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I am really keen to reduce the amount of food waste I create. What are the best ways to reuse or repurpose leftover food?
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Rather than throw food away , there are a number of alternatives which can be used to reduce waste:

Transform leftovers to make other meals – some great ideas can be found at “Leftovers Recipes” (BBC Good Food, 2013). It seems obvious but freezing anything you’re not going to use as soon as possible will prevent it from spoiling.

Donate it – if you aren’t planning on using it, take it to a food bank where you can guarantee it will be used. Failing this, see if any of your neighbours will have any use for it.

Put it online – Olio is an app which can be used to rehouse unwanted food items (and other goods). Simply add a listing for the item and wait for someone to message you to organise pick-up.

Look at “Love Food Hate Waste” (Lovefoodhatewaste.com, 2019) for more information and also “How to Get the Most out of Food, to Reduce Waste?” (OneSharedEarth, 2019) for tips on how to reduce waste.

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Ideas for leftover meals and ingredients:

  • Leftover meals (like boiled eggs, cooked grains) can be the starting point for sandwich, soup, stew, pasta, frittata, salad, wrap, stir fry or curry.
  • Rice can be mixed with other ingredients to make a fried rice meal.
  • Yogurt can be mixed with vegetables, cereal or made into a salad dressing.
  • Cream can be used in salads, desserts, pasta or mashed potatoes.
  • Brine or pickle juice can be made into a dressing or marinade.
  • Dough can be made into crackers or breadsticks.
  • Flour can be used for thickening soups.
  • Grounded nuts can be added to curries or baked goods.
  • Chillies, garlic, herbs, spices, lemon peels can be made into infused oil.
  • Coconut milk can be used in curries, soups, baked goods or mixed with sugar to make icing.
  • Tahini can be made into dressings, dips or in baking.
  • Ingredients stuck on the inside of a jar can be mixed with a liquid to make into something new. Condiments (like mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, miso, curry paste) can be made into a dressing, dip, glaze or marinade by adding olive oil & vinegar. Marmalade or syrup can be mixed with alcohol (or other liquids) into a cocktail or mocktail.

Many of the above ideas have been taken from the resources below which can gives more details on these methods:

Best C, “25 Ways to Use up Leftover Ingredients” (BBC Good Food, 2019)

Foster K, “The Kitchn’s Ultimate Guide for Using Up Every Type of Food” (Kitchn, 2015)

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