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Top tips for reducing food waste part 4

Top tips for reducing food waste part 4 - Freeze!


Almost anything can be frozen – honestly, when I first learned about what you can put in your freezer I was amazed.

At present, in my freezer I have: leftover shepherd’s pie, leftover pea soup, 2 loaves of bread, a block of cheese (buy one get one free), petits pois, fish fingers, Smiles (don’t judge – my children love them), homemade cookie dough, minced beef, chicken breasts, ice lollies.

Okay, you’re not really interested in the contents of my freezer but I thought it would be useful to show the breadth of what can be frozen.

Here’s a speedy and hopefully useful summary of what can/can’t be frozen. With all of the following, ideally freeze when they are at their freshest.


  • Raw fish and meat – but check that they haven’t been frozen previously
  • Cooked fish and meat
  • Vegetables
  • Cooked meals – I tend to avoid rice or pasta dishes as I never think that they reheat well
  • Herbs
  • Bread
  • Stocks and sauces
  • Pies and crumbles
  • Most fruit, raw or cooked. Strawberries and raspberries though tend to go a little soggy so I would avoid freezing.
  • Almost all biscuits, bakes and cakes (unfilled and without frostings)

Don’t freeze

  • Lower fat creams and cheeses
  • Eggs
  • Yogurts
  • Jams
  • Salad stuffs, which will go mushy

Always allow to cool, pack in a suitable container and label. I never defrost in the microwave but prefer to leave overnight in the fridge.

And remember to use
what’s in the freezer!

If it’s getting full, have a ‘cheap shop’ week and use up your freezer contents rather than buying more.

Ideal for freezing leftovers, this beef recipe is pure comfort food.


Braised Beef with Stilton Scones


Braised Beef with Stilton Scones

Time 3 hours
Per portion: 594 Kcal, 29g fat (13.8g saturated)
Serves 4
Suitable for freezing

  • Sunflower oil 1 tbsp
  • Diced stewing beef 500g (1lb 2oz)
  • Onion 1, peeled and chopped
  • Plain flour 2 tbsp
  • Beef stock 750ml (1¼ pints)
  • Tomato purée 1 tbsp
  • Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp
  • Hot horseradish sauce 1 tbsp
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Self-raising flour 175g (6oz)
  • Butter 25g (1oz)
  • Stilton or other strong blue cheese 110g (4oz), crumbled
  • Egg 1, beaten
  • Milk 3–4 tbsp
  • Closed cup mushrooms 110g (4oz), wiped and sliced
  • Cooked frozen peas to serve (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the beef for a few minutes. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring, until the meat is browned and the onion softened.
  2. Stir in the flour, then mix in the stock, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish sauce and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stirring.
  3. Transfer to a casserole dish large enough to hold the stew and scone topping. Cover the dish and cook in the oven for 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, make the topping. Put the flour, a little salt and pepper and butter into a mixing bowl and rub in the fat until you have fine crumbs. Stir in the cheese, then add nearly all the egg, keeping just enough back to glaze the top. Gradually stir in enough milk to mix to a soft, but not sticky, dough. Knead very lightly then roll out on a lightly floured surface until a little smaller than the top of the casserole dish.
  5. Remove the lid, stir in the mushrooms then cut the scone topping into eight pieces. Arrange on the meat in a single layer and brush with the remaining egg.
  6. Cook, uncovered, for 20–25 minutes until the topping is well risen and golden. Spoon onto warmed plates and serve with peas, if using.

Cook’s tip
For a richer sauce, you might like to add some red wine or beer in place of some of the stock.



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!








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!









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