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W A S T E F R E E P A R E N T I N G . C O . N Z


learning to

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2016 NZ $5.90 (incl GST)


Eating out guide

Meal planning † Delicious recipes

12 18 Millions of bags have been dropped off for recycling into valuable new products like plastic bollards, traffic speed bumps, decking & tracking, furniture and a whole range of durable and weather resistant plastic products suitable for construction, conservation, commercial and community groups.

If the plastic wrap can be scrunched up into a ball, drop it in a Love NZ soft plastic recycling bin at participating stores Take a look at what can be recycled at



Contents Meet Kate Meads ..............................4 Food Waste - The Issue................... 6 Meal Planning.......................................8 Smart Shopping...................................10 Smart Storage.......................................12

COLLECT! drop! recycle!

The Freezer is Your Friend...............16 Portion Control.................................... 17 Loving Your Leftovers....................... 18 Eating Out............................................. 20 The Last Resort................................... 22 A to Z guide to Foodwaste.............27 Activities - Leftover Ideas............... 48 Activities - Meal Planning............... 49 Recipes.................................................... 50


Meet Kate My name is Kate Meads but I am mostly know by the name ‘The Nappy Lady’. I am married to a wonderfully supportive husband, Vaughn and I am mum to one son, Daniel. Over the past 11 years I have been working to educate the parents of New Zealand about reducing waste at home and why we need to take action. These days I do a lot of public speaking for different types of events and have most recently become involved in the Love Food Haste Waste Campaign here in New Zealand. In this magazine I want to tackle the huge food waste problem that is fast becoming a worldwide issue. I was shocked when I was first introduced to the crazy figures popping out of the media about the food waste issue and decided to take action. I have created a workshop that is all about food waste and have done a significant amount of learning through my research as well. Who knew you could freeze avocado….This fact actually excited me because all of a sudden I knew I could have avocado on my bagels off season. The food waste issue is something I feel every family needs to be aware of, especially given that the average household throws away over $500 worth of food every year. That is why I thought I would put together a simple magazine about meal planning, food storage, shopping smarter and an A – Z of things you can do with food that you may never have known. I hope you enjoy the read and get some great ideas on how you can prevent waste and save money at the same time! If you have any tips or recipies, please pop me an email and I will pop them up on my website! All the best


Kate Meads E: P: 027 22 11 242

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BUY WHAT YOU NEED Store your bread in the freezer




each family is tossing out

872,000,000 for

KILOS of uneaten food per year


55 888 APPLES


Take your leftovers for lunch STEW FRUIT OR




Add leftover chicken to a PIZZA, in a PIE or in a PANINI www/

FOOD WASTE -THE ISSUE Really the graphics tell the story. In New Zealand we throw away $872 million dollars worth of food a year that has been bought but not eaten. Some of this is made up of things like peelings, cores and bones but the majority is or once was perfectly good food. This carrys a cost to the average household of around $563 per year.This figure is quite scary when you think of the amount of families that are on the bread line and can’t afford a loaf of bread. Why does food waste matter? Wasting food and drink is a huge waste of money! It is also an unneccesary waste of energy and natural resources. Think of the production, storage, preparation, packaging and transportation of the food that just got dumped in the bin. It appears that we are friviously spending at the supermarket and not thinking about what we will actually eat. Often we head into the supermarket these days with our headphones on and mindlessly buy food. We have no plan or don’t even know what we are going to eat for the week. Going to the supermarket is a weekly ritual for many homes. Yet we probably have enough food at home already to cook for a week and just need a couple of fresh

things to add to it. But instead we buy a whole weeks worth of groceries and take it home and add it to the pile that is already in the fridge and pantry. Often we buy products on special and bulk buy fresh produce on multi deals. Take them home, put them in the fridge and forget about what is in there. Think of the last time you purchased brocolli. You possibly went in, got a deal for three. You only needed one, yet you got three because they were on special. If you were intending to eat three, you got a great deal. Perhaps you take it home and freeze what you won’t eat in the near future. But if you don’t need three you probably took them home, ate one that night, put the others in the fridge and forgot they were there. A week later you find the slighlty sad looking brocolli and eat it because even though it is a bit soft it is still edible. Then you go back to the supermarket, buy another one and take it home because it was on special, forgetting the one you still have and eventually find the third brocolli hiding in the back all yellow and nasty and you throw it away. Did you save money buying in bulk in this situation….no! You wasted a third of the food and your hard earned money too.



It uses up leftovers and food you already have – you can work out what you have in the fridge, freezer and pantry and use it up instead of buying more of what you already have. It reduces stress – If you are busy but you know what you have planned for dinner you don’t need to stress about it. It saves time – because you only thought about it once for the week, you know you have everything for it and you can just go home and cook up a storm. It improves variety – you can clearly see which food groups you are serving and when, which means you can ensure you and your family enjoy a varied and balanced diet It helps fussy eaters and people with dietary restrictions – if you have a plan you can make sure that the meal is going to suit everyone and not be over cooking or cooking multiple meals. How do you plan? There are lots of websites around that help with free recipies and even a few that you can just put in the foods that you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry and it will spit out a whole variety of recipies that you could use with the ingredients you already have.

Planning your meals will help your family save time and money. We are all busy these days and a weekly meal plan can help you buy only the food you need. It also helps use up the food you already have in the fridge and pantry. If you go out a lot, plan the meals for the week on the nights you know you are going to be home.


Why should we plan? It reduces food waste – Meal planning helps you decide what you actually need and the quantities that you need and so you only buy the required amount. It saves you money – if you use a shopping list that you have created from your meal plan you are less likely to impulse buy.

Here is a list of hints and tips when meal planning: • Check what you already have • Take stock of what you already have in your fridge, freezer and pantry • Check what you already have and the dates on existing food and aim to use these up first in your meal planning • Create a ‘Whats in the freezer’ list have a freezer whiteboard - sometimes

food gets lost at the bottom • Write ‘Eat me first’ on products that need to be eaten first • When you run out of items note them down on your shopping list, use a phone app or on a whiteboard so you don’t forget then when you are at the supermarket. Use a meal planner and stick it to the fridge: • Make time to plan your meals • Plan around your household schedule Think about the activities you and your family have on throughout the week and incorporate these into your cooking schedule • Plan quick meals on the days you are short of time • Make note of the days you may be eating out – make it a little flexible • To save time you may cook double and freeze or plan to use it if you have a busy the next day • Make sure you stick your plan on the fridge then everyone knows what is for dinner, so if someone else is cooking they know what to cook • Plan leftovers for lunches • Create a shopping list that you stick to. Long term planning: • Re-use your menu plans and recipie ideas • Develop four standard weekly meal plans/menus and rotate them throughout the month • When buying products on sale, freeze the extra items or double the recipie and freeze for later.


SMART SHOPPING If you make a meal plan it enables you to shop smarter. You are less likely to buy things you don’t need because you already know what is required for the coming week. Have your shopping list on the fridge and remember to take it with you or take a photo of it on your phone the day you make it, so you don’t forget to take it with you. Avoid impulse buys! Do you really need it? Is it on the list? If the answer is no, don’t buy it. This way you are less likely to buy things you don’t actually need and you are more likely to buy things you are going to consume. Buy exactly what you need Avoid bulk purchases unless you will use it all up. If you have planned your meal and you need a couple of carrots, don’t buy a 2kg bag. Instead buy loose carrots and get the exact amount you need for the week. If you are buying things that can go off and you don’t have good pantry storage like grains, nuts or spices, don’t buy in bulk. Buy the smaller packages of them so you use them up. Then once you have used them up you can buy more. If you buy in bulk and don’t use them, then you end up throwing them away unneccesarily.

