Egg cartons are for more than just safely transporting eggs. Eggs are porous, which means smells and liquid can be absorbed by the tiny pores on the shell. Storing eggs in their cartons helps prevent this. Place egg cartons on a middle or lower shelf in the fridge, not on the door.
Buy foods which can be used for more than one meal
When shopping, buy ingredients that are versatile and you can use for many meals. Spinach can be used not only in quiche but also along with grated carrot to bulk up mince and pasta dishes. Lentils can be used in stews and in soups as well as kidney beans in nachos and in shepherd’s pie.
If you have milk that is close to its expiry, using it for a delicious rice pudding is a great way to use it up. Rice pudding uses around a litre of milk (depending on your whanau size and how much they love it)!
If you have cream or milk that is on the turn, put it in baking such as muffins, scones, quiche or cake. You can also make ricotta by adding a tablespoon of vinegar per cup of sour milk, microwaving until separated and pour into a sieve and leave until the desired firmness. Great with tomatoes and olive oil!
I grow Italian parsley and I always have too much. When I’m using the oven I cut off excess stems of parsley, cut the leaves off and place on a baking tray. As soon as the oven is turned off I place the tray of leaves in the oven; after approx 1 1/2 – 2 hours I take the tray out & crush the dried parsley leaves & place in an airtight jar ready for use when the plant is dormant.
When our children were younger we would collect the crusts and stale bread & take the children to the local park to feed the ducks. Now that our children are older we blitz stale bread to make breadcrumbs, mouldy bread feeds the sparrows.
When your children eat apples at home, or you use them in baking, collect the cores and skins etc in a container or snaplock bag in the fridge. When there is about half a cup or more, simmer these in a water to cover them, wait for them to break up a bit and turn slushy. Pour contents of the pot into a sieve over a jug or bowl, freeze this pectin stock in ice cube trays and add a couple of cubes to low pectin fruit jams such as strawberry. You can also add these to sauces and marmalade etc which need to set to a thicker consistency.
We plan all our meals for the week on a Sunday then only buy what we need. This saves us buying something we don’t need and having leftovers. It also makes cooking easier as we know what we are having for dinner and lunch all week. We always have oats so if we have overly ripe bananas we mash them into the oats to make it go further. We usually double a meal such as a stir fry and will have it for lunch. On a Sunday we cook a frittata to use up any extra veges we have lying around. This makes a great lunch on a Monday and Tuesday.
I cut up spinach and kale and put in a container in the freezer (don’t cook it first). Then I always have it ready to add to omelettes, stews and other recipes. I also freeze almost everything that isn’t an everyday use item.
Kids don’t like crusts? Turn them into breadcrumbs in the blender, then make stuffing. Add herbs, onions, whatever you like, bind with a little stock or egg then roast. You can make the stuffing without the chicken – the kids will love it.
Take all kind of vegetables that would be going to waste, (peelings, ends of carrot etc) and put in a big pot with water and some of you favourite herbs and salt. Simmer for over an hour. You now have a stock for soups or sauces, and it can be frozen.