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Vera's Food Waste Fight Thread

 
pollinator
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Hello!

I've had a bad week to ten days when it comes to throwing out food - and I feel like part of the reason I'm "slipping" is because I've not been keeping track "in public" anywhere! With rising food costs and continued food delivery problems, this seems like an especially good time to double down on keeping down the food waste from my kitchen.

So here's the scoop - My longest "stretch" of time without throwing food out has been 45 days. (I don't count minor scraps on a plate, peels, tops, or bones etc., discarded during the meal prep process, or something that I'm trying for the first time only to discover it's disgusting to me.)
(I know that there are ways to use peels and bones and sometimes I do, but when I don't due to energy and time constraints, I don't hold it against me.)

Today I tossed an apple and a small chunk of cheese that were both drying up and getting moldy and gross.

Tomorrow will be the start of another food-waste-free-streak for me, and I will report back here on how long it lasts, what brings it down, what tricks (if any) I come up with to fight back against groceries that try hard to ruin the streak, etc.

I imagine that many of the readers of this forum are quite skilled in preventing food waste, if anyone would like to join in on reporting their toss-free wins, please be welcome!
 
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Accountability is an awesome thing, Vera. Good luck on your use-100% campaign!
I bet folks could give you some ideas if you talk about what your most common offenders are. I know for me the big change came when I learned how to store produce better (mostly in cotton towels or cloths in the fridge, some herbs in water, etc).

(My house has three adults who take lunch every day, a dog who may actually be 75% pig, two hungry rabbits, bokashi and compost. Nothing is ever wasted! If we don't eat it ourselves, it all becomes fertilizer, one way or another.)
 
Vera Stewart
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At the moment I have several loaves of bread - my house companion likes to buy raisin bread when it's on sale, and also makes bread regularly - and I picked up a discounted organic loaf last week - most of the loaves are in the freezer at the moment, but storing relatively low-cost (at least it is for now...) bread in our freezer seems like a less-then-efficient use of that freezing space...

and besides, we have two loaves on the counter going stale!

Any tips on what to do to with raisin bread loaves? Perhaps I could use it to batch cook something more complex that could then be stored?

I'm thinking of making grill-cheese raisin-bread sandwiches for supper tonight
 
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Bread in the freezer is not a bad thing if you don't need the space for something else at the moment. A full freezer uses less energy.
 
Tereza Okava
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I make batches of bread and freeze it too, to save gas when baking. My spouse eats bread every day for breakfast, so it gets used.
Raisin-and-cheese sounds good, and I`m a big fan of bread pudding.
 
Vera Stewart
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Grill-cheese sandwich supper yesterday was a success.

last night I took the last of last year's rhubarb compote out of the freezer, I think it was the oldest thing in there - and just now I made a pie with it -

2 cups homemade garden rhubarb compote
1 diced locally grown apple, going slightly wrinkly
one pre-made crust left over from a recipe experiment for a cookbook project I'm working on
plus some smashed rice krispies from same, mixed with some melted butter

baked at 400F until it started to brown...

I'm going to enjoy some frozen yogurt on top of a slice/scoop with supper tonight!
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Vera Stewart
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So far still good. Used half a package of tofu tonight, and put the other half back in the fridge. Wondered if I could freeze it, found out that the answer is "yes" - then said to myself, "I'll do it tomorrow."

Then turned around and said "do it now" and did it.

I bought a five pound bag of potatoes a few days ago, and I know that I will have trouble using them all up before they start to go soft, as we are only two people and might only eat a potato or two each a few times a week. I've been buying potatoes more or less individually for the last little while, but the five pound bag was a) much less expensive than buying a potato at a time and b) composed of potatoes grown within my valley.

So now I need to come up with a using-the-potatoes plan of some kind.
 
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Our trick is:

Evaluating and Ennobling.

Did you know that food waste can be more expensive than you paid for it at the grocery store?

