Not wasting food

I am so enjoying my Christmas break. We have been taking things easy for a change, seeing family and having a good rest – plus eating too much!

I have cleaned out a couple of kitchen cupboards though – that had been the extent of my efforts. I like to go through them all every now and again to remind myself of what is there and make sure we eat anything near its best before date.

We have plenty of food in the house which I do not want to waste. I bought the usual amount of fruit but because there is so much in the way of snacks and unhealthy stuff that it hasn’t been eaten. I will make a big fruit salad tomorrow and then it should go. We are all murmuring about eating too much rubbish so something healthy should go down a treat. 

We don’t have Christmas leftovers here as such as we weren’t here on Christmas Day, otherwise I would be making Christmas soup with it all!

How about you? Are you using it all up?

Still got leftovers? How about Turkey with pasta and blue cheese?

imageI thought we had used most of our Christmas leftovers, but then Mr S turned up with a great hunk of cooked turkey breast from his brother! Never one to waste such a gift I decided to adapt a recipe I have had for years and use it with the remaining Stilton and a bit of cream and wine to make a delicious pasta sauce. The original recipe uses fresh chicken breast, Gorgonzola and white wine but it worked just as well with the cooked meat, Stilton and a bit of rose wine that had been hanging around for too long in the fridge. If you are using raw meat, fry it in the oil with the garlic for a bit and then proceed as below.

4oz spinach, chopped (or frozen peas, or par cooked broccoli)
2tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
About 8oz cooked turkey or chicken
14oz dried pasta
4fl oz white wine
7 fl oz cream
4 oz blue cheese

Put your pasta on to boil as per instructions. Heat the oil and gently sweat the garlic then add the veg and fry for a few minutes before tipping on the meat. Warm through then add the cheese cut into cubes, the cream and the wine. Allow it all to bubble away until the cheese has melted and the meat is heated right through. Season to taste then stir into the cooked and drained pasta and serve.

We had ours with some salad that needed eating but it’s nice with some crusty bread to mop up the juices.

I found a great little blog via Instagram yesterday which I will be passing into my daughter for inspiration. If you know a young person who needs a kick to start saving, send them to:

Www.cantswingacat.wordpress.com

 

Two recipes for Christmas leftovers

risotto 2I am still steadfastly working through my meal plan and using up all the leftovers from Christmas, as well as some of the bits and pieces I found at the back of the cupboard.  Yesterday we had a sophisticated yet delicious Turkey and Mushroom Risotto, which darling daughter 3 declared ‘banging’. I think that was a compliment 🙂 This came from the Daily Telegraph. I doubled up the quantities overall but only used 25g of porcini mushrooms and added 25g of fresh mushrooms, which worked really well. I also used paella rice instead of proper risotto rice as that was what I happened to have in the cupboard. I would make this again, even without the turkey.

Here is the recipe, plus some others that are quite interesting looking:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/seasonal-food-and-drink/10525654/Five-recipes-for-leftover-turkey.html

Tonight we have a Chestnut, Parsnip and Mushroom Roast, with roast potatoes, carrots and sprouts. I adapted it from Sarah Brown’s Layered Cashew and Mushroom Roast in her book Vegetarian Kitchen. It is an old book, but very much worth getting hold of if  you every come across a copy.

Chestnut, Parsnip and Mushroom Roast

This is a bit time consuming, but worth the effort. It made a very moist roast, so if you prefer it crunchier add another 50-100g of chestnuts.

nut roast 2

Tbsp oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
250g shelled chestnuts
110g breadcrumbs (whizz the ends of the bread up)
1 egg
3 medium parsnips, boiled and mashed
1 tsp fresh rosemary (or half tsp dried)
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped up
(you could just use a tsp of dried mixed herbs if you don’t have these)
1 tsp yeast extract, dissolved in 150ml hot water
For the mushroom filling:
225 g mushrooms, chopped and fried in a little butter

Fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes in the oil. Whizz up the breadcrumbs then the nuts in a food processor, and place in a large bowl. Add the egg, the mashed parsnips and the herbs, then the onion and yeast extract. Season to taste.

Grease a 2lb loaf tin and place half of the nut mixture into it, pressing down firmly, then add the mushrooms, drained so that you don’t make the mixture soggy. Add the rest of the nut mixture, press firmly again, then cover with foil.

Cook for one hour at 180 degrees, taking the foil off for the last 15 minutes to brown the top of your roast. Serve with gravy and vegetables. Yummy!