Zero waste food challenge, day four

Filed in Blog by on October 16, 2008 14 Comments
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zero waste food weekDay three passed uneventfully, apart from the shocking scene where Little Miss Green declared I made the best rice pudding in the world and she gave it a ‘twelve out of twelve’.

This is quite a credit as until now I have never been able to make it ‘as nice as the yellow stuff you get in a tin.’ Well bah humbug to that, this morning I did and guess what? I didn’t weigh anything, I just chucked it in the pot, stirred it about, left it to do its own thing and this morning we came down to something I could slice with a knife.
Before she set her eyes on it, I added a load more milk, gave it another stir, simmered it on the hob and voila – perfect rice pudding it would seem. <rolls eyes>.

Little Miss Green was out for the day, so Mr Green ploughed his way through the massive batch of dahl in the fridge, finished off the cheese pate with salad and I didn’t really eat much as I wasn’t feeling too good.

In the afternoon I played Ready Steady cook and cooked up quite a feast. I made cauliflower soup from half of the cauliflower, half an onion and some milk – I discovered another couple of pints of goats milk in the fridge, hence rice pudding and soup! I called it snow soup, as Little Miss Green ‘doesn’t like cauliflower’ and she drank it with gusto for tea.

The remaining cauliflower was turned into gobi aloo to which I added a hearty portion of the dahl that seems to be growing before my eyes. I added some tomato puree and spices and it got a thumbs up from Mr Green. In addition I made chicken curry and borrowed a bit of the chicken to add with a sad looking carrot and potato that I found today – this will provide chicken casserole for LMG’s tea tomorrow night.

I have to admit, I felt like a bit of a Nigella and was pleased with my efforts. I’m going to try and freeze half the soup and half of the chicken casserole. I promise to label and date is properly and this will be the beginning of a freezer Goddessy type me.

Tomorrow I plan to make beetroot soup and make something with the cooked apple. The ginger will be frozen and that leave me with an orange, a lemon, some shallots and a bit more dahl from the original list. I’m so pleased with that. I know all of these will get eaten over theΒ  next couple of days as Little Miss Green has already eyed up the orange and lemon for fresh juice. Although I’m rather tempted again by Maisie’s idea for some beetroot chutney.

So, by this morning we’ve got through 4 days without having to buy anything except a bag of salad and a chicken breast. That is unheard of. My shelves are looking cleaner and my conscience is definitely feeling like it’s lost some weight!


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (14)

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  1. Kris says:

    It all sounds very resourceful and very tasty – I’ve seen comments before on people taking a pot of mince which evolves through several dishes but I like your versatile dahl/curry journey (looking forward to that recipe section!)

    Hope you are feeling a bit better this morning.

    Today I am off to something at the Lit Fest called 21st Century Food – I’m not entirely sure what it will end up being about because looking back at the description it’s sort of vague, but I’m hoping for something that touches on sustainability and how mad current eating patterns can be.

  2. Yay, that’s my kind of of cooking – go Mrs G, you wonderful domestic goddess. πŸ˜€ xx

  3. I cook like that a lot too. Roast chicken that becomes Cobbler, or stir fry, and soup, and drumsticks cold for lunch….

  4. Poppy says:

    Mrs G – it has to said that the way in which you are ‘discovering’ items in your fridge makes it sound like a humungous walk in larder where items can hide themselves away trying to avoid being eaten! I can almost hear the screams of terror as a probing hand weaves its way around the shelves πŸ˜€

    Kris – would love to hear some feedback on your visit to the Lit Fest. We haven’t been this year, but I’ve had some interesting visits in the past.

    On topic – I’m afraid that the other responsible human in my life is working against me on this one, so I’ve not even attempted to clear the shelves. I will get there, just not yet πŸ™

  5. Di Hickman says:

    Ok weird! I cooked a HUGE batch of gobi aloo at the weekend and have been eating it over the last few days. And last night I made cauliflower soup!!! Do we have the same fridge just 8000 miles apart? lol.

  6. Naomi says:

    Just wanted to say that you’ve totally inspired me. Last night, I opened a seemingly empty fridge. Thursday is 10% off day at my local health food store so Tues/Wed we often have pizza or burritos. Gulp. Well I’m sick of the extra cost and of packing on those yucky calories so I dug a little deeper and came up with a load of still quite nice veggies which I sauteed with spices. I then scrambled eggs, added some cheese and milk and nutmeg, and baked it. I had also started some brown rice which got done around the same time. This pseudo quiche was amazing! My picky four year old even came back to pick at her portion a few hours later (she regularly turns her nose up at any non-pasta dinner and has an apple or whatever she can forage). I love when I can create a healthy meal from an “empty” fridge.

  7. esther says:

    I totaly admire you in all your efforts, and believe me, I’m learning loads of things from you! tk you for that! I also, somewhere on your blog I think, found luchboxes, that I ordered from england and just came in this morning (yessssss!!!!!) and so, everytime I go out with the kids, we go out prepared and I don’thave to throw leftovers away, because we’ve been eating on the road, I’ll just take it with me!

  8. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Kris, how was the Lit Fest? I’m looking forward to hearing about that.

