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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Zero Waste Week - 2016 - Day 3

Yesterday's food waste amounted to this, weighing in at 90 grammes.

But, there was also the tops and bottoms from some onions, the top and bottoms from carrots, and the 'core' of a couple of peppers from yesterday's vegetable curry, which I don't count as waste just yet as these are the kinds of things I cook up to make vegetable stock for soup or risotto.

Today it is all about bananas.  I had half a dozen bananas ranging from speckled brown to completely black, so I made the most of the information in the Zero Waste Week email today.

For breakfast, I tried out Rachelle's recipe for banana pancake.  I mushed up two very black and quite small bananas and then beat in one egg.  I then fried it dry in a pancake pan and had it with some jam - I have a lot of jam at the moment.  That is definitely one to do frequently. I wish I had known about this when Junior Daughter was doing her A levels.  She spent long hours revising at the dining room table and I would make her meals regularly because although she was perfectly capable of doing that herself, she was going for long periods saying she'd eat something in a minute.  I think if you are around and can plonk some nutritious food in front of your teenage children when they are revising it can only be a good thing.  Banana pancakes would be perfect for that.

Banana pancake with jam

I decided to have a morning away from my computer as my eyes are hurting from so much screen time.  So I used the time to catch up with the Be the Change podcasts that Rachelle Strauss has put together and to potter about in my kitchen, with a main aim of working out how to use up some of the jars that had been breeding in my fridge.

Inspired by the topic of bananas, in today's ZWW email, I wanted to have a go at a recipe from Shane Jordan's excellent book Food Waste Philosophy for banana skin curry.

In my talks about food waste in schools, when dealing with the concept of avoidable v. unavoidable food waste, I often used to say that only giraffes eat banana skins. I had no idea that they were edible food for us too.

So today was the day to try it out.  I looked at Shane's recipe, but oh dear.  I didn't have some of the vegetables in the recipe.  I had no leeks and no peppers, but I decided not to be put off.  One of the things that I've really tried hard to do in my new book, Leftover Pie : 101 Ways to Reduce your Food Waste is to encourage my contributors to use the term recipe loosely and I hope I can help people get into the idea that you can swap and change as long as you keep the proportions consistent and you give a thought to the basics of sweet, sour, salty, then all will be well.

I scurried off to my rapidly emptying fridge to see what I did have.  I had a sweet potato, a couple of courgettes, a yellow chilli, so I decided to give this a try.  I love the combination of herbs and spice in Shane's recipe and I did have all of that.  I knew I'd need to cook my curry for longer than the recipe states as I was cooking sweet potato which takes longer than peppers.

Ingredients for banana skin curry. I did peel the onion skins this time as
 I'm going to use them to make a vegetable stock.
I let my curry simmer for a good long time, and tasted it occasionally.  I felt it lacked a little sweetness.  While the curry was cooking I had been having a look at my mass of jars.  I had three jars that each had a bit of homemade apple sauce which I decided to use up to make an apple cake, like the recipe in my book, but with apple sauce on the bottom instead of apple slices.   It won't look as pretty, of course, but it will still taste good.

There was another jar, that looked a bit like apple sauce but maybe a bit more set than normal.  I tasted it a few times, wondering whether I could use it to add sweetness to my curry.  For some reason, I couldn't place the taste.  Yes it was sweet, but I wasn't convinced it was apple.  After a few goes at trying to work it out I realised it was mango chutney, which would be perfect for the curry.  It has worked.  The balance of sweet and spice is nice now.

Yay! That's another jar gone.

I took out yesterday's bits of peel that I'd put in a tub in the fridge and then combined with the onion peel I covered it with water and made some stock for the freezer.

Back to the bananas though, I cut up one of the bananas and popped it in the freezer, to make some of Many Mazliah's nice cream, which is in Leftover Pie.  I used another two bananas to make some banana and oatmeal cookies from a recipe on Wendy's Moral Fibres blog post.

Oh, yes, and I was planning to do a tuna mayo for lunch, but I had some iceberg lettuce left and I'll be out and about for the rest of the week so it needed to be eaten.  I spruced it up with some parsley and some basil leaves and lavender flowers, topped it off with some pesto croutons made from my gluten free bread disaster and had it with some cheese, oatcakes and the remains of another of the jars - some unidentified chutney.

Salad lunch today
I had lots of ideas from the Twitter Zero Waste Week discussion about what to do to make my gluten free bread disaster edible:  bread and butter pudding, croutons, bread crumbs etc.  The pesto croutons were delicious, despite the bread disaster, so I'm going to blitz up some of the loaf for breadcrumbs and cube the rest to turn into croutons another time.  These can go in the freezer until I need them.

Gluten-free bread disaster
One last think though, does anyone know how to make gluten free bread in a bread maker? What's the secret?

Oh yes, the book... Leftover Pie: 101 Ways to Reduce your Food Waste - you can get the first two chapters and eight lovely autumnal recipes. plus you can find out the inspiration behind my flowery salad.  Click on the link here and the special Zero Waste Week edition will be emailed to you for free.

Don't worry, I won't then send you loads of emails - if you read this blog, you know that I'm an infrequent blogger, except during Zero Waste Week when I make an extra special effort, so I'm not going to start news-lettering as well.  I hope you enjoy Leftover Pie!

1 comment:

Rachelle Strauss said...

Anna, you're going to have the content for another recipe book by the time ZWW is over! I love how inventive and creative you've been. Pesto croutons sound a fab way to use up another old jar of something!