This little Lady below (Hermetia Illuciens) can make in a simple tote box re-designed:

Animal Feed
Fish Feed
protein food suitable even for human consumption
Dry Fertilizer (Frass)
High power liquid fertilizer (Dilute 1:1000)
Cosmetic Fats
Oils
and doesn't produce anywhere near the amount of greenhouse gasses than a composter does

and if I would know how it's little baby manages to kill almost any virus and bacteria, there would be a good coin to made..
Google has a lot of info about the black soldier fly.... Look how these little critters go through a 16" Pizza in about 2 hrs..


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Vera Stewart wrote:I bought a five pound bag of potatoes a few days ago, and I know that I will have trouble using them all up before they start to go soft...

So now I need to come up with a using-the-potatoes plan of some kind.


I used to chopp excess potatoes in 1 inch chunks. Boil them until not quite done. Drain. Along with chopped onions, freeze on cookie sheets, then put in  a gallon zip lock. Now you have quickish Hash browns. I  just dumped them frozen in my frying pan with oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
 
Vera Stewart
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Spent time in the kitchen today. I intended to work on testing recipes for my cookbook project, but instead, when I opened the fridge, I suddenly really *saw* a $5 block of dill havarti that's been in there for awhile, and discovered it was best before last week.

I'm calling this a save, as while I did need to cut off a bit, I turned most of the cheese into food - -

First of all I tested some on toast for breakfast (it tasted just fine and I haven't had any negative reaction yet)

Then I tried making a noodle dish, vaguely following a recipe for "Cauliflower and Cheese Macaroni" - only I used pennoni, half a zucchini and some previously frozen carrot slices instead.
It was not wildly successful, because the cheese didn't really melt fully, but I ate some of it for lunch and I've put the rest in the freezer, I think I can use it alongside something else in a future supper.  

And since I was reminded at the same time as I spied the havarti that we had leftover deli-sliced meat from a sort of picnic hosting my housemate does every couple of weeks, and it was also past it's best before date and just starting to get that yucky slimy look deli meat gets, and we have eggs approaching their best before date (although i know that eggs are generally perfectly fine after that date as well) I next made a crustless quiche, which used up the rest of the cheese. This will be supper with some salad. (And then I'll either freeze what's left or eat it tomorrow - I've already got some other leftovers thawed out in the fridge to eat as well, so I'm not sure which I'm going to eat tomorrow.)

And then I got out the potatoes and made some hash browns a la Hardesty.

Which got me looking at the onions in the cupboard, so I cut and froze most of them as well.

And now my freezer is quite full and I still want to make sorrel soup or sauce (or both) this week, as well as date bars for the cookbook.

And I also discovered that I have this can of beans. I'm guessing it's fine to eat, what do you think?

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The date is a BB "best before". It's tinned, so the beans will be fine unless the tin is damaged. I guess if it has been stored in unusually high or low temperatures there may have been some degradation, but not likely to be significant in my experience.

If you have more eggs, diced potatoes go well in a spanish omelette/frittata  too.
 
Vera Stewart
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Ate some of the beans last night with pancakes.

We eat a can of beans very slowly most of the time so I divided the remained of the can into to two and froze them. Multiple times in the past I've had canned beans go fuzzy if I don't do this. It's a bit of a drag to have two mostly empty glass jars in the freezer taking up space at the moment as the freezer is definitely still on the full side, but it is what it is. I did create a tiny bit more space by heating up a frozen wrap and having that for lunch one day. It had been in the freezer for awhile, judging by the ice crystal build up.
I need to go through my freezer and update the list that sits outside of it, theoretically keeping up to date on what's inside.

Re-organised my pantry shelf the other day as well as when I opened the door to get the beans a couple of tins fell down and almost bonked my dog. One newly dented can of tuna awaits eating up in the next week.

Still haven't gotten around to using my garden sorrel or testing any recipes. Its been a bit of a frustrating week for a variety of reasons.
But I haven't had to throw out any food yet!

Stir fries are in my near future as I want to make progress on using some brown rice and also I've just bought some nice looking bok choy.

