Holiday food waste is at an all time high at the November-December holidays. So, what can you do to avoid waste? Planahead, share, save, and repurpose.
FOUR TIPS TO AVOID HOLIDAY FOOD WASTE
· Plan Ahead: Shop your pantry and fridge before heading to the grocery store to avoid overbuying. If family members/friends are preparing the meal with you, ask them to bring ingredients from their kitchens.
· Share: Save your clean, recycled pasta sauce jars and large plastic yogurt containers to use as to-go containers so your friends and family can enjoy leftovers at home.
· Save: Freeze leftovers in single-serving portions for quick and easy meals. Freeze leftover mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, or stuffing in single portions by placing ½ -1 cup dollops on a parchment paper-lined cookie tray. Once the single servings are frozen, transfer to large ziplock bags and place in the freezer for future use.
· Repurpose: If you don’t want to eat the same leftovers for a week after your holiday meal, try repurposing them into other recipes. Soups, sandwiches, casseroles, or salads are easy ways to reinvent your holiday leftovers in a fresh, tasty way.
Prevent Holiday Food Waste with this “Green Stew” Recipe
Environmental Specialist Tobie Mitchell demonstrates a simple, easy and delicious way to repurpose your Thanksgiving holiday leftovers in this Sