimp Shell Stock, and more. This is a vitally important book for every kitchen.” – Molly Wizenberg, author of A Homemade Life and Delancey
"I love everything about Jill Lightner's Scraps, Peels, and Stems: the brilliant writing, the delicious recipes, and most of all, the commonsense approach to an enormously important subject that has, until now, received little attention: the serious problem of food waste. Enlightening, absorbing, and inspiring, Scraps, Peels, and Stems is a must-have addition to every kitchen bookshelf." – Elissa Altman, author of Poor Man's Feast, Treyf, and Motherland: a Memoir.
"What Jill Lightner has given us with Scraps, Peels, Stems is a brilliant, modern day, “waste not, want not” manifesto, which combines straightforward recipes and thoughtful tips that make us think before we toss. This book is something no cook or eater should be without. It’s genius. It’s inspirational. And it should become the tool for defining how well we can feed ourselves, not our landfills." – Tracey Ryder, co-founder of Edible Communities
Cooking From Scratch
Starred reviews: Publishers Weekly and Library Journal
The Mason Bee Revolution
Edible Seattle: The Cookbook
A recent sampling
How to adapt vintage recipes for modern kitchens (and my great-grandmother's sugar cookies
5 common mistakes to avoid with your first kitchen garden and how to make the most of your space
My work for Seattle Times' Pacific NW Magazine
I also get written about! Here's a fun one where I helped Bethany Jean Clement of The Seattle Times get her pantry organized after Marie Kondo inspired her to de-clutter. It's true, pinenuts are expensive little jerks.
My first piece of food writing coincided with the first Krispy Kreme coming to a Seattle suburb; John T. Edge kicked off his book Donuts: An American Passion with excerpts from that story. My strong opinions about doughnuts led to a career: two years at Seattle Weekly, six years as editor of James Beard-winning magazine Edible Seattle, and three years in the marketing department for the largest member-owned food co-op in the U.S. Along the way, I've edited two books, and written three and a recipe app.
In April 2022, I opened Seattle's second Little Free Bakery, a box that I fill with fresh-baked goods several times each week. It has made me extremely popular with the neighbors. I wrote about little free bakeries for Sound Consumer; it includes information on starting your own.
I write most often for The Seattle Times and Pacific NW Magazine, and PCC Community Markets' Sound Consumer newsletter. I also speak about food waste issues and solutions, serve as a journalism judge for the James Beard Foundation media awards, and sat on the board of the NW Cider Association for six years.