When I was is the produce section of the shop, I saw that there was an older lady buying half a cabbage. It made me wonder if I should try cooking cabbage - only I'm not sure my housemate cares for it much, and I've never cooked it before. It seems a lot less expensive than bok choy, however. A thought I will keep in the back of my mind. I like the idea that I can buy a half of a cabbage, in case a cooking experiment doesn't work out.
 
pollinator
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Vera, cabbage will work well in reducing food waste because it keep for a veeeeerrrry long time in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. The cut edge can get discolored, but just shave off and discard a thin sliver and the rest is good as new. Easy coleslaw can be just thin-sliced cabbage dressed with oil and vinegar, or with sour cream.  A handful of fresh shredded cabbage is a great addition to any soup.  

It is also great in stirfry, or braised.

Or, you can try your hand at a jar of sauerkraut.
 
pollinator
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Thought I'd share another angle for curbing food waste at least for store-bought food. There is a program/app available in some areas that you to purchase food that is nearing its "best-by date" at roughly 50% of the normal cost. The benefit to stores is they can claim waste offsets and consumers get (sometimes) a big discount. It can be hit or miss as to what is available but I've been able to get a few deals and help keep something that a store would have tossed out of the waste bin. For anyone interested the app is FlashFood (you buy in the app and pick it up at the store).  Anyone that has it in their area and wants to can mooseage me for a savings code which I can detail if anyone is interested (I don't want to be spammy). Sometimes I've found regular store clearance prices are better, and sometimes it is difficult to know if you are getting a good price if the weight of the item isn't listed.

The best way I ever found to minimize food waste I don't currently practice (shame on me). When I used to sit down and make meal plans for a week, I would factor for using all of an item (i.e., if one recipe used 1/2 a green bell pepper, I would need another to use up the remaining). As long as I followed my meal plan I'd get to the end of the week and have almost or no waste. Boy, we ate cheaply then, but it was very limiting.

I love to keep a bag of veggie scraps in the freezer. Onions, carrots, celery, peppers, tomatoes, ect. Once I have a full bag I make veg stock out of it and then compost the filtered out remains. Better than any store-bought stock
 
Vera Stewart
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Denise Kersting wrote: For anyone interested the app is FlashFood (you buy in the app and pick it up at the store).  



Unfortunately FlashFood is only available in the city, which I visit only once or twice a month, and not available in my town's shops - yet! So I haven't bothered getting it yet. I am definitely interested in it if/when it becomes more accessible to me!
 
Vera Stewart
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Made date bars yesterday to test a recipe as part of my cookbook project. I used some seeds in place of some of the chopped nuts the recipe called for, as they were the remnants of a trail mix that no one has been enthusiastically eating for the last couple of months.

I've also been using some of the sorrel from the garden - I made a sauce one day, and a soup the next (we had some for lunch today) and I'm thinking of trying to dry some of the sorrel for later.
I have gone through my freezer and updated the list of everything in there.
I made myself a "hummus" from a budget brand of chickpeas I was reminded I had when I reorganized the pantry a few days ago. I learned that my new stick/immersion blender is not the thing to use when trying to mash chickpeas!

Today is two weeks since the last time I threw out food.

I'm hoping to do a quite minimal grocery shopping this week, because we really have quite a lot already in the kitchen and my monthly food budget guideline has already been breached.
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Vera Stewart
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This week's challenge will be to use up a head of cauliflower I bought on sale, as well as finishing up the bok choy. I don't really like cauliflower, but my housemate does. I managed to buy a bit less this week's shop, (spending about half as the week before) but because we had to buy some baking supplies I wasn't able to save as much money on the bill as I'd hoped. Perhaps this coming week I'll make some bread pudding. I also should start harvesting some of the rhubarb, and get to trying out drying some of the sorrel from the garden.
 
Vera Stewart
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Haven't actually eaten any of the cauliflower yet, so I chopped it up and threw most of it in the freezer this morning.

Tonight I'm planning on doing one of my "using it up" spaghetti and  sauces, with the last of the bok choy, what chopped cauliflower I didn't freeze, and tomato and who knows what else in terms of herbs in the sauce

While working in the garden yesterday, I accidentally uprooted some great onions (pulling out weeds with longer root systems than I expected.) I've still got quite a lot of onion from the garden to enjoy fresh as needed, so I've chopped and frozen those fresh onions prematurely harvested as well.

I've also got a bread pudding made from left over hot dog buns and other bread bits ready to bake at the same time as I'm making the spaghetti. I'm hoping it will turn out well, but if it doesn't, at least I'll find out if I like left-over-bread pudding or not!

And I've dried some of my sorrel! I started out drying it in the ambient air, and it was starting to get a tiny bit crispy and dry that way, but then I needed to use the baking sheets I was using to dry for something else (I don't remember what now) and I ended up doing most of the sorrel drying in the oven - it took quite a bit longer than I was lead to expect - I'd found something online saying it would only be about 15 minutes for the leaves to dry out at 180F, but it was more like half an hour - and I'm not sure they're entirely 100% dry even now, but they've crumbled and I've stuffed them into a little jar and hopefully they will be preserved for quite some time that way. I still have a lot of fresh sorrel to use waiting in the garden, and I haven't even started harvesting the rhubarb.

Earlier this week my housemate had a dental appointment and I was able to take some frozen home-made chicken soup out of the freezer in time for them to have a soft supper.

Next week I'm hoping to try an eggplant recipe for the first time, and also I'm planning on making some mac and cheese. I finally finished some date squares I made to test a recipe - I feared I was going to end up throwing some of them out, not because they were bad, exactly, but because they were so sweet I could only stand eating half a square at a time!

It's been 22 days since I last threw out any food.

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Re bread that's getting old -- I've started making croutons, and they are way better than store bought, and pretty easy. Cut+tear bread into small pieces, toss in oil with garden herbs, cook in oven on a pan on low heat until done. Stores well in a glass jar on the counter or shelf.
 
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My best food saving idea...Refrigerator Soup. I keep a gallon ice-cream bucket in the freezer and almost any leftovers go in there. When it is full I make around eight quarts of soup, eat a meal from it and can the rest. I use stock I made from the bones and veggie trimmings that I have saved in another bucket. It always turns out delicious even with some odd items included. any non-suitable items, as well as the solids from the stock making go to my animals. I cook the bones until they can be mashed with a finger and are a treat for dogs or chickens. zero waste!
 
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This is a really admirable project, Vera. I have kind of given myself a pass on food waste since we got chickens.  ;)

Most "out dates" on food are meaningless. There is no uniform standard for deciding what the date should be. It's basically a CYA move by the food manufacturer: if you eat it after this date we don't take responsibility for health or for taste. For fresh produce, look at it and see what you think; and even old wilted produce will usually be ok cooked. If it's slimy I throw it out - or to the chickens, since they'll eat older stuff and compost the rest for me. Cheese - it's a fermented/moldy product anyway. Maybe the taste of an older piece is different than the taste of a fresher piece. Ok, you could pay a lot of money for "aged" cheese! If it's moldy and not meant to be (cheddar) I'll trim off the moldy bits; the rest is fine. Canned food IMO has no meaningful outdate. We stocked up a lot in 2020, and are still opening "old" cans, and they're fine. Frozen food you run the risk of freezer burn, but that's a taste/edibility issue, not a health issue.
 
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The soup from scraps thing is a great idea. When I clean out the refrigerator I usually make soup with “whatever “. An alternative, depending on what is leftover, is meatloaf made with “whatever “ that gets ground up and stuck together with egg.

I shred and freeze cheese that has been in there a while. And I save celery tops and broccoli stems etc. in freezer baggies for soup stock. The chickens get wilted greens and, as a side note, when it’s available I get a “chicken box” at the grocery store for $.50 full of almost old or unattractive greens and other stuff. A lot of it is washable and edible and the chickens do get a lot of it.

One thing that I may not do again is to save root vegetables from the end of season garden by packing them in sand or sawdust. They tend to lose flavor over time. And I prefer canning to freezing as it is more efficient in the long run and things keep longer.  Herbs get hung upside down in paper bags in the very cool garage. I freeze bread crumbs from stale bread. And these days I bake bread, refusing to pay grocery store prices. I keep a couple of loaves each of while, half wheat, and oatmeal bread (the favorite) and a few dinner rolls in the freezer.  

My mother was a Depression survivor do I grew up believing that it wa a sin to waste anything, especially food. And if something ends up at n the compost I don’t feel that is waste.
 
Vera Stewart
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Had the last of the bread pudding for breakfast. I found it a bit too sweet, so next time I will probably use less sugar (the recipe I was using said 1.5 to 2 cups of sugar, I used 1.5, but next time I'm going to try it with 1 cup)

Last night I tested an old mac and cheese recipe that said it was going to have the noodles soaking up milk as they cooked - it lied! I feel like I wasted a pretty good amount of milk, and probably won't make that recipe again. However I envision having left over mac and cheese for lunch. The results are edible, it's just that getting there seemed quite wasteful. I did use up the last of some feta with that recipe, which was good.

My housemate prepared for another picnic lunch hosting which was then cancelled due to bad weather, and we now have a lot of extra deli meat again. I've put a good bit of it into the freezer (which is stuffed pretty much up to the gills at the moment) but I still have extra ham and chicken slices that I need to find a way to deal with within the next few days. Perhaps I will make a crustless quiche again, and I can slip some slices inside a grill cheese sandwich or two... however, as this seems likely to be a bit of a reoccurring problem over the warmer months, I'd like to find some more ways to harness deli meat left overs.

I am very nearly at the end of a container of frozen yogurt, finishing that off will create more space in the freezer. I think that is a task that I can very nobly tackle with the next 48 hours or so.
 
Tereza Okava
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Vera Stewart wrote:I'd like to find some more ways to harness deli meat left overs..


This year I was gifted not one but two deli hams, somewhere around here is a thread where the good people of Permies gave me many ideas how to use them. Ham salad saved my bacon several times!
 
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Raisin bread pudding is the best stuff i've ever tasted. Even if the bread is stale, not moldy, but stale is fine.
 
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I love this post Vera, way to go!  I watched a show a few years ago that said American could feed the rest of the world with what we throw away. It shamed me because I knew my family and I were big contributes to the problem.  We are still not as good as you, but are doing better.  My 4 adult children still live at home, so there's a lot of coming and going. Eating different meals at different times. One of the changes that has worked the best is we taped a sharpie pen to a string and attached it to the fridge.  Everything gets a date.  A lot of food was going to waste because everyone assumed it was old.  It has made a huge difference.  I also started a worm bin and a compost pile.  So even the things that slip by us are used.  My son just bought a vacuum sealer ( which I said we didn't need). I buy meat in bulk, and it does seem to keep nicer longer.
Good luck to you, I think what you are doing, and sharing will inspire a lot of people to work harder to waist less. Great job thanks you.
 
Vera Stewart
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Tereza Okava wrote:

Vera Stewart wrote:I'd like to find some more ways to harness deli meat left overs..


This year I was gifted not one but two deli hams, somewhere around here is a thread where the good people of Permies gave me many ideas how to use them. Ham salad saved my bacon several times!



Found it! https://permies.com/t/175717/kitchen/lots-deli-ham

I might try some deli meat as a crust for eggs and veggies tonight~!
 
