Over the past seven days I have been eating up all the food I have in my fridge, freezer and cupboards. I am over half way through my challenge and during this time I have not only created some interesting meals, but I have had some time to reflect on how much food I actually have when I think my cupboards are bare.
One on of the challenges that we all face on a weekly and monthly basis is knowing how much food we will need. Over the past week I have started to plan ahead and not just the next days main meal, but several lunch and main meals ahead. Forward planning is the key to wasting less and using what would be considered as boring leftovers into new and exciting meals.
On the fourth night I stood looking into my fridge and wondered what I could have with my left over beans and a couple of sausages. Opening the bottom draw of my fridge I discovered all the vegetables that people had given me over the past couple of weeks that I had not got round to eating. I took a lot of them out and chopped them up, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled on some chilli flakes. Into the oven for about an hour or so.
The previous night I used tinned beans and half a can of tomatoes to make a tomatoe sauce. For dinner I wanted to use use the remaining tomatoes to make a sauce, but I wanted to do something different with the beans. I decided to add them to some sausage meat and make meatballs. The beans added a different texture and bulked out the meatballs.
Cooking is about experimenting and taking a risk every so often. Most of the time it works out and we have another new and interesting recipe to pass on. When it does not work we then know for next time.
So far so good. I have thought creatively with the food that I have left in my fridge and freezer. I am now not putting leftover food into the fridge or freezer for another day I am thinking how I can use them in my next meal.
When making the roast veg, I knew that I had cooked more than I needed, but I had thought ahead and knew that I could incorporate the left over vegetables with the rice and make a healthy and tasty lunch.
Saturday for me are what I call treat day. During the week I try to eat sensibly and I might have a treat or two, but I try to save my treats for Saturday. It gives me something to look forward to and keeps my weight under control.
Looking into my freezer I discovered a couple of lonely slices of gluten free bread that I was keeping for some reason or another. That is another thing that I have realised… I can’t remember why I keep stuff. I have a lot of odds in my freezer and none of them would make enough for a meal.
For dinner I made myself a toastie with some left over cheese in my fridge and a few mini bratwurst that were looking lost at the bottom of my freezer. It bought back memories of being a student who when could not be bothered to cook after a long day at uni, found a cheese toastie or a fish finger sandwich rather comforting.
One of the other many lessons that I have learnt is that I need to try and portion out my food much better than I do. I struggle to make only enough food for one and instead end up making enough for either two or three people. It is the reason I end up with leftover food all of then time. By planning more, I should be able in the future to make just enough for me, and if there are any left overs then I will think how I can use them up in a much more creative way.
Below is some of the other meals I have made over the past few days.