Recipe: 45p button mushrooms BB today? Let’s go to button mushroom moon

Do you remember Button Moon? It was a bit like The Clangers, but better because of the theme tune. Anyway….

I have a commitment to avoid food waste, as part of this week’s #FoodWasteActionWeek and in general. Food waste from households is estimated at £19bn per annum by Defra, 2019. Basically, people buy more food than they eat.

Do you ever shop hungry? On the way home from work, for example. Or lack time to prepare meals? I do!

What causes you to throw food away that you’ve bought, and how would you change that? Personally I need to remember to cook with the food I have in and not be tempted when out and about at the supermarket.

Button Moon Mushroom Rice

Boil yourself adequate rice with a vegetable stock cube for flavour.

In a frying pan, add olive oil, and fry some crushed garlic for 30seconds. Then add your washed button mushrooms and some frozen peas/mix veg.

Frying button mushrooms and frozen peas, plus a pan of rice with vegetable stock

Add a few dashes of soy sauce, or any sauce you like, to the vegetables then mix your fried vegetables and the boiled rice in a pan.

Serve by filling a cup with the mixture, to make a sandcastle. Then garnish with slices of lime and a dash of your sauce of choice. I’m traditional and love Soy Sauce.

Button moon reduced price mushroom rice is better because it’s good for your conscience
Button moon mushrooms taste great when you don’t waste anything

Autobiographical: During Food Waste Action Week, my mind is on Yemen

This week until 7March is #FoodWasteActionWeek, a campaign to reduce food waste by asking us all not to throw away edible food. 

The campaign is part of the Love Food Hate Waste brand and fronted by Great British Bake Off former champion-y Nadiya Hussain, a woman who knows her way around a kitchen. 

In the UK, we produce £14 bn of food waste from households per annum according to figures from Defra 2019. What a shame we are so wasteful. 

Environment minister, Rebecca Pow, rightly points out the impact on climate change and the environmental impact of wasting food that has used carbon and water in production. With the UK signed up to reduce carbon emissions by 2030, this is important.

Personally, I can’t help but think about Yemen and Syria, the refugees that are going hungry, and the lack of food in East African nations. How can we, in clear conscience, throw away food? 

Or, not buy food close to the sell by date in a shop, because (insert reason) that will inevitably  go to waste?

The UK has just cut aid to Yemen, The Guardian goes into more detail. Essentially refugees are facing famine. 

This week, for Food Waste Action Week, I pledge to buy reduced price food, use up what food I have in and I’m donating to UNICEF Refugee fund, a registered charity working in Yemen to bring relief to refugees. I’ll be mindfully eating too, or you may choose to say Grace.

If I didn’t, I don’t think I’d have any appetite, and that would be a waste. 

Food Waste Action Week is a time to mind what you throw away

Autobiographical: Reduced food aisle stereotypes are corny

Stereotypes about the discount food aisle are corny and outdated. The reduced food aisle isn’t tragic; but it is when no one touches it.

The fact is more than 10 million tonnes of food and drink are wasted every year, equating to £500 a year for the average UK household Defra, Sky News, 2019

260,000 tonnes comes from retailers and household food waste is estimated at £15bn per annum.

I want to make the reduced food aisle cool. You have 24-hours to do something interesting with a sack of spuds! What are ya gonna do? What would Jack Bauer do? 

Never mind that, what would Ainsley Harriot do? 

Or Jamie Oliver? 

Or Gordon Ramsey? 

Or, you know, your mum?

Join me on Twitter with the hashtag #reducefoodwaste and tell me what you do with discounted food. Spread the word on other social media too!

#reducedfoodaisle 

#reducefoodwaste 

I’m just a woman with a conscience. If you have more social clout than me (likely) I’d be grateful for any shares or shout outs!

I’m @LucyBower81 on Twitter

#FoodWasteActionWeek is coincidentally this week, so there has never been a better time to think about your food waste!

I will be following @benwelliot to keep up with the latest.

Food Waste Action Week

Recipe: Savoy stir fry! Savoy cabbage 34p, button mushrooms 24p

In an effort to reduce food waste, I buy reduced price food then set myself the challenge of creating a tasty dish from the ingredients I have.

It’s just like the 00s telly show Can’t Cook Won’t Cook, remember that? With Ainsley Harriot? Used to love that when I was a student. Only my version features the peril of the Best Before Date, and avoiding food poisoning. Exciting isn’t it.

Savoy style recipe

Place your rice in a pan of boiling salted water. Add some garlic to your frying pan and begin to fry your washed button mushrooms.

After 5 minutes add a few slices of Savoy cabbage and stir fry. After a few minutes add half a mug of vegetarian stick cube, and let it simmer. Then add a few splashes of soy sauce.

Rinse off your rice and spoon your stir fry veg over the rice with then pour over your sauce. I did enough for one. You might have someone else to feed, in which case, I hate you.

Just kidding. I eat two portions.

Recipe: 4-carrot-cauliflower-potato curry

I’ve accumulated a few reduced price vegetables this week and shared my fairly basic recipes. For me it’s about reducing food waste by purchasing food close to the Best Before Date, and making sure I use it!

I committed to vegetarianism a few years ago and want to build up my recipe ideas, making food interesting. I have recovered from an eating disorder, so it’s good to eat, and cookery forms part of my recovery.

With leftover root vegetables, it’s simple enough to make a decent curry. This is so easy, you must try it!

Here’s mine:

Half a chopped cauliflower; 7 new potatoes quartered; half a large onion, 4 carrots peeled and sliced.

Fry your chopped onion in olive oil for 5 minutes until soft. Add two teaspoons of curry powder and ground coriander. Stir! The oil will turn a nice colour and the smell? It’s good!

