I’ve posted some how-tos before on the topic of avoiding food waste, but I thought it might be helpful to show you some of the ways those ideas work themselves out in my life. So, here you are(with pictures, of course!).
First up is a picture of some random bits of food that I had in my fridge. I looked in at lunchtime as I usually do, checking to see if there are any leftovers which need to be eaten. When I saw these four things(rice, black beans, green onions, and cilantro pesto), it occurred to me that they could be combined.
This was actually pretty tasty, both cold and hot.
While peering into my fridge, I noticed half of a tomato. Being a winter tomato, it wasn’t particularly appetizing even when it was fresh, and by this point in time, it was a little past fresh. Oftentimes when I find produce in my fridge that isn’t fit to be eaten raw, I try to think of a way to cook it.
Tomatoes are pretty easy to use up…I chop them(unpeeled) and cook them in a pan for 10 minutes, or until they’re soft. I then puree the mixture in my food processor and mix it in with a jar of tomato sauce(since I make pizza so often, I generally have an open jar in my refrigerator). This works with grape or cherry tomatoes that have gone a little soft, and no peeling is necessary.
Lastly, I noticed a leftover sweet potato. It was a little too dry to eat on its own, so I mashed it up and combined it with a bit of frozen squash that I’d found during my freezer clean-out. I then put it back in the fridge to made into muffins at breakfast.
Obviously we’re not talking about enormous savings here…a tomato, a sweet potato, some rice, and some beans, and some cilantro aren’t worth a lot of money. They’re cheap foods to begin with, and the quantities here were small. As I’ve said before, though, small things add up in the long run. Also, the habits and skills you acquire by doing this with small bits of food can be applied and used with more expensive foods and with larger quantities as well.
Plus, it’s awfully thrilling to take trash-bound food and turn it into something tasty. 😉