Sunday, 25 November 2012

£ood Waste Challenge - Day 9

The second day of the second week of the £ood Waste Challenge has been quite busy as I've done my meal planning and shopping for the week. All the while taking my goal of a zero food waste in to account. So, with rather a detailed insight into my life, here's what I've done today.


I've worked out that for the upcoming week I'm out for dinner at least once, I'll plan to eat out of the freezer once and have pizza at the weekend, so that means I need another four dinners. However, I usually account for one less to give myself a little bit of flexibility, so that's just three dinners I need to buy for. Similarly I'll only need two lunches for work as I'm out an about on three days this week.

My main aim is to use up the Philadelphia so I'll have macaroni cheese one day. That's more than a suitable comfort dinner given the recent weather. I'll "posh" it up by putting in a couple of rashers of bacon from the freezer that need to be eaten also some frozen mixed veg I'll get a couple of tomatoes too. I'll make at least two portions of macaroni cheese eating one and freezing the rest.

I fancy chicken with tarragon cream sauce tonight (using some tarragon from the freezer) with some sautéed potatoes and frozen mixed veg. The leftover cream can go in the macaroni cheese.

I'll use the leftover potato for mash to have with some sausages and red cabbage from the freezer. I've got a friend staying over on Friday night, so the sausages will get used as breakfast on Saturday.

While out shopping, I only bought what was on my list, with the exception of a sweet potato. I'll have this when I use the potato, so sautéed tonight and in mash later on in the week. I only ever buy enough for what I know I''ll eat e.g. five apples, five bananas and a single bag of satsumas. I know I'll eat of of that this week. Especially since for lunch I normally have a load of fruit and since it's getting cold I'll probably have a cuppa soup too, so I don't expect any food waste. I'll have some leftovers too if they're suitable.


For the first time I've stored all of my fruit (except bananas) and veg in the fridge. I've even put the potatoes in there. I know I shouldn't keep them in the fridge but I'll eat them before Thursday so no harm will be done.

As for the chicken, thighs only come in a pack of four from the supermarket. Thus a little bit of butchery is required to minimise the food waste in the most effective way. That means the pack of thighs started like this:

and became this:

Each thigh skinned, boned and trimmed. The trimmings go in the bin as they are inedible and don't count towards my food waste. I'll freeze the bones and save for the next time I make stock. I'll free three of the thighs too. A single thigh will do me as a portion. In the effort to go to zero food waste I'll also freeze the skins. I think I might be able to use them as chicken crackling.

For dinner, instead of cooking the chicken thigh whole, I cut it into strips. This meant that I could use less flour and paprika to coat it thus reducing my food waste. It turns out that 1 teaspoon of flour mixed with 1 teaspoon of paprika is just about enough to cover a chicken thigh without generating any waste. I fried the coated chicken in a small knob of butter before adding a splash of cream and the tarragon.

Also sandwiching a salted chicken skin between two oiled baking trays and cooking at 200°C for 10mins(ish), results in a most delectable chicken cracking which added a lovely garnish to my dinner. Definitely glad I froze these rest of the skins now.

The diced potatoes were sautéed in olive oil with rosemary, thyme and a few garlic cloves.

Quite a simple and low waste dinner: chicken in tarragon cream sauce with chicken cracking accompanied by sautéed garlicky herby potatoes and mixed veg.

Overall for the day


No waste. I used up an ageing pear from last week by stewing it with a few spices and then adding it to my single portion of porridge.


No waste. Breakfast was quite late so just a piece of toast with bred from the freezer, a nutty bar and a yoghurt


No waste. I cooked just enough dinner for me: a single chicken thigh and its skin, a weighed out portion of frozen mixed veg and half each of a potato and sweet potato (skins left on). The leftover potatoes saved for later in the week.

Grand Food Waste Total:

PS. I also volunteered as a London volunteer Food Waste Champion today.

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