If you do buy in bulk make sure you store it properly as soon as you get home. Be realistic - if you live alone, you obviously don’t need as much as a family of five so just buy what you know you will eat. If you are buying fruit and veges, get small quantities. If you rarely cook, don’t stock up on baking supplies that you are unlikely to use. Buy the ugly produce… There is a huge amount of fresh produce thrown away because it doesn’t look ‘normal’. Fruit and veges are not always perfectly formed and because they are not how we expect them to look we sometimes avoid them. Most of the time these crazy looking pieces of produce are perfectly good to eat. Buy it and take it home to show the kids and then eat it! Remember your bags… Take your bags with you. Not only does it reduce plastic waste but you can use the chiller bags to keep all of your cool stuff chilled which can make a huge difference on a warm day. Get in to the routine of unpacking your bags and then putting them straight back in the car.


SMART STORAGE Smart storage can keep your food fresher for longer and save you money and wastage.

Storing your food in smart ways can keep your food fresher for longer and give you greater flxibility when it comes to cooking and eating it. Instead of just throwing food into the pantry when you get back from the supermarket, take the time to put it in the right place Practise FIFO – First in First out When unpacking groceries, move all of the older products in your fridge, pantry or freezer to the front. Put all of the new products in the back. Doing this means that you are more likely to use up the older foods before they expire. Keep an eye on what you are throwing away on a semi regular basis. You could even keep a diary for a week and write down everything you throw out. Perhaps there is a different way you could store it to make it last longer. Label things ‘eat me first’ if it has an approaching expiry date. Use your meal planning to use up these products to prevent them from being biffed. You may not even know what is actually in your freezer so it may be a good idea to sit down one day and make a list of what is in there, so you know and can then plan to use it up. The golden rules of storage You may be surprised but the simple loaf of bread is the most wasted food in New Zealand, with Kiwis throwing out 20 million loaves a year! Our humid climate means that bread doesn’t last very long at all in the pantry. You can store bread sucessfully in the fridge, but the ideal place for it is in the freezer.

Beware: Once you see the first sign of mould on a slice of bread you will need to throw out the entire loaf. Mould on bread is dangerous and even if it is only visible on one slice, it is likely the spores will have already spread throughout the whole loaf. Meat should always be kept cold. To ensure your meat doesn’t go off, and unless you are using it that night, put it straight into the freezer when you get home from shopping. Defrost in the fridge and use within 24 hours. For cheese try beeswax wraps which prevent your cheese from drying out and prevent mould from forming on the cheese. Alternatively, wrap the cheese in plastic and pop it the fridge. A simple supermarket shopping bag wrapped around your block of cheese will work – you’ll be amazed at how much longer it lasts. Root Vegetables It may be convenient, but potatoes and onions shouldn’t be kept in the same place because they produce gases which spoil each other. Both should be stored separately in cool, dry, dark places. Fruit Most fruits should be stored in the fridge with the exceptions of bananas and pineapples. Bananas should be stored out of the fridge and away from other fruit. Ethylene gas released by foods such as apples and pears cause bananas to ripen faster. Once bananas are ripe they produce ethylene gas which ripens other fruit. Check out the A – Z of food waste for more storage and use it up ideas.



whole time. Over time the quality does start to deteriorate so it is best to eat frozen food within three months. Make sure you: • Put frozen food in the freezer as soon as you get home • Freeze it before the Use By Date • Follow any freezing or thawing instructions • Defrost meat and fish in a sealed container

The fridge and freezer are the best place to store most food Keeping things cold is the best way to extend the life of food. Fridges help keep food fresh and safe, while freezers can significantly extend the life of food. Fridge Obviously one of the most vaulable tools in your home for storing fresh products. Some foods will have specific storage instructions on the packaging, but here are a few tips to help you make the most of the food in your fridge. • Use a fridge thermometer to check the temperature. It should be between 1⁰C and 4⁰C to keep your food safe. • The higher shelves will be slightly warmer than the bottom ones. This means that less risky items should be stored on these shelves, things like drinks and snacks. As it is at eye-level it’s also the perfect place to have an “eat me first” shelf. • The lowest shelf is the coldest so is the best place for meat and fish. Make sure they are sealed properly so that their juices don’t drip and contaminate other food. • The door is the warmest part of your fridge so is the perfect place for your tomato sauce and the rest of your condiments. • Avoid overcrowding your fridge as air must be able to circulate around the food to keep it at the right temperature. • Keep perisable and cooked food in your fridge but make sure you cool the cooked foods first • Store raw and cooked foods seperately.


at the bottom of the fridge so that they can’t touch or drip onto other fresh foods. • Label the food so you know what it is • Use reusable containers to reduce plastic waste • Freeze in small portion sizes for quick meals Check out page 16 for your handy freezer storage activity to do.


Store raw meat and poultry in clean sealed containers on the bottom shelf of the fridge, so they can’t touch or drip onto other fresh foods. • Rotate your items when unpacking your groceries – move the old stuff to the front and put the newer products behind. • Food can be kept fresher for longer by keeping them in their original packaging, in the fridge. Most modern packaging has been specially designed to preserve fresh food and keep it at its best, so don’t open items until you need to. Freezer The freezer is something that many people simply don’t utilize often enough. There is not much that can’t be frozen. It is a great tool for making sure you have always got food in stock and for helping to avoid wasting it. Did you know that you can freeze almost anything? Avocados? Yes! Chocolate? For sure. Wine? Why not! You can keep food safely in the freezer for years, as long as it has been frozen the



Avoid having a freezer full of UFOs! Unidentified frozen objects are never fun if you defrost chicken stock thinking it is wine. Make sure you label everything that goes into the freezer with what it is and the date. While you shouldn’t overcrowd your fridge, a full freezer works more efficiently than a half empty one so don’t be afraid to stock up! Defrost food overnight in the fridge, use within 24 hours and cook it until it is piping hot. If you need it quickly, food can be defrosted safely in the microwave. Freezer burn typically appears as greyish-brown, dried patches on the surfaces of the food. It is not a food safety risk, and can be cut off before use. The best ways to minimise freezer burn are to avoid temperature fluctuations within your freezer (e.g. make sure the door is kept closed and freezer is well loaded) and to ensure products are wrapped well, in air-tight packaging. Cardboard cartons are not as good for freezing food in as plastic containers.



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Use them if you have to, just remember not to leave food frozen in cardboard containers for too long. Foods which you have bought frozen or were frozen raw at home can be thawed, cooked and then re-frozen. Milk can be successfully frozen. The fresher it is when you freeze it, the fresher it will be when you thaw it, so freeze it as soon as possible. Milk will expand when frozen so tip a small amount out of the bottle (use it in a hot drink) before freezing. Thaw in the fridge and shake well before using. Bread should live in the freezer in New Zealand households to stop it going mouldy in our humid climate. Bang the loaf lightly on the bench top to separate the slices then freeze it and just take out what you need. Hard cheese (Edam, tasty etc) freezes well, and grating before freezing is a good idea. Soft cheese shouldn’t be frozen as the texture is not the same once frozen.

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Tips from Love Food Hate Waste


THE FREEZER IS YOUR FRIEND 1. Which of these foods can you freeze and for how long? Freeze? Eggs



Cooked Rice






Soft cheese (e.g. Brie)



Cooked Pasta






Green Beans



For how long?


2. When freezing foods do you have to Freeze food on the day you buy it Freeze before the use by date Freeze before the best before date 3. What is the optimum temperature for a freezer?

