Another Scrappy Zero Waste Week Idea

by Julie Gibbons on September 9, 2010

This is no biggie, really – rather a very simple example that one person’s waste is another person’s fortune (or something like that!)

organic curry sauce leftovers

I guess it’s all a result of perspective change. I made a truly awesome paneer (Indian cottage cheese), potato and broccoli curry last week . It’s a great combo, because it means I can use the broccoli  from my veg box in a recipe that suits the whole Organikal Family. You see, I share something in common with Organikal Child – I don’t like broccoli.

No matter – curried broccoli means it’s just about palatable, and together with all the other veg and the delicious paneer, this is one meal we all enjoy. Exchanging bits of broccoli for potato and so on all just adds to the fun (the rule is we all we need to eat a bit of each – what with broccoli being a super food and all).

And the result is – we eat it all. Every last bite. Except last week I misjudged things ever so slightly and added too much water to the recipe. This meant that come washing up time, there was a pot half full of curry sauce. On any other week, I may have just tipped this sauce down the sink. But not in the run up to Zero Waste Week - and never again!

This time, I saved it in a plastic tub (eek – dangerous chemical leakage alert) and put in the fridge, whereby the next day I added a can of pre-soaked cannellini beans to the sauce and served it in a jacket potato for a fresh and healthy take on jacket potato and baked beans:

organic jacket potato with organic curried beans

By shifting our awareness and perspective, we really can alter our behaviour and create new habits. I’ve always loved leftovers but I’ve never before been driven to think of how I can find so much value in food I would normally throw away without so much as a second glance.

How are you thinking about your food in this Zero Waste Week? Let Mrs Green know over at My Zero Waste and you stand a chance of winning some prizes!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie Walker September 9, 2010 at 9:40 am

When I worked in Germany (way way back in 81), they would store even the tiniest scraps from each meal. On a Friday they made the main meal from them. They would layer the food – meat on the bottom, chopped up. Then vegetables, then the carb – rice, pasta, potato. If there was gravy or sauce left over that would go on top and then pop it in the oven.


Julie Gibbons September 9, 2010 at 10:51 am

The tastiest pie in the world, eh? A sign of the times that we don’t do it, or a cultural thing? I can’t remember any leftovers at home when I was wee. Must ask my mum ..


Samantha Minogue September 9, 2010 at 11:28 am

Love your post, keep up the great ideas :) This weekend we are making a typical South African dish called Potjie, it means “little pot” in Afrikaans. Basically its a massive stew cooked over an open fire and its perfect for chucking in the weeks leftovers. Its cooks slowly for a few hours so veg that has gone a bit soft in the week only gets better in the Potjie Pot!


Julie Gibbons September 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Thanks Samantha! Sounds marvellous – open fire one pot cooking, mmmmmmmmmmmmm :)


Heather Bestel September 9, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Ooooh, that sounds lovely Jackie :-)
We always use the left overs. In fact I often plan a meal knowing I can use some it it again later lol. The veggie roast dinner on a Sunday always gives me extra veggies to make soup for Monday night’s supper.
Our neighbours are very generous with their produce from the veg patch and we can never eat it all in one week, so I make a huge pot of curry and freeze it in smaller portions.
A great tip for things like left over tomato sauce or pesto is to freeze it in ice cube trays. Then just use as much or little as you need.
I make a very quick soup with garden peas whizzed up and a teaspoon of pesto – simple and quick.
Heather xx


Julie Gibbons September 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Thanks Heather – proving food in ice cube trays is not just for babies ;) Love it!


Crafty Green Poet September 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm

oh excellent idea, I occasionally find myself with too much liquid left over after cooking and don’t think about reusing it but i will in the future!


Julie Gibbons September 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Isn’t it funny – I’d just normally throw it down the sink without a thought!


mrs green @ myzerowaste September 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Oh fantastic! I LOVE this post; I do similar things when there is too much sauce, but your home made baked beans sound awesome; really inspirational stuff. I think it’s really creative and exciting to get into the ‘throw nothing away’ mindset in the kitchen, because invariably you find something new that becomes a firm favourite.
Your curry sounds delicious (but then I could eat a whole head of broccoli on its own; I love the stuff!)


Julie Gibbons September 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

Thanks! A firm favourite, this will definitely become :)

My DH, Martin, used to eat whole heads of broccoli, steamed and serve it for dinner! I like to think I’ve expanded his veggie repertoire somewhat – and I haven’t given in to my prejudice to ban it from the veg box yet …


Jean at The Delightful Repast September 30, 2010 at 7:03 pm

I’ve always saved every drop of sauce or gravy that’s left and used it later. Too good to waste! But I have thrown out a lot of food and scraps at times, and I try very hard not to do that anymore.


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