With the cost of living rising, we’re all trying to keep down our bills. Food waste is one of the most common ways that people waste money. It’s also detrimental to the planet as it’s extremely resource-heavy with millions of tonnes of emissions during transportation every year.
Using up your leftovers is an easy way to ensure you waste less food each week – it’s also a chance to experiment with new dishes. Check out our top 5 leftover recipes below!
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Old school bubble & squeak
Total time required: 30 minutes
Bubble & squeak is a staple come Christmas time to use up all of those leftovers from winter warming meals like mash, sprouts and cabbage. The best part? There are only 5 simple steps!
- 1tbsp of butter
- 4 rashers of bacon, chopped
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 15-20 cooked Brussels sprouts, sliced
- Leftover boiled cabbage, shredded
- 400g cold leftover mashed potato
- Melt the butter in a pan until it gets nice and hot, then add the bacon. As it begins to brown, add the onion and garlic.
- Add the Brussels sprouts and cabbage and let it colour slightly – this should take about 5 minutes.
- Add the mashed potato and work everything together in the pan and push it down so that the mixture covers the base of the pan.
- Allow the mixture to stick to the base of the pan slightly before turning it over and doing the same again. Don’t be afraid to let the potato catch the pan and brown slightly – that’s why it’s called bubble & squeak!
- Cut it up and serve.
Escape to Tuscany with Panzanella
Total time required: 45 minutes
Dreaming of Italy and all of the delicious carbs it offers? Bring a little bit of Tuscany to you with one of its most famous dishes. It’s made with stale bread so no more throwing away the ends you didn’t eat in time!
- 100ml olive oil
- 1kg mixed tomatoes, cut in half
- 300g old sourdough or ciabatta, torn into large chunks
- 50ml red wine vinegar
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 50g anchovies, drained and chopped
- 100g black olives
- A handful of torn basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Sprinkle 1tsp sea salt over the tomatoes and let them sit for 15 minutes.
- Spread the chunks of bread out on a baking tray and toss with 1tbsp of olive oil.
- Bake until it is lightly toasted – this should take around 10-15 minutes – to make croutons.
- In a bowl, mix the remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar and shallot to make a dressing. Next, season to taste.
- Toss the anchovies, tomatoes, croutons, dressing, olives and half of the basil in a large bowl.
- Serve the Panzanella garnished with the remaining basil.
Mixed cheese pasta bake
Total time required: 1hr 30 minutes
Do you often have random cheese remains stuck at the back of your fridge? This is the recipe for you. This pasta bake uses all of them up in one dish so no more waste. Top tip: I like to put all of my cheese in a Stasher bag to maximise space in my fridge and keep it fresh for longer.
- 60ml olive oil
- 800g pasta shells
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1.1.25L single cream
- 650g mixed cheese
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Boil pasta in a large saucepan of salted water until tender – roughly 10 minutes – and drain the pasta.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, parsley and garlic and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the cream, eggs, 500g of cheese, salt and pepper to season, and stir to combine.
- Combine the pasta and cheese mixture in a large baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling.
- Let it stand for 10 minutes and then serve.
Healthy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Salad
Total time required: 25 minutes
This Vietnamese salad uses leftover chicken from the night before. It’s perfect for couples to take to work in their lunch box for a healthy leftover meal – it’s super speedy to prepare.
- 125g rice noodles
- 1/2 a cucumber, deseeded and cut into thin ribbons
- 150g leftover cooked chicken, cut into strips
- 1 carrot chopped up thinly
- 3 sprigs of mint, chopped
- A large handful of beansprouts
- 50g salted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 lime, zested and juiced
- 2 tbsp of soft brown sugar
- 2 tbsp of rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- Cook the noodles as per instructions and refresh them under cold water. Then tip into a large bowl for later. Meanwhile, blanch the beansprouts for at least 15 seconds in boiling water and allow them to cool.
- Add the cucumber ribbons, chicken, carrot, mint and beansprouts with the noodles and mix.
- Mix the lime, brown sugar, rice vinegar and fish sauce together to make a dressing. Then, pour over the salad and toss it together.
- Serve and top with chopped peanuts, extra mint and chilli
Need a sustainable lunch box for work? Huski Sustainable Lunchboxes are made from recycled rice husk that was previously destined to be burned – an environmental travesty! Made from durable, biodegradable and non-toxic material, it also has a twinned wall and two compartments to keep hot food warmer for longer and keep cold food cool.
Tasty chicken and pesto pizza
Total time required: 30 minutes
Swap the weekend pizza takeaway for homemade pizza using up leftovers from the week! You can use anything you have in the fridge but this is one of my favourites!
- 2 cooked chicken breasts or drumsticks
- 2 x ready-rolled pizza dough bases
- 65g fresh pesto
- 140g chargrilled artichokes, drained
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 20g rocket
- 20g parmesan shavings
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Cut the cooked chicken into strips, getting rid of any bones.
- Unroll the pizza bases on two baking trays (of course you can make your own dough if you want to go all out).
- Spread the pesto over the two bases and then arrange the chicken, artichokes and cherry tomatoes on top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges of the pizzas are crisp and golden.
- Scatter over the rocket and parmesan to finish. Cut it into slices and serve.
Top tip: if you want to take your pizza to lunch to enjoy the next day, we recommend using beeswax wraps to keep them fresh without harming the planet using the likes of clingfilm.
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