4. What is the best way to defrost food?

5. How long can you keep food once defrosted?

6. Can you refreeze thawed food?

At some time or other we have all ended up cooking a bit too much for dinner. How often do you find yourself scraping food from your dinner plate into the bin, because your eyes were bigger than your stomach? It can be difficult to know how much to cook – especially foods like rice and pasta. But cooking just the right amount of food for you and your family is an easy way to reduce food waste. Overfeeding leads to wasted food and bigger waistlines!

• Carbohydrates (potatoes, pasta, rice etc) should be the equivalent to the size of your clenched fist. • Vegetables and salad should equal two cupped hands. • Fats (cheese, dressing etc) should be the size of your thumb.

How much do we actually need? How much each person needs to eat can vary, so use this handy guide to know much to cook: • Protein (meat) should be the size and thickness of the palm of your hand.

How much to cook? With some foods it can be tough to know how much of the raw ingredient you need. Pasta, rice and grains expand when cooked, while some vegetables lose so much water they end up half their size.

Handy hint: trace around one hand of each member of your family and stick it to your fridge as a visual reminder of how much to portion per person.


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Wasted leftovers are a waste of time and money. If we used all of our leftovers for lunches the following day we could save the cost of a sandwich which all adds up over time. Leftovers will generally last up to two days in the fridge or can be frozen for another time. Just remember to defrost them in the fridge and use them within 24 hours.

and veges often provide more nutrients than the flesh of the food.

Use it up meals If you have quite a few leftovers, instead of cooking a new meal you could designate one meal a week as a use-it-up meal. You could have a pizza night where you pop any leftover tidbits in to a box in the freezer and then at the end of the week you put it all on a pizza.

Preserve what you cant eat now If you have an abundance of fruit or veges consider how you could preserve it (check out the A - Z of food storage) . In fejoa season, you don’t need to boil them up to preserve them, you can simply scoop out the flesh, pop it in a zip lock bag and freeze it for fejoa and apple crumbles in the winter. Soft fruits, avocado and wilted spinach can be frozen and added to smoothies. Or wilting veges can be frozen and used in soups in winter.

Eat Your Left Overs If you have leftover pizza, pasta or casserole but it is not enough for the family for a meal, eat it for lunch. If you can’t eat the leftovers the following day, freeze them and add them to your freezer list. Just make a note of the dte you froze it so you remember to use it up ASAP. Be creative Use it all up! When you are making a meal try and use every piece of the products you are cooking with whenever possible. Use the whole brocolli, the stalks are delicious. Leave the skins on the potatoes and cucumbers. The skins of the fruits

Leftover scraps Use any vegetable or meat scraps in other dishes. You can use them to make stocks and then add flavour to other homemade meals. If you don’t have time to make a stock now, chuck it in the freezer and then combine it into a stock later on.

Donate what you wont use If you have cans of goods that you are never likely to use, don’t toss them, donate them to your local food bank to help those who need it. They are happy to take any un-expired food to put in their food parcels. has some great recipe ideas for using up all types of food.


Don’t over buy!! Check with your tummy. How hungry are you? What do you really want to eat?


Eating Out

Ask for smaller portions Ask the wait staff how big the meal is before you order so you can make a good decision on what you will get. If the size of the portions at the restaurant are too much for you, ask if they have smaller portions available. Remember if you start with less on your plate and you are still hungry and want more you can always go back and order another dish. Don’t get extras you won’t eat If you don’t want something that comes with the meal, ask them to leave it off instead of getting it and not eating it. Most restaurants will have no problem leaving the extras off especially if you are not going to eat them. Share the meal Lets face it, lots of the restaurant meals are big enough to feed two people. So if you are eating out with friends, and the restaurant offers big portions, perhaps split the dish and share it with a friend. Share an entrée or make it more interesting by making up your meal with appetizers, salads and sides. You will get a greater variety and nice small portions. Tapa style restaruants are great for sharing meals as their portions for each dish are small and you can get loads of variety in smaller amounts. Keep a menu with you so if you are still hungry you can order more but remember…start small.

Take it Home If your eyes were bigger than your stomach, there is no reason to waste the extra food. Just ask the wait staff if you can take the leftovers home in a doggy bag and have it for lunch the next day. If the restaurant does not offer a doggy bag service, take your own container and pop it in there yourself and take it home. This will reduce the packaging waste too and guess what…lunch is already ready! Just grab it out of the fridge in the morning and go! At the Buffet Beware of the plate size! You may end up with far too much on your plate. Get a small plate, eat that first and then go back for more if you need to. Skip the tray If you are eating at a café, skip getting a tray. It is harder to carry more by hand than you can eat. If you use a tray, often, you fill it up and can’t eat it all. Give the leftovers to a homeless person If you know you are not going to take the leftovers home and eat them or if you are travelling and have no where to store and heat them, replate them. This is a movement where you place unwanted leftovers in their containers on the nearest rubbish bin. That way the next homeless person who comes along can pick it up and enjoy the food. Or if you walked past someone on your way to the restaurant, you could drop it off to them on your way home.


THE LAST RESORT Composting, Bokashi and Worm Farming

This is something that is much easier than you would expect. In years gone by, every household had a compost heap. It was nothing like what we can get now, it was most likely just a few bits of 4x2 in the corner of your back yard where grass clippings and food scraps used to get thrown together. I know when we first thought about getting a compost bin we thought it was going to take more time to manage. But we decided to purchased one and see how we got on with it. We spent about $35 and put it out by the shed and started putting our food scraps in it. Originally I thought we were going to fill it up in no time as we were putting a bit of grass clippings in, the food waste and shredded paper from my office. However we were surprised at how quickly everything started breaking down and since we started using it about 8 years ago, we have only emptied it maybe three times. We also noticed that as soon as we took the food waste out of our general waste bin, it stopped smelling because there was nothing putrefying in it. After a while we had put in a couple of gardens and we decided to try our hands at worm farming. My husband Vaughn went on a course for a couple of hours and learnt all about it. He came home from the course with a worm farm and we got started. The funny thing was that we have found that it doesn’t actually take much time at all to use any of the options. The only thing we changed was that instead of putting all of the food waste in the rubbish

bin, we have a bucket for food waste that we put in the compost bin, one for the worm farm and the bokashi system in the kitchen. It is really easy. We use the worm tea from the worm farm to put around our fruit trees and on the garden, the compost and bokashi goes into the raised bed gardens that we have and so does the vermicast that comes out of the worm farm. Here is a bit more information about your composting options. There are a number of ways you can recycle your household food waste - In Compost bins, using the Bokashi method or worm farming. Compost Bins You can get a basic enclosed plastic compost bin from your local hardware store for $35 - $50 or you could get some untreated wood and make one up yourself. By using an enclosed bin this will trap the heat in and keep the bacteria working more efficiently. An enclosed bin will produce compost faster than an open compost heap. You need to make sure you put it in a place that is well drained and you need to keep the compost covered to keep the rain off. The compost needs to be moist but not drenched. There is only a small amount of management required to ensure you have the best composting environment. You can do this by adding alternate layers of materials. 70% of the material should be made up of material rich in carbon such as branches, untreated sawdust, or use 23

shredded paper. The other 30% should be rich in nitrogen like grass clipping or vegetable waste. You can also add a sprinkle of lime from time to time to raise the PH and help with the breakdown. For more information head to: composting-content/ Worm Farming To start a worm farm, you will need • A container or a pre-made worm farm • Bedding – such as shredded paper or compost • Worms – tiger worms who like food scraps • Food – you can feed them most human foods but they don’t like onions, garlic, spicy foods or citrus. Once your farm is set up, you add the food scraps in thin layers at regular intervals and the worms will turn it into compost. The worms like to be kept moist by covering them with cardboard, newspaper or carpet. With the pre-made worm farms you can collect the liquid from the bottom of the container (worm tea) and mix it with water to use as a fertilizer to put on your plants. Every few months you can empty the compost (vermicast) from the base of the farm by putting it into your garden or soil. For more information head to:


