12 Months of Sustainable Living / Food Waste

The Ultimate Zero Food Waste Meal: Pasta!

The Ultimate Leftover Meal Pasta

Have you ever stopped and had a look at the amount of food that goes to waste in your fridge because you forgot about it or because too little was left over to make a whole new meal? Have you ever thought about the number of food pieces you throw away when preparing meals?

Both of these are forms of food waste on our own homes that we frequently overlook because we believe we’ve used the majority of the food. The ease of throwing away leftovers and food cut offs has become a habit made possible by the bin being so readily available in our kitchen, but it doesn’t have to be. There are simple ways for us to cut down on Food Waste in our kitchens. From campaigns such as Love Food Hate Waste’s ComplEATing it, to the mountain of leftover food recipes, there are more options to ensure we create zero food waste than you might think.

Bowl of leftovers to use in our Sunday pasta dish.

Eating Your Whole Plate

It’s all slicing and dicing when preparing meals, but as we do this we also cut off a lot of the nutrients from food. Although many of these skins, stems and leaves don’t taste too good eaten raw, they are perfect when added into meals along with their traditional cut pieces.

Two of our favourite non-traditional food pieces to use are:

Banana Peel in Your Smoothie: You won’t eat the banana with its peel on, but so much of the natural fibre and nutrients of the banana sit in its skin. Best way to cut down on wasting the peel, and consume these nutrients is to cut the banana into pieces with the skin on and add it as is to your smoothie. It gives it that extra bit of creaminess too.

Keep Your Potato Peels On: We’ve all seen the images of people sitting next to a mountain of potatoes, peeling away, but really there’s no need to remove the potato skins. When we were children my gran used to make us fried potato chips with the peels still on and we called it “health chips”. There was nothing healthy about the deep fried potato, but they were deliciously crispy, AND cut down on food waste as well.

Other foods you might unknowingly not be using the whole food item of could be:

  • Bread – the crusts at the ends are great toasted
  • Mushrooms – the stems
  • Broccoli – the stems as well
  • Leeks and spring onion greens – the white bits
  • Orange and lemon peels – you can keep these to use in baking or making your own tea as long as it’s in an air tight container
Pasta is the ultimate zero waste, leftover meal.
Pasta a la all the Leftovers

Creating New Meals with Left Overs

The best way to make sure you don’t end up throwing away those leftovers at the end of each week, is to make one new leftover meal a week. And the best meal for this is, Pasta!

It was a big mind shift for me from throwing away leftovers to keeping it and actually incorporating it into new meals. In a way though, I feel that adding the leftovers into new meals instead of just eating them in the same form for a second or third time, makes it feel less like leftovers and more like living sustainably with your food.

We love making a leftover pasta meal, using everything in our fridge, on a Sunday to make sure we don’t have to throw away any food. Really anything goes for these pasta dishes. Some couscous from the week before, add it, some leftover mushrooms from breakfast, add it, some extra veggie cuts off we didn’t use in a meal, add that too!

The important thing is to have a tomato base for your sauce and from there basically anything can go. This is my husband’s perfect pasta sauce base you can try out for your next Leftover Lovers Pasta:

1 Tin of tomato paste

Half cup of pasta water

1 Tin of tomato and onion mix

1 tps Pepper

1 tps Cumin

1 tps Garlic

1 tsp Mixed herbs

½ tsp Cayenne pepper

If you’re looking for more inspiration have a look at the recipes on the Love Food Hate Waste website (https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/).

Hi, I'm Andri. A 20-something creative, content creator, writer, reader, traveler, healthy living enthusiast and eco warrior! My day job is in digital publishing, but just like The Loud Library, I am full of contradictions. I love my bunny rabbit Olive, cows and sharing my journey to rediscover my spark.

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