Leftovers turned into Gastronomic deliciousness
Turn leftovers turned into Gastronomic deliciousness. There are some rules in cooking which allows for you to use food that we might consider past its ‘freshness or useable date’. A meal time favourites using ‘stale’ ingredients, one example is fried rice. Rice that has been cooked 2 days prior to making fried rice, produces the right texture and simply taste better. Fresh rice has too much moister so it cannot ‘fry’. If you have had polenta for dinner the night before, the next I highly recommend whipping up some fried polenta the next day. An Italian favourite arancini which is lightly bread risotto balls that are deep fried and day old risotto is perfect. Using ‘stale’ food, leftovers and yes even ‘past the expiration date’ food not only saves money it has the added benefit of decreases the amount of food you end up throwing away. Left over polenta can be fried and made delicious just ask our friends at Starts at 60!
The More You Know
Stale milk is great in pancakes and enhances the flavor even more. It also becomes a great replacement for ingredients you might not have on hand. Use it to replace yoghurt or sour cream in your baking. Sour milk and water makes a great concoction for some plants. It adds to the calcium levels and works especially well for tomato plants.
When you actively start paying attention to the food you throw away, it starts hitting home how much money we throw away. A lot of what we believe can’t be reused is untrue. Here are just a few ways you can reuse those items we normally discard of.
One of the largest food group we seem to be wasting is produce. Buying fresh produce is expensive, always know what you have on hand and when it was purchased. What’s great about it is that you can freeze your soup for later consumption. Not only are you saving a lot of money doing this, but you can also feed yourself and your family a healthy meal. Fruit adds mountains of flavor to our dishes. One can even go as far as grating up citrus fruit and freezing it. Here is a list of some of the best options.
The trick to freezing vegetables is to blanch it first. Simply throw it in a pot with salted boiling water and then rapidly cool them in ice cold water but only for enough time to bring the vegetables to room temperature. Do not drown the vegetables. This simply helps the vegetables stay at their peak while in the freezer.
- All berries
There are a lot more options and it all comes down to the freeing method you use. The great news is that fruit usually does not need much preparation before freezing.
One chicken can be stretched over a few meals, use some of your leftover pieces in tacos to soup, when it comes to meat everything matters from the bones to the skin can be used to make something else equally delicious. Nothing could ever replace fresh stock. No powdered packet of chicken broth will ever give you the same flavor as if you were to make it yourself. It is as simple as boiling those leftover chicken bones and pieces in water. When you feel like you are contributing to lowering food wastage, it does give you a sense of empowerment. The next time you make a roast chicken, it is possible to use every part of it.
Leaves & Stems
We seem to only like those elements of food that looks good. Cutting off the leaves on beetroot might seem like it’s just part of the cooking process, but you can reuse those leaves for another meal. Instead of having one side dish, you can now have two, by using the same vegetable. A lot of restaurants also use these in salads, soups, stew and stock.
Waste Not Want Not
Food wastage has been a problem that is easier to recognize and solve. Staying in a state of ignorance about this global problem is only going to stagnate the issue of wasting food. In many parts of the world food waste equates to more than the net food produced in African countries.
The positive side to all of this is that we can make a change. It is almost impossible to completely eliminate food waste, but everyone can contribute to making a small change in their own lives. Not to be dramatic, but the truth is that people are starving around the world and so much food is hitting the dump. I have recently made some changes in my own life to help decrease the food I waste. There is so much we can do to drop the percentage. There are some companies who are trying to help reuse the food large producers are discarding of, which brings us peace of mind. Even if we cannot be a part of this right now, it serves as inspiration to improve our own wasteful behaviours.
Households and larger corporations are using waste to make their own compost heaps. This is a great help to our environment and definitely saves a lot of money. With each household on average throwing out more than 400 pounds of food every year, this solution seems very probable. Starting your own compost heap does not have to take up a lot of your time. If you do not have a concrete pad to place your compost on, simply layer it with newspaper and woodchips. This will prevent any weeds from growing underneath your heap. From there, you simply add your waste portions that are suitable for a compost heap.
What You Can Do…
There are also organisations in Europe and the US who are reusing the bread thrown out by consumers. The idea behind their amazing plan is to reuse those scraps to make beer. One of the popular breweries using this method is Toast Beer. It is done in an environmentally friendly brewery that is completely free from germs and bacteria.
Contributing to the increasing number of food wastage does make one feel terrible. Doing the little that we can to drop the percentage is enough for now. If each one of us takes responsibility for what we waste, the impact does become maximized. A lot of us do not give it a second thought, but that is just based on habit. I am now more aware of reusing what I would normally just throw in the trash. As the saying goes, ‘The more you know’, I do believe that changing how I approach the problem will make a difference and so can you.