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Earth Day - Love your Leftovers

Looking for food leftovers ideas? Here are some environmentally-friendly, delicious recipes that you can rustle up using common leftovers in the fridge.

The pandemic has already altered many events this year, but the annual celebration of environmental protection that occurs on the 22nd of April will not be one of them. Covid-19 has, in some ways, had a great impact on the planet. There is no denying that drastically reduced flights, the closure of busy offices and reduction of public transport has helped the carbon emissions to take a sharp decline.  

However, there are plenty of consequences of the pandemic that haven’t been so kind to our planet. The effect of everyone suddenly staying indoors and using more electricity and eating more food will take its toll on the planet, and Future Planet has warned the BBC that we should anticipate a dramatic spike in carbon emissions if we respond to the end of COVID-19 in the wrong way.  

Like many things, efforts to improve our world must always begin in your home. Or, more specifically, in your stomach! Here are some environmentally friendly, delicious recipes that you can rustle up using common leftover food, and enjoy. 

Potato Peel Crisps

If, like so many of us, you’ve been weaning yourself off of the processed food since January, then these delicious potato peel crisps will be a welcome craving-kicker! Before you reach for the bumper pack of salt and vinegar snacks, try making these delicious homemade potato peel crisps and squash ketchup from BBC Good Food. It’s simple, delicious, and the perfect way to put your potato peels and leftover veggies to good use before they go into the compost. 

Vegetable Soup

Vegetables? In Spring? Groundbreaking.  

 

Okay, this one might sound a little dull, but it totally depends on how you approach it. Blitzing up anything you can find in your fridge rarely results in a Michelin star, but take some advice from Jessica Fisher from Good Cheap Eatsand approach your homemade soups with a brand new attitude! You’ll be amazed at what some clever seasoning, leftover cheese sauce, and a bag of frozen peas can do. 

Bubble & Squeak & Anything you like!

The beautiful thing about this traditional recipe is that it really is a mix-and-match of anything you’ve got. Start with some leftover mashed potato, and then just add any veggies that you’ve got in the fridge. Keep the veggies seasonal so you can shop economically and ecologically. This month, we’ve been opting for sprouts and swede! Start with a classic recipe for Bubble and Squeak, and customise it to fit your fridge. 

‘Pile it on’ Pizza

A common misconception about pizza is that it has to look a certain way. More specifically, a red sauce base, a cheesy top, and a select number of cured meats or exotic veggies. Not only does this limit the type of food you think you can use on your pizza, but it cuts out a whole range of exciting ways you can transform an Italian classic into a versatile and tasty way to use up leftover food.  

Start with the things we should always keep in stock; flour, salt, and yeast. From there, master a nice and easy recipe for a pizza dough base, and feel free to make portions in bulk and freeze them, or whip one up spontaneously for a late-night supper. From there, put down the recipe book and get creative! No tomatoes? No worries. Use up your leftover cheese to make a white sauce base, and throw on any leftover vegetables and meats that you’ve got in your fridge. And voilà, you’ve just made your first Pizza Blanca!

Bread and Brown Butter Pudding

 

Of course, to finish every savoury special there needs to be a sweet treat. In this case, we’ve got the perfect recipe. See that bag of almost-stale bread over there in your cupboard? Well, before you throw it in the bin, take a look at this delicious recipe from Better Homes and GardensIt’s a delicious twist on a traditional bread and butter pudding, but you take the extra step to brown the butter first which will give it a rich, caramel flavour and make for an even more decadent dessert. Plus, the recipe calls for ‘dry bread’, which means the staler, the better!

Want to make all of your recipes even more delicious and better for the environment? Make your own stock!

Buying individual cubes or pots of vegetable or meat stock isn’t just expensive, but it requires using a huge amount of packaging, for an average quality product. This isn’t going to be great for the environment, and when the alternative is a cheaper, more delicious option, why would you hesitate to switch? We love Joshua Weissman’s video on How to Make Amazing Chicken Stock, which will answer all of your questions on how to get started.  

 

We hope we’ve inspired you with some delicious, environmentally friendly ways to use up the leftovers in your fridge, without sacrificing texture or flavour. If you make any of these tasty recipes, share your results with us by tagging us on Instagram @cohorted

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