Ring ring… buzz buzz! be-beep, beep-de-la beep, snooze, 9mins later:
Ring ring, buzz bu–and-snooze, sigh…
Another 9mins later: Ring ring, buzz buzz, be-beep, beep-de-la Hit the off button, open an eye – perhaps both, squint for a while. And I am awake again. Hello morning.
Morning: Routine tends to reign supreme. Lots to do so some friends used to help out. A little bit of order, some logic and perhaps a plan to make the most of start to the day.
Kitchen door? Open her up. Kettle – ‘Whoosh’ a cup of fresh water. Click – first brew in a couple of minutes. Scratch head, rub beard (optional extra), stretch and yawn. Engage the brain – ‘body hungry, need to eat…BREAKFAST! Great idea.’
Breakfast: As the saying goes it is the most important meal of the day. Much thought goes into it (you can choose whether to end this sentence with an exclamation or question mark)?/!
Move around the kitchen.
Bread bin, opened – but empty – disaster, minor breakfast bakery incident.
From somewhere deep the thought surfaces – there is a loaf in the freezer. Couple of slices of the frozen loaf removed. Toasting from frozen – is like cooking with gas. Mr Icy Slicey has been transformed into Miss Terrific Toasty – hot stuff.
Thoughtless: So many things we do in a day. Lots of little actions that we need to do in sequence to live one more day. Most of these things you don’t even realise or think too much about after a while. Brushing your teeth, combing your hair, tying your shoe laces. They just happen, you just do it all. Almost automatically sometimes in a bit of a haze. The routine.
Dry cereal, in bowl. Milk, some yoghurt from fridge to jazz it up a bit.
Fruit bowl – banana, way overripe, super soft, chuck it. Evicted from the fruit bowl to the new home in the freezer. A temporary lease until it is made into a smoothie or some banana bread. Proper yum!
Routine: Simple routines can be great. Making breakfast, getting the right amount of cereal, keeping the bread so it stays fresh to be used in time and putting it all together is not hard. With a simple routine you can develop more complex ones. A weekly shop, the dinner for tonight or the rest of the week. How to use those leftovers and spare ingredients from having friends round for a meal. Just need to figure out a little routine for each. You can do it for breakfast.
From what is in your fridge, freezer, fruit bowl, cupboards or bread bin you can create just what you need and avoid waste – if you can do this for breakfast the same can be true for the rest of the day.
Goodbye breakfast: Hello world!
Pancakes are traditionally made on Shrove Tuesday to use up any remaining butter, milk and eggs the day before Lent begins. It’s also a great opportunity to use up any leftovers from your fridge or kitchen cupboards.
Love Food Hate Waste has the perfect recipe for creating something delicious from leftover yoghurt and overripe bananas which might otherwise go to waste. If you have any spare sultanas, flaked almonds or soft berries at home these all make tasty additions to the batter too.
Research shows that around 31,000 tonnes of milk is thrown away every year in Scotland, and fresh fruit and veg are one of the most wasted food types. Each year in Scotland we buy and then waste around £1bn on food and drink which could have been eaten. That’s an average of £35 per month per household. So instead of sending your leftovers to the bin, why not follow our simple recipe for a Shrove Tuesday treat.
Banana and yoghurt pancakes
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 125ml milk
- 125ml yoghurt
- 2 overripe bananas mashed with a fork
- 150g plain flour
- A pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Mix together the egg, milk, yogurt and bananas.
- Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl then stir in the ‘wet’ ingredients and the sugar. The batter will look a little lumpy.
- Transfer to a mixing jug and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
- Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over a medium heat until smoking hot, turn the heat down and pour small amounts of batter into the pan. Cook in batches on each side until golden.
- Use a palette knife to flip the pancakes and keep them on a plate in a warm place until you’ve used up all the batter.
When you have got the hang of this recipe try and play around with the ingredients and topping. You can make a savoury version for dinner with any spare cheese, ham, cooked chicken, chilli or whatever you can imagine.
For more creative ideas for using up your leftovers visit www.wasteawarelovefood.org.uk
The rules of dating can confuse even the greatest Casanova, but never fear Love Food Hate Waste are here to set you straight and give you the dating knowledge to ensure a Valentine’s day to remember.
To become an expert in dating, it’s important that you understand two very important rules. The first concerns the ‘best before’ date. Food with a best before should be safe to eat after this date, but may no longer be at its best. So never fear, if you serve your sweetheart something past its best before date, she might not be as delighted with the taste as she could be, but you can be safe in the knowledge that your Valentine’s legacy won’t be giving her a bout of food poisoning. The exception to this rule is eggs, which should never be eaten after their best before date.
The second rule of dating concerns the ‘use by’ date. Usually found on meat, fish and dairy, the use by date tells you when food can be safely consumed. Food with a use by date can be eaten up until this date, but even if it smells and looks fine after the use by date, it could put your health at risk. And don’t worry if your Valentine stands you up and you can only manage half the mountain of scallops and strawberries you’ve bought – you can also freeze them up until the end of their use by date.
