Well, I’ve been astonished at the response to the Love Food Hate Waste #GiveUpBinningFood campaign, and we aren’t even half way through Lent yet. One of the most interesting links I was sent was from The Independent who reported that the actress Frieda Pinto teamed up with Copia, an organisation that uses technology to tackle food waste. They organised for the leftover food from the Governor’s Ball party, which had been prepared by chef Wolfgang Puck, to feed around 800 Los Angelenos.
I see so much food wasted at the big formal events and awards ceremonies that I attend for work here in the UK, and it would be great to see more events companies and brands starting initiatives like this. (I’m thinking the British Fashion Awards, BAFTAs, National Television Awards to name but a few.)
It would also be wonderful if restaurants were more proactive about doggy bags: in the US I bagged my leftover food at practically every meal but here in the UK you are often looked at very oddly when you ask to do the same at any fine dining establishment. (Although huge props to chef-patron Stevie Parle at Dalston’s Rotorino who once arranged for me to be presented with a silver foil package containing left over bones and meat for my dog Lettice!)
I spoke to Stevie at his new restaurant Palatino last night, and he told me that at Craft, his restaurant by the O2, they went through their food waste to see how they could minimise it, and ended up producing delicious ideas including wafers made from potato peelings. He’s also hosting a dinner in April with a full feasting menu based around a Mangaltisa pig that’s been grazing on acorns in his garden in Kent. The menu will use every part of the pig, as well as food waste items such as used coffee. (Full menu details here.)
This campaign has made me even more careful about food waste than usual, and one of my great success in the kitchen has been the dish of Rotelli pasta (above) with chickpeas, chopped Tenderstem broccoli, grated cheese & chilli flakes, which was all about using up what I had in the fridge and freezer. I discovered recently that you can freeze cooked chickpeas (they don’t look perfect but taste just fine), so I grabbed a bag of those, along with some grated cheeses I froze a few weeks back when I was about to go travelling.
From the fridge came the broccoli which really needed to be eaten up. I steamed and chopped it, and then zapped the chickpeas for a minute in the microwave. Then I mixed in all the ingredients with the drained pasta, some good olive oil, and a dash of the hot pasta water. Lots of black pepper, Maldon salt and chilli flakes to finish. Really delicious and a great way to use up ingredients.
After I wrote my last blog post on edible food waste, we received so many great tips and ideas from LLG readers and followers that I thought I would collate some of them here. So here goes:
I like to whisk left-over sour cream and chive dip into my scrambled eggs or add it to sandwiches
I regularly create croutons out of slightly stale bread especially after meeting chef Massimo Bottura.
I freeze my stale bread in portions and then make croutons as I need them
I write my shopping list on the back of my weekly meal plan, and I keep them all, so now I can just recycle a week and I have an instant shopping list ready. Cuts down planning time hugely!
Batch cooking your tomato sauce recipe ftw 🙂 Our household love it. Must stock up the freezer soon. We’ve only recent taken to meal planning and it makes such a difference of an evening. (Recipe here, and in my cookbook Friends, Food, Family.)
I love yogurt as a dressing on almost everything! So much healthier than mayo too. Never a reason to throw it away.
I also enjoy supporting brands that live by this philosophy – Rubies in the Rubble at Borough Market is a great example. http://boroughmarket.org.uk/articles/standard-bearers-rubies-in-the-rubble
I hate waste of food too, and these tips are really useful. One thing, me and all our neighbours do is have a fridge put up in one of the common area locations. We put there all food that we suspect we are not actually going to get around to finishing, and anyone is free to help themselves to it. It’s reduced a lot of wastage. It’s tempting to buy a large bag of apples or oranges on discount, but then if we find we are not going to finish them in time, we can give them away.
If you’d like some inspiration, I’ve made a series of short videos for the www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/lent campaign with lots of simple tips about how to save food – and money – which we’ll be posting weekly on YouTube and on the LLG Facebook Page each Wednesday during Lent.
I’ve also taken part in a Facebook Live fridge foraging session where I was challenged to come up with meals in real time based on the contents of someone’s fridge – you can find the video on the LLG Facebook Page.
You can also join in across social media by tagging content #giveupbinningfood. I’d love to see what YOU all make by thinking creatively with the food in your fridges, cupboards and freezers this Lent.
This is a Sponsored Post in collaboration with Love Food Hate Waste