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my number one tip...... stop sourcing food from supermarkets (if you are doing this). Most of what they sell has the appearance of being food, without any of the goodness. Grow your own, and source from people you know, like local gardener/producers. That way the food is full of life and vitality. It will last much longer, and you will want to eat it more.
So I would suggest looking harder at where you spend your dosh, and connect more with actual people who are, at best, raising food organically. And I am not talking about "Wholefoods" (etc) trading chain here..... Does this make sense?
Think more about what you need in a week, and make it quite precise. Do you need one, two, three apples in a week (depending on the season and your eating preferences)?
And then be willing to lay aside your carefully plans and schemes, when you see a gorgeous, vibrant locally grown fruit or vegetable that is just asking you to love it.
I guess if I were to summarise this thought, I would say, source your food with heart. You will find that it is affordable, because you will use less, and spend less on rubbish, and generate less waste. And everyone will benefit, not just your budget.
Of course, respect to you, you may already be doing all of the above.
Hugshugs from sunny autumnal New Zealand. Where mostly trees are evergreen, so that I lived in Maine (USA) for most of a year, before I realized why "Fall" is called fall. It is so obvious, that I laughed a lot when I thought of it, and others around me thought I was a crazy Kiwi.
Which is true.
Blessings on your journey into zero waste. I have been putting these thoughts into practice since 2019. It is working for me, though my goal is a slightly different one.
 
Janette Raven
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OK, I have all these windfall rather unripe oranges and tangelos. Does anyone know of any use for them? Candied peel? They are too sour for juicing or smoothies. Is there anything I can do with them other then composting? Not even the worms in the compost bins are keen about their presence.
And I feel guilty whenever I walk by the trees and see thirty or fourth unripe citrus going to waste on the ground.
Hugshugs from earlyish morning New Zealand where I was gathering seaweed on the beach just after dawnish. It is now drying and will go into winters stocks, stews and soups for awesome Imani flavour, and sea minerals. Not to mention, being free.
 
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I get so mad at myself when I find something that has gone bad. I have a very limited budget so every but counts    I’ve gotten better at using the fruit and veggies. Either dehydrate or ferment them. But I found part of a block of cheese that was beyond moldy a few days ago. I usually get a big block and portion it up freezing some but I completely forgot this one.  I do try and keep a bag of bones and/or veggie scraps to make broth with.  And if I get something new before the old is used I try and make sure to put the old up front in the fridge.  
 
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Croutons are a good use for abundant bread.

They store well if thoroughly dried.
Plenty of recipes for different flavor profiles, and croutons don’t have to be savory.

My favorite bakery, they make dangerously good sour dough bread sometimes have croutons, and once they had a bowl of samples there where I was waiting in line.  A wonderful snack!

My favorite restaurant uses banana bread croutons in one of their signature salads.
 
Vera Stewart
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Last night's supper

I ended up saving one ham-egg for today. Used a frozen parsley cube in with the mushrooms I sauteed. The tomato came from a ways away, and tasted like it. Am I ever looking forward to backyard tomatoes - but my plants are less than an inch high at the moment!

I love how this thread is evolving, it is very encouraging to have so much support and so many ideas.

Oh, and the frozen yogurt has been taken care of ;)
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We rarely toss food. Actually I can't remember what we tossed last...

So what we do is mostly "food plan" to avoid waste. That requires having 3-4planned dinners (big enough to have for leftovers) and/or possibly just needing to make a new side (or fluff with pasta/rice/veg) to go with whatever was the main dish. Eg roast meat one night, turns into rice/soup the next night. Leftover pizza fluffed with a salad.

Food planning for us also involves us questioning the other one if "what we want is going to be eaten soon." I'm not saying don't score a great sale on something, but if you're not eating it, you're wasting it. Ya get me? This also means rotate your stock. Eating from the freezer or pantry. Those aren't just for looking full of stale items.

Meals we aren't cooking are also meals where leftovers are it. A couple pieces of pizza for them with a small salad, while the other cleans up the chicken-n-rice.

This also means having some convenient food around too. Sandwiches - bread is kept in the fridge to avoid mold and an eye on whatever we got out for lunch meat (might be a deli meat, leftover roast/chicken, etc). Boxed mac-n-cheese with steamed broccoli is sometimes all we can manage after fighting the good fight in the mess we're in. Not the best kind of fuel for the body, better than nothing!

Convenient food is also a portion of homemade soup that had been frozen from a previous dinner. Neither of us eat lots of soup so half might end up frozen. Pretty nice to pull those out on a busy day.

