Grilled cheese and throwing out food – a strange title I know – but stay with me. I’ve been trying to decide what I should give up for Lent. In years past I’ve abstained from the usual categories such as chocolate and alcohol, once I misguidedly attempted to pass on caffeine (it didn’t end well) but this year I decided I would give up throwing out food. Food spoilage bothers me on many levels. Of course it’s financially irresponsible, but there’s also the environmental cost, not to mention the feelings of guilt when you think about those that go hungry. Apparently the United States wastes 40% of it’s food!! 25% of that is from the home – that’s a pretty drastic statistic!! I don’t think we mean to waste it but without a little thought and organization it’s easy to do. Click here to visit a great site called I Value Food, there’s tons of information, recipes and tips, there’s even a quiz to take to see just how wasteful you are!
During the first week of Lent I’ve really got into this, it turns out there’s plenty of food when everyone’s yelling “there’s no food in the fridge!!!!” Actually there is. Just look at the grilled cheese above, if you can hunt down some bread, butter, a little leftover Brie and a jar of relish – you have a sensational grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. Naturally there are vegetables lurking in the back of the fridge which have seen better days but can be transformed when roasted and blended into a soup. The point being it takes a little effort and creativity but a nourishing meal can be made out of very little and I’m betting that if you took a look in your fridge or pantry you could pull together some pretty fantastic dishes if you had to:) It turns out I’m not the only one with this idea for Lent, hop over to the beautiful blog Elizabeth’s Kitchen Dairy to read her inspiring article about a six week long campaign to reduce wasting food at home. In Britain there’s quite a movement to stop “binning” food – click here to check out Love Food Hate Waste for the British version of I Value Food.
- 2 slices of Ezekiel or sourdough bread
- 2 oz unsalted butter
- 4 slices of brie
- 1 tablespoon cranberry relish
- Butter one side of each of the slices of bread.
- Spread the relish on the unbuttered side of one of the slices of bread, put the brie on top, then top with the other slice of bread, buttered side facing up.
- Place one of the buttered side of the sandwich in a non stick pan and heat on medium heat until the bread is golden, gently flip over and brown the other side. As you do so the cheese will start to melt.
- Slide the sandwich out of the pan, cut in half and devour.
Here are few other ideas that work well for finishing everything up:
Make a meal out of Sweet Potatoes.
Use up your Oatmeal for breakfast.
Root Vegetable Soup!
Turn your roast chicken leftovers into Soup!
A Vegan Shepherd’s Pie – to use up some of the lentils you have in the pantry.
Add some veggies to leftover rice and top with an egg.
Turn your roast chicken leftovers into a Chicken Pot Pie.
So how do you do with throwing out food? do you use every morsel or do you need a helping hand from I Value Food. Do you have great recipes for leftovers? I’d love to know – please share:)