Had a party at home! And prepared a big buffet for guests? Now, after the party is over you are left with a lot of food in your kitchen. What will you do with that? Do you throw out the food? If your answer is yes, then let us tell you that this is not good. There is no need to waste the leftover food. According to the Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP), approximately 7 million tons of food is lost every year in the UK. Similarly, nearly 70 billion pounds of food get wasted in the United States every year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
These leftovers can be of use if little creativity is shown. They can be turned into a fun, delicious and inexpensive meals. Moreover, it’s good for all kinds of reasons, whether social, financial and environmental. As per WRAP, “Not only is this bad for the environment, it’s also costing us a whopping £2.4 billion a year, or around £200 per person”.
You can do a lot with your leftover vegetables, fish and meats. Doing so, you will waste less, save money, and eat better too! Below are some tips for using the leftovers:
Leave the leftovers purposefully:
When you’re preparing lunch or dinner, think about what extra you can make. For example, if you cook double the vegetables you need for dinner, you can plan for a pasta or soup bowl later in the week. Think of using leftover baked chicken on burgers or sandwiches; prepare twice the quantity of rice that you need and store the extra for later use. It can save time and money as well.
Stock leftovers creatively:
Glass containers are the best to store food as they are reusable and sustainable. Also, they allow you to see what’s inside. This will help you in tracking the leftovers easily. For freezing purpose, use zip-lock bags, which can be washed and re-used. Label these bags with the date of contents on a piece of tape.
Make a leftover buffet:
How about having a delicious buffet at home? You can plan this by storing the entire weeks’ leftovers. It would be more like having a buffet dinner or lunch every week. After storing about 6 -7 containers of leftovers, heat them using microwave and take out a little bit of all foods onto the table. Add some nuts, cheese, and fresh vegetables into the mix, and you end up with an easy, tasty meal.
Sandwich your leftovers:
A possible use for leftovers is to make delicious cheesy sandwiches for breakfast. Roll leftover vegetables and meats into a flour tortilla with a bit of spicy sauces and a pickle. This way you can have something quick and tasty in the mornings, especially when you are in a rush out the door.
Think “ingredients,” not “leftovers.”:
You can be more creative in preparing a totally new dish using leftover. For example, make a frittata using extra cooked vegetables and pasta. Mix cooked vegetables with tomatoes and make a pasta sauce. Make burritos with leftover rice, vegetables and meat.
Store sour bread:
What do you do with stale bread? Here we tell you. Use the stale bread in a way, what most of the Italians do: Cut the loaf of bread, add a few drops of olive oil onto it and fill it with some fresh tomatoes. Now, season the bread with pepper and salt, wrap it in a foil and bake.
Make “kitchen sink” meals:
A fantastic way to use extra cooked vegetables, grilled or roasted steak, bits of cheese, chicken, fish or shrimp is to mix them with lettuce, onions, broccoli, etc.
Create some delicious muffins:
You can make tasty muffins, using leftover ice-cream by adding some self-rising flour. Or, add some nuts and raisins to the variety of candy leftover to make a homemade trail mix.
There are many dishes you can make using leftovers. Doing so, you do not need to have as much waste as you think. From simple salads to soups, or cakes to ice-cream, there are many different ways to use those leftover ingredients or food and turn them into tasty meals or delicious treats. If you’ve a baby at home, leftovers are the best way to give your little one some balanced and well required nutrients. Pulped potatoes, mashed bananas, vegetables and blended red meat are perfect choice for baby food.
In conclusion, we might be used to a throwaway attitude or culture, however that doesn’t mean that we can’t reuse and recycle the food. It can be exciting and fun to find new means to reuse what you usually consider waste. By following the habit of using leftovers, you’ll be saving a good amount of money on your food expense and you’ll be reducing on your food waste too.
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