Bokashi Method Bokashi is a great alternative if you are limited for space. It is also great for beet scraps, bones and other items you can put in compost or worm farms. The bokashi ferments the food scraps. It actually prevents it from rotting so it doesn’t attract flies and because it is sealed, you won’t get any unwanted four legged visitors. It is an airtight system where you put your food waste and some Bokashi mix into an airtight bucket and leave it for 7-10 days and that’s it - you have a bucket of valuable fertiliser ready to bury in your garden. Once buried, the food waste will turn into rich, black organic compost in about 4 weeks. You can place Bokashi mix in an existing compost heap as well. This will also accelerate your conventional composting For more information head to: compostzing-system/



still in place and put on a dish/plate in the fridge. You should be able to use the avocado the following day without it going off. APPLES For freshness and quality store your apples in the fridge. Keeping them in the fridge in a loosely tied plastic bag will help stop them shrivelling up. Add to the fruit bowl to bring to room temperature before eating. There’s always one bad apple that spoils the barrel, so keep an eye on your fruit. Separate out fruit which is ripening more quickly than the others. If apples have bruised areas, simply cut off, and grate the remaining apple into salads or cut into wedges and give to children as a snack. If you’ve got a glut of cooking apples, cut them into quarters, core and peel them. To prevent apples turning brown while you’re peeling them, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a bowl of water and drop the pieces of apple into it. Drain, quickly pack the apples in freezer bags or plastic containers and freeze them. To use, put the frozen fruit in a pan with some sugar, add a very small amount of water and cook as normal. Peel and chop the apples, and place in a saucepan with a little water, lemon juice and castor sugar (maybe some cinnamon too). Cook gently for about 15 mins, stirring regularly. Then whisk or blend smooth. It’s lovely with pork but can also be a dessert with cream (fool) or ice-cream. When making jam add one or two apples to the mixture, the pectin in apples helps the jam to set.


You can freeze Avocado here is how: 1. Wash the avocado, skin still on. 2. Cut the fruit in half, and peel. 3. If you are opting to keep them as halves, put them in a Ziploc© bag and freeze. 4. If you’re pureeing, either mash the avocados with a fork or in a food processor with a little bit of lime or lemon. Store in a resealable bag and freeze.

AVOCADO If you buy avocadoes hard, ripen them on your kitchen windowsill. They’re ready when they ‘just give’ as you squeeze them, their texture should feel like butter at room temperature. To speed up the ripening process you can put them into a paper bag (or dark drawer) with a banana. Fruit, especially bananas, produce ethylene gas naturally as they ripen. Ethylene residues on the bananas will help the avocado or other fruit to ripen quickly. Blend over-ripe avocado flesh down with milk, yogurt and a touch of maple syrup or sugar for a lovely green, smooth- tasting smooothie. Lemon juice helps to stop cut avocados turning brown. Also, if you pop the avocado stone into a bowl of guacamole or salsa, this will keep the dip fresh and green for at least 2 hours; remove stone before serving! Ripe avocado can be spread onto toast instead of butter! Keep the half avocado with the stone

BACON Separate a large pack of bacon into slices before freezing. Put them between a layer of grease proof paper if you want to keep ad honeywrap OH BABY 16.pdf 1 25/05/2016 12:10:12 PM









them individual slices. Then, you can just defrost what you need at a later date. Once a packet is opened, follow the onpack instructions about how to store it and when to use it up by. BANANAS Bananas will go black in the fridge! So instead, just keep them somewhere nice and cool. Always keep bananas separate from other fruits unless you want the other fruit to ripen quickly. Peel and freeze bananas to use later in smoothies, banana bread or cake or add to ice cream. Use them in curry dishes or mashed up for a quick sandwich filling. Store away from other fruits. They make them over-ripen.

slice off the bottom of the stalk, put it in a glass with water and leave in the fridge overnight to crisp up. If you have lots of leftover broccoli, add a little skimmed milk and puree. Serve as a sauce for fish or chicken. It tastes creamy and isn’t fattening. Don’t discard the stalks they’re the best bit! Peel the stalks, cut lengthways and cook with the florets or eat raw.

BEANSPROUTS Keep submerged in water in a container and refrigerate. They keep for at least a week and don’t go slimy. Change the water daily. Freeze them in an airtight container. Add to stir-fries or soups. This works perfectly. BICARBONATE OF SODA To keep the fridge smelling sweet, put half a tub of bi-carbonate of soda that’s past its ‘best before’ date in the fridge.

BAGELS Slice fresh bagels and freeze in plastic bags. When you want to eat one, put it directly into a toaster. They pop up golden and delicious!

BISCUITS Store biscuits in an airtight container. Most sweet biscuits can be frozen. BREAD Only store your bread and rolls in the fridge if the weather is really hot, but don’t forget to bring them out of the fridge about an hour before you use them so they soften up again. Best practice is not to store bread in the fridge. It will actually go stale quicker in there! Keep it in a bread bin or cupboard, in the original packaging. Never eat bread once mould is present. Freeze old bread for bread & butter pudding. Or freeze the bread crumbs for stuffing or to top a pasta bake or fish pie. Freshen up stale bread by putting it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Once a loaf is opened, fold the wrapper under the loaf or re-tie it with the ‘best before’ tag. For rolls use a food clip to reseal the pack. Keep the end crust in place on top of the loaf slices to keep the next slice fresh. To make it easier to separate bread


slices after freezing, bang your fresh loaf on a work surface before you put it in the freezer. Clean your bread bin or cupboard regularly to get rid of mould spores. Cut leftover bread into cubes, toss in olive oil and a little garlic, herbs and chilli powder, freeze on a tray and transfer into bags/boxes when frozen. You have an instant crouton mix, wonderful shallow fried in oil straight from the freezer or for the more health conscious, baked in the oven. Add to any soup or salad. BROCCOLI Broccoli stored in the fridge in a loosely tied plastic bag retains its freshness and quality for longer than storing it loose in a vegetable rack at room temperature. If your broccoli’s a bit soft, cut a thick

BRUSSELS SPROUTS If you’ve accidentally overcooked the Brussels sprouts or have masses leftover, puree in a food processor with some crème fraiche and serve as a puree. This can also be frozen for later. CEREAL After opening, store cereals in a good quality airtight container or re-close the cereal bag with a food clip. Use up leftover cereal as a crumble topping or in biscuits. Add stale or leftover breakfast cereal crumbs from the bottom of the cereal box to the ingredients in the bread maker (reduce the amount of flour accordingly). Adds texture to the bread and, surprisingly, even sweet breakfast cereal doesn’t make the bread sweet. CHEESE Keep it in the fridge. Hard cheese should be stored in an airtight container in the

fridge, with a beeswax wrap or use a bag clip to seal the packaging. Blue cheese can be wrapped in tin foil. Freeze your cheese! If you are buying a big block of hard cheese, to make the most of a bargain, grate some and freeze to use later. This is good for cheese on toast, on top of baked beans or in an omelette. Stale, hard cheese can be grated into mash, used for cheese sauce or used over pasta dishes or chilli. Fresh parmesan can be expensive. To make it last longer grate the whole wedge of parmesan into a container and place in freezer – it’ll last for ages! Delicious sprinkled over Bolognese when serving or added to cheese sauce.

