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Each year in the UK, a huge amount of food is wasted, even though it needn't be. There are small ways in which we can reduce our food waste, by carefully thinking about what we have left in our fridge, and being resourceful! Here are some tasty recipes to try at home, to use up those leftover veggies.
To make a stir-fry, you can really use a mix of whatever veg you have in your fridge, just make sure you chop them so they’re roughly the same size and easier to cook. I make a stir-fry at least once a week because it’s so easy and quick to put together. Hopefully, you make this a recurring theme in your go-to meals during the week.
Noodles (per person according to packet instructions)
2 carrots chopped roughly into thin batons
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 portobello mushrooms, sliced
½ small red cabbage, diced
4-5 spring onions, chopped
Thumb-size piece of ginger, chopped
1 tbsp miso paste
1 lime, juice
1 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp maple syrup
Fresh coriander, chopped
Chili flakes (optional)
Add your miso paste and a couple tablespoons of water to a medium heat frying pan. Mix the miso paste with the water to make a slightly thick glaze and then add your ginger and mix. Next, add your carrots and peppers and stir for a few minutes. Continue to stir, next add your cabbage, mushrooms and spring onions. Stir and mixx well for 3-5 minutes until veggies are slightly cooked.
Meanwhile, cook your noodles according to the packet’s instructions.
And while the veg is on a low heat, make your dressing. Mix together the juice of 1 lime, 1tsbp soy sauce, 1tbsp sesame oil, 1tsbp peanut butter and 1tsp maple syrup to a blender until you have a smooth and creamy consistency.
Serve your stir fry with chopped fresh coriander and chilli flakes.
I grew up having pasta almost every single night as a child (or at least it seemed like we did). My mother even made it fresh sometimes on the weekends - i’ll show you how to do this another time. In my opinion, everyone needs to try this simple and easy dish. The key for not wasting pasta is, as Helen said, portioning.
90-100g spaghetti (or a pasta of your choice)
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400g tomato sauce
1tbsp olive oil
1tsp dried oregano
Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Start by finely chopping an onion and a couple of garlic cloves. Add your olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add your onion. Sauté for 5 minutes so it’s soft and translucent before adding the garlic. Next add 1tsp of dried oregano.
To a baking tray, add your cherry tomatoes and place them in the oven for 10-15 minutes til they’re soft and lightly roasted on the outside.
Checking your portioning, add your pasta to a boil pot of water.
To your frying pan, add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, stir and leave to simmer for a few minutes on a low heat.
Once your tomatoes are roasted and your pasta is cooked, it’s time to plate up.
Add your sauce to your cooked pasta and top with the cherry tomatoes. Serve with some fresh basil leaves and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, I’m using a vegan one.
And finally - your weekend brunch sorted - leftover banana pancakes! Did you know bananas are one of the most wasted fruits in the world?
200g oats, flour
1tsp baking soda
250ml plant-based milk
1 ripe banana
To start, blend your oats to a flour consistency in a food processor or blender. Next, add your oat flour it to a mixing bowl and give it a stir to whisk out any lumps. Next we’re going to add 1 tsp of baking powder, a pinch of salt and 1tsp of cinnamon and milk.
And finally your banana. These can be really brown and ripe and still work great. If you want to make it more banana-ey flavour, add more bananas. Mash your banana into your pancake batter, until it’s smooth with a few chunks of banana.
Place on a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add a couple of spoonfuls of batter to make your pancakes. When you see the bubbles rise to the surface and the underneath is cooked, flip it over for a few more minutes until slightly gold and brown
Serve your pancakes with toppings of your choice. I enjoy making a quick fruit compote from fresh or frozen berries, a spoonful of coconut yoghurt, some slices of pear, nut butter and maple syrup just for extra deliciousness.
Meal plan and check your fridge/take a picture so you know what you have before buying more. Keep leftovers and re-work them into soups, pestos, stews. Share your food with neighbours and friends before throwing it away.
Featured image © Luchezar | Getty