I have what I call "magic food" too. Usually it's made from whatever I have on hand in the fridge/garden/pantry. Random veg end up in magic food soups or stir fries. Who's going to complain about handful of chopped spinach in some rice/pasta that was too much to use up - they can go hungry if they are ;)

Magic chicken-n-rice happens often only because it only takes a single breast or a couple thighs +rice+veg. It turns into not only dinner again, but usually at least another lunch.

Frittatas are a fantastic way to use up random veg too. A fancy way to turn 6-8eggs +veg, maybe a stray sausage or deli ham chopped. Use up that dill cheese on top of one those.

I hate raisins, but to those that like them I'd suggest turning them into a bread pudding.

But what's wrong with soft potatoes? As long as they aren't putrifying (is that even a word?) we eat them. They still make a good mash! Good ol' Sam. Gollum could have been converted by potatoes!

I've got some herby potatoes I might be making into a bread. Now I'm drooling!


 
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Good Luck Vera It's a good idea and at least, you are trying.

I don't want to sound like a smart ass but... there is no food waste in my house. Purposely cooked extra foods (potatoes are great for this purpose) are used in making variety of dumplings (Mashed potatoes + veggies + flour + egg + potatoes starch). Any left over meats and even some vegetables join the rest of leftover meats in the freezer. Then, once thawed, all get grounded  and used as additional filling in cabbage rolls, croquets, stuffed pasta, meat balls etc. Then, I portion off whatever I make, and freeze it again for ready meals.
If we don't eat all  of fresh vegetables, those are dehydrated and powdered and added to whatever I'm making (above) or current. Nothing is wasted.
Cold cuts get portioned off, vacuumed sealed and into the freezer. Bread/buns get dry and made into bread crumbs, than vacuum sealed in glass jars for when  I need it  (in rotation).

We buy lots when prices are low and preserve what we buy. What we don't eat a lot of, we buy only what we can consume.
It does take some discipline and lets be honest...I can't get lazy and say...."later, or tomorrow". After a while, everything becomes a second nature like breathing or blinking an eye
I'm not a meat eater and could care less for it but, the rest of my little family do eat it, and somehow it's me who works out the portions and mixes
Thank you


 
Ela La Salle
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Janette Raven wrote:OK, I have all these windfall rather unripe oranges and tangelos. Does anyone know of any use for them? Candied peel? They are too sour for juicing or smoothies. Is there anything I can do with them other then composting? Not even the worms in the compost bins are keen about their presence.
And I feel guilty whenever I walk by the trees and see thirty or fourth unripe citrus going to waste on the ground.
Hugshugs from earlyish morning New Zealand where I was gathering seaweed on the beach just after dawnish. It is now drying and will go into winters stocks, stews and soups for awesome Imani flavour, and sea minerals. Not to mention, being free.



I found this article (28 uses for oranges...) I don't think it matters if yours are unripe as you could add a little of the ripe ones to balance it out
https://preparednessmama.com/24-uses-for-oranges/
 
Janette Raven
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Thanks Ela La Salle, I found a few useful ones there that will work fine with unripe fruits.
Today I candied a bucket of peels, and I made about 2 Liters of limoline cleaner, which was a byproduct of the candy peel making process. (How coolis that)!
I trialed the cleaning spray in the kitchen, and it is a powerful and pleasant cleaner. It also knocked out pesky flies till I could squish them. (sorry flies..).
I am also going to try it in the garden as a slug and snail and other pesky pest repellent. I read about that working online..... I have the feeling that it will work.
Apparently it even works for fire ants......
From NZ, where we have autumn, glorious weather and today I was foraging on the seashore for kelp and seaweeds for the garden. I am going to try pickling juvenile Neptune's necklace seaweeds, I think they will work and be just fine on summery salads. .... When I get some time! Maybe, come winter. Hugshugs, Janette
 
Vera Stewart
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Last night’s supper for myself was quite a weird bowl of left-overs – I heated up the last of week-old rice, the last of week-old roast chicken, cubed, plus some salsa, a sprinkling of cheese, and a handful of “mixed greens” which were being sold at 50% off since they were at their best-buy date when I picked them up. In the past I’ve had lots of luck getting these organic salad mixes at 50% off and they last really nicely for several days afterwards, but this mix’s greens prove to be rather tough and not terribly tasty. It was not the best supper I’ve ever had, but it was okay, and I didn’t throw anything out!