To avoid post-Valentine’s Day food waste, make sure you plan and write a shopping list. When you’re going around the supermarket bear in mind the rules of dating, and think about whether or not you’ll use the food up in time – perishable items on buy one get one free are only a good deal if you’ll use them in time. And remember to pop any excess in an airtight container in the freezer for another day – almost all food can be frozen, including hard cheese, eggs, bread, and homemade meals. Visit www.wasteawarelovefood.org.uk for more freezer tips.
Following these simple hints should ensure that you don’t waste any food, leaving you with extra pennies to buy your loved one a special present!
Every year in Scotland we waste around £430 each by throwing away our unwanted food. Just think what you could do with that extra money – £35 a month could pay your phone or electricity bill, or you could blow the whole lot on something special. Even the most savvy food shopper can trim down their waste and make a healthy saving in 2012. Below are some of the resolutions I’m making this year in a bid to rid my bin of expired treats and put some pennies back into my pocket. Why not join me in adopting some of these habits, or come up with some of your own?
A devoted hoarder of leftovers, my fridge is often full of Tupperware boxes and little cling-filmed bowls filled with the excess of my week’s meals. Too often these lurk around in there until it’s too late and ultimately meet their fate at the bottom of the kitchen bin. This year, as I plan my meals for the week, I’ll be leaving one day free to focus on the tasty overflow from the past few days. Try mixing things up by joining forces with some friends, turning a revisit to the week’s leftovers into a sociable smorgasbord with just one important rule – no food should be thrown out!
Be brave – ask to box up!
It’s time to extend my food waste rules to the restaurants I eat in. This year I’ll be taking a tip from our friends across the water, and instead of sending the food I just can’t manage back to the kitchen, I’ll be unashamedly asking for a doggie bag please! Not only will the leftovers be heroically saved from the bin, but I’ll be able to enjoy restaurant quality food all over again the next day.
Stop guessing and start measuring
Measuring out the exact portion needed can seem like a hassle at the time, but later that night, trying to figure out what to do with a quarter portion of pasta makes you wish you’d reached for the scales earlier – not to mention the overwhelming urge to just eat up the excess there and then. Even in the absence of scales, you can use other guides to portion your food. For example an adult portion of rice is 75g, or ¼ of a cup. Try playing around with your raw ingredient measurements and once you’ve found the perfect portion size, make a note of how much that was.
Experiment with substitute ingredients
Using recipes to use up leftovers can often feel like a vicious circle – in order to use up the quarter onion you have to buy a green pepper and only use half; in order to use up the other half you’ll need to buy a packet of bacon to get a couple of rashers… Often there’s a tasty alternative right in front of your eyes screaming ‘pick me!’ Root vegetables can be easily interchangeable; recipes involving meat aren’t usually fussy; and in many cases that sprig of parsley adds little more than presentation points. There may be a few disasters along the way, but ultimately getting to grips with this skill could lead to improved recipes and getting to use the ingredients you want more often.
The ultimate solution to extending the life of food, my freezer never lets me down, and yet it’s usually disorganised, under-utilised, and unloved. Almost any foods, up to the end of their ‘use by’ date, can be frozen, and although the taste may fade after a while, it can stay in there for years without becoming unsafe to eat. And what’s more, freezing seals in the goodness and nutrients so it doesn’t have to be a last resort – why not cook an extra portion and pop in the freezer to eat at a later date? Just make sure you label anything you put into the freezer, unless you prefer to play the guessing game at dinner time.
Become a smarter shopper
In 2012 I’m saying goodbye to the erratic supermarket sweep – rushing around on an empty tummy, impulsively stuffing deals into my trolley and arriving home with barely a complete meal to cook. Planning out my meals for the week and making a shopping list means that a trip to the supermarket is an altogether more pleasant experience, while having a plan means that I’ll avoid buying BOGOF offers that never get eaten, and all the deliberation about what to cook for dinner will be over in one fell swoop. Just remember to include a degree of flexibility, and if plans change, why not utilise your freezer.
Take the store cupboard challenge
We all have them. Items bought months ago as a bargain that sit idle in the back of the cupboard, constantly being dismissed in favour of a dependable favourite. My mission is to rid my cupboard of such items, reaching for the jar of mince-meat, tin of azuki beans, or packet of spring roll wrappers and getting creative. These patient ingredients will finally see their day come, and I’ll hopefully discover some new favourite recipes too. Use the LFHW blender to find inspiring ideas.
Visit www.facebook.com/lovefoodhatewastescotland to tell us what your food waste new years resolution is!
This year as you go haggis hunting in the annual celebration of Mr Burns’ birthday there a few simple tips to make this year’s Burns supper a great one and a zero waste one to boot. From the haggis aficionado’s to the haggis virgins amongst us here are our top tips.
