How to store food and prevent food waste

May 27, 2021


Food waste is a serious problem in the western world. We throw perfectly good food away just to make room for more food. 

I always keep pantry staples on hand for baking and whipping up meals with very little need to go to the shop. Flour, sugar, salt, eggs, milk, tinned tomatoes and pasta are all essentials in my home.

When I buy meat or vegetables I portion it up and freeze it so that it prevents it going to waste if we don't get around to eating it. We all have that droopy draw of vegetables that we forgot about right? 

Being a single parent household with just the two of us we don't eat a lot and its always hard to cater for both our tastes. This is why I cook for 4 most of the time and freeze the remaining serves. It makes for easy weeknight meals and also prevents waste. 

There always comes the time when you realise that your pantry and freezer are full to the brim and you just have to take the time to stocktake and eat it down before you shop again. 

You might be surprised at how long you can go without shopping and how many meals you can make with just what is in your home. 

I cant go into every meal that you can make with few ingredients so this might need to be a series. Today though I can give you some of my go to use it up recipe ideas. 


Tuna bake

You will need:
Some kind of pasta
optional: breadcrumbs

Cook up some pasta (its doesn't even need to be all the same kind of pasta) and pour it into a baking dish. 

Make a rue with 1 tbls butter melted and 1 tbls flour mixed in then over low heat slowly pour in milk and whisk until you get a paste. Keep adding milk until it forms a sauce (about 500ml), add a hand full of what ever cheese you have. (you can even leave out the cheese but it will be less tasty). 

Pour this over the pasta and mix in a can of drained tuna. Sprinkle a hand full of cheese and bread crumbs if you have them over the top and bake until the top is crispy, about 180C for 10mins.

French Toast Dippers

You will need:
optional: cinnamon and milk

A great way to use up bread that is nearly stale. Beat about 1 egg per 2 slices of bread that you have and add a dash of milk and cinnamon. Dip both sides of the bread into the egg and fry both sides in a fry pan with a little oil or butter until golden brown, about 3mins per side. Cut into three strips and freeze. 

To eat just take a few out and pop them in the toaster. We like to dip ours in maple syrup or honey.


You will need:
Tomato paste
Curry powder
optional: corn flour, strawberry jam, chicken stock

I always seem to have sausages in my freezer and this is great to use them up. Kid approved.

Cook the sausages how you prefer. You can fry them, bake them or boil them (if you boil them you can remove the skins once they are done). 

Chop sausages into bite sized pieces (about 1in). Add them back to the pan and add 1tbls tomato paste and stir around. Add curry powder to taste, for kids I use about 1tsp of a mild powder or double for me. Add about 1 cup of water or chicken stock.

Add what ever vegetables need using up. I generally use frozen peas and corn, chunky diced carrots and sometimes diced potato (you can also cook the potato separately then mash and add in to thicken the sauce). Turn to a low simmer and cook until the vegetables are cooked through, about 10-15 mins.

At this point you can eat it as it is or I like to add 1tbls strawberry jam which adds sweetness and cuts through the bitterness of the curry nicely. You can also mix 1tsp of cornflour with a little water and stir it in heating for a few minutes to thicken the sauce. 

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