I’m especially disappointed in the greens because I was planning to use them as the base for a mixed salad with anchovies that I need to test for my cookbook project – I have all the ingredients now, except that I’m not sure it’s fair to test with these not-so-great greens, so I may delay the test until after the next shop.

I’ve been pondering how to incorporate some permie-like or anti-food-waste philosophy or tips into the cookbook project. I do have a leftover soup recipe already, but I’m mulling over how I might do more. The focus has to be different, but if I can slip in a few ideas…
What would you like to see in a cookbook? I need to start working on more of the vegetarian recipes I want to include.
Over the weekend we ate the last of the raisin bread that had been in the freezer. We did something else instead of a roast yesterday (my housemate usually makes a roast dinner at some point during the weekends) and so now I’ll have to find something else besides left-over roast meat for lunch sandwiches. Perhaps something other than sandwiches. Today I had cheesy nachos. I’ve taken the package of deli ham that I put into the freezer last week back out to use tomorrow – it depends on how much time I have tomorrow but I might try another deli-meat recipe of some kind.

Tonight I’m going to try and eat some more of an onion soup I had in the freezer as left-over from the cookbook project. It’s not a great soup, it will definitely have to be a side dish.
 
Vera Stewart
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I think I'm in trouble on the food waste front.

A few days ago, I poured a container of chicken stock down the drain - my housemate had used a portion for something or other without me noticing, and when I poured some out the other day to see if it was still good --- it was not. If we're being really strict about it, this counts as the end of a run of no-food-waste, after about 38 days.

I feel like it's not my fault this chicken stock got dumped, because I had nothing to do with opening the (intended to be back-up only) tetra pack - but also that it doesn't really matter in terms of when my streak of no-food-waste ends, because I can see that in a few days time I'll probably be throwing out food that is clearly "my fault."

The problem is that I over-bought fresh vegetables a couple of days ago at the grocery store, particularly with lettuce. For the first time ever, and I do not know what possessed me, I purchased a package of romaine hearts. I also have a bunch of fresh herbs now that I'm going to have to find the energy to freeze. I'm finding that the unsettled weather here is really doing a good job of giving me headaches and low energy.

Now, I do have a recipe I plan to try this week, which does call for two romaine hearts - the anchovy salad I wanted to try last week. But there are three romaine hearts in the package, and they are all looking only a few days away from giving up the ghostie and came out of the package already a bit limp. I bought the freshest package I could find, but they were already a week old when I bought them.
To complicate matters, I made (another test recipe) bean and corn salad yesterday, so I already have one salad on the go. For Father's Day weekend, I am committed to making scallops and rice tonight (I might be able to finish off the corn salad tonight at the same time) and a roast chicken with broccoli, parsnips, and baked potato the other. There won't be much point in also making a salad to go with this meal as I know very little of it will be eaten.  Also I've promised to make blondies. I don't know when I'll have space for lettuce-salad!  Does anyone have tips for emergency extension-of-life on romaine hearts??

On the positive side, the last two weeks have seen much more sensible grocery bills, I'm well on track for staying in budget this month, although it does mean eating into the pantry, which will eventually need to be restocked at probably significantly higher prices, thank-you inflation.

I've been adding homegrown currants to my breakfast cereal in the past couple of days as they are slowly coming ripe!


 
Joylynn Hardesty
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I don't know how to extend its life, but when my salads start took sad, they end up as a wilted salad.  Maybe try this out?

Mine are usually dark greens, and I saute onions, garlic, bell peppers  then toss in the greenery and whatnot.
 
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