Friday, 29 June 2012

Food Waste Friday - A healthy vegetarian recipe?

Since discovering Food Waste Friday,  I cast my mind back every week on a Friday, to see if there have been any major food throwaways, and I do a quick stock check of the kitchen to see if anything needs throwing out or using up.

This week the health of the Everyday Life On A Shoestring kitchen is in pretty good shape!  Last week's mackerel mountain was successfully eliminated in a kedgeree, a dip and sandwiches.  Only one small mouldy mandarine had to be composted; it looked like it had been sitting in the fruit bowl for a very long time.

That meant there was good cause to celebrate!  How better than with a tray of Tiffin!

Earlier this week, creativesavv invited commenters to share their suggestions for using up leftovers.  Her own list was pretty comprehensive, but I was able to suggest a way of using up those bits of biscuit that get left at the bottom of the biscuit jar (even though it usually necessitates buying an extra packet of biscuits).  Tiffin!

Tiffin is Indian-English for a light, in-between meal snack, and if Wikipedia is to be believed, it can be anything from chappatis and dahl to vegetables and spicy meats.  However in the UK,  the word is also used to refer to an afternoon tea sweetmeat made with crumbled up biscuits.  Daughter's first birthday party was the occasion of my initial foray into Tiffin making.  It then became a regular, and popular feature at every birthday tea for a few years, but children grow older, and we seem to have moved on from teas with Tiffin.

Today sees the return of the Tiffin in this house.  Having mentioned it on creativesavv, I saw no reason why I should not steal my own suggestion back for this blog!  I'm not usually prone to having an inflated sense of my own importance, but a quick glance in the biscuit jar revealed a small collection of broken rich tea fingers, just ripe for a batch of Tiffin, so why not bask in the brilliance of my own idea! We wouldn't want those biscuits becoming food waste now, would we?

I dug out my Tiffin recipe from the Baby and Child Vegetarian Recipes cookbook.  (Don't worry, the Tiffin recipe is the very last recipe in the book in a small section entitled 'Festive Foods', and comes after pages full of healthy recipes like Lentil Sambhar and Barley Pot.  I have to confess that the Tiffin is probably the most-used recipe in our copy of the book; when the other recipes say things like "Although the list of ingredients does seem rather daunting, this paella is extremely easy to prepare..." I'm afraid I don't get much beyond reading the 17th ingredient...)

Anyway, back to the Tiffin...

Did you know that a Tiffin's favourite party game is Blind Man's Buff?  I didn't!  

You probably can't read the ingredients from the photo, but they are:

225g digestive biscuits, crushed
150g raisins
100g butter
25g brown sugar
45g cocoa powder (3 tablespoons)
60ml golden syrup (3 tablespoons)
225g milk or plain chocolate

Click here for a blogpost on which provides a guide to converting from metric to US cups.

You melt the butter, sugar, syrup and cocoa powder and add to the biscuits and raisins.

Press it into a 20cm square tray or similar and leave to cool down.  If you really have no respect for your health, you melt the chocolate and pour it over the top but we've always found it to be perfectly sickly enough without the added chocolate!

Cut into squares.

Making the Tiffin served a double purpose; as well as using up the broken biscuits, Son needed to take a 'cake' with him to Cub camp this weekend, so there it is in an icecream tub all ready to take.  In the excitement of seeing the little chap off, the Tiffin got left behind.  I don't feel too guilty; with a rucksack bigger than himself to carry, that tub of Tiffin might just have been the straw that broke the camel's back, so we're left with no alternative but to eat it up ourselves.  What a hardship!

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

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