Tuesday, 7 October 2014

More Food for Thought

Here are some more ideas for storing, cooking and using up food that would otherwise go to waste.

Some of the key ways to less waste is to buy what you need, and no more, and to store things well wrapped to avoid drying out or spoiling. Freeze extras for another time, instead of leaving them in the back of the fridge to turn into a science experiment!

But sometimes things get forgotten, so here are some more ways to turn those into something that can still be enjoyed.

  • That open box of boring, unsweetened, uncoloured, unflavoured cereal that no one is eating is starting to go stale. Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes can be used in cookies. Roll your favourite basic cookie dough into balls, then roll them in crushed cornflakes, press down lightly and bake. Another cookie using cereal is Krispy Chocolate Chip Cookies. 
  • The same thing goes for stale tortilla chips. Crush them up, mix in a bit of grated cheddar cheese and use them to crumb chicken strips. Add a bit of ground cumin and chili powder to the flour step of the breading process.
  • You bought pita bread with good intentions, and now it's dry. Use it as a base for pizza, or cut into wedges, toss with olive oil, salt and cumin and bake at 325F until crispy. Serve the pita chips with hummus, tzatziki or egg salad.
  • When you buy bacon, open the package and fold the slices in half, in groups of 4. Place these flat in a resealable bag, and freeze. This way the bacon doesn't go to waste sitting in the fridge after it's been opened. You also have access to bacon that is pre-measured and easy to separate and use.
  • If whole chickens are on sale, buy 2 or 3 and roast them immediately. When they are cool, pull the meat off and freeze in portions...enough to make wraps or sandwhiches for a day at school and/or work. This defrosts quickly, you aren't left with bits of chicken in the fridge and you always have something to fall back on for lunches!
  • When opening a can of beans, and not using them all, make sure that you rinse them well, and you can freeze the remainder of the can for another time.
  • Unused coconut milk can also be frozen. When it defrosts it will separate. Just whisk it briefly and it's good to go. 
  •  When buying chicken breasts, I always buy skin off, boneless with the tenders still attached. Remove the tenders and freeze them separately from the breasts. These are perfect for chicken strips or kebabs, no cutting needed.
  • Don't throw out honey that has crystallized. It can be heated up to melt the crystals, either in a microwave or sitting in a couple of inches of simmering water. 
  • Tortillas can be kept in the freezer. This keeps them fresh and soft. If you are trying to make something that requires rolling the tortillas around a filling, and you find that they are cracking, heat them up over a low heat for a minute. This will soften them enough to roll.
  • Potatoes that are starting to go soft are still good for mashed potatoes...as a side or as a topping for shepherd's pie. They can also be used to make Gnocchi.
  • When using broccoli florets, don't throw out the stems. They can be diced up and cooked to make broccoli and cheese soup; grate them, and add them to grated carrots and thinly sliced cabbage to make coleslaw with a difference; thinly slice them and add to your stir fry. 

Bon Appetit!

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