Friday, 22 June 2012

Food Waste Friday - Flying by the seat of my pants!

I haven't quite got back into the menu planning groove since our holiday, so there have been a few near misses and failures this week.  A wilted salad, that wasn't salad material any more, was reassigned to a pasta sauce.  Frankly, this was a hopeless exercise - salad is mostly water so it shrinks to nothing when cooked and as you can see, almost none of it is visible in the final product, other than stringy bits of stalk (which got stuck in the throat when eaten)!

A couple of bananas were saved from the compost bin and made it into a banana cake, just in the nick of time:

but this cabbage-y stuff was left too long and became too yellow for human consumption, so was boiled up for the chickens instead:

What a waste!

Husband did a food shop this week, and he bought me some of my favourite things:

That's a lot of yogurt (best before date Sunday!) and smoked mackerel (best before Thursday!) to use up, especially when I'm the only one who particularly likes smoked mackerel!

Let's save these poor guys from becoming next Friday's food waste!  Any ideas for how to quickly use up a pot and a half of natural yogurt, and two packs of smoked mackerel (preferably in a way in which the mackerel is kind of disguised!)

Food Waste Friday was dreamt up by, to encourage people to use up food instead of waste it.

Never Seconds, the blog of a Scottish school girl who blogs about her school dinners (which I mentioned a while ago), was in the news again last week.  Argyll and Bute Council wanted her to remove her blog, but there was a public outcry and their decision was overturned.  The blog has raised an amazing £96,824,00 for Mary's Meals, a charity which sets up school feeding projects in the world's poorest communties.  Don't underestimate the power of blogging!  If you want to donate, you can find a link to Never Seconds' Mary's Meals fundraising page on the NS blog. 


  1. Hi Sarah,
    actually your food waste, sounds a lot more like food "saves", so good job! And so the green in the pasta were stringy, it got tried, right?! (And no one went to the hospital right? cuz that wouldn't be frugal!)
    For your yogurt, it has best before date on it. I don't know about the UK, but in the US, best before is the same as sell-by, which is not the same as expires. Expires is 1 week after sell-by. So, if it were US yogurt I would say it has a week more to go.

    Is the yogurt sweetened or unsweetened?
    If it's sweetened, you can eat some of it fresh in fruit and yogurt parfaits, use it up in smoothies or make frozen yogurt desserts out of it. You can also use it in baking to replace sour cream. If you can't eat it all up, you can freeze it in amounts that you'd likely use it, for future smoothies, or baking.

    If it's unsweetened, you can use it just like sour cream in dips and salad dressings (like ranch-style dip), or as part of mayo in egg and chicken salads, or in dishes like beef stroganoff. Again, if you can;t use it all up, freeze it in portion amounts for recipes that call for sour cream. Good luck with.
    And I have no idea what one would do with mackerel, not a fish eater. But if it's anything like smoked salmon, my dad used to make a good smoked salmon spread with cream cheese and chives, for putting on crackers.
    Have a good weekend!

  2. Could you use the mackerel mixed with crushed crackers and eggs, then baked or fried to make mackerel cakes? I make salmon cakes like that.

  3. I would freeze either of those to have when I really want a treat.

  4. Thank you all for those suggestions! More questions though! Can you really freeze yogurt? I never knew that! Do you think it's OK to freeze stuff long after the day of purchase, when it's been sitting around in the fridge for a while?

    1. As long as it hasn't expired, then yes, you really can freeze it. If you could eat it today, then it can still be frozen. I buy things like hot dogs and milk when marked down and on their last few days before expiry. When I get them home, I toss into the freezer. I figure, what's the difference between the item having been bought by me, 2 weeks ago (but me still not having eaten it), and the store keeping the item on their fridge shelf for those 2 weeks.

      Many grocery store fridges are actually worse at keeping items sufficiently cold, that my own fridge. Like those open-air fridges for milk and yogurt at the store. Your home fridge has probably kept the yogurt better than the store fridge would have.

      The only thing you'll notice when you go to use yogurt that has been frozen, is it's texture may be slightly different. The milk solids may separate slightly from being frozen. But this is no problem if you are going to use yogurt in smoothies, baking, or for making a sauce. If you want to do something like a dip with the yogurt, then you may need to run it through a blender/food processor, to bring it back near to its original consistency.

      Good luck. It'll turn out fine.

  5. Thanks for the thorough information Lili! I've frozen left over smoothies with yogurt in them before, so I don't know why I've never thought of freezing neat yogurt.