Looking at Leftovers: A New Series

I don’t know about you but I always feel a bit guilty when I throw away food. I always feel like if I’d just taken some time or planned better, I wouldn’t be in the position of tossing half a loaf of bread in the bin.

leftoversAs the kitchen at TransAtlantic Towers gets busier and busier (what with dungeekin’s weekend cooking marathons and my baking ever on the increase) we’re trying to get more out of our food shop – shopping smarter and wasting less. Making use of leftovers and using the freezer as a pantry are both huge parts of that. And we’re not alone – lots of people I’ve spoken with have been working on the same thing in their own ways

That’s what the Looking at Leftovers series is about – sharing what we’ve found about what sorts of things get leftover, how people are using them, saving them and thrown away less. There will be ingredient-specific posts, recipe posts and tips and tricks posts – anything I think might be useful.

Whether your leftovers are bits of last night’s dinner or that last bit of cheese, the remaining few slices of bread no one’s used in a week – it’s worth taking a couple of minutes now and again to assess what’s in the fridge or cupboards and seeing if you can’t use up those bits and pieces or save them for later (the freezer can be a leftover lover’s best friend) to not only spare yourself a twinge of guilt but make yourself something yummy to eat at the same time.

Some of the posts I’m planning deal with

Apples – 40% of the apples purchased on the UK are thrown away uneaten. Now come on – we can do better than that.

Bread – As one of the most thrown away food across the UK and the US, a lot of bread gets wasted with people throwing away anything from a slice to half a loaf. I’ll round up some of the tons of ways to use up those last few slices – not only for meals right now but as building blocks for delicious dishes later on.

Carrots – Carrots are one of the most useful leftovers you can have – great in stews, the basis for carrot cake, carrot based fritters or carrot soup. And while you may not consider carrot or celery sticks with dips COOKING per se, most dips are “pantry staple specials” and don’t even involve a trip to the store

Potatoes – Not only are potatoes the single most thrown away veg in the UK, a shocking 47% of all those potatoes never come out of the packaging & are thrown away untouched. I’ll be including recipes that use not only whole potatoes but leftover mash as well.

Lifespan of Common Foods  – It’s entirely possible that we’ve all thrown food away LONG before it’s gone off. Not a surprise with all the confusing “Best Buy”, “sell by” and Use by” dates contradicting each other.

Swap and switch – If you buy less, there’s less that may end up wasted. If you’ve got lemon juice and milk you don’t need to buy buttermilk. Forgot to pick up sour cream for that cake you’re making? You can use that plain yogurt on the second shelf. Whipping up a quick pasta sauce and ran out of tomato sauce? No worries – if you’ve got tomato paste and water, you’re good to go.

Anyway – it’s the start of what I hope will be a productive and ongoing supply of helpful and interesting info. If you’ve got ideas, suggestions – or even want to guest post – let me know. The more the merrier.

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