Quite many of us are guilty of throwing away food that could still be used. At least I have done that and felt bad afterwards. Main reason causing this problem is that I am going after new and new cravings and when I bring home a new bag full of food old articles are left spoiling. Also I am not always using my imagination to cook from scraps before I go to shop to buy new ingredients. Sometimes best before dates make me wonder if the product is spoiled and leathery vegetables (that are actually still good to use) do not inspire.
With careful planning and using freezer I could reduce food waste significantly and save a lot of money. My tip would be to plan all the weeks meals in advance so that when you buy things that can get spoiled (like vegetables, dairy and meat products) you only buy as much as you need.With herbs, tomato puree, olives, mushroom etc. put the extra ingredients to freezer for next use.
If you are forced to buy bigger amounts cook ready meals to freezer or plan to use the same product in another recipe in that week. For instance if you only need half courgette for Monday´s vegetarian burgers make a soup on Tuesday using the other half. Once when I had a guest that stayed for a week I wanted to serve a bit better food and I used this kind of planning and I have to say that I was amazed how little I spent to that week´s food and how well we ate!
Well then, in practice this does not always work and that is why I got the problem with leftovers. Usually on weekends I like to eat a bit better and I go to market to buy a bag of food. Last weekend I didn´t. I didn´t have a plan what to cook but I knew I already had enough ingredients spoiling in the fridge. And I got a good Sunday meal with a dessert and all that didn´t require anything else. Note that you can apply the recipes according to what you got in your fridge.
(Use what ever veggies you got spoiling. Instead of using bulgur wheat and potatoes you can use just one of these.)
1/2 dl dried red lentils
1/2 dl bulgur wheat
125 g cherry tomatoes
1 tl fresh ginger
1 dl tomato mash with garlic
2 dl water
salt, black pepper
vegetarian bouillon cube
parsley and chive
1. Take a kettle. Sweat minced onions in vegetarian oil, add chopped cherry tomatoes and paprika to juice. Add tomato mash, water and vegetarian bouillon. Let boil.
2. Add peeled and chopped carrots and parsnips, rinsed red lentils and bulgur wheat.
3. When lentils and carrots are al dente add peeled and chopped potatoes plus minced ginger. Let stew.
4. Spice with salt and black pepper. Serve with lots of parsley and chive.
(When making filled tortillas some wheat tortillas might be left over. I usually put them to freezer for later use)
2 wheat tortillas
Cut tortillas to eight pieces. Fry the tortilla pieces on a heated pan with vegetarian oil. Serve with cheese and chive and eat with Veggie casserole or soup.
(Pancakes are a classic way to use eggs and cream that have met their best before date but are still good to use. You can also use a bit older cream that has turned into sour cream. In Finland pancakes are a dessert/coffee time treat.)
1 1/2 dl wheat flour
2 dl cream (or sour cream)
1 tsp vanilla
marzipan (or sugar)
chocolate for serving
1. Break and beat the eggs in a bowl.
2. Add the cream.
3. Add flour and vanilla mixing properly. Put the mix into a fridge for 30 mins - 1 hour.
4. Add grated marzipan.
5. Cook the pancakes on a frying pan.
6. Serve with chocolate.
Have you tried to reduce food waste? Or do you even have this problem?