The haggis – Taking centre stage you will want to know if you are going to go for traditional or vegetarian haggis. Perhaps a bit of both of this Great Chieftan o’ the Puddin’-race! But how much haggis does one person need? If you only cook haggis a few times a year it can be hard to remember. Here is a quick guide for how much to serve:
- Starter 100g (4oz) per person
- Main course 150-200g (6-8oz) per person
When you buy your haggis look for the number it serves if this is on the packet or ask your butcher what size you will need. If you end up with more haggis than you need you could freeze the extra for a later date or use it in an alternative recipe.
Neeps and tatties – The ever trusted sidekicks of creamed potatoes and mashed turnip are the truly classic companions to the champion dish. Although they are not the main attraction make sure you don’t cook a mountain of mash or overlook these by using a portion guide:
- Mashed potato 80g (3oz) per person – about 5 small potatoes
- Turnip 80g (3oz) per person – this is about 3 heaped table spoons
If you have extra mash that you are not able to finish don’t despair. These can be frozen for use in a recipe sometime later or refrigerated to use within a couple of days.
Recipes – The telling and the retelling of a story is like following a recipe. You can take the characters – the food you have – and rework them to tell a very different tale. From haggis lasagne, to haggis nachos or haggis pakora there are many alternative ways to make serve this. These can be the perfect way to use up any leftovers, to put your own spin on the Burns night or serve to fussy eaters.
You, your family and friends along with Mr Burns can surely have a fantastic time. Whatever story you tell together, write it with intention and passion and look to leave out all the waste.
There are plenty of puddings around this time of year, just try not to become one yourself.
We’re delighted this week to announce that the Love Food Hate Waste mobile app is available on Android and can be downloaded from the Android Market now.
We’ve received lots of great feedback from users suggesting ways improve the app and make it an easier or more useful tool for them. Consequently, we’ve released updates with extra recipes and improved interfaces.
One recurring question was, ‘is it available on Android?’ Now we can answer…yes!
The app went live in the Android Market this week, meaning thousands more Scots around the country can access the nation’s favourite food waste reduction app. In fact, I think it’s an even better tool. The graphics look amazing on some of the beautiful Android devices on the market, taking full advantage of the high-definition graphics.
Like the iPhone app, the Android app provides information on portions so that shoppers never buy more than they need, as well as a range of other features. The unique food waste ‘blender’ asks users to enter the leftover ingredients they have in their fridge, freezer or cupboards and whizzes up suggested recipes from a bank of over 350, from some of Scotland’s top chefs.
The easy to use app gives hints and tips that make it easier for shoppers to plan their weekly meals, cut down on food waste and make the most of what they already have. On average, Scottish households throw away £430 per year of food that could have been used, largely due to buying too much or forgetting to use it.
We’re already receiving lots of feedback on the Android version and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
The Android phone app is free and can be downloaded here: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.lfhw.tabtesting
The free iPhone app can be downloaded here:
Visit www.wasteawarelovefood.org.uk for a collection of hints, tips, recipes and advice from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign.
To create the humble pancake all you need is just a few ingredients, a touch of skill and an eye for imagination. This little creation, synonymous with Shrove Tuesday, is a fantastic way to use up some leftover ingredients that you need to eat. From using up some eggs, milk, flour and butter in the cooking to the sweet and savoury ingredients that can form the toppings there is a host of ways to love food and hate waste with just a pancake.
Here are some of our top tips for some classic pancake toppings. These can make the pancakes and the toppings go even further.
The Classic – Lemon and Sugar:
These are the truly classic toppings for crepe style pancakes. The sweet sugar takes the edge off the sharp lemon and both work with the richness of the crepe.
Extra lemon juice – to get more liquid from your lemon roll it on a hard surface before giving it the squeeze. Any lemon juice that is left over can be frozen in ice cube trays to be used a little later.
The Savoury – Ham or chicken with cheese and vegetables:
A simple cheese sauce with any spare ham or cooked chicken from the fridge makes a great topping. Cover the pancake and roll up before heating in a medium oven until piping hot. This makes a delightful savoury snack or light meal.
Extra pancakes - can be frozen; just place between layers of cling film, wrap in foil before freezing.
The Sweet – Bananas and berries:
The sweetness of ripe bananas can be incorporated into the pancake batter. During the summer you can use any spare berries you may have or fruit for a sweet topping. Soften the fruit in pan over a gentle heat and enjoy the combination.
Extra bananas – keeping your bananas in the bag they come in can help keep them fresher for longer. Bananas can also be frozen for use at a later date, but the skins will turn brown.
The Sweet and Savoury – Bacon and syrup:
Combining the sweetness of syrup – maple syrup works well here – with the salty taste of bacon is an odd looking but great tasting combination.
Extra bacon – check the ‘use by’ date label on bacon so that you can use it in time, or freeze this before the end of the use by date for future use.
Whatever you do and however you roll your pancake, find yourself a simple recipe, or use a ready mix and begin to make the most of this little creation. It can use up spare ingredients and may help you reduce your food waste.
Just a pancake? No, it can be so much more.