It’s Food Waste Friday! And I had a pretty marvy-fab week.

by Kristen on January 17, 2014 · 27 comments

in Food Waste Friday

Every week, I post a picture of the food that has gone bad over the last seven days. Why do I do this? Because in March of 2008, I finally got fed up with the amount of food I was wasting, and I thought that showing my waste to other people would motivate me to use up my food instead of wasting it. Because this often embarrassing practice was so helpful for me, I invited other bloggers to join me in posting their food waste photos, and Food Waste Friday was born.

First the not-so-marvy-fab part:

I found these two almost-empty jars of tomato sauce (the very tasty organic kind from Aldi’s Simply Nature brand) in the back of my fridge, and they are not fit for human consumption.

moldy tomato sauce

I almost never waste tomato sauce, because I usually make pizza weekly. But the last few Fridays have been a little crazy, and we’ve ended up picking up pizza instead. This tomato sauce casualty is the result.

But I currently have two batches of thin crust pizza dough in my fridge, so I am guaranteed not to opt for takeout tonight!

So, now for the more cheerful parts of the week:

I made a fruit and yogurt smoothie to use up some leftover pineapple that had gotten a little bit soft.

fruit smoothie

I made a pot of broth, using some turkey parts I froze at Thanksgiving and some chicken bones that were left when I deboned chicken thighs for Teriyaki Chicken.

homemade chicken broth

And I made some butternut squash soup, using a slightly old squash. But the real food waste win here is that when I blended up the squash, I threw in some leftover sweet potatoes. I’m pretty sure they would not have been eaten otherwise, as they were looking a little less than appetizing (they weren’t moldy…they just didn’t look delicious!)

butternut squash soup

The soup was delicious, though, and it is entirely gone. So, yay!

(By the way, I’ll announce the winner of the Kindle at noon today, and also in that post, I’ll also share a moral conundrum I’m trying to think through, and I’d love your thoughts/feedback.)

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Joshua’s 365 post: Claws

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jo@simplybeingmum January 17, 2014 at 8:13 am

‘pretty marvy’ is a much better description that ‘good’ which is how I described my endeavours this week. I guess I’m just not in the groove this Friday ;-)
Talking about Aldi and also pizza dough – I discovered a fantastic new product in Aldi UK. Fresh pizza dough, rolled – for 99p. Now this isn’t as frugal as making your own but I’ve struggled the last couple of weeks to make it and have bought ready-made bases and then topped them myself. And I’m just not as organised as you Kristen to freeze my own!
This is a great compromise. And if I’m not very much mistaken it’s square when rolled out. Bonus. I really wish more things in life were square. I truly believe this would create less waste. More square cake tins so they fit inside cupboards better and stack – saving space. Square crockpots so slow-cooked lasagne looks like lasagne and not just a mound of pasta,cheese and mince! Anyhow I digress. Bit bored today hence the rambling…

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2 elizabeth January 17, 2014 at 9:21 am

Yes, prepackaged pizza dough is usually square or rectangular. I do agree that square is often better…less wasted space. I make our pizza dough in my bread maker 2 pounds at a time but am completely useless at making a nice round pizza so ours look suspiciously about the size and shape of the cookie sheets I bake them on.

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3 SandyH January 17, 2014 at 9:33 am

I’m baking a square cake today! Breaks up the monotony, plus I h
ave a cute square cake stand I want to put it on!

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4 AFS January 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Professionally speaking, a round cake is WAY easier than a square version, no corners to fiddle with trying to make them look straight & sharp.

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5 WilliamB January 17, 2014 at 9:41 am

Things baked in round pans don’t burn at the corners.

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6 Danelle - Tattered Treasures January 17, 2014 at 8:16 am

This is such a fabulous idea. It keeps you accountable for all of your waste. I remember finding your blog awhile ago, but for some reason haven’t seen it recently. Thanks for the reminder that I have to start doing this again. Have a great weekend.

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7 Meagan Francis January 17, 2014 at 8:20 am

Hiya Kristen! Seeing this post show up in my email today reminded me that I’ve been meaning to ask you/your readers a question. How do you keep up with JARS? In addition to the eighteen million canning jars I have in rotation at any given time – which we happily use as drinking glasses, I like how they come in several sizes and are practically indestructible – I feel like every day we empty at least one item that comes in a glass jar – stuff like spaghetti sauce, olives, etc. They seem so potentially useful, in all those various sizes and shapes, and I hate to toss them in the recycling bin, but I am getting overwhelmed by JARS!

I need some kind of a system for storing them while I’m figuring out what to do with them, and also some good ideas for practical uses that are really NEEDED (and not just me trying valiantly to use a jar by using it in some way it doesn’t need to be used, if you catch my drift.) Do you or your readers have any ideas for me?

Or do you just toss them in the bin guilt-free?

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8 WilliamB January 17, 2014 at 9:40 am

If I decide that I don’t need to keep it, I toss it in the recycling guilt-free. (Note: in my opinion, my roommate hoards jars so I actually toss them in the recycling with delight. But that’s not quite what you meant.)

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9 Kristen January 17, 2014 at 9:55 am

Yup, I do recycle them, unless I’m running low on canning jars (like if they happen to be all full of tomatoes, applesauce, and broth.)

