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The aim to reduce waste food is something we all should be mindful of. I try to form good habits but during our UK lock down I feel staying home has made me make an extra effort. After all you cannot just pop to the shops for an ingredient or something you fancy to eat that you don’t have at home.
You may have read an earlier post where I described my current favourite vloggers to watch. One of them Kerry Whelpdale shows how she batch cooks and makes tomato sauces as bases for pasta and soups out of leftover veg.
Also I am reminded of a demonstration I attended hosted by Hotpoint and Jamie Oliver in London in 2018 about reducing food waste. This was a competition prize won by my friend who invited me to go along as her guest. During our prize Jamie cooked some dishes for us to eat where he used up waste food.
So with both of these experiences in mind I decided to see what I could do personally to reduce food waste in our household. Also it has the double purpose of reducing our household spend something many people are looking to do during these difficult times.
Reduce Food Waste
As I said watching Kerry Whelpdale on Youtube I decided to follow her example and use up leftovers to make a pasta sauce. I have to explain that I have always cooked from scratch, even when I worked shifts as a busy nurse. We eat very little convenience foods. I have always found it easy to prepare and cook from scratch, dishes like bolognese, lasagne, curries etc are easily put together, especially with the help of my invaluable trust slow cooker. The base of my sauces are usually passatta and tin tomatoes with added herbs and spices.
My new method following Kerrys example is to cook any left over vegetables such as carrots, peppers, celery – including the leafy tops etc then add my tomato and passatta then use my hand blender to make a smoothish sauce. This helps reduce food waste and bulks out the sauce. By doing this I was able to make my usual amount of passatta and tin tomatoes make 3 portions of sauce instead of 1.
One of my usual habits to reduce food waste is to use every part of a roast chicken. I usually cook a roast chicken to eat as a traditional roast dinner, next day I use any leftover chicken meat to make a stir fry or a pasta and then use the carcass to make a stock for a soup.
So last week by using my new found method of making a pasta sauce and my habitual chicken habits this is what I created:
3 portions of Tomato sauce were turned into a chicken pasta meal, a base for a soup which I have frozen, and the base for my favourite meatball recipe which we ate yesterday.
The chicken made us a roast, then I added leftover meat to the pasta sauce and with the carcass I made a delicious chicken and sweetcorn soup – no recipe I just added things instinctively!
Next meal I made using leftovers and to reduce waste food was using some previously cooked leftover new potatoes and the uneaten surplus were frozen. I added half of these into my soup.
The remaining potatoes from the freezer were used to make a curry on Friday, we had a fresh uneaten cauliflower that needed to be ate. I made my own basic curry sauce and added the potatoes, chopped cauliflower and a tin of chick peas to the slow cooker. Using up store cupboard basics and leftovers it was delicious.
I estimate that for around £10-£12 we ate 5 delicious meals. Added to that I made my own bread to eat with the soup using my bread maker, the following evening we used the leftover bread for toast and ate cheesy beans! A super fast supper.
As Mr Fitz has taken early retirement I’m looking to carry on these good habits to save money and to reduce food waste. And talking about our visit to the Jamie Oliver demonstration lunch we were gifted a couple of reuseable silicone food storage bags.
I love them and use then to store leftovers. They stand up independently and can be used in the microwave and dishwasher. If you haven’t tried them yet I highly recommend them.
What do you do to reduce waste and save money? I’d love to hear from you and learn some new ideas and recipes
Stay home stay safe and keep washing your hands