    Thank you Mrs A – although you did rather surpass yourself this week too on Friday night πŸ˜‰

    Sarah – it sounds like you have stripping a chicken carcass down to a fine art. Ours get fed to the cat, so I have little opportunity to get creative with them!

    poppy, I won’t embarrass myself by telling you how massive our fridge it – but it is similar to the picture you describe LOL!

    Do – I love our connection on this πŸ˜€

    Wow, Naomi, your meal sounds amazing. I love it when that happens. I must admit I like ‘wowing’ Mr Green with a meal from his sulky ‘there’s nothing in the house to eat’. It all depends on how you look at those pouting vegetables sitting at the back of the fridge!

    Hi Esther, I’m glad you are enjoying reading about this week. Was it the laptop lunchbox you ordered? They look fab. Well, whatever you ordered it’s marvellous that you are now able to take food with you – this will result in much less packaging waste.

  9. Well, we all prefer the white meat as a roast, so the breast parts get eaten for the first meal, then the drumsticks and a bit more gets taken off for the next days lunch. Then the rest of the meat gets taken off – these are lovely meaty birds, free range and locally raised – anyway, the meat gets made into a stew type mixture and usually frozen to be served in a variety of ways later on. There’s often enough for two pots in the freezer. Finally the well stripped carcass gets shoved in a large pot with some random, soft and forgotten at the back of the fridge veg and cooked down into soup.

    The gristly bits, bones and bits of skin are about all that ends up in the bin. I wonder if the hens would eat the gristle and skin? I know they will peck at bones and enjoy them, I have a friend whose hens chase the dog off his bones!

  10. Kris says:

    Twenty First Century Food turned out to be an interesting and inclusive panel mostly bemoaning food miles, food waste and the rise of non-nutritional readystuff for the time poor.

    The guests were Joanna Blythman who writes thought-provoking books (Bad Food Britain: How A Nation Ruined Its Appetite, Shopped: The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets) and Rose Prince who I misguidedly thought to be a writer just of cookery books as only one volume (The New English Table: Over 200 Recipes That Will Not Cost The Earth) was displayed in the book tent (and which was somewhat intimidating to me as a recipe-phobe!) However a glance at Amazon makes sense of the teasing remark that she was the ‘expert at left-overs’ (disappointingly not explained or expanded upon in the talk) as her other books (The Savvy Shopper and The New English Kitchen: Changing the Way You Cook, Shop and Eat) cover more in the way of selection and informed choice. We should also have had chef Richard Corrigan as part of the panel but he was delayed and arrived only in time to sign books (which was quite sad since this event didn’t generate a lot of signing activity). I gather the presenter also writes on food for The Times but can’t find a note of her name.

    As the panel took place from 2-3ish in the afternoon it was perhaps more convenient for retired visitors than working ones and the audience was overall quite mature. It was about half and half discussion and audience questions though the tone didn’t change very much between the two – being very much in tune and non-adversarial generally, though sometimes passionate against the big corporations eager to fly in preserved over-packaged microwavable taste-free goods with maximum profit…

    I’d imagined there might be talk about diet and chemical consequences of modern foods, though this turned out not to be a big component of the talk, just touched on in the intersting fact that dieticians have found that it’s not so much ‘the medittaranean diet’ or ‘eating the French way’ etc that are successful in themselves as that regionally we suit a diet utilising our own local area. As there was a very big focus on local foods this fitted in nicely.

    There was quite a lot of talk about organic foods, specifically whether the audience who favoured them would give them up in the credit crunch (a resounding no apparently), discussion on organic items that have been flown across the world and smallholdings that cannot afford to get organic certification although they have excellent practices and standards and whether another sort of registered standard is needed that is a logo of reassurance for consumers but less intensive and expensive to obtain for producers.

    Oh and a bit of chat about Jamie Oliver and Ministry of Food – the consensus onstage being noble idea but why isn’t more of this sort of thing being done by government rather than one figurehead character struggling along.

    (Sorry this isn’t a very coherent review piece, more a series of what I remember out of the talk, which overall was an agreeable hour spent nodding and agreeing, occasionally interrupted by more thought-provoking bits which have made me keen to read the relevant books and get a bit more depth.)

  11. Mrs Green says:

    Hi Sarah, I’ll be interested to hear if the hens enjoy the chicken leftovers and your style of using up the chicken sounds great. Although our cat wouldn’t be very pleased LOL!

    Kris, the talk sounded really interesting. I’ve been querying the ‘organic food in credit crunch’ scenario for myself, and I have to say that this is a priority for me and I’d rather let other things go. To me, eating well has other knock on effects which save me money and energy – staying fit for one thing along with feeling happier which means I don’t need to buy ‘stuff’ to cheer myself up.

  12. Well, today was home made tomato soup with some bits of shredded chicken in for lunch – now I have to take the thighs and the rest of the second breast to make my stew mixture for freezing. But the kids have requested cold chicken with home made chips for dinner tonight, so there won’t be as much to freeze, probably only one meal’s worth. Then it’s soup.

  13. Sorry, last nights dinner was roast chicken.

  14. Mrs Green says:

    I Do you have a favourite recipe for chicken stew? I’ve become quite adept at what I call chicken casserole with a ‘bung-it-all-in’ attitude. What is the difference between and stew and a casserole anyway??

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