Food Waste Friday | Saving Some Spinach

FoodWasteFriday After years of wasting hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of food, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

This week wasn’t all that bad.  As usual, I found a few new ways to save some veggies AND trick my family into eating more of them.

I had a package (ugh, I hate overly packaged food) of organic spinach that had a few leaves that were starting to look sad.  I decided to throw some into dinner that night and put the rest in the freezer for fear that they wouldn’t make it before I got around to eating them.  We were having pasta with a simple tomato sauce (no meat), and I diced a few spinach leaves very fine and tossed them in.  Tony had no idea.  That’s one thing I really love about spinach.  Its flavor isn’t all that strong, so it’s easily added to other dishes with little or no detection.

The Scacchi House: Food Waste Friday

Freezing spinach is super simple.  I just pick off all the stems and toss them into a freezer bag.  Simple as that.  Oh, don’t forget to wash and dry it first.  As long as the spinach is really dry, the leaves shouldn’t stick to one another making it really easy to just pull a few out and add to meals.

I did actually throw something away this week.  We made pasta the first week we lived in the house and not thinking, I made an entire box.  Rylan was still here, so I think that threw me off.  I usually cook just over a half of a box.  This makes enough for the three of us, plus a small lunch-sized leftover portion.  This particular meal made lots of leftovers.

The Scacchi House: Food Waste Friday

After eating on them for a few days, I guess this little container got pushed to the back of the fridge.  Although it doesn’t look or smell bad, it has been in the fridge for about two weeks.  That’s way beyond my threshold for leftovers.  Oh well.

How did you do this week?

nopin

Food Waste Friday Is Back

FoodWasteFriday After years of wasting hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of food, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

Since I’m finally in control of the groceries once again, Food Waste Friday is back!  When we moved into our new place, I decided a few things right off the bat.  First, I would do everything in my power to have zero food waste.  Second was to start a compost bin.

We have been in our new place for two weeks now.  We love it, even though it’s more space than we need or want.  It’s even bigger now that Rylan (our nephew) went back home.

Since Ava and I are home all the time, we are on leftover patrol.  I’ve taken it upon myself to eat any leftovers so they do not go bad.  So far, so good!

I am pleased to report that they only thing that went into the compost pile were a few pieces of moldy sweet peppers.  My mother-in-law sent them (not moldy) with us from her house when we moved.  By the time I got around to using them, a few of them were starting to grow mold.  No big deal.

Frozen Sweet Peppers in a Jar

I cut the mold off and decided to cut and freeze the rest of them to be on the safe side.  I love freezing peppers.  I love having them on hand.  I just pull the jar out of the freezer and pick a few out.  Easy peasy.  We also saved some very brown organic bananas by making some of my Nana’s delicious banana bread.  It didn’t last very long.

Coffee Jug

I’ve got my recycled jug in the fridge for any leftover coffee. (I got all fancy and wrote it on with a sharpie.) Just add milk and sugar and you have iced coffee.  No waste!  Speaking of coffee, I just bought this coffee pot…. for $3.73!

Thrift Store Coffee Pot

I’ve been looking for one at Goodwill but they’re either not the right size/style/color, over priced, or just flat-out nasty.  I spotted this one a few days ago.  It’s the exact one we had in Alaska (only paid $5 on Craigslist for that one) and was clean and an additional 30% off.  My patience paid off!

Storage Container Compost Bin

I did manage to start my compost bin.  It’s actually looking pretty great, if I must say so myself.  Check out all the kitchen scraps I need to add!

Kitchen Scraps for Compost

I keep a bin in the door of the fridge.  My bin is an aluminum loaf pan with a plastic produce bag.  Eventually I’ll be able to grow new food from these scraps, and that makes me very happy!

Did you waste any food this week?

nopin

Food Waste Friday: Beet It Wasted Coffee

FoodWasteFriday

After years of wasting hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of food, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

I bought three beets a few weeks ago.  Since they are a root vegetable, they typically last a while.  I cooked one shortly after buying them, but the others have been in the veggie drawer of the fridge ever since.  If you have never bought fresh beets, you get the beets with the greens attached.  I just realized that you can cook and eat the greens too, just like kale or chard.  That was my plan.

By the time I got around to cooking them this week, they were way beyond saving.  The greens were wilted and droopy.  The beets on the other hand were still perfect! I roasted them and made beet sandwiches, complete with green goddess sauce.  A-MA-ZING!  If you haven’t given beets a try, you should.

So what do you do with the coffee at the bottom of the coffee pot that you don’t get around to drinking?  I would always just toss it, but not anymore.  When we lived in Florida, we had an iced coffee brewer just like this one.

One morning, it occurred to me that what I was pouring was essentially iced coffee.  Now after I finish a pot of coffee, I let the remaining coffee cool, then pour it into a mason jar and store it in the fridge.  Usually I have enough coffee after a day or two for one glass of iced coffee.

To make a glass of iced coffee, just combine your refrigerated coffee, sweetener (I use agave or evaporated cane sugar), and milk (or creamer).  You usually have more milk in iced coffee than you would in your regular cup, so leave a little extra room.  You can add ice if you would like.  I like to drink mine with a straw.  =)  Straws always make drinks feel that much more special.

How was your waste this week?  Do you make iced coffee at home?

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Food Waste Friday: No Waste is Good Waste

FoodWasteFriday

After years of wasting hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of food, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

I have absolutely no food waste to report this week.  I was really good about using up a half of a lemon to make a gallon of Tony’s favorite green tea.  I also used up a few small pieces of cheese in a very yummy grilled cheese sandwich.

