This week has been zero waste week, I’ve been remiss in marking it on the blog but not at all remiss in observing my part of it at home
I think I might even be an Ambassador for ZWW which makes my shame all the greater. Quick go over there and check out the cool stuff I keep forgetting to blog about!
I chose to focus on food because whilst I work hard to reduce waste there are always things I could do better and new tips and tricks to try out. This culminated in an ultimate Zero Waste Meal that I am incredibly proud of because almost all the ingredients were grown or made by me!
The meal was Potato and Kale stew and my ingredients looks liked this:
Shallots (grown by us)
Garlic (grown and preserved by my Dad)
Cavelo Nero (grown by us)
Potatoes (grown by us)
Borlotti Beans (grown by us)
Parma Ham (grown and made by us)
Leftover shredded chicken (remnants of 4 chicken carcasses I used for stock)
2 cubes of chicken stock (made by me, reduced until concentrated and frozen in ice cube trays)
1.2 litres of whey (leftover from cheesemaking I used it to rehydrate the stock cubes)
Smoked Paprika (shop bought)
Olive Oil (shop bought)
The method was pretty simple after that..
Fry the shallots and garlic in the oil until softened and add the potatoes and ham. Then add the paprika, chicken, whey and stock cubes and simmer for about 20 mins or until the potatoes are done. Then add the cavelo nero (destalked and roughly chopped) and the beans – cook for another 10 mins. Voila!
It was incredibly flavourful and highly nutritious with all the extra protein from the whey and of course that Superfood darling – Kale!
Growing your own food is really waste saving in so many ways, there is no packaging and no air miles, you only pick exactly what you need so nothing rots in the veg drawer and any trimmings can go on the compost heap to be put back into the soil.
Over the week I’ve been looking out for more food waste saving tips to pop down here:
1. Chillis – my chilli plants failed this year so I’ve had to buy them from the Supermarket. I always get more than I need in a pack. So I read online that you can just throw chillis straight in the freezer in a container and when you need them, get them out and use them as if they were fresh. I have about 4 chillis in the freezer right now!
2. Milk – I over ordered milk recently and ended up with double what I needed. I froze one of the bottles and use the other to make Paneer Cheese. I used this blog post and the final recipe in it is for Queso Blanco which (as it turns out) is the same as paneer! I used some of the whey in the above stew instead of water and the rest I’m freezing in portions for baking.
3. Preserving – as a Gardner with a lot of fruit trees at this time of year I am rushed off my feet trying to preserve the harvest. Currently I’ve made two plum cakes, 7lbs of Damson Jam and nearly 3 litres of Blackberry Cordial. There is much more to come this weekend. There are lots of good jam and chutney recipes online and if you use homegrown or foraged produced they will often cost pennies. Our 3 litres of Blackberry Cordial cost under a £1. I can’t bear to see blackberries rotting in the hedgerows near to a supermarket where they are being sold at £1.75 for 150g!
4. Pizza Sauce – I love this idea by A Girl Called Jack for making pizza out of leftovers. I often have a couple of tablespoons of veggie stew, chilli, bolognese leftover and nothing to do with it. How come I didn’t realise I could use it as pizza sauce!