Whether it’s a fussy toddler refusing food or a forgotten veg at the back of the fridge, running a family home can result in food waste. As well as wasting money, it’s also not great for the environment. With a third of food produced around the world lost or wasted, this week Love Food Hate Waste honour Food Waste Action Week. The awareness week aims to halve food waste by 2030. With this in mind, here we present some leftover recipes to help you reduce your food waste.
More often uneaten and unused lunch or dinner ingredients makes up our food waste. So, these recipes will help you use up your leftover savoury foods in exciting AND delicious ways, before exploring some sweet leftovers ideas.
FOR LEFTOVER CHICKEN: CREAMY CHICKEN POT PIE
What better way to use up your roast chicken than with a gorgeously creamy chicken pot pie. First fry some bacon in a pan. and leave to the side. Using the same pan fry some shallots and leeks, then add some garlic. Return the bacon back to the pan before adding flour, your leftover roast chicken, chicken stock, wine and thyme. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, then add in some cream and parsley.
Preheat the oven to 200C/fan180C/gas 6 then divide the creamy chicken pie filling among 4 individual pie dishes. Lay out the ready-rolled puff pastry and cut out 4 pastry lids to sit over each pie dish, keeping any trimmings. Brush the edge of each pie dish with beaten egg, then cover with the pastry lids. Brush the tops with more egg wash then make a little slit in the centre for steam to escape. You can use the spare pastry trimmings to add decoration to your pies. Bake for 35-40 minutes then serve with creamy mash and your choice of vegetables.
FOR LEFTOVER MASH: PRAWN AND COD CAKES
If you enjoyed a dinner of hearty mashed potatoes, but fancy something different for lunch, these prawn and cod cakes are simply stunning. Plus, they’re simple to make! Just poach some cod, flake it and combine with cooked prawns, mashed potato, chives, lemon zest and some seasoning. Shape into fish cakes and chill for 10 mins. Dip into beaten egg, coat in breadcrumbs then bake in an oven (heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 7) for 25 minutes, turning half way. They are delicious with green beans or a simple side salad with a sweet chili dip. Enjoy as a lunch or a starter.
FOR LEFTOVER EGGS: GOAT’S CHEESE AND VEGETABLE QUICHE
We adore this goat’s cheese and vegetable quiche because it’s a really tasty way to use up spare eggs, with flavours that remind us of Summer. After preheating an oven to 190C/ 170C Fan/ Gas Mark 5, melt some butter in a saucepan and cook the green veg and onions for five minutes. Keep stirring until they start to soften up, then add milk and flour. Continue to stir over the heat until the sauce thickens, then allow to cool for five minutes.
Beat a couple of eggs into the sauce, making sure you season it for flavour. Pour into the pastry case and top with goat’s cheese and tomatoes. Bake for about 40 minutes until the filling is set and slightly golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the tin and serve with a salad.
FOR LEFTOVER HAM: HAM, SPINACH AND MOZZARELLA LASAGNE
Don’t let that packet of ham go to waste because you’re bored of your work sandwiches. Use it to make a hearty, comforting ham, cheese and spinach lasagne packed full or flavour. Combine leeks, crème fraiche, garlic and blanched spinach, then cook until soft. Heat an oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 then line a baking dish with lasagne sheets. Layer with the leek and spinach sauce, chopped thick cut ham, and mozzarella cheese, repeating layers until the dish is almost full. Cover with a final topping of crème fraiche, mozzarella and parmesan then bake until golden brown. This should be in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
FOR LEFTOVER VEGETABLES: FRIDGE RAID SOUP
This recipe uses any spare veg in the fridge so you can really make it your own. Simply cook an assortment of veg, then add stock and tomato puree alongside tinned tomatoes. For a heartier meal add in green veg like courgettes or broccoli alongside tinned beans which might have been forgotten in your cupboard. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the soup thickens, sprinkle with croutons or crumbled feta (if you have it!), then serve with thick bread.
FOR LEFTOVER FRUIT: CRUNCHY FRUIT AND OAT CRUMBLE
As sweet leftover recipes go, this fruity crumble is great because it uses up both fruit and stale bread! Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 6. Crumble bread, oats and nuts in a bowl and mix. Chop unpeeled fruit in an ovenproof dish. You can use whichever fruit you like, from apples to raspberries to bananas! Combine the fruit with juice then sprinkle the crumble mix on top. Drizzle with honey then bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve with Greek yoghurt, custard or ice cream.
FOR LEFTOVER BREAD: STICKY TOFFEE BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING
If you like both bread and butter pudding and sticky toffee pudding, this sticky toffee bread and butter pudding recipe is an ideal way to use up bread. After preheating the oven to 150C/ fan 130C/Gas Mark 2, grease a large pie dish with a tablespoon of butter. Cut slice of bread in half diagonally and layer them in the dish.
Next heat your milk until it’s about to boil, then in a bowl combine sugar and eggs, then whisk into the milk. Sieve into a jug, then pour over the bread and leave for 15 minutes to soak. Add a sprinkling of toffee pieces as a topping, then bake in the oven for an hour.
For the toffee sauce, add the de-seeded dates to a pan with water and boil for five minutes, Blitz that mixture in a blender until it’s smooth. Melt some butter and sugar in a saucepan and cook until the sugar dissolves, then pour in cream, the syrup and date mixture, boiling until the sauce thickens. When the pudding is ready and golden brown, serve it with a lashing of sauce.
FOR ALL LEFTOVERS: USE THE VACPACK FRESH
If you want something more than leftover recipes, our VacPack Fresh is a great little gadget for tackling food waste and saving money. It vacuum seals food in its reusable bags so food stays fresher for up to four times longer.
Simply place food – fresh or cooked – inside the bags, seal and VacPack it to preserve its flavour and freshness. It’s ideal for bulk-buying, extend the shelf-life of dried ingredients and lock in flavour. You can also use it to speed up the marinating of your meat and fish.
Why not VacPack some of these meals and pop them in the freezer for a later date? You can then cook inside the bags or even microwave food within the bags themselves. We love doing so with fresh fish fillets and lemony butter.
Once done with the bags, just wash them out so you can use them again!
We hope you use these leftover recipes to help reduce your own household food waste. Remember that a tool like the VacPack Fresh will also help you keep your food fresher and save you money too.
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