Waste not, Want not

As the weekly shop cripples more families and fuel bills continue to rise, where possible housewives are having to look for new areas to save a few pennies. Funnily enough, it’s reverting back to grandma’s cook book.

This is how to be leftover savvy (and I’ll keep updating this as I discover more tips . . . so check back when you have a moment)

Leftover: Roast Chicken

The options for this are endless. Firstly. Straight after your roast dinner, don’t be throwing away that carcass. Instead turn it into stock or a filling, wholesome Chicken Broth.

The leftover meat can be a wonderful addition to weekday lunchboxes in sandwiches or salads. Knock up the perfect 10 minute monday night tea: Thai green stir fry with noodles – our favourite is Sainsbury’s stir fry sauce, meaning you can feed 2 for £2.50. Or how about a classic chicken risotto?

Leftover: Bananas
Firstly. Here’s a tip. Don’t throw away browning bananas. Instead, pop them in the freezer, whole and with their skins on. They will turn black on the outside, but when they’re defrosted and you have removed the skins, they will be perfect. They are then ideal for banana steamed pudding with toffee sauce; good ol’ fashioned banana bread; breakfast muffins.


Leftover: Lemons
Don’t throw away your lemons. Chop them up and add to an ice-cube tray, top up with water and freeze. never again will your G&T go without a lemon again!

Leftover: Whisked Eggs
Every time I glaze a pie, I always think it’s a hideous waste that the whisked egg goes in the bin. Thank you hairy bikers for this tip. Freeze your leftover egg in an ice-cube tray. One block is perfect for one pie. And it only takes about 15 minutes to defrost.

Leftover: Pastry
All the odds and ends from making pies etc, roll up into a ball and pop in the freezer. Perfect for adhoc jam tarts.

Leftover: Ham
Again. So many options. But we love ham and pea pasta. Or our Shrove Tuesday tradition of cheesy pancakes with ham and leeks.

Leftover: Red Wine
Similar to the eggs, get another ice-cube tray on the go, but this time fill it up with leftover red wine (which is very rare in our house).  When you’re rustling up a spag bol or some gravy, pop in a couple of wine cubes to fancy it up a bit without opening up a whole new bottle or wasting that Chateauneuf-du-pape!  Fabulous.

Leftover: Green Chillis (or any colour for that matter)
I think this humble housewife lark is finally becoming useful.  Hubby makes a mean Thai Green Curry, he’s cooking one tonight, but he hates, hates, hates that when you buy green chillis, whether it’s from the supermarket of the greengrocer, you can never just buy one.  It’s always a bag of half a dozen or so.  Unfortunately, we don’t eat that much hot food, so they normally end up sitting in the fridge and then I find them all furry when I do the monthly fridge clean out.  Nice!

So, this time, hubby actually asked me to research how to preserve chillies.  And therefore, this is dedicated to you oh hubby-of-mine.  I found various recipes for chilli oil and vinegar etc.  But we wouldn’t really use those.  Instead, we just want chillies to use in curry or similar.  I don’t want to fanny around drying them either.  So, how happy was I to discover you can simply freeze them?  Here’s how (apparently good for all chilli types):

  1. First prep the chilli.  Prepare them like you would for your food.  So in our case it would be to de-seed them and chop them – this makes them already prepared for when you’ll need them next.
  2. Once prepped, pop them in an ice-cube tray with a dash of water until frozen.
  3. When they’ve solidified, tip them into a freezer bag.
  4. Now, here’s the important bit, obviously you don’t want the rest of your food in the fridge getting chillified, so make sure you double, if not triple bag the chilli ice cubes.   This also stops them getting freezer burn and losing their flavour.

Triple bagged, they should last 6 months to a year. 

To use them, just thaw them 30 minutes or so before you cook.  Or just chuck them in frozen – whatever your cooking will thaw them out.

2 thoughts on “Waste not, Want not

  1. Pingback: Nanas! | ahumblehousewife

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