Do you have any creative recipes to use up extra little bits of food?  How about any new ways to make over leftovers?

Food Waste Friday: Death of Cilantro

FoodWasteFriday

After years of wasting hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of food, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

This week was not that great.  I had to throw away almost an entire bunch of cilantro.  It was (mostly) my fault.  Tony put the groceries away and just set the bag of organic cilantro in the fridge on its side.  I didn’t find it for a few days.  By then, it was nasty and slimy on the side that was laying flat.

I normally store my cilantro upright in a glass of water with the plastic bag over the top.  Stored like this, it will last about two weeks.  I made one batch of my favorite avocado buttermilk dressing and attempted to salvage the rest.  Even after cleaning it and storing it correctly, it was wilted and sad-looking the next day.  Oh well, I tried.

I was able to salvage a head of celery that was beginning to go limp and some red cabbage that was left over from a large batch of pot stickers I made.  I put both the celery and the cabbage along with an onion and carrots into a batch of lentil soup.  This was the first time I put cabbage in it.  It was delicious!  I will be adding it from here on out.

I also saved a small container of roasted beets and sweet potatoes that were left over from tacos.  I puréed them and made pasta.  I had the homemade pasta for dinner last night with a homemade alfredo sauce that Tony made.  So good!

How did your week go?

Food Waste Friday 2/22

FoodWasteFriday

After years of wasting what could have fed a small Ethiopian village, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

This week we lost a handful of organic spinach and a half a bag of mixed greens.

The organic spinach was left over from Tony making juice. I have been trying to use it up by incorporating it into recipes like baked eggs. I wasn’t able to finish it all before it got slimy.

The lettuce I got on clearance because it was nearing its sell by date. I can usually finish a bag or container before it goes bad, but this one didn’t make it. It was only $.75, so not a huge budget killer. I just need to try harder next time.

mouse in cup

Photo by twoshortplanks

We had a mouse in the kitchen yesterday morning. I didn’t actually see it, but Tony says it’s there. I guess we will break out a trap. Poor little mouse just wanted to get warm. I will take Alaska’s occasional mouse in the house over Florida’s monster spiders and cockroaches any day.

How did you do this week?

Food Waste Friday 2/8 & 2/15

FoodWasteFriday

After years of wasting what could have fed a small Ethiopian village, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

I am reporting for both this week and last week.  Last week we only lost these green beans.  I was pretty upset about these since I bought them and completely forgot about them.  Ava loves sautéed green beans, so they normal don’t go to waste.  I put them in the bottom drawer and forgot about them.  I can’t even remember how long they were in there.  Once I noticed they were there I thought I would incorporate them into a pot of soup, but once I got them out of the bag I realized that they were too far gone.  As you can see, some of them had mold on them.  Bummer.

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This week was much better.   The only food waste I have to report was completely accidental.  Tony made a quesadilla the other night as a midnight snack and used half of an avocado.  Well, he forgot to put the other half in the refrigerator.  By the time I found it the next morning it was a brown mushy mess.  Boo.  It’s very rare that an avocado goes to waste in our house.  They are one of Ava’s favorites and a staple in my diet.

How did you do this week?

Food Waste Friday 2/1

FoodWasteFriday

After years of wasting what could have fed a small Ethiopian village, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

This week was horrible, for food waste that is.  I tossed half of a cucumber, a small piece of red onion, and a container of sprouts.  I had just cut the cucumber 3 or 4 days before.  I’m not really sure what happened.  The onion was in the fridge for a while and was way beyond saving.  I bought the package of sprouts knowing I would never be able to finish it all.  I don’t eat that many.  I was able to use up all the cilantro I had in the fridge, which was awesome.  No waste there!

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Next time I want sprouts, I’m just going to sprout my own.  This will cut down on the waste drastically.  They are easy enough to grow.

My goal next week is to eat up a lot of what we have in the fridge and pantry.  Any money left over from our grocery budget can go into savings.  Woohoo!

How was your week?

Food Waste Friday 1/11

FoodWasteFriday

After years of wasting what could have fed a small Ethiopian village, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

I’m fairly bummed about this week.  I made an entire crock pot full of vegetable soup and it all ended up in the trash.  It was disgusting!  It was a recipe I found on Pinterest.  I figured I would give it a try.  It had one major problem.  The recipe said to add the uncooked pasta in the beginning and let it cook with the soup all day.  I should have known better.  By the time I got home to check the soup, the pasta had cooked down to mush and ruined the entire soup.  Needless to say, it went straight into the garbage.

I also let a little bit of leftover potato and broccoli soup go bad.  I don’t know how I forgot about it.  It was actually really good and I would have eaten it.  I guess we just got busy.  Hopefully next week will be better.

How was your week?

See how last week went… Food Waste Friday 12/28

Food Waste Friday 12/28

FoodWasteFriday

After years of wasting what could have fed a small Ethiopian village, we are attempting to reduce our food waste. I will post a photo each week of our food waste and I will link up with Food Waste Friday over at The Frugal Girl.

I am pleased to announce that we have no food waste this week!  We have been diligent about eating all of our leftovers and using up ingredients.  Yay for us!

We did have the opportunity to eat some fresh caught Alaskan Salmon this week.  A friend was given a huge fillet, and there was no way she was finishing it.  We had teriyaki salmon one night and salmon tacos the next.  The fish was so fresh and delicious (and free!).  That is what living in Alaska is all about!

How did you do this week with your food waste?