CHICKEN A whole chicken is tastier and more economical than chicken breasts, and any leftovers can be made into other meals, e.g. chicken stirfry, chicken salad. The carcass and leftover roast veggies can be made into delicious soup.


To freeze a whole cake wrap it in a double layer of cling film and foil. CARROTS Carrots stay fresh and hard for even longer by chilling them and keeping in the packaging or loosely tied in the free vegetable bag they were brought home in. Juice your carrots with a touch of ginger and mix with ginger ale, lemonade, lime or coconut milk for an exotic, refreshing, zingy, nutritionally packed juice. Use them to make carrot cake or muffins. Put soft carrots in a glass of water in the fridge - they’ll perk up in no time. CAULIFLOWER Covering your cauliflower – either with its own leaves or a plastic bag – stops it going brown. So buy cauliflowers with their leaves still on and leave them on – it’ll keep for longer. Make a big batch of cauliflower cheese, split it into individual portions and freeze. It’s great if the cauliflower isn’t going to last much longer. It’s tasty with garlic in the cheese sauce and topped with breadcrumbs and parsley!

Freeze before the use by date for a tasty treat at a later date. Always keep cooked meats in the fridge, well wrapped and away from raw meat. After using all the meat from a chicken, boil the carcass or bones in water. Strip any last remaining meat and use the water and meat as stock, soups, stews etc. Cut chicken breasts into strips, lay them out on a tray and put the tray in the freezer


(open freeze). Once frozen you can pack the strips in bags and then use as many as you need each time. They can be quickly added to stir fries and cooked from frozen. CAKE If your cake sinks after baking, remove the centre with pastry cutter and fill with fresh fruit and cream and serve as a dessert. If you can, use the centre piece in

the same way but a mini-version. Microwave stale chocolate cake, about 20 seconds for a slice, and it’ll become gorgeous gooey hot chocolate fudge cake. This may also work with other types of cake. To freeze sliced cake put greaseproof paper between each slice. This lets you to remove a few slices at a time rather than thaw the whole cake.

CELERY If your lovely, crisp celery has gone limp, don’t throw it out, braise it in a stir fry or add it to your stews and casseroles, it is delicious and nutritious. CHILLIES You usually need to buy a whole pack of chillies even though you may only need one. Deseed the chillies and chop finely, then add the same number of crushed 33

garlic cloves. Pop in a plastic bag then in a plastic airtight container and freeze. Spoon out a small quantity as required. Or freeze them whole, you can cut them really easily from frozen and add to your cooking. The benefit is you’re less likely to get spice on your fingers when you’re cutting them frozen. CHRISTMAS Making stuffing on Christmas Eve is always a fiddle, and your guests will never know if it’s been made in advance and frozen. Take the stuffing out of the freezer on Christmas Eve and thaw in the fridge. Make mince pies in early December and freeze uncooked in patty tins until solid. Then pack in boxes. Bake a few at a time when needed. You can also save time by part boiling your potatoes, roasting them in fat as usual, and then freezing. You can pop them straight into the oven on the day. When you’re cooking a big celebration meal and want to save yourself time on the day of the feast, prepare vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and sprouts the day before and store them in the fridge in a plastic bag - reusing a bread bag or other food bag would be ideal. COCONUT MILK If you have any leftover coconut milk you can freeze in ice-cube trays. Once frozen, transfer to freezer bags. It will keep for up to three months.


CONDIMENTS Get the last drops of your sauce out of the bottle by adding a few drops of vinegar can be used as normal or added to savoury dishes. CREAM Whip any leftover cream before you freeze it to stop it becoming ‘grainy’ when it’s thawed. If you have over-whipped the cream, rescue it by adding a little un-whipped cream or milk and a pinch of sugar. CUCUMBERS Put the stalk end of a cucumber in a small container of water and stand in the fridge door. They last much longer like this. DRIED FRUIT If you’re making a fruitcake and the dried fruit looks a little dry, pour boiling water over it in a bowl and leave for 30 minutes. You can add a tea bag for flavour. EGGS Eggs can be frozen successfully, but separately. For whites, make sure you label how many there are in each container. Leave whites to thaw naturally. They are ideal for making meringues: allow 50g caster sugar per white and proceed as normal. Eggs are best kept in their box to protect them - in the fridge. Providing eggs are cooked through, they can be eaten a day or two after their Best Before date. Use for a nutritious, cheap meal use

eggs in an omelette if getting close to the Best Before date.

FRUIT Storing all your fruit in the fridge will help it last longer (except bananas and pineapple). Use up wrinkly or soft fruit in smoothies, muffins etc. or stew or make into jam If your fruit is about to go off, or is over ripe, put in a saucepan with a couple of

teaspoons of lemon juice and sugar. Heat slowly until the fruit ‘pops’ and the liquid reduces. You’ll then have your own jam or fruit compote FISH Thoroughly mush up a leftover fish pie and make into fish-cake sized shapes, dip in beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs (made using stale bread). Cook by frying or brush with a little oil and bake in the oven. Rather nice with frozen vegetables and a very quick meal! Most fish can be flaked and added to scrambled eggs, tossed into spicy rice dishes or made into a pâté by adding mayonnaise or cream cheese for a dip. For making fish stock, ask the fishmonger to fillet the fish and also to give you the bones etc. You can use the shells 35

of prawns and shellfish. Boil the bones/ shells etc. in a little water, then strain through a fine strainer or a piece of muslin to make excellent stock.

for the number of guests and what they will eat. Planning tapa style foods to pick at are great for socialising around, and avoiding waste.

FROMAGE FRAIS You can use fromage frais instead of butter and milk in mashed potato, and then use the remainder to thicken curry, or use with a little artificial sweetener and vanilla essence instead of cream on fresh fruit desserts

HERBS Instead of putting your coriander in the salad drawer, half fill an old jar with cold water, put in the coriander and cover with a reused plastic bag held with an elastic band. Keep in the door of your fridge; change the water every few days and it will keep well. Fresh parsley, cleaned, washed and dried well will keep for more than 10 days in a tightly closed plastic box between layers of paper towel. Herbs with softer leaves, such as tarragon and basil, tend to discolour. Don’t throw them away but make a lovely scented oil; finely chop the basil or tarragon and add to a bottle of olive oil, keep in the fridge for a few days to allow the herbs to infuse the oil then sieve and discard the herbs, pour the oil back into the bottle and use the lovely herb scented oil for dressing and flavouring fish, chicken and cheese dishes. It’s worth freezing herbs that you use regularly: mint, parsley, chives, and tarragon, for example. Wash and dry them before freezing whole in freezer bags, or chopped in ice cube trays covered with water. Tip frozen cubes into a freezer bag.

