Tag Archives: Love Food Hate Waste

Top tips for reducing food waste part 2

Make your own compost

When I come to put out the bin for its fortnightly collection, I’ve noticed that our black rubbish bin is now only half full. Yay!


What it does contain a lot of, however, is fruit and vegetable peelings. And while my children would love me to bring home a peeling-loving guinea pig or rabbit, I think an easier option is a compost bin.

I’ve seen quite a few on sale cheap or even free on Gumtree and Facebook, but none are close to where I live. Our local authority recommend www.getcomposting.com, which seems pretty cheap – especially as I shouldn’t have to buy compost ever again.

Their top tips on composting are as follows:

  • Find the right site – Ideally site your compost bin in a reasonably sunny site on bare soil. If you have to put your compost bin on concrete, tarmac or patio slabs ensure there’s a layer of paper and twigs or existing compost on the bottom so the worms and other creatures can colonise. Choose a place where you can easily add ingredients to the bin and get the compost out.
  • Add the right ingredients – Have a container available such as a kitchen caddy or old ice cream tub so that you can collect items for your compost bin from all over the house. Fill your kitchen caddy or container with everything from vegetable and fruit peelings to teabags, toilet roll tubes, cereal boxes and eggshells. Take care not to compost cooked food, meat or fish.
  • Fill it up – Empty your kitchen caddy along with your garden waste into your compost bin. A 50/50 mix of greens and browns (see below) is the perfect recipe for good compost.
  • Wait a while – It takes between nine and twelve months for your compost to become ready for use, so now all you need to do is wait and let nature do the work. Keep on adding greens and browns to top up your compost.
  • Ready for use – Once your compost has turned into a crumbly, dark material, resembling thick, moist soil and gives off an earthy, fresh aroma, you know it’s ready to use.
  • Removing the compost – Lift the bin slightly or open the hatch at the bottom and scoop out the fresh compost with a garden fork, spade or trowel.
  • Use it – Don’t worry if your compost looks a little lumpy with twigs and bits of eggshells – this is perfectly normal. Use it to enrich borders and vegetable patches, plant up patio containers or feed the lawn.

So now, I’m all prepared to make my own
compost and reduce our contribution to
landfill in the process.

If your fruit, veg and salad are not quite compost-ready then use it in this scrummy recipe (mix and match what you have).

Pittas are in the method, but you could use wraps or other bread if it needs using up.


Falafel Pittas with Fruity Crunchy Salad


Falafel Pittas with Fruity Crunchy Salad

Time 20 minutes.
Per portion: 554 Kcal, 24g fat (3.2g saturated)
Serves 2
Suitable for vegetarians

  • Falafel about 200g (7oz)
  • Pitta bread 2
  • Crème fraîche 3 tbsp
  • Milk 1 tbsp
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Red or white cabbage 50g (2oz), shredded
  • Dessert apple 1 small, peeled and chopped
  • Ready-to-eat dried apricots 25g (1oz), chopped
  • Raisins 15g (½oz)
  • Little gem lettuce 1, shredded
  • Tomato 1, sliced
  1. Preheat the oven and warm the falafel according to the packet’s instructions.
  2. Place the pitta bread in the oven during the last 3 minutes of cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, make the salad. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the crème fraîche and milk and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the cabbage, apple, apricots and raisins and mix well.
  4. Split open each pitta and fill with the lettuce and tomato and some of the fruity salad, then top with the falafel.
  5. Serve with the remaining fruity salad.

Cook’s tips
Make the salad quickly by popping the ingredients into a food processor and pulsing it a few times – add the cabbage first, then add any leftover dried fruit. Use any leftover crème fraîche to make a dip for crudités by mixing with herbs and grated cheese.



Fantastic Food For Less cookbookThis recipe is taken from our wonderful Fantastic Food for Less cookbook.
For more fantastic food, you can buy the book for just £5.99!!

Use the discount code DDPR and you’ll get free postage too!









Using up Leftovers

With the arrival of the twins, life has taken on such a frenetic pace that just trying to keep on top of all the daily rituals is a challenge.

Stop wasting foodMeal planning and using up leftovers seems to have fallen by the wayside and we have begun to waste food – one of my pet hates! I am sure I am not the only working mum to feel like this.

According to Love Food Hate Waste website, we throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food from our homes every year in the UK. That is just a ridiculous quantity! So, what do we do about it?

I am seriously opposed to clearing everything on your plate. This was a great mantra when food was in short supply and people got plenty of exercise, but nowadays, with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles I believe that when you are full you should stop eating.

So what should we do to ensure that we shop and eat efficiently?

The first is obvious, if you throw away cooked food, then cook smaller portions. If you throw away uncooked food, plan your meals for six days, make a shopping list and stick to it (internet shopping is great for this as there is less temptation). When your shopping arrives, check the use-by dates on meat and fish. If they can’t be used within a week then pop in the freezer until the night before you plan to use them. Follow your menu plan and on the seventh day, use up any leftovers for your meals.

Great ways of using up leftovers are:

  • Omelette – just add any leftover cooked meat or veg or cheese.
  • Baked potato – add grated leftover cheese or cold meat, with leftover salad or veg.
  • Homemade soup – throw in all your leftover veg, add some stock, cook for 15-20 mins, then whiz with the blender. Add some leftover cheese or cream at this point too, if you like. Some of my best soups have been made this way!
  • Pasta – two super-easy ways of using leftovers with pasta:
  • Sauté any minced meat and/or leftover veg. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes or some passatta and serve with cooked pasta (you could also top with leftover cheeses).
  • Sauté leftover veg, add a tub of soft cheese to the pan to melt and serve with cooked pasta.
  • Fried rice is also an easy way to use up bit and bobs. Stir fry your veg, add to cooked rice with a dash of oil and soy sauce (and an egg too if you like).
  • Dessert – fruit is an easy one, just chop anything that looks a little tired and serve with yogurt or custard or a meringue nest. Instant, healthy pud!
All of this just takes a little time and planning and I am determined to fit it into our busy schedule. I still haven’t figured out a way of using up mouldy bread and so the local badgers can continue to enjoy it spread with peanut butter!
Spaghetti Soup

Spaghetti Soup
Try this super soup from Clever Cooking for One or Two
(a fab book that is aimed at cutting waste).

It’s perfect for using up the odd carrot and few
mushrooms you may have lurking in the fridge.

Recipe taken from Clever Cooking for One or Two.

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