Add your chopped vegetables and try and coat the vegetables with the spicy oil. Stir!

Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, plus a mug full of vegetable stock in boiled water. Add a couple of cardamon pods, half a teaspoon of ground ginger and a teaspoon of paprika.

Bring the pan to the boil. Simmer for an hour. At the last 10 minutes, add some peas or spinach, and fresh coriander if you have it.

Simmering vegetable curry

Boil yourself some rice. I use half a mug of rice per person and then two mugs of water per half mug of rice. Then serve piping hot with a glass of Indian Tonic Water with a slice of lime.

Cauliflower, 4-carrot and new potato curry with rice. Suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Recipe: 24 hours to do something moderately interesting with a bag of spuds

I set myself the challenge today of doing something interesting with a bag of reduced price new potatoes, in my efforts to reduce food waste by buying food from the reduced aisle only.

The reduced price aisle has a rep as the place you go if you’re skint, but consider all the food that goes to waste for a moment, just because it’s on the brink of going off.

I see that as a challenge myself, you’ve only got 24 hours to do something moderately interesting with spuds. What would Jack Bauer do?

Bubble n Squeak?

If you have any heritage in the North of England you might’ve sampled the delicacy of Bubble n Squeak, sometimes known as Rumble de Thumps. It’s refried vegetables or leftovers. I’m going to make a mash up version of that!

Boil your chopped potatoes and some carrots. Fry half an onion in olive oil/ olive oil spread
Partially mash your potatoes. Keep ‘em chunky. Stir in the onion and season with salt n pepper along with olive oil to taste
Present your mash up nicely with the help of a bowl. Size depends on your appetite
Doesn’t that look lovely. You can add meat here if you’re a meat eater, but there’s plenty here for a light meal
A slice of two of lime adds a lightness to the buttery, earthy flavour of the spuds
24 hours to do something with a 25p bag of new potatoes? Go on then.

Breaking news Update: Mr Potatoe Head, my childhood companion, is going gender neutral in a bid to update the 70year old iconic toy.

But does he belong in the kitchen?

Recipe: Use your swede; it cost 50p

I am on a quest to only eat reduced price food approaching the sell-by date, for the purpose of avoiding food waste.

Having worked in marketing for a decade, I’m used to meeting deadlines. With a best before approaching, pressure mounts to use that food, not waste it. Who doesn’t hate throwing food away?

Today I had a few leftover carrots and a swede, that cost 50p.

Peel the carrots and swede and chop into chunks. Pat boil the vegetables for 10 minutes then add to a roasting tray with garlic bulbs, olive oil and herbs of seasoning you like. I went for salt and pepper today.

Method:

Roast your vegetables for 25 minutes on 180C fan oven. Meanwhile, prepare some rice. One cup rice to three cups of water, plus a stick cube if you have one.

Quarter some grapes or fruit of your choice and mix that with your rice. Nuts are an optional extra, but root veg is pretty filling so I opted out of nuts today.

Here is one I prepared earlier!

Roasted swede and carrot with grape rice
Roasted carrot, swede and garlic with fresh grape fruity rice. Seasoned with salt and pepper and olive oil.

Recipe: Broccoli and cauliflower *jazzed up a bit*

Another day as a vegetarian and another chance to make something interesting out of vegetables. In an added twist, I’m buying reduced veg only, in an effort to curb food waste, and encourage me not to miss the deadline!

So today, a double bunch of broccoli for 17p and a cauliflower for 44p. Here is what I’ve come up with.

Chop your broccoli into small pieces, along with the cauliflower.

Add them to a foil lined baking tray with a few bulbs of garlic.

Broccoli, cauliflower and garlic bulbs in a baking tray

Drizzle over olive oil, then season with salt and pepper, plus chilli flakes and cinnamon.

Olive oil, chilli flakes and cinnamon for flavour.

Place your food in the oven at 180C for 25 minutes.

Tray bake broccoli and cauliflower.

It should come out if the oven looking something like this:

Roasted vegetables

Spoon the vegetables into the centre of the plate, piling as high as your appetite!

Broccoli and cauliflower bake
Pile as high as your appetite

Add a couple of slices of lime as bunny ears; the lime slices through the heat of the chilli flakes beautifully. Your garlic cloves will be soft and edible without the bitterness of raw garlic.

Broccoli and cauliflower bake, with garlic, chilli and lime

Overall, a lovely warm dish, and the heat from the chilli lingers in a lovely aftertaste.

The leftovers make a nice evening dish with some rice or grains of your choice. Here’s a serving suggestion; enjoy!

Broccoli and cauliflower jazzed up a bit.

Recipe: Fruit and nut, black bean rice recipe

Since committing to vegetarianism a few years ago, I’ve try inventing my own dishes at home. Here’s one I made today that is simple and tasty.

Please forgive the lack of accurate weights and measures, I tend to make it up as I go along. You will have your own preferences for how things should taste ofcourse.

Seedless grapes, crushed pistachios and black eyed beans

Ok so you’re going to boil a cup of rice in three cups of water. I add a vegetable stock cube for flavour, that is optional.

Your black eye beans go in a pan to be gently heated to warm them up. Slice your grapes into smaller pieces, like quartering them. Then the nuts of your choice, I prefer pistachios, chop them up so they’re crumbly.

Once everything is cooked, mix it all together in a bowl with some olive oil and season to taste.

Mix your ingredients with olive oil and season

Next is the fun part, we are going to make a sandcastle! It sounds silly but presentation wise, it looks pretty.

Fill a bowl with the mixture
Turn the bowl over onto a plate and lift the bowl
Ta-da!
Drizzle over olive oil and add lime slices to garnish
Tuck in!