GINGER Fresh ginger often ends up wrinkled and dry in the salad drawer of the fridge. The best way to keep it is to cut it into manageable chunks then peel it. Put the chunks into a polythene bag and freeze them. Ginger is much easier to grate from frozen than it is from fresh. GRAPES Store grapes in the packaging you bought them in and refrigerate for freshness. Remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature before eating. If you buy a big bunch of grapes and find you can’t eat them all, wash and freeze the leftovers. You can use the frozen grapes to decorate ice cream, act as tasty ice cubes, blend them into smoothies or just eat them as they are. They taste like mini ice lollies! GUESTS If you are hosting a dinner party you can apply the same rules for smart shopping to planning your guest menu. Taking account 37

HOLIDAYS A couple of days before your holidays, stop buying groceries. Vegetables (tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers) that could otherwise go to waste can be chopped and cooked, then frozen ready for use in a pasta sauce on your return. Making some extra servings of whatever you are having for dinner and then freezing them, makes cooking easier the first couple of days your back -- just defrost! Leftover slices of bread can also be frozen ready for making toast on your return, as can a pint of milk for a cuppa. JAM The last drops of jam in the jar can add a lovely sweet complement to your gravy rinse the remnants with warm water and add to the gravy pan. JUICE Make into lollies from leftover smoothies, apple juice or orange juice. You can buy plastic ice trays to use in the freezer. KIWI FRUIT Store kiwi fruits in the fridge for freshness. Keeping them in the fridge in a loosely tied plastic bag will also help stop them shrivelling up. Move to the fruit bowl to bring to room temperature before eating. LEFTOVERS If you have a food processor or handblender, any leftover casserole or cooked veges can be made into a soup with store cupboard ingredients. Cooked vegetables work best with a stock cube and a small amount of spaghetti or vermicelli broken


up into small pieces, which can be cooked until soft in the stock before adding the blitzed vegetables. Casseroles are good with concentrated tomato puree. Curry works well, it has a strong flavour and you really only need to add water. If you have a few odd pieces of fruit which need eating up, slice them into bowls for your children and smother with custard. Children love hunting for the buried treasure! Keep left over beef and lamb. Mince it up and make a cottage or shepherd’s pie with it. If you’re left with spare Brussels sprouts and roast or boiled potatoes, simply chop and fry together in a pan with some butter for a thrifty bubble and squeak. LEMONS Keep lemons in the fridge, in a loosely tied plastic bag, for freshness. Bring to room temperature to use them. Buy lemons when they’re on offer and chop them into wedges for drinks and freeze them. As well as using them in cold drinks, use them to make a cup of hot water with a cinnamon stick – a refreshing drink when you’re trying to cut down on tea/coffee and increase water intake. Juice lemons and freeze juice in an icecube tray then freeze the skins. They are much easier to zest with a grater when frozen. Roll citrus fruit on a hard surface with your hand. This makes them easier to squeeze when cut. Alternatively, put the fruit into the microwave, on high power, for 10 seconds to release the juices.

LETTUCE When you get your lettuce home, remove from plastic wrapping, wash and drain. Take a clean tea towel and soak it under a cold tap, then wring it out. Discard any leaves from the lettuce which are slightly brown and wrap the lettuce in the T-towel. Place in the fridge. You will find that this will keep fresh for an amazing amount of time! When you buy an iceberg lettuce, break it up with your hands and store it in the fridge in a bowl of cold water– it will stay fresh and crispy for much longer than normal. If your lettuce is looking rather too limp to serve, just place the leaves in a bowl of cold water with a peeled, sliced potato and ‘hey presto’ it’s as good as new! Just rinse, dry and serve that same day. Keep salad in a paper bag, or in a plastic bag with a strip of kitchen roll. Keeps them moist, but not soggy! If you have leftover salad, cover with a damp piece of kitchen paper before covering with cling film or putting in a sealed container. This really prolongs the life of the salad leaves. This also works well with salad bags, which when left in the bag tend to sweat and go limp/brown very quickly. If your green vegetables and salad leaves are a bit past their best, soak them in cold water for thirty minutes to freshen them up. If you transfer your bagged salad leaves into an airtight container lined with kitchen roll this helps remove excess moisture. Your salad will be crisp and dry and extends its life.

LUNCH MADE EASY When making bolognese or curries cook enough to freeze and put into sandwich boxes to take to work, no sandwich making and no waste. Sandwiches can often be frozen (as long as they are something suitable that you could normally freeze, e.g. cheese and pickle or ham and mustard but not salad!) If you freeze in lunch-size sandwich bags, you have readymade packed lunches to grab when you’re in a hurry before work. They will have thawed by lunchtime!

MILK Store milk in the freezer; open and pour off a little into a jug before freezing so it doesn’t expand too much and brake the bottle. Freeze milk in ice cube trays to use when you need it. You can pop them straight into your tea or coffee! Milk near its Use By date can be used up in sauces, puddings, smoothies or custard. Use up milk to make fabulous scones. Whip up a batch of scone mix and freeze it in scone-sized portions until you’re ready to use them. 39

MUSHROOMS When buying loose mushrooms, keep them in the paper bags provided and put in the fridge for freshness. Chilled they last much longer than if kept out of the fridge. If you buy large punnets of mushrooms you can keep them fresher for longer by covering them with a tea towel folded into layers and tucking it quite tightly inside the punnet, like a snug blanket. Then keep the mushrooms in the bottom of the fridge and don’t forget to tuck the rest back in every time you take some out. Also don’t forget to re-use the punnets to store other veg. If your mushrooms are looking a bit wrinkled, chop them and toss them in some melted butter and freeze – great on pizzas, in stews and casseroles. MELON Melons stay fresh for up to a week longer if kept in the fridge. Decant to the fruit bowl prior to eating if preferred. Melon can be a great addition to your breakfast in the morning or as an afternoon or evening snack. Simply chop the melon into pieces and place them in an airtight container in the fridge. They should last up to five days. MINCEMEAT (SWEET) Stir a handful of chopped nuts and dried fruits into leftover mincemeat, and then use to fill cored apples or halved, cored pears. Dot with butter; add a splash of fruit juice and bake until tender. MINCE When making anything with mince you


can add any leftover vegetables – such as carrot, grated potato or lentils – to bulk it out, make the meal go further and make use of those leftover foods. NUTS Nuts contain a high percentage of oil and can become rancid quite quickly, especially in warm weather. They can be stored for up to a month at room temperature but ideally place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 6 months. Check the information on the packet for specific storage instructions. ONIONS Onions are best stored in a cool, dry, dark place; ideally in a cloth bag. You can almost always get cheap bags of smaller onions in the supermarkets, and they’re often the perfect size which means you don’t have bits of onions lying round going to waste. Onions freeze well and it’s just as easy to chop up three as one and freeze. If you’re in a hurry it’s a great help and no smelly hands or chopping board to wash. ORANGES Store oranges in the fridge. Oranges keep their freshness and quality for much longer than storing them at room temperature, and keeping them in the fridge in a loosely tied plastic bag will also help stop them shrivelling up. Add to the fruit bowl to bring to room temperature to taste their true sweetness.

PASTA Cooked too much pasta? Well waste no more. Simply rinse the cooked pasta in a colander (this gets rid of the starch and cools the pasta) then put meal-sized portions into freezer bags and place into the freezer. To cook, simply place the frozen pasta into boiling water and cook for a few minutes. Or even quicker reheat in the microwave. Leftover cooked pasta should be cooled quickly and then stored in the fridge for up to two days. Great for a pasta salad. Why not use left over pasta to make a delicious pudding? Place cooked pasta in a greased oven dish, beat two eggs well, add double cream and strawberry jam and pour evenly onto the pasta. Place in the oven on 180 degrees for 40 minutes, then put under a hot grill for a few minutes until golden brown. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Yummy!

