Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Love Food Hate Waste

love food hate waste logoSutton Council is supporting the Government’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign and I must say that it is a campaign that very much chimes with me personally.

You see I have become a bit of an addict at seeking out recipes to use up leftovers and fresh produce before it goes off.

I have made it even more of a challenge as for many years I have had a regular organic veg box delivery. Whilst I love trying to use seasonable veg that hasn’t travelled for hundreds of miles, it has led to me encountering a much broader range of fruits and vegetables than I would have picked out at the supermarket. As a result I have had to learn how to prepare and cook them. Some vegetables I have come to know and love: squashes, aubergines, kale, spinach and leeks, but there are still one or two that I haven’t developed a taste for like celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes (although I did manage to smuggle Jerusalem artichokes into a recipe recently that the family actually liked!)

What is left of my carrot & honey muffins

My latest effort – carrot & honey muffins – or what’s left of them.

My failsafe is to make soup. There are so many soup recipes out there that I don’t believe there is a single vegetable that can’t be made into a warming and delicious soup (except perhaps celeriac!) Family favourites in my house are Leek & Potato, Pumpkin and Sweetcorn, and Chinese Noodle soup –  which is especially good for using up small bits of whatever leftover meat and leafy veg you have.

My next favourite way of using vegetables or an excess of fruit is to use them in baking. Carrots, parsnips, potatoes and beetroot can all be used in cake recipes. I love to see the faces when I serve up my chocolate beetroot cake and people realise that it tastes really moist and chocolatey and nothing at all like beetroot. I have a special apple cake that is full of fruit and so good when you need to use up your apples as they start to wrinkle, and of course if you can make a crumble topping or pastry that is an easy way to use up most fruit in various combinations.

Some other dishes I find helpful for using up leftovers are:

Macaroni cheese – use up those end bits of cheese and throw in any leftover veg – peas, onions, frozen mixed veg, chopped kale or spinach.

Kale or spinach are also lovely mixed in with a curry, and very good for you. Curry is also good for a variety of veg leftovers.

Meatloaf with courgette and herbs is a firm favourite in our house when I have a glut of courgettes.

Banana & cocoa muffins – perfect for using up overripe bananas.

Omelettes and frittatas are perfect for lunch and can use up lots of leftovers like bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, chorizo, cooked potatoes, peas and onions.

Leftover wine (it can happen occasionally) gets thrown into tomato sauces for pasta, and don’t throw away your stale bread (unless it is mouldy of course) as there are many recipes that need stale bread, or blitz them into breadcrumbs and make a savoury crumble topping (mix with grated cheese) or mix with melted chocolate and ground almonds for an indulgent chocolate cake.

Having given it a trial I have now swapped to the Sutton Community Farm for my regular veg bag delivery as I was very impressed with the quality. Even less food miles as it is based in Wallington and I know I am supporting a local enterprise too.

If anyone is interested in some of the recipes I have mentioned drop me a line as I am happy to share.

The Love Food Hate Waste website has lots more tips and recipes for anyone who wants to find out more, and Sutton Council is providing special activity sessions for local people in support of the campaign – for info contact amy.harris@sutton.gov.uk or on 020 8770 6389.

 

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February 15, 2016 - Posted by | Information | , , , ,

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