Food waste should be a major concern for anyone who wants to live a more sustainable way of life. Huge amounts of food are wasted across the developed world, much of that food at household level. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce food waste at home – from considering what and where we buy, to composting scraps. Using leftovers is one key strategy for sustainable living that many overlook.
Most of us, at some point or another, have looked into the fridge and realised that we have forgotten about some leftovers. But by being more organised about using leftover ingredients and leftovers from meals, we can take leaps in the right direction.
Leftovers are a big part of our lives here. I have developed a number of ideas and strategies over the years to help me use them up in interesting and tasty ways.
One thing that I like to do, for example, is make a large pot of vegetable soup. (Which is itself a great way to use up excess vegetables). taWe freeze some for later, and also use the soup as a base for a range of other recipes. If I find myself with some leftover vegetable soup in the fridge, for example, it might be added to other ingredients to make a pasta sauce, turned into the base for a curry or chilli, or stirred in with oats, nuts etc. to make a vegetable loaf. Those are just a few examples.
Another thing we like to do is use leftover mashed potatoes – and not just as topping for cottage pies. We also like to make ‘tattie scones’ – a traditional component of a Scottish cooked breakfast. These bread-like, flat, fried ‘scones’ are a simple mix of potato, flour and a little salt. I also make gnocchi, and a wide range of other things, just with this one leftover ingredient.
Seeking out leftover recipes can equip you with the inspiration you need to make sure none of the food that you grow or buy for your household goes to waste.