PEARS For freshness and quality store pears in the fridge. These nutritious fruits can last for much longer if kept in the fridge rather than at room temperature, and keeping them in the fridge in a loosely tied plastic bag will also help stop them shrivelling up. Add to the fruit bowl to bring to room temperature prior to eating, although some pears may need longer in the fruit bowl to ripen up. PEPPERS Store peppers in the fridge in a loosely tied plastic bag, to keep them fresher for longer. If you’re only using part of a green or red pepper, leave the stem, seeds and membrane intact, the pepper will store much longer than when you remove them. Dice the tops and bottoms for use in


spaghetti bolognaise, for example. Slice or dice the remainder. Freeze them in one pepper portions which make it easier to follow recipes. So simple and cheap! PESTO You can freeze it by the teaspoon in ice cube trays. You can then use them as you need them and add them to dishes still frozen. Mix left over pesto with butter, freeze in individual portions. Use the pesto butter on steak, chicken, lamb etc. Mix some garlic into it as well for a great tasting butter and spread on a toasted baguette. PINEAPPLES Pineapples should ideally be stored in a cool place but not in the fridge. Save leftover pineapple (fresh or tinned) in the freezer, use defrosted in fruit salads and add frozen to other fruit and liquidise for a great smoothie! Children also like it as ice cubes in their drinks. PITA Pita bread can be warmed or toasted straight from the freezer. Use straight away for hot fillings or leave to cool for a sandwich PIZZA DOUGH Make enough dough for two pizzas. Use half to make a pizza for dinner and freeze the other half in a ball in a sealed sandwich bag. When ready to use the dough just get


it out, let it defrost in the fridge for a few hours. Add topping and cook. POTATOES To store your potatoes, take them out of the plastic bag and put them into a cloth or natural fibre bag. Store them away from strong smelling foods such as onions. Choose somewhere cool, dark and airy – not the fridge. For storing cooked potatoes, The Food Standard’s Agency advise that once cooked they should be cooled as quickly as possible, ideally within 1-2 hours, and then stored in the fridge for up to two days. A useful freezing tip is to freeze the potatoes on a baking tray, so they’re not touching each other, and when they’re solid, pop them in a plastic bag. This stops them sticking together so you don’t have to defrost them all at once. When potatoes are exposed to either artificial or natural light, they can develop a green colour due to chemical changes. These may make those green bits of the potato unsuitable to eat but this can be avoided by simply cutting them out. It’s safe to cook potatoes that have sprouted but they may not keep well and are more likely to blacken when cooked. Whatever your choice, always remove the sprouts before using. Keep hold of potato peelings, sprinkle with salt, pepper, chilli or whatever flavour takes your fancy and pop them in the oven. Free chips the children will love! Thinly slice leftover boiled potatoes and add to omelettes. Use leftover potatoes to thicken soups.

If you have a few potatoes that you need to use, boil them up and make mashed potato and freeze it in portions, so next time you’re in a rush you have them on standby. They’re guaranteed to be crispy and golden if you parboil and freeze potatoes for later, and you can cook directly from frozen. Freeze leftover mashed potato in bags and use it for bubble and squeak or shepherd’s pie topping. RAW MEAT All raw meat, poultry and fish should be stored at the bottom of the fridge in a clean, sealed container to stop it touching or dripping onto other things. Freeze it before it reaches its Use By date if you know you won’t use it up in time. RICE To avoid food poisoning from rice the following guidelines should be adhered to: Ideally eat straight after cooking. If not, cool as quickly as possible, ideally within one hour. To do this, drain the rice in a colander, rinse with cold water then tip into a large shallow container. Once cold, cover and keep it in the fridge for no longer than one day before reheating. Ensure the rice is piping hot before serving. Add a few grains of uncooked rice to your salt shaker. This will stop the salt from getting damp and having to throw it away. RADISHES Remove the leaves and put them in a jar of cold water in the fridge. This keeps them fresh for weeks.

ROAST If you haven’t got time to make a shepherd’s pie from your leftover roast, whiz the meat with an onion in the food processor and pour into a freezer bag for later. It is then quick and easy to cook the prepared meat mixture from frozen to make a shepherd’s pie or rissoles. SALSA Use leftover salsa as the base layer of pizza toppings or as a delicious chilli layer in a gratin. Freeze leftover salsa in small containers that have just the amount you want in each. When you need salsa, you can defrost it in seconds in the microwave. 43

SALT Adding a few grains of rice to your salt shaker will stop it from getting damp. SANDWICHES Use leftover food as a sandwich filler. Even leftover curry makes a tasty sandwich filling! Did you know you can make sandwiches from frozen bread? They will even defrost by lunchtime, keeping the filling cool.

If you wash spinach well in cold water, shake off as much water as you can and store in an airtight container in the fridge, it will keep fresh for longer. This method also revives old spinach. If you grow your own spinach, or even if you happen to buy a lot for a good price, wash it, cut off the stalks and steam for 2-3 minutes. Divide it into plastic bags or containers and freeze. Can be frozen for 6-12 months and is easy to add to any pasta dish, mince, stews, soup etc. SPREADS If you want to use up the very last drop of jam/ marmalade/conserve, pour a cup of chilled milk into the bottle, close the lid tight, and shake the bottle vigorously. Voila! Great tasting milk shake is ready! Turn jam jars, marmite, pesto or anything in a jar upside down (remembering to tighten the lid!) When you next go to use it, the contents will have gathered in the lid making it easier to use the whole lot.

SAUCES Freeze any leftover sauces, such as tomato or pesto, for another time ready to add to pasta for a quick meal. SPINACH Save the stalks from your spinach leaves and stir-fry them with soy sauce, sesame seeds, and a touch of sesame oil. Make sure they’re still a bit crunchy when you take them out of the pan. It makes a delicious side dish.


STOCK If you have roasted a chicken, boil the carcass up for a couple of hours with two or three pints of water, a few chopped celery stalks, onions, carrots, a bunch of parsley and bay leaf to make chicken stock. Measure into cup portions and freeze to use whenever you need them. After roasting meat or chicken pour the liquid off into small margarine tubs, leave to cool and allow the fat to rise to the top, and then freeze until needed. Microwave for 30 seconds and the layer of fat can then be easily lifted off and used in risottos etc.

STRAWBERRIES Store strawberries in the packaging you bought them in and refrigerate for freshness. Remove them from the fridge and bring to room temperature before eating. If you have a glut of strawberries and want to freeze them, lay them out individually on a tray and put into the freezer. When they’re firm, put them into bags. Another way of keeping them is to whiz them in a food processor or blender with 2-3 tablespoons of caster sugar and then freeze. Put them through a sieve if you want to remove the fine pips. They are not the best fruits for freezing, because they break down and become mush when defrosted, but they can be used in ice creams, trifles and soufflés. Wash strawberries and place

individually in ice cube tray. Freeze. Use instead of ice cubes in water, lemonade, etc, and munch them when the glass is empty! Frozen strawberries are great for using in cocktails. SUGAR If you’ve got rock-hard brown sugar or crystallised honey/syrup, put it in a microwaveable bowl and give it a quick blast of about 30 seconds on a high setting in the microwave. This will bring them back to their normal state. SWEDE After removing the skin, slice and cut into chips, but don’t put into water. Pop into a plastic bag and freeze. Can be cooked from frozen. 45

WATERMELON If you have watermelon left over, chop it up into cubes and put it in the freezer. This makes a really sweet, healthy snack and is a good way to cool down on a hot day. WINE Use up the last half glass of a bottle of wine (or wine that’s been left open or even just wine you didn’t really like) by filling an ice cube tray. Just pop one or two out straight into a sauce or casserole.

SWEETCORN Excess fresh corn can be cut into mini cobs and frozen in freezer bags until ready to pop into a saucepan with boiling water for cooking. Alternatively slice off the kernels and freeze in mini portions ready to be sprinkled onto pizza or used in salads. TOMATOES To freeze tomatoes, remove their stalks and freeze whole in freezer bags. They can then be used in place of canned tomatoes, in a tomato or Bolognese sauce or chilli con carne. Just put the whole frozen tomatoes into the pan at the point when you would add the canned tomatoes. Don’t try to defrost them separately as they turn to mush. TORTILLA WRAPS Keep wraps in the freezer. They can be defrosted individually under a grill within


30 seconds, long enough to assemble the ingredients. They don’t go soggy and they’re there for the days you run out of bread.

