If you love food and hate the idea of wasting anything then I am starting a series of ‘Waste Not Want Not’ blog posts, in honour of the ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ national campaign to get people shopping and cooking smart to prevent food waste and save people money.
In the UK the average household throws away £480 of food waste per year (£680 for a family with 2 children) and almost half of this is estimated to be food that we could have eaten. The foods we waste the most are vegetables, fruit, drinks and bakery items such as bread and cakes. A lot of the wastage is down to either preparing too much food and having to throw it away or buying too much food in the first place.
The Love Food Hate Waste website has some brilliant ideas, including recipes and ways to store food better, to prevent waste and save us all money.
Here are my suggestions for something that tends to sit in the fridge for a long time in our house….the humble jar of mint sauce (please note, this is not the same as mint jelly – mint sauce is more of a vinegar-based dressing usually used with lamb).
1. Courgette and mint salad
- Trim the ends off 1 courgette and grate it lengthways into wide(ish) strips.
- Thinly slice 4 spring onions.
- Make a dressing out of 1 tsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar, 2-3 tsp. lemon juice (fresh or bottled), fresh black pepper and a tsp. of mint sauce.
- Mix courgette into the dressing.
- You could add bits of diced red pepper too.
2. Pea, Mint and Ham Soup
This is a recipe I have previously posted on Relish Health’s blog (September 2013)
3. Yogurt and mint dip
Mix 4 tbsps of low fat plain or greek yogurt with 1 tsp of mint sauce, 1 tsp lemon juice, ¼ – ½ tsp of ground chilli powder and a handful of coriander chopped fine.
Use this as a salad dressing for tinned chickpeas mixed up with diced spring onions, red pepper, and shredded roast chicken or as a dip for falafel or samosas. If you want to have a thinner sauce, blend – it will go a nice shade of green.
4. Mix 1/2 – 1 tsp. of mint sauce into a portion of fresh or frozen garden peas to serve as a side to your sunday roast.
5. Mix 1/2 – 1 tsp. of mint sauce with 1/2 – 1tsp of melted butter or olive-oil based spread. Dress some boiled new potatoes with this mixture and serve with your sunday roast or on the side of some baked or grilled white fish (haddock, cod, bass, bream, etc.)
There was a chill back in the UK air again this morning (at least in Yorkshire) and it felt kinda autumnal again which to me means only one thing for lunch….SOUP!
This is a really quick, classic, tasty soup to make with ingredients that you are likely to have in stock in your kitchen cupboards and freezers. Peas are a really excellent source of fibre which is helpful in regulating blood glucose levels, keeping cholesterol levels normal and keeping your bowels regular. In addition peas also contain plenty of vitamins including decent levels of iron, calcium, zinc and Vitamin C.
You could make this soup vegetarian by leaving out the ham or gammon. If you want to make alterations to the meaty elements you could use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock and substitute the ham or gammon for shredded bacon rashers (grilled before adding to the soup).
1 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil (10g)
1 small chilli, deseeded and chopped fine
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 small onions, chopped fine (120g)
1 litre vegetable stock (made with 1 x 10g stock cube)
450g frozen peas
1-2 tablespoons of fresh or frozen mint leaves, chopped fine (20g)
1 tsp. mint sauce
100g thick cut, pre-cooked good quality lean ham or gammon, cut into cubes
Ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for approximately 30 seconds, just to infuse the oil with some flavour.
- Add the chopped onion and fry for 8-10 minutes or until softened and browned slightly.
- Add the stock with the peas and fresh mint. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes – to cook the peas.
- Stir in the fresh mint, mint sauce and black pepper.
- Remove approximately one quarter of the soup and use a blender to blend the remaining three quarters.
- Mix all of the soup back together. Return to the heat, add the ham cubes and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes.
Energy 755 kcal (3159 kJ)
Total sugars 19.0g
Per Serving (Serves 4)
Energy 189 kcal (790 kJ)
Total sugars 4.8g
1 x tbsp. of reduced fat crème fraiche = 70 kcal / 293 kJ
1 x tbsp. of low fat natural yogurt = 25 kcal / 105 kJ
A crusty roll = 130 kcal / 545 kJ