Save food and save money with these simple tricks to give your leftovers a new lease of life
Students waste nearly 800g of food a week. A lot of that will have been good food that could have been used. In London alone, we throw out an average of 2.5 slices every day. 1 in 4 apples bought in London are never eaten and thrown away. In fact, you could fill 43,000 London buses with the amount of good food we discard every year.
Leftovers don’t need to be binned. You can still think of them as an ingredient. There are plenty of fun ways to re-use them, saving time and money. And of course food. By each of us making small changes in the kitchen, we can make a big collective difference on London’s food waste issue.
Mastering the art of making your food work twice as hard for you just needs a little inspiration. Love Food Hate Waste is a campaign aimed at helping combat this waste and is a great resource for students to get through university eating well and within budget. Find out how to make simple yet tasty meals, prepare the right portion sizes, keep food fresher for longer and ultimately save money.
Sign up at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
Turn one Italian staple into another one… as if by magic! Preheat your oven to 180°C and cut off the crust from six slices of pizza. Cover the bottom of a square baking dish with tinned tomato sauce. Lie two slices of pizza on the sauce, face up. Add a layer of ricotta and mozzarella cheese and more tomato sauce. Repeat this step for another layer but this time put the pizza slices face down and drizzle a bit more tomato sauce on top. Then load up with more mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes covered, and another 10 minutes uncovered. Pizza cake.
Is Bake Off inspiring you a tad too much? Use up leftover cookies or cake by smashing them up into a tantalising Trifle which is as easy as it is delish. Layer a mason jar with alternating layers of whipped cream and crumbled cake. Decorate with some optional fruit between the layers. And voila. Yum.
Fruity Rice Cakes
It might not seem like an obvious idea, but last night’s leftover rice can make fabulous fruity rice cakes for a delicate dessert. It is also a great way of using up fruit approaching their use-by date. Grate 75g of creamed coconut and pour over 5 tablespoons boiling water and stir until the coconut dissolves and produces a thick paste. Leave to cool. Place half a mango in a food processor (or dice with a fork) and blend until smooth, add the coconut cream paste and blitz. Add the rice, vanilla essence, icing sugar, lime juice and lime zest and blitz for about 10 seconds so that the mixture is combined but the rice still has some texture. Cover in a bowl and leave in the fridge for an hour until the rice mixture is firm enough to handle. Divide the mixture into four equal portions, then shape into rounds using slightly damp hands. Place on a tray lined with cling film, cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Transfer the rice cakes to serving plates and garnish with strawberries and sliced mango.
Beef in Beer
Opened beer bottles are annoying, but you can turn leftover beer into a quick and easy delicacy. It’s cheap, filling, moreish and tasty. Preheat the oven to 180°C, and heat some oil in a large frying pan. Brown 500g of stewing beef cubes on all sides and set aside in a bowl when all done. Next, fry one peeled and sliced onion for a few minutes until soft, add one peeled and sliced carrot and return the beef to the pan. Pour in 400ml beer, 200ml of beef stock, 400g of tinned chopped tomatoes, 2 bay leaves and a teaspoon of mixed dried herbs and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer. Transfer to a casserole dish and place in the oven for about 3 hours, or until the beef is really tender.
Crunchy Southern Style Bites
Use up the bits of cornflakes at the bottom of the box for something a little unexpected. Mix with Cajun spice for a delicious Southern style coating for chicken. Preheat the oven to 190°C /170°C Fan/Gas 5 and cut chicken breasts into 8 strips. Place the cornflakes into a freezer bag and crush with your hands until the pieces are small but still crunchy. Add the Cajun spice and shake well until combined. Set out three small plates, one with flour mixed with black pepper, one with beaten egg and the remaining one with the crushed cornflakes. Dust each piece of chicken in flour then dip into the egg and finally press into the cornflake crumbs ensuring that the chicken is completely coated. Place coated chicken onto a lightly greased non-stick baking tray and brush each with a little oil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden and the chicken is cooked. Perfect with sweet potato wedges and homemade coleslaw.
Toffee Apple Crumble
via Flickr/Dave Crosby
Use up any variety of dessert apples in this delicious recipe, which incorporates a quick toffee sauce and is topped off with a crispy crumble made from a leftover doughnut. To make the toffee sauce, place 50g of brown sugar, 100ml double cream and 15g butter into a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened and coats the back of the spoon. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool. For the crumble blitz a leftover doughnut in a food processor or grate it until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Place in a small mixing bowl and rub in the butter. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160° Fan /Gas 4. Remove the apple cores and score all around each apple with a knife. Cut a thin slice from the top and bottom of each apple to make a flat surface and place the apples in a small baking tin. Pour a tablespoon of toffee sauce into the centre of each apple and drizzle over each apple. Then pile the crumble mixture on top, pressing down lightly to ensure the crumble sticks. Bake for 25 minutes until the apple is tender and the topping is golden and crisp. Serve warm with a yet another drizzle of toffee sauce.
These ‘sausages’ are a tasty and different way to use up leftover beef and vegetables from the Sunday roast. It’s also a perfect way of using up frozen mashed potato. Mix together your leftover beef, potato, any vegetables and flour, and season to taste. Mould into eight sausage shapes and chill for 15 minutes. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the sausages for 4-5 minutes, turning once or twice until golden. Done.