Sorting The Fridge
Hey MOB - it’s Soph. Today we are ‘sorting the fridge’, an activity which just so happens to be one of my favourite forms of procrastination. A sure sign that I am edging scarily closer to becoming thirty (bleak) and that I can’t stand food waste.
You see, however unsexy rearranging the fridge may be, it is a sure-fire way of stopping food from unnecessarily ending up in the bin. Knowing what you already have means you can plan a meal around those ingredients that need using up. Rather than seeing a hodgepodge of different ingredients as a daunting cooking task think of it as a way to increase your confidence as a cook, giving you license to be the most creative. If in doubt I always return to a variation of the same three things.
An absolute MOB classic; practically everything goes with eggs. Fry whatever withering vegetables you have with some garlic and spices, whack on the grill then whisk up the eggs. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, grate over some cheese if you like, season and grill until cooked through.
Old veg + protein + garlic/ginger/spices + carb = banging dinner. This is a great one for using up ends of a curry paste jar or some mango chutney.
I’m not talking iceberg lettuce and some sad cold tomatoes here, although if that’s your vibe then you do you. Roast up some veg with spices, add a protein, a handful of cooked carbs then whisk yourself up a dressing. For dressings you can’t go wrong with a 2:1 ratio of oil to acid. You can replace the oil with something creamy like mayo, tahini or even yogurt if you like.
Stop Herb Waste With The Green Sauce
Even if you end up making something which is a bit weird (we’ve all been there) you’ll still have the satisfaction of having tried something new, saved some money and stopped food waste.
When we asked what fresh ingredients tend to be wasted the most, herbs came out top every time.
It makes sense. You buy a bag of parsley for a recipe, only use half and then forget about it. Next time you look you find it in one slimy mess. Not any more MOB - if there is one tip I can give you that not only stops food waste but also maximises on flavour it is to get into making green sauces.
You can change up the flavours every time as long as you follow this simple equation: green herb (parsley/coriander/mint/basil/dill) + flavouring (ginger/garlic/chilli/spices) + body (oil/mayo/yogurt) + acid (lemon/lime/vinegar) + seasoning (salt/anchovies/caper) = FLAVOUR.
Blitz up a green sauce whenever your fresh herbs are looking a little tired (stalks and all for everything but mint) and guaranteed you’ll be drizzling it on everything. A green sauce will happily last in the fridge for 3 days, perfect for making a quick lunch way more exciting.
Save Your Cheese
Another prime waste contender is cheese. To make cheese last longer take it out of its sweaty wrapper and put it in a reusable container instead. It needs room to breathe.
For feta if you’ve only used some of the pack, break the rest into pieces and stuff into a jar then pour over a good glug of olive oil and season with pinch of dried oregano and/or chilli flakes. Marinated like this, it will not only last for the rest of the week, it will be tastier.
Say Goodbye To Condiment Waste
Lastly let’s talk condiments. You know that area in the fridge which you don’t really want to look at because there are so many opened jars…
First you need to have a sort out. If there are any condiments clearly sprouting mould, rinse out the jar and repurpose for something else (a pot for overnight oats for example). Then with the remaining condiments, set yourself a challenge to plan a meal that week around using one up.
Take BBQ sauce, pour it over sausages 3/4 way through roasting for ultimate spicy stickiness. Or for a half-opened jar of chutney, grab yourself a roll of puff pastry and bake for 20 minutes at 200C/180C Fan then spread over the chutney along with any other cooked toppings and return to the oven for 5 minutes until bubbling.
For more ways on how to use interchangeable ingredients and combat food waste, check out our latest book Earth MOB. It’s jam packed with practical advice on how to be better in the kitchen.
Next time, we’ll be talking about our most neglected friend - the freezer. Not just the space for storing oven chips, the freezer can be used to help save practically everything from going to waste.
We’re not kidding - even cake! We’ll be looking at what you can freeze and how to use it once it has been frozen.