Of banana muffins and cilantro and blackberries and cucumbers…

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.

I like to get the bad news out of the way first.

The moldy sliced potatoes are a long story…I tried a sweet potato/potato gratin recipe, but ended up not needing all the sliced potatoes, and I rescued the extra sweet potato slices but not the potato slices.

rotten cucumber

And the cucumber…well, I forgot about it.

The end of this cilantro bunch got slimy and dried out because I somehow forgot to put it in the fridge.

dried cilantro


I am redeeming myself! Look in the fridge.

properly stored cilantro

Do you see that properly stored cilantro up on the top shelf? It’s in a mug with a little bit of water and a plastic bag over top, and it’s doing really well.

(Also, do you notice that my fridge is awfully empty? Life keeps getting in the way of grocery shopping this week.)

In other redeeming news, I shredded leftover chicken and combined it with BBQ sauce and my children ate it right up.

I also froze some slightly squishy fruit to put in smoothies.

freezing soft fruit

And I made a batch of banana muffins to use up some banana puree I had in the freezer.

banana muffins

My kids are especially big fans of that last waste-avoidance technique. ;)


How did you do this week? If you blogged about your food waste, link us up by entering your info into the widget below. You’ll save money, reduce your trash output, and get a little publicity for your blog! And if you don’t blog, you can still share about your food waste by leaving a comment.

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    • Kristen says

      Milk freezes pretty well, so you could always divide it up after you buy it and freeze half.

      Milk rarely goes bad around here either! The problem is more than we run out unexpectedly.

  1. Lori C. says

    So that’s how you store cilantro!! I use cilantro weekly and almost always end up throwing part of it away. Thanks!!

    • says

      When I have left over cilantro I chop it and freeze it in a zip top bag. Then when I need it to put in soup or a couple of tablespoons to throw in a curry I just scoop the frozen stuff out of the bag. I do the same with parsley.

  2. WilliamB says

    I did pretty well this week: 1/2 c. chopped melon.

    No super saves this week but a past super save – Use It Up Soup (that rescused almost-bad chix) + Onion Ragu Sauce (the rescue of mushy spaghetti squash) worked out quite well and has been my lunch several times this week.

    Warning: 2 bunches of asparagus. I bought them for dinner with a friend, then friend asked to bring a side dish and guess what he brought?

  3. says

    We eat a lot of our meals in the campus dining hall, so there is less to waste… but my husband cooked a whole pound of spaghetti promising that he would eat the leftovers himself. There are in the fridge looking gross.

    On the plus side, the dining hall had a bunch of overripe bananas that everyone was walking by in favor of the slightly green ones. I rescued three; I put one in my boys’ peanut-butter-chocolate-chip oatmeal and froze the other two for smoothies. So I did my part to prevent institutional food waste!

    • WilliamB says

      Two thoughts that might help:
      1. Tossing spaghetti with a bit of oil helps it not get gross in the fridge.
      2. Spaghetti, cut into smaller pieces, is a great input into a fritatta.

  4. says

    I lurve a fridge photo – and yours is looking good!

    Busy week over at Chez Wright. Lot’s of birthday baking. Fortunately it hasn’t taken it’s toll on my potential food waste…

    Have a great weekend y’all. The sun is shining in the UK (I’ve even been spotted sporting a pair of flip-flops) :-)

  5. says

    Put that shredded BBQ chicken in a wrap with some cheese and greens and it is so tasty! We’ve been eating wraps (BBQ chicken and coleslaw, mmm!) and leftovers for lunch to keep food from being wasted. Last night we had what we call “Leftover Extravaganza” for dinner. That’s when we heat up all the leftovers that are going to go bad and eat them for dinner. It’s nice to revisit your favorite meal(s) from the week. Sadly, that container of leftover broccoli in the back of the fridge got missed and has to go in the compost bin. Otherwise, we did pretty good this week!

    • Susanna says

      the only time we had leftovers was on fend for yourself Sunday evening and even that wasn’t all the time – my mom didn’t keep leftovers very long and a lot of our meals were quick things that we didn’t have many leftovers from. I LOVE leftovers- esp someone else’s LOL- coworker I was with a few years ago used to bring me meatloaf and stew she had left from meals and needed to use up before they went bad. of course once her teen son moved in and her daughter’s boyfriend hung out there a lot I was cut off…

  6. Katie Dorans says

    You can freeze your cooked spaghetti!! We often have spaghetti nights at our church and we were given this tip by a chef who says a number of restaurants use this system. A few days before your event, precook spaghetti in salted water to al dente, strain and add a small amount of oil, just enough to coat when tossed. Then put in large freezer bags and freeze until you’re ready to use. On the day, take out of the freezer about an hour or so before you need it. Pour over boiling water to reheat, then drain. Perfect pasta every time. Well maybe not perfect, but we get no complaints and many come back for seconds! Now I freeze left over pasta at home rather than tossing it out or having to eat it for two or three days in a row!

  7. Rebecca says

    I’m getting better with my food waste, but just today I threw out a moldy lemon, moldy feta cheese and a very questionable 1/2 breast of chicken. Makes me sad.

    The good news is I froze some steak and other chicken and I have plans for roasting the veggies still left in the fridge.

  8. says

    I had a lot of waste this week. Some 5 very old rotting apples, 3 sausages, half a pan of lasagna (new recipe, too meaty and salty). I do have a lot of really black bananas on the counter. Today they will be used for muffins so I can rescue them from the bin.

  9. Susanna says

    I’ve been trying not to have food waste but haven’t been as successful as I’d like. On the ‘plus’ side of needing a new fridge I think I’ve found a way to avoid a lot of it – currently I have a top freezer fridge but my next one I’m strongly leaning to bottom freezer so all the fridge stuff is higher up and more visible. too hard for me to get on the floor and back up while searching for stuff that gets ‘lost’. now I’m not thrilled shelling out money for a new fridge but his one is 14 yrs old and I’ve been fighting the freezer door/seals for a while plus a shelf broke and it’s just not working too well for me. plus I want to go to stainless(which means saving up to replace everything eventually LOL but the dishwasher is acting up as well plus a rack broke in it- not sure how but it did…)

  10. Stephanie says

    I’m doing much better! I tossed about 1/4 of a bag of was-fresh spinach that, frankly, was not in great shape to start with. Unfortunately I had to toss an entire crustless quiche. I’m still trying to find a good all purpose gluten-free flour. The one I used in the quiche turned the whole thing into a thick latex when baked. There was no saving it.

  11. says

    I can be so bad about wasting food some times. Whether it’s because I make too much of a recipe (especially if it’s a new recipe I’m trying out) or because I haven’t gotten around to using an item by the “best before” date. Now that I’m trying to live a frugal life (which I blog about my experiences and tips on my website, Frugality Wise) I’m trying to curb my food waste habits!

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