Approximately one-third of food produced globally is wasted every year. To encourage action, Andrew Dixon Head Chef Tutor at The Grand, York has shared his top tips for being resourceful with food.
What are some go to recipes for using up leftovers?
“If you have leftover vegetables from cooking, there are many great recipes that can make use of them. Bubble and squeak, risotto, ramen soups and Nasi Goreng are just some of my favourites.”
What should we have to hand in the cupboard to make use of leftovers?
“Store cupboard basics I would always stock up on are chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, stock cubes, curry paste and rice. Curries are great, fast go-to meals that can always use up any leftover meat or vegetables.”
How should we be storing food to get the most from it?
“We can all do our part when it comes to reducing food waste by making sure we are storing our leftover or batch cooked meals correctly.
“Leftover herbs can be made into oils, pesto or puree. These also freeze well and herbs themselves can be frozen as they are – simply place any fresh herbs into a freezer bag and pop in the freezer. To use, chop from frozen and add to your meals last minute to enhance the flavour. Herbs can also be dried to prolong their life span – place any fresh herbs onto a tray and place somewhere warm and dry until brittle. Once dried simply place into airtight containers and use as needed.”
How can we use food when it’s past its best?
Many of us are confused when it comes to what we can and can’t use when it has gone stale. “Something like stale bread can be utilised in many different ways, such as making a delicious bread and butter pudding.
It’s also great for blitzing and making into breadcrumbs for baking or frying. I would suggest mixing your blitzed breadcrumbs with parmesan and fresh herbs and sprinkling over macaroni cheese to give a flavoursome and crunchy topping,”
It’s not just bread we can extend the life of either, as Andrew suggests extending the life of fruit by whipping up some tasty desserts.
“Finally, over ripe fruit is great to make delicious desserts. Over ripe bananas can be made into banana bread, over ripe mango can be blitzed into a puree – or mixed with condensed milk, and whipped cream to make an amazing Indian style kulfi. Over ripe mango and papaya can also be blitzed into a puree and mixed with chopped pineapple and red chilli to make a refreshing, sweet salsa.”
We all have a part to play in trying to minimise our food waste – however the ways we use leftovers don’t have to be bland or boring. By taking on some of these five-star suggestions, we can all make a small change – whether it comes to storing batch cooked meals properly or using up leftover vegetables.