No messing about here today sweet friends, let’s get straight down to business. Kitchen wastage. I hate wasting food, but conversely, know there are days where I’m simply not in the mood to use up the lonely looking pumpkin in the crisper or create a stock from that leftover chicken carcass.
So what to do?
What’s my fave motto?
The Best I Can!
I don’t have all the answers, but here’s what I’m loving lately to reduce mine and my family’s wastage quota. Remember that sometimes less is more, and if we all got on board in making just 3 small changes (that suit our diet and lifestyles of course), then the world would be a very different place. You don’t have to do it all, you just have to be willing to play your part.
Use those stems …
Let’s be totally honest, broccoli and cauliflower stems are much tougher and chewier than their floretty heads. Broccoli trunks in particular can be very long and very fibrous. It’s tempting to chop them off and forget about them, but then you’re losing a massive chunk (literally) of that beautiful vegetable you just sent your hard earned dollars on.
I cut off the really daggy (almost brown-looking) bits and then dice the pieces of stem up into teeny tiny pieces. I let these pieces cook for 10-15 minutes before I put the florets in for a 5-7 minute steam (so that they’re still vibrant and green). This way, you get soft, evenly cooked veggies and no wastage. This works so well in this olive oil and turmeric broccoli and also here, in this broccoli coconut rice.
Love that green bin
Did you know you can put food scraps; including meat and fish bones into the green bin – the one you put garden scraps in? I love this, because by just changing which bin you use, you automatically reduce your contribution to landfill. We recycled a black plastic container (that once housed an organic cauliflower and broccoli pack purchase) and it sits on our kitchen bench. Veggie peelings, banana skins, chicken bones etc all go in and we take it in turns taking it out to the green bin for emptying.
Get real about what you actually like
Who gets inspired by the vast choice at the supermarket, farmers market or green grocers? Oh I could make this, or that, I can bloody make all the things! Then you get home and return to your comfort zone of fave dishes. You didn’t actually want to make stuffed zucchinis or mushroom pasta – maybe they were trending on some social media platform, and you got momentarily excited, but truthfully, these babies aren’t your jam. Bottom line; if you know that you’re a creature of habit, then buy what you like in appropriate proportions.
If you do want to try something new, plan exactly when you’re making it, have the exact recipe in mind when you shop and if you know you’ll have leftover ingredients, brainstorm ways to use them up before you commit to buying them. For example, you might want to try making this smoothie, but know it’ll leave you with 1/2 box baby spinach to use up. If spinach isn’t normally your thing, you might also like to try this smoothie on an alternate day, or dump the lot into this soup – where the amazing flavours will totally drown out the humble spinach taste.
So there we have it folks
3 totally achievable steps that will make a huge difference to the big picture, but impact very little on your convenience (plus, by wasting less, you’re spending less over-all, because meals are bulked out by dagger veggie parts and leftover crisper surprises).