No More Food Waste!

Your food is the best - Don't waste it - NARA ...

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So, 2012 is the year I really try to reduce the amount of food I waste. Did you know that Americans waste about a pound of food per day? Chefs try hard not to waste anything; why shouldn’t home cooks strive for the same goal?

Not wasting food is particularly difficult when you live with a picky toddler. I feel like I have to keep offering him vegetables, chicken, eggs, grains and other things that are good for him, but he will likely turn his nose up at whatever I set before him that isn’t a peanut butter sandwich. Still, I keep trying, and I am getting better at making appropriate quantities and saving what he doesn’t eat for later.

One way to reduce food waste is to think up clever things to do with leftovers. Many recipes are designed to make use of leftovers. For example, bread that is going stale can be recycled as bread crumbs, crostini, bruschetta, bread pudding, bread salad, bread soup and so on. I’m going to feature tips and recipes for using up those leftovers here as I discover them, and I hope you’ll share your tips in the comments.

Now here’s a holiday tip that is super-simple, but I honestly would never have thought of it myself (I read it in one of my new Christmas cookbooks). If you have leftover eggnog, you can recycle it as batter for French toast. Just dip the toast in the eggnog and fry in butter. I am definitely trying that this weekend!

What are your food-related goals for the new year?


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10 thoughts on “No More Food Waste!

  1. Lee Ann 28 December 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I try so hard not to waste food either. Recently I’ve had a bad cold and want to only eat soup. Between that and being away for the holidays I fear I might have to throw a lot of food out 😦 I’m hoping to maybe turn a few things into soups… 😉

  2. Kathy 28 December 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Thanks for the ideas. I tend to buy more fresh vegetables than I can use, and to cook more than we need to eat at one meal. I guess my goal is to stop going overboard when shopping and cooking. One thing, though–when I’m around, eggnog never shows up as a leftover.

  3. Shannon 29 December 2011 at 9:26 am

    Kathy-I think that’s the hardest thing, knowing how much to buy and cook so that food doesn’t spoil before you can eat it.

  4. Shannon 29 December 2011 at 9:27 am

    I can usually throw leftover meats and vegetables into a soup. Even leftover pasta or rice can go in.

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  9. alisonamazed 16 March 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Good luck with your strategy to reduce your food waste! How are you doing? I’ve not had kids so I have no idea about kids and food waste other than if they don’t eat what is given, then they must not be hungry – unless they are allergic and Mom doesn’t know – and so no need to offer anything else. oooh I would have been a tough Mom, eh?

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