Eat the Fridge

It’s time to reduce home food waste.  I have been doing much research on how to reduce food waste, and I plan to share some tips I’ve learnt with you over the coming months. I hope to inspire you to make dishes using existing ingredients in your fridge and pantry.

A while back I decided it was time to sort through our fridge. It reminded me of when our foodie daughter, Joanna would often go through our fridge on her visits home. I used to call her the “food police”. She would often find many expired items and jars of condiments past their ‘best before’ date, and comment with shock and horror. With Joanna now living in London it was time for me to take over this role.

I inspected each of the refrigerated jarred items for the best before or expiry date. In some cases this was not easy to find. I noted that the jarred cranberry sauce I used for Christmas 2018 was meant to be used within 28 days of opening! That sauce together with a few other jars were emptied into the kitchen sink. The result was one basin worth of soup-like liquid. Yuk. Here’s the start of my list:

The tube of Lemon Grass had never been opened and it got me thinking. I need to be more planned and don’t impulse buy before I purchase that ‘must have’ food ingredient, (currently beetroot chutney). I need to use what I have in my fridge first.

We should all be looking in our fridge, for those ingredients hiding in the bottom of the vegetable bin, the half used jars of mustard, packaged items like grated cheese and spinach. Did you know that packaged cheese should be used within 7 days of opening?Is it possible to use these ingredients to make a meal ? We just need to be a little creative, and a made-up recipe will do just fine.

RECIPE FOR EATING THE FRIDGE

  • Take out food that you have sitting in the fridge that needs using, in particular perishable items like:
    • vegetables
    • opened grated cheese packets
    • opened salad packets
    • opened meat packets
    • Any leftovers
  • Put the ingredients on the bench, and think about how they may be used. Even try google the ingredients that need using.
  • Some ideas:
    • Cook up some pasta.  Have this hot or cold with meat, tomatoes, cheese or spinach
    • Make a salad using any veges you have, add your favourite dresssings
    • Cut up broccoli and beans and cover with boiling water, and let sit for 3 – 4 mins.  Drain and use in pasta dishes or salads
    • Make some macaroni cheese,  see my recipe. https://traceyskitchen.com/2015/09/29/twisty-mac-and-cheese/
    • Make a frittata using the veges. The vegetables don’t have to be roasted, but lightly cooked on the stove top instead, eg kumara, potatoes, beetroot. https://traceyskitchen.com/2017/05/31/roasted-vegetable-frittata/
    • Fritters are great too.

Here’s is a sample of what I had in my fridge on Friday.

I filled some warmed pita breads with the chopped coleslaw, grated cheese, grated carrot and courgette, plus loaded smoked chicken. I added some beetroot chutney for extra taste. This made a great lunch. as an accompaniment.

For for dinner, I cooked up some penne pasta, made a quick dressing using 1/2 cup of Aoili mixed with sour cream.  I mixed the dressing in the cooled pasta, added some chopped spinach/kale, some chopped up smoked chicken and topped with diced avocado.  The family added lots of ground pepper to make it extra tasty.

For lunch today I made courgette and carrot fritters.  I used the recipe on my blog as a base.  https://traceyskitchen.com/2016/01/19/courgette-corn-and-carrot-fritters/.

My adjusted recipe is as follows:

  • 1 carrot and 2 courgettes grated
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 c of chickpea/standard flour (if using standard flour you may need to use a bit less)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Squeeze some of the moisture out of the grated courgette and then combine with grated carrot. Add beaten egg and flour, seasonings and chopped herbs if desired.  Drop large spoonfuls into a fry pan on medium heat.  Cook for approx 2 mins each side.

So before you rush out and buy those takeaways, can you eat the fridge tonight?

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