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10 Lili@creativesavv January 17, 2014 at 10:20 am

I organize a lot of small things in jars. My desk has paper clips, rubber bands, twist ties, etc all in jars. The garage has nails, screws and other hardware of various sizes all in jars. My sewing area has jars of thread, needles, sewing machine tools, pins, chalk, measuring tapes, all in their own jars. My craft area has jars filled with glue sticks, pom poms, feathers, faux green pieces, confetti, markers, rubber stamps, etc. My daughters have their hair accessories in a couple of jars. I use jars to store leftovers, spices, small amounts of pasta, beans and popcorn. I’ve found jars to be a real help in getting small stuff kept sorted.

In summer, if I have a surplus of jars, I put a large box of jars with their lids out in a free pile, and they almost always get picked up. I’m glad to have other people make use of them.

And those jars that I just can’t use, and can’t give away, I take to the recyclers when I take my cans, and I get money for the glass. It’s not a lot, but it is something.

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11 Live and Learn-Toss and Turn January 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I’m surprised you can get money for your glass. Some places won’t even take glass for recycling anymore because there’s not a market for it.

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12 Lili@creativesavv January 18, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Live and learn, I wonder if it’s a regional thing. We have a recycler fairly close to our home that caters, in part, to industrial recycling. On their list is every kind of metal I could imagine, plus glass, plus cardboard. For the glass and cardboard, it’s just pennies. I try to give the jars away, as much as possible, as I think that’s better overall to have them reused.

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13 Marie January 17, 2014 at 8:30 am

Maybe you already know this…but you can freeze pasta sauce.

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14 Kristen January 17, 2014 at 9:54 am

I do! I just didn’t pay enough attention and I kept thinking I would make pizza.

And then I didn’t.

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15 Battra92 January 17, 2014 at 8:38 am

Wait, when did you buy a Vitamix?

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16 elizabeth January 17, 2014 at 9:14 am

We hadn’t had any food waste in months. And last night I forgot I put dinner leftovers in a container on the counter (Leftovers intentionally made for today’s lunch) and I didn’t check the kitchen before I went to bed. I came down this morning and there waiting for me was a container of BBQ meatballs and potatoes. So sad. Several servings gone and I have to figure something out for lunch :(

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17 Sarah G. January 17, 2014 at 9:19 am

I see you bought a Vitamix!

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18 Kristen January 17, 2014 at 7:12 pm

I did! It’s been about a year now (I bought it with Christmas money in January 2013.)

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19 Katie January 17, 2014 at 1:09 pm

I had some cucumber and red pepper left over from veggie wraps. The cuke was slimy and had to go, but I’m eating the rest of the pepper right now!

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20 AFS January 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm

One of your pictures shows you filling a mason jar with your chicken/turkey stock. Did you can the stock?
Or did you just use mason jars to store it in the fridge or freezer?
If you did can it, how did you process it. Cold water bath or pressure canner?
I have so little freezer space that I’d love to store broth in the pantry rather than use up valuable freezer space.

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21 Kristen January 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

No, I just froze it. I use the stock so frequently, it’s not a big deal to defrost it, and I do have a chest freezer. If I didn’t, though, I’d be sorely tempted to can it!

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22 Lazy Lady January 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

No food wast for me this week! Yay!

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23 Lazy Lady January 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Ooops, meant to say “waste”.

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24 Joanna Euans January 17, 2014 at 5:51 pm

I made molasses bran muffins to use up the crumbs of raisin bran cereal accumulated at the bottom of the bag! Just posted on the blog to share. Love your inspiration for zero waste!

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25 CeCee January 18, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Hmmm. Food Waste. Well its been an interesting week here. We are doing our biannual pantry challenge. So we try to work through as much of the food in our deep freeze and pantry as possible. I always start the challenge with a deep clean and inventory. Since the last time we did a challenge I’ve bought a dry erase board that I have up next to the freezer to keep inventory on so that was good. The pantry on the other hand…. not so much… I tossed a couple of bags of chips and boxes of cereal with NOTHING left in them. It literally was a handful of chips at most that we just didn’t finish. WTH?? I also tossed some stale marshmallows and a pack of pretzels that expired 6 months ago.

BUT I have a great food save story. We had been eating kind of the same thing over and over. That happens in a pantry challenge sometimes. You end up using the “easy” recipes first. I was getting to the point where ingredients were getting scarce, and I found a crockpot BBQ chicken recipe that involved making your own sauce. I had ALL of the ingredients needed…. SCORE…. Quick and easy dinner right? WRONG!! I don’t know what I did, but the sauce went awry. It was just awful, and I used these two beautiful bone-in chicken breast. So I did what any rational person would do, I put the lid on it and stuck it in my refrigerator for two days and acted like it didn’t exist. Finally on the third day I decided I had to do SOMETHING with it. So I stared at it for twenty minutes, then it came to me. I rinsed all of the sauce off of the chicken that I could-which took forever- and made soup with it! It was actually pretty good. So I now have a crockpot catastrophe soup recipe… Big food save.

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26 WilliamB January 19, 2014 at 2:41 pm

I wasted most of a pound of mushrooms (the salvagable ones went into a stir-fry) and 3 cubic inches of tofu.

I also did a great deal of meal prep for the week and I poked around in the fridge-freezer to clear out random stuff.

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27 Katie @ The Surly Housewife January 23, 2014 at 12:06 am

I have had minimal food waste lately. Mostly its leftovers from my kids supper. If they don’t eat all their soup, for example, I will put it in a separate container, but I am so bad about reheating it again for them! I don’t know if I am giving them too big of a portion, or it just something I have to live with lol. Any ideas?

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