Sunday, 30 March 2014


I read recently that the UK throws away around 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year--that’s 5kg per household, every week.

That’s a lot of food. As hard as I try we have occasionally had to compost something that went a bit fuzzy. Bagged salad/spinach  is an issue for us as I like the convenience but it *always* has a bit that goes all slimy and limp in the bottom on the bag  before we can get to it. I know I should be buying a head of lettuce, tearing off leaves, washing them and then laying them out to dry (I don’t own/have the cabinet space for  a salad spinner) and then after all I’m too tired from all that effort so I just go……waaaahhhhh…I’m too exhausted to eat a salad….waaaahhhh.

I am the pity whore.

But A Girl Called Jack has really made me step up my game. I want  to have as little food waste as possible.

We recently ate this *amazing* appetiser from Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows cookbook. I got this about the same time as A Girl called Jack cookbook. It has gorgeous pictures and the food (like the food on her blog) is divine. But I was shocked at how much more expensive this dish was as it involved cashew nuts and walnuts. Nuts are expensive, but currently Poundland has the best deal on nuts as I’m all about the bargain. But it was totally worth it and I was able to use the leftovers in a A Girl Called Jack chilli recipe the next day.

Taco Fiesta Potato Crisps from Oh She Glows 

 You thinly slice potatoes and bake them for 30 minutes (flipping half way) in a hot oven --425F/220C. 2 potatoes fit into my pan making about 18 slices.


After they are baked and brown and all yummy you add a blop of cashew sour cream, and a spoonful of Sainsbury’s smoky lime salsa.

Then add some walnut taco meat (this was the best walnut taco meat I’ve ever had) and a ring of red pepper (because I had some that needed to be used up in the fridge--this was not in the original recipe) and  some chopped spring onions.

Here one is up close:


These were amazingly good. It was *technically* an appetiser and we both could have eaten more, but I wouldn’t have wanted to eat them in front of company as they were a bit messy.

We were a bit peckish a few hours later so we made up some “cheesy rice” with nutritional yeast and sprinkled on some sour cream and walnut taco meat.

There was enough cashew sour cream and walnut meat left over so I used what was left on 4 Ryvita crackers the next day for lunch. I had half a jar of salsa left and some spring onions which I threw into the next evenings Mumma Jack’s Best Ever Chilli which was good (red wine really does wonders for food) , but I made a mistake of throwing in a diced potato that was also left over--I had bought three potatoes and only two fit in the pan. The potato was slightly undercooked in the chilli despite fishing all the potato bits out half way and dicing them smaller and letting it cook for 15 extra minutes longer than the brown rice.  Well, live and learn.

The chilli was alright, I have a chilli recipe I prefer better but I did try a money saving tip of Jack’s that I will definitely try again. The chilli called for a value range tin of kidney beans and a value range tin of baked beans.


The baked beans cost 25p and you were meant to rinse the horrible cheap and nasty tomato sauce off of them to get at the haricot beans inside. A tin of haricot beans costs £1 so this was a 75p savings.

When I opened the tin I must have make some sort of Yuk noise as Spiderman said, “Yeessss?” in the way that only he can. It smelled like spaghetti-o’s (or spaghetti hoops to by British peeps)  and I was desperate to get that sauce washed off. He reminded me that I ate nothing but spaghetti-os as a child for years (I was an extremely picky eater) but yeah, my palate has expanded a great deal since then. But once the sauce was off they looked  and more importantly smelled like normal haricot beans.

Jack says: If the thought of rinsing baked beans horrifies you, use a tin of any white bean--haricot, borlotti and cannelloni all work well here. But honestly, it’s just a bit of sauce.

She was totally right on this. She also boiled the beans for 10 minutes to soften them and get rid of any metallic taste. It worked and they melted into the chilli and really thickened it.

It was a shame about the potato. But that was my fault.

I forgot to take a photo of the chilli as it cooked for an extra 15 minutes and we had to be somewhere at 7:30 but here is a photo from Jack’s blog to show you what it looked like:


So how are you using leftovers so there is no waste? I want to get better because I hate to throw stuff out and lose money but also because I hate to lose nutrition. That was healthy food that could have been eaten, dammit! Real food rots, fake food just lives on and on and on.

It’s no wonder a twinkie had a shelf life of 100 years or whatever.

Give me real food any day.














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