Cook Smart

Every bit of food waste is money in the bin

Here’s Steve with a few ways to cook smart and make the most of the food you buy.

Tip 2

1: We love the phrase COOK ONCE, EAT TWICE

Preparing a double portion saves you time and energy! Pop the second half in an airtight container, label it (name and date you made it) and save it for a rainy day down the line.

2: Salad Drawer Trawl: challenge yourself to make something out of whatever is in your salad drawer!

Salad Leaf Pesto – How many times do we buy a bag of salad and only get round to eating half? We have the perfect recipe for a quick pasta pesto to use up any leafy greens. Add the bag of salad, with some olive oil, some parmesan, and a few nuts (if you have them) into a blender- voila! Makes a perfect deep green pesto.

Salad Leaf Pesto RecipeClick here for Tesco’s Real Food Recipe

Soup it – if you’ve got an onion and some garlic then veggie odds and ends floating about in your fridge can be transformed into soup in no time – bendy carrots and wrinkly parsnips still taste delicious!

Smoothies – If you have soft fruit that needs using up – Pop it in a blender, add some juice, yoghurt or icecream and make a smoothie.

3: Use it all

You paid for the whole lot so why not use all of the veg you buy? Food is mainly sold by weight so every bit of your veg, meat, fish that you cut off and don’t use is money in the bin so here are some ways to make the most of the ingredients you buy

Veg peel stock

It’s super simple to make stock from things like onion skins, peelings and broccoli stems. Here’s a link to some recipes for easy veg stocks.

Eat the Peel

Veg like carrots and sweet potatoes don’t need peeling, just a quick rinse under the tap.

Leaves and Stems are good to eat too

Cauliflower leaves – washed, dash of oil and some salt – in the oven for 10 minutes – are so delicious – so next time you buy a cauli – give this a go!

Brocoli stems – it’s not just the florets that taste good – use the stems in soups, casseroles, or just steamed.

4: The Bread Bin:

Bread is the most wasted food in the UK. We bin more than 20 million slices of bread every single day!

If your bread regularly goes stale – cut in half when you bring it home and freeze half.

One way to revive stale bread, is wrap it in a damp tea towel, microwave it for 10 seconds on high, and it should be perfectly good to eat.

We’ve found some delicious recipes, for stale bread:

Baked tortilla crisps recipe – BBC Good Food

Bread and Butter pudding recipe – RecipeTinEat

Stale bread crostini Recipe – The Pantry Mama

French toast recipe – BBC Good Food

Any stale bread, as long as it’s not mouldy, acts like a sponge and is perfect to thicken things – so break it up and add it to soups, casseroles, puddings to soak up all those flavours.

5: Jams, chutney or marmalade

If you are getting to the end of a jar of pickle or jam, how about making a dressing in the jar by adding some oil and a dash of vinegar. Even marmalade makes a fab citrus dressing.

6: Fakeaway

Mini Challenge: Fake-away – We want to challenge you to get creative! Have a look in your fridge and try and make your favourite take away with it! You’ll save money and food this way. Do you have some wilted spinach and some potatoes- why not try a Saag Aloo Indian curry. Here’s a simple recipe for one- Saag Aloo

Sometimes we all need a bit of inspiration – How about using this brilliant Ingredient Recipe finder on the Love Food Hate Waste website ingredients for using up stuff.

7: Unavoidable food waste

There is always going to be some unavoidable food waste like egg shells, bones and peelings – and let’s face it accidents happen and food sometimes goes off before we get a chance to use it – you can reduce the impact of this food waste massively if you use a kitchen caddy to catch any food waste and then put it in your green bin to go for composting.

If you’d like to set up your own compost bin in your garden – check out free compost training from Shropshire council.

Here are 2 recipe finder links for more ideas of how to make the most of the food you buy:

Ingredient Recipe finder – Love Food Hate Waste ingredient recipe finder

Tesco’ Recipe finder – Tesco’ Recipe Finder

Next Tip : Perfect Portions