Get The Most Out Of Your Prep, and Your Pantry

 

Now into the pot with you!

 

Reducing food waste has always been a paramount concern for us at Fiesta Farms, and recent events have made this more important than ever. Let’s look at a few ideas for shopping, preparing simple meals and using leftovers in interesting and delicious ways.

As consumers we want to get the most bang for our buck, we want to maximize the efficiency of our limited trips to the grocery store, we want to purchase common sense staples that can be prepared in a variety of ways, and we want to be able to create delicious, economical and healthy meals from pantry staples and even put those odds and ends rolling around in the crisper to good use. With these concepts in mind, let’s look at a few simple ways to be efficient and creative in the kitchen.

 

 

Grocery shopping is an exercise in efficiency these days, we want to get our provisions and get out of the store as quickly as possible. To limit repeat visits, stocking up is essential and this is where ground beef, or Yves (soy-based) Ground Round, comes in. Cook up a mess of it and then you’ve got a base for shepherd’s pie, spaghetti, chili, a filling for tacos, a topping for pizza – the list goes on.

It tastes like the real thing!

 

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, and when it hands you bones, make stock.  Sure, making stock out of raw bones is the typical method, but you can also make a great broth out of yesterday’s dinner. Even if you’ve picked that chicken, turkey or ham clean you can make stock out of the leftover bones once the meat has been carved off. Making a stock is also the ideal way to use up all those little veggies hiding in the fridge; the leaves and ends of celery, carrot nubs, that half onion rolling around in the fridge. All these go into making a fantastic stock. Of course you don’t need to raid the animal kingdom for good food, and people who avoid meat and dairy can still make fantastic stocks, soups and stews dishes out of their leftover veg.

It may not seem worth it; taking the time and trouble to make a stock out of a few bones and a handful of scraps. You’re not going to get much yield, but what you will get is a base for a wonderful soup, or stew, or gravy or sauce. And the time spent doing it? Well, we all have a little more time at home these days, don’t we?

 

 

Pot pies are another great way to use up odds and ends in the fridge. Maybe you only have some cooked chicken or a bit of leftover roast beef. You can easily stretch that into a dinner for four by cutting it up into bite sized pieces and mixing it with those aforementioned veggies- carrots, celery, onion, as well as parsnip, celeriac, potatoes, rutabaga, peas. All veggies are welcome! They are all classic ingredients for a chicken or beef pot pie. Add some butter, a splash of cream, or go another route and dollop with tomato sauce, top with leftover mash and pop it in the oven.

 

 

Last night’s mashed potatoes, parsnip, turnip or even squash make a great topping for those pot pies and shepherd’s pies, and also are a dream in puréed soups. Make soup out of some leftover cauliflower, roasted acorn squash and sweet potato. You could make an extra simple soup out of just one of these fantastic veggies, or use them all. Just purée them in your blender, skins and all with a little stock, or just blitz it right in the pot with an immersion blender.

Once pureed, add the rest of your stock, veggie or otherwise, and bring the soup up to temperature. Think of the veggies that you have used. Maybe they were buttered and seasoned from the night before, so you don’t need to add this. If they need it, add it. Think of what spices go well with root veggies: a little allspice or nutmeg is classic with cauliflower. Squash and carrot like ginger… and hey, maybe a little curry?

 

 

The main thing to remember is to not be intimidated by the leftover bits in your fridge, it’s all good food, and with a little cunning and love you can perform small miracles.



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