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What To Do With Leftovers

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What To Do With Leftovers
70% of UK households will throw away fresh fruit and veg once it's past its best before date. This amounts to 33 million portions or 4,200 tonnes per week.

But with a recession looming we should be using this 'past its best' fruit and veg, rather than consigning it to the bin so here are some top tips on how to do this simply and cost effectively. Below are some really quick and easy recipe ideas that will encourage the nation to be more resourceful.

Banana Creams

Bananas seem to be one of the top fruits we throw away each day. As the skin starts to go a little brown, we start to think it doesn't look so appetising. Fear not though, mushy bananas make great desserts!

Serves four
overripe bananas

Ingredients

4 bananas
400 g (14 oz) can evaporated milk
2 teaspoons sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Method

1. Peel and slice 3 bananas and place in a blender with the evaporated milk, sugar and lemon juice. Blend until thick and smooth. Alternatively, mash the sliced bananas with a fork until they form a smooth pulp, then whisk in the remaining ingredients
2. Divide the banana cream among 4 plastic containers and refrigerate for at least an hour
3. Just before serving, cut the remaining banana into diagonal slices and arrange on top of each portion and serve

Potato Skin Crisps

What should we do with our leftover potato peelings? Don't throw these away just yet, crunchy potato skins make fantastic healthier alternatives to crisps.

Serves four

Ingredients

4 large potatoes
1 tbsp of cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream (optional)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200°C, Gas Mark 6, 400°F
2. Take your leftover potato peelings and brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
3. Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Serve with sour cream

Bubble and Squeak

Roast dinners have to be the nation's favourite meal, but we always prepare too many vegetables, so why throw away all those tasty leftovers? The below recipe is just a guide as the beauty of this dish is too use whatever you have leftover.

Serves 4

Ingredients

450g (1lb) potatoes, cooked and mashed
225g (8oz) cabbage, brussel sprouts, or any other left over vegetables, cooked and finely chopped
25g (1oz) butter or oil
1 onion, finely chopped

Method

1. Heat the butter or oil in a large frying pan
2. Add the onion and fry until soft
3. Add the mashed potatoes and vegetables
4. Mix well
5. Fry over a medium heat, turning occasionally, for 15 minutes or until golden brown

Serve with bacon and eggs for breakfast or as part of a tasty main meal with ham, chops or left over meat from Sunday's roast

Basic Tomato Sauce

Why not turn those slightly withered tomatoes into a delicious tomato sauce, great with pasta, or to accompany fish and meat, simple to freeze and reuse anytime.

Serves 4
Home-made Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 crushed garlic cloves
6 large tomatoes finely chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Method

1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat
2. Add the onions and garlic
3. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften
4. Add the tomato and simmer for another five minutes
5. Reduce heat to low
6. Add herbs, salt and pepper to taste
7. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes
8. Serve over hot pasta or cool and place in freezer bags for another time

Poached Pears

Pears are one of those tricky fruits, one day they're under-ripe and the next they have gone very soft. Here's how to turn your left over pears into a simple yet delicious dessert.

Serves 4
Poached Pears

Ingredients

4 pears
750ml of red wine of your choice
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp of sugar

Method

1. Peel the pears, cut into halves and remove the core
2. Pour the wine into a large saucepan and add the wine, sugar and cinnamon stick
3. Simmer on a low heat until the pear is soft and the flesh has soaked up the wine creating an attractive pink colour

January 2009

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