I have a resistance to my bin. I don’t like putting any food in it. I like to make the most of my money and I don’t want to be making unnecessary trips to the bin.
There is something amazing to be said for using up all of your ingredients and not throwing away food. Not only are you making sure you are eating every penny of your purchase, but it’s just a bit grim to be throwing away food that is perfectly fine to eat.
Now I’m not saying to be scraping mould from your cheese or sieving lumps out of your milk (dairy lasts all of 10 seconds in my gaff anyway) but what I am saying is that there are some really crafty ways to repurpose some ingredients that are perhaps a day or two away from jumping in the bin themselves and using the whole ingredient – skins and all. All it takes is a little bit of creativity and thinking outside of the box a little bit.
I’ve listed here four recipes that use up some odds and ends in the Kitchen at the end of the week. Don’t feel confined to these recipes, they are perfectly adaptable to any ingredients you have left, that’s the beauty of them being the products of waste. Hence the title… they are waste-full. Full of waste.
It was good at the time I thought of it.
Feta & Chive Potato Cakes with Cucumber & Peashoot Salad
Making use of old mashed potatoes you may have lying about, but also handy if you’ve got a few manky potatoes leftover. Just boil them, leave them go cold and use them up The original recipe for this dish is here but remember this can be very flexible. If you don’t have feta, any crumbly cheese will do and if you don’t have the salad ingredients – just use up any salad bits leftoever in your fridge drawers. As long as you’re frying a cheese/potato mix, you’re fine!
At the end of the week, this is the best way to use up odds and ends of vegetables. Carrot tops, cloves of garlic, lettuce leaves, cauliflower stalks – anything. I save up any end pieces of vegetables pieces throughout the week in a Tupperware box and on Sunday, I’ll cover them in boiling water in a jar, add some salt, peppercorns and maybe a bouqet garni if I’ve got one and leave to infuse. Once cooled down, I keep it in the fridge for the week so I’ve got a fresh, soulful stock to strain whenever I need it.
Homemade Cheesy Nachos with Smashed Avocado & Tequila Salsa
If you’ve got leftover tortillas, this is the best recipe to get rid of them. Stack them up and cut them into 1/8ths (half it, half it again, half it again and then half it again!) Preheat your oven to 180C and spread the 1/8ths across two baking sheets in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pop in the oven for 10 minutes. Take them out, toss them around, cover with a cheese of your choice and put back in for 5 minutes or so until the cheese melts.
You can serve this up with anything you want, but I like to just mash up an avocado with some lime juice, salt and pepper and have some kind of salsa on the side. This particular salsa is the easiest in the book, it’s a can of chopped tomatoes mixed with some salt, pepper, chopped jalapenos from a jar, some fried onion and some coriander. I then add a shot of tequila just to give it that Mexican kick of familiarity. You don’t need to add this if you don’t have the tequila, obviously.
But this is a great, nifty little recipe to have on hand when you have tortillas to use up.
Ginger Squash, Mushroom & Red Cabbage with Spinach Pesto Sauce
This one pan tray bake is the ultimate in using up ingredients. The design here was totally off-the-cuff. I had some squash in the fridge so I halved it, took out the seeds (kept them to one side) and thinly sliced the squash flesh and chucked in a roasting dish. I thinly sliced some carrots and chucked them in too. I halved a pack of mushrooms and threw them in the pan as well as adding in half a head of red cabbage, finely shredded. I only had half a head left for some reason?
I drizzled everything with olive oil, sprinkled with salt/pepper and tossed over some paprika and baked in the oven for 40-45 minutes in a preheated 200C oven.
I had half a pillow bag of spinach leftover in the fridge so I wanted a real gutsy pesto to go with the roast veg. So in a blender I blitzed the squash seeds to a mushy pulp before adding the bag of spinach leaves. I had some fresh parsley stalks leftover so I threw them in for good measure too.
I added a garlic clove, some salt, pepper and a hearty dribble of extra virgin olive oil before pureeing everything to a rubbly pesto paste. I like my pesto thick as opposed to like a pouring sauce, but if you want it thinner, add a little more olive oil and some water until you get the consistency you like.
I poured the pesto over the veg and served. The veg makes a really good next-day-lunch and the pesto can last a week in your fridge and you could have it with pasta, in a sandwich or even balled up in some potato cakes (see the potato cake recipe from earlier!).
So there you have it! Four recipes that use up all the ends of bits in your fridge. Let me know your favourite meals made out of waste ingredients, I’m always looking for ways to be crafty in the Kitchen.
Make your food be waste-full guys!
I’m starting to like the title again.