Waste Not! Want Not! Part Five…


Wow, some of you are real stars with your war on waste and I will say that with regards to picking up rubbish that we see we do need to be careful.

If you signed up for the monthly I value food to good to waste challenge I have reduced my waste by over 50% and going down…Mainly by planning and only buying what I need and know I am going to use and also by freezing some things which I know will spoil if I don’t use them…So in essence, I am thinking more and planning…It works!

A comment on last weeks post made me think …It came from Will Dare who has a lovely blog on music and we should all have music in our lives …Don’t you think? So please pop over and have a look at his lovely blog …Thank you, Will, and please let us know how you get on with your Sushi and that little strip of green plastic…

Hurrah that you are making changes in your daily life and also writing to raise awareness among the rest of us! I remember reading a story a while ago about the huge changes that plastic bags had brought to an island culture which for hundreds of years had used really large leaves to wrap and transport items to and from a marketplace… until some enterprising capitalist introduced plastic bags. Everyone in this culture had been accustomed to throwing their wrapping leaves by the wayside because they would soon decompose… but plastic bags don’t decompose. Rapidly this island became littered with plastic debris! Today I (somewhat ambivalently since it is indeed served in a plastic container — and right now it is a huge question mark if anyone is going to step up in the USA and start recycling all of the various plastic objects which until recently we’ve been sending to China for recycling/reuse/disposal) bought a container of vegetarian sushi for lunch. It was served with a small strip of green plastic which serves no purpose other than some sort of decoration (or nod to cultural history?) It started me thinking that grocery stores (this was a Whole Foods, now owned by Amazon) could STOP including these little pieces of green plastic trash in their packages of sushi. The next time I go there I will speak with a store manager to ask how s/he recommends I send this idea to their corporate headquarters… Obviously, this is a tiny drop in the ocean of plastic contamination on planet earth — but all of those tiny, unnecessary, purely decorative, green strips of plastic probably add up to millions per year! Thank you for blogging about this hugely important topic!!!

Comments like Will’s make my day as those of you who blog know…It makes you feel all the time you have spent agonising over a blog post is worthwhile… It also sent me hot-footing it over to the sushi counter where I purchase my sushi… I was armed with the info on the company I found online and ready with my spiel…

I didn’t need it…I was also really pleasantly surprised as a lot of plastic is used in Asia to find my tomatoes NOT in a plastic bag but in a lovely little cocoon of banana leaves…

tomatoes banana leaves

And a brown paper bag to put them in…I will still be sending a communication but one of thanks as they are making every effort to discourage the use of plastic bags…

I know not everywhere has the luxury of utilising banana leaves but there is packaging which can be used and is eco-friendly and compostable…

It took me just minutes using Google to find out who owned the company and their contact details…So please I ask you can you do the same and send a letter or e-mail it won’t take long but could make a difference …

What else can we do?

Did you know that almost none of the dates stamped on our food packaging—“best by,” “use by”—indicate safety? They are a manufacturer’s best guess for when food is at peak quality, an unregulated standard that has nothing to do with safety. Next time you think a food has “expired,” use these tips to decide if it should stay or go:

What does “peak quality” mean? For the majority of products, manufacturers use their own methods to determine what dates to list on the packaging. There’s a financial incentive for manufacturers to sell their products when they taste best so that consumers come back and buy those same products again and again. Peak quality is not a standard of microbiological safety. Rather, it is a factor defined by consumer taste testing, lab tests for shelf life and product turnover rates.

My youngest son was a prime example he drove me mad…Literally, on the stroke of midnight, he would go through the fridge and chuck anything in the bin that had that day’s date on it…Come on we all know when vegetables and fruit are inedible …He was a nightmare and the laughing-stock of his friends…He was the boy who if he said I just have to do my hair …His friends would say we will meet you there…He was the boy who sat in the car on the edge of the seat holding the seat belt away from his shirt that he had lovingly ironed as I did not do it well enough…He was the boy who when he got a cab to work and he had asked for it to be there at 7.40…If it arrived at 7.35 it had to wait …If it wasn’t there at 7.40 he was on the phone…I could go on he was the epitome of the meaning of OCD…Then he came to Thailand….Phew…No more OCD and common sense reigns supreme…

Common sense is required…Any dates are a guide purely for manufacturers and stats…We have common sense, don’t we???


Once a week have a leftover night…Get creative and please share with us…

Turn your leftover dinner into lunch the next day...With a little planning, you could create a week’s worth of taking it to work lunches.

Think ” Ingredients” not ” Leftovers”

Leftover Pasta or cooked vegetables make a Frittata.eggs garlic onions potato

  • Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 small cold potatoes  sliced
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • Few mushrooms sliced
  • Few slices of salami or chorizo
  • Grated cheddar

Let’s Cook!

Add oil to heavy-bottomed pan /skillet and add cooked sliced potatoes cover with lid or foil and cook until golden if uncooked then cook for about 10 minutes until tender but firm.
Cook salami/ chorizo…I like mine a little crispy. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until the onion softens. Add any other veg you are using I added sliced tomato but you could add anything spinach, finely sliced peppers, leftover cooked vegetables, cold sliced potatoes.
Beat eggs with milk and season well. Pour over your potatoes and vegetables and lower the heat. Add grated cheese. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the eggs are set. Turn out onto a plate and cut into portions. Serve with a mixed salad and crusty bread.

Blend cooked vegetables with some tomatoes and make a sauce for pasta, Leftover rice then create some burritos with some meat and vegetables, top with sour cream and salsa…

Think soup… The steamed, roasted or grilled vegetables that you served as a side dish one night can become soup on another day. In a blender, puree the vegetables with 3 or 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth, then warm the soup in a pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and finish the soup with a bit of pesto, olive oil or croutons.

There are so many ways you can use leftovers without just throwing them away you can in effect make a tasty meal out of virtually nothing.

What do you make with your leftovers?

Thank you so much for reading and your comments are invited…xxx

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

19 thoughts on “Waste Not! Want Not! Part Five…

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  3. olganm

    Thanks for the wise advice and suggestions, Carol. Unless when I check the food I see it is off, I pay no attention to dates. My mother is a big fan of soups, whilst I have yet to meet an ingredient that does not go well in a salad. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Darlene

    We have a leftover night once a week. It’s fun to see what we can come up with. My grandmother used to make leftovers out of leftovers. I come by it naturally. And those best before dates? Some common sense is required.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      It certainly is Darlene and like you I learnt from my grandmother and mother it is also fun and some great meals come from leftovers…Yes indeed common sense.. 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Which is exactly what everyone should do..Tori it depends how you store things I think which also has a bearing 🙂 Thank you for dropping in and joining the conversation 🙂


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