This was supposed to come after the Love Your Left Overs post that I wrote after attending an awareness campaign for the RBWM and Green Redeem. But I got distracted by Paris and pasta-free lasagnes. So here’s five ways that you can love your leftovers and avoid wasting food. Remember that shocking statistic- that 1/3 of landfill is food? That’s a total of 18 million tonnes of food that the UK throws away each year. With the food recycling programmes here in the borough, you have no excuse to let organic matter contribute to land fill.
Now, excuse me as I get off my high horse long enough to share one of my own shameful food waste habits. Bread. Even though I try really hard not to over-buy and lord knows we run out more than we throw out; sometimes I get the odd half-loaf or ciabatta role that has gone stale before we can eat it. Before I commit any bread to the little black caddy that sits on my bench top I ask myself can I re-use this? Usually, honestly, the answer is no if it means anything more difficult than throwing it in the freezer, but when I’m feeling very energetic I will do my best to use it up by cooking something delicious like meatballs or bread and butter pudding.
- Bread and Butter Pudding
This is my favourite by far but be warned it’s more of a slice than a pudding. It’s solid, moist and can be eaten cold or warmed. You can make it with left over brown, white, brioche, croissant or even fruit loaf but don’t attempt with grain bread.
Here’s my recipe: http://feedingtimeblog.com/low-fat/bread-and-butter-slice/
- Brown Bread Ice Cream
I won’t lie, I’ve never tried this but I am very interested to do so. I don’t own an ice cream maker and so I’ve found a recipe on the House of Bakes blog that requires no churning. If I hadn’t made my own ice cream this way and loved it (peanut butter choc chip recipe), I never would have believed that home-made stuff can taste any good. But it really does.
- Bread Crumbs
OK, so this one’s a no-brainer. But the secret to good crumbs is in the drying, so don’t be shy with the oven. Dry out your slices first, then blitz, then dry again.
If you’re feeling fancy, add some granulated garlic, onion, salt and paprika and blow everyone way next time you make breaded chicken or fish.
You might not know this but bread is remarkably resilient. Not the sliced, supermarket kind but if you’ve got a nice ciabatta loaf, baguette or rolls going stale simply spritz with water and put it in a 180C oven for 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed at how beautifully crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside it comes out.
Likewise, wrap any left over loaves/rolls in cling film, put them in the freezer and simply pop in the oven to revivify. You won’t need to spritz because there’s already water there from the freezing process. You won’t believe the results.
The secret to tender meatballs is using 20% mince, but if you love soft meatballs but don’t love the fat content, there is a trick you can apply to fool even the biggest meatball critic. It’s called bread. Yes. Break up a few slices and soak them in milk. Wring them out and use in your usual mixture. You’ll be amazed at how they lighten up the mix when you’re using 5% mince, beef/chicken/pork.
If you’re looking for a reliable recipe, I happen to have one right here: http://feedingtimeblog.com/dinners/meatballs/