YAMS Store in a cool, dry, dark place; ideally in a cloth bag. To freeze: wash, peel and boil until tender, slice or mash and sprinkle with lemon juice to stop them from going brown. Cool and put into a container or freezer bag.

VEGETABLES (also refer to individual vegetables listed here). - Put old carrots or soft celery into a glass of water in the fridge to revive them - Add squashy tomatoes to a chilli or pasta sauce - Use cheap seasonal vegetables to bulk out meals - Vegetables that are past their best make a great soup - Frozen vegetables from the supermarket are as healthy as fresh.

YOGHURT Add leftover yoghurt to fruit smoothies and juices, or to a cake or scone mixture instead of milk. Frozen yogurt makes a lovely dessert and tubes of fromage frais made for children are actually easier to eat once frozen. If you have a big family sized pot of yogurt to use up, try pouring it in to ice cube moulds. Mix yoghurt with any over ripe fruit, such as banana and strawberries. Pour into ice tray molds and freeze

WATERCRESS Try to buy watercress in bunches and to keep it fresh put the stems in a jar of water (like a bunch of flowers) and store in the fridge.

USE BY DATE AND BEST BEFORE LABELS Always follow on pack storage instructions and guidance such as ‘eat within three days of opening’. To extend the life of

food beyond its date, freeze it before the date and defrost and use it within 24 hours. USE BY DATES These dates refer to safety. Food can be eaten up to the end of this date but not after even if it looks and smells fine. Always follow the storage instructions on the package. Plan how you will use up all the food you’ve bought before it goes out of date. BEST BEFORE DATE These dates refer to quality rather than food safety. Foods with a ‘best before’ date should be safe to eat after the ‘best before’ date, but they may no longer be at their best. DISPLAY UNTIL / SELL BY DATES You can ignore these dates as they are for shop staff not shoppers. 47

Lovely leftovers

Weekly Meal Plan MONDAY





chicken TUESDAY






Use up these common foods by creating meals for the coming week - don’t forget to use what’s in your pantry as well! MONDAY









Anytime Smoothie INGREDIENTS 2 over-ripe peaches, chopped, any soft bits removed 1 speckled banana, peeled and sliced 60g strawberries, hulled and leaves removed 125ml orange juice

METHOD Put all the ingredients into a blender and whiz until smooth. Pour the drink into glasses and serve. HINT AND TIP: You can use frozen bananas and frozen peaches to add to the smoothie



Banana and Blueberry Porridge INGREDIENTS 50g porridge oats 350ml semi-skimmed milk 1 banana, mashed 75g blueberries

METHOD Place the oats, milk and banana in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the blueberries and serve. HINT AND TIP: A handful of frozen blueberries or a blueberry conserve would also work well.



Beef Goulash INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp oil 500g pack diced braising steak 1 onion, sliced 1 tbsp paprika 400g can chopped tomatoes 300ml (½ pint) beef stock 200g (7 oz) button mushrooms 3 chopped carrots Sour cream to taste

METHOD Preheat the oven to 180oC Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the steak and onion for 5 minutes to brown. Stir in the paprika and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Add carrot and tsransfer to a casserole dish, cover and bake for 1 hour. Stir in the mushrooms, cover and cook for a further 1½ hours until the meat is tender. Cool slightly before stirring in the soured cream. Serve with rice. HINT AND TIP: Look in your fridge and add any other vegetables to add to your goulash.



Rescue Ragu INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, crushed 300g rescued vegetables (e.g. red pepper, celery, carrots, courgette), finely diced 2 rashers lean smoked bacon, diced 250g lean minced beef 1 tsp hot chilli powder

2 tsp dried basil 400g can chopped tomatoes 2 tbsp tomato puree 50g red lentils, cooked as directed on the pack pepper to season To serve 300g any cooked pasta e.g. penne

METHOD Heat the oil and gently fry the onion, garlic and rescued vegetables for about 5 minutes until softened. Then add the bacon and lean minced beef and fry gently for about 5 minutes until the mince has browned. Add the chilli powder, basil, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree then cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the lentils and simmer for a further 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened, season with pepper. Serve in large bowls over freshly cooked pasta.



Broccoli Super Bowl Salad INGREDIENTS 80g quinoa 100g broccoli, washed and cut into small pieces 1 orange, peeled and cut into segments 150g ready cooked beetroot, cut into chunks 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated 50g feta cheese, crumbled

DRESSING 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 small lime, zest and juice 2 tsp light soy sauce black pepper to season

METHOD Rinse the quinoa several times under cold water then place in a medium sized saucepan with 200ml of boiling water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl and leave to cool. Cook the broccoli in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes until tender. Drain into a colander and cool quickly under a running cold tap. Add the broccoli, orange segments and beetroot to the quinoa and stir gently with a large spoon until combined. Place the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together with a fork, season with black pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, add the grated carrot and toss gently with two spoons. Divide the salad placing half on a serving plate and the other half into a plastic lunch box with lid. Crumble the feta cheese equally over both portions.



Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp oil 1 onion, chopped 300g (11 oz) mushrooms, sliced 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 250g (9 oz) tagliatelle or pasta of your choice 200g pack low fat soft cheese 25g pack parsley, chopped

METHOD Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion for 4-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce. Meanwhile, cook the tagliatelle in boiling water for 8 minutes until tender, (or according to the on pack instructions) Drain. Stir the soft cheese into the mushrooms and cook for 1-2 minutes the stir into the tagliatelle with the parsley. Season to taste.



Pear and Blue Cheese Salad INGREDIENTS 200g/9oz mixed salad leaves or baby leaf spinach 55g/2oz walnut pieces 1 tsp brown sugar 100g/3 ½ oz blue cheese 2 medium pears (100g/3 ½ oz) Juice of 1 lemon 2 tbsp olive oil

METHOD Put the walnut pieces into a small pan with the sugar. Heat gently, stirring continuously, for 2-3 minutes until the sugar melts. Turn the nuts out onto a plate to stop further cooking. Core and slice the pears, and put into a bowl with the lemon juice to prevent them from discolouring. Crumble or slice the cheese. Divide the salad leaves between four serving plates (or make one large salad to share). Arrange the cheese, pears and walnuts on top. Dress each plate with half a tablespoon of olive oil and serve immediately.



Apple Crumble INGREDIENTS This classic recipe can be used with items in the pantry and perhaps the garden if you have a lemon or apple tree. It’s also the perfect recipe to pop those bruised or ‘ugly’ apples into. Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon 1/2 cup Caster Sugar 1 tbsp Cinnamon, ground 1/2 cup Brown Sugar 1 cup Flour 100g Butter, cold & finely diced 6 old bruised or ‘ugly’ apples, peeled and sliced

METHOD Preheat oven to 190°C. Put the apple slices, lemon juice and zest, and 1/4 cup of water into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cover, while boiling gently for 5 minutes. Uncover and simmer a further 5 minutes until the apples are tender. Remove from the heat and pour the cooked apples into a deep oven proof dish. Place butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon into a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, or rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips. Spread the butter mixture evenly on top of the apples. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until well browned and crisp. Remove from the oven and serve with whipped cream.



WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN REDUCE WASTE? Kate Meads runs workshops all over the country for 35 different councils. There are two different workshops available: ~ WASTE FREE PARENTING ~ WASTE FREE LIVING Kate works with councils so that when you attend you will get a cool pack of goodies to take home with all sorts of funky waste reducing products to take home with you. Check out Kate’s website for lots of cool tips and tricks on a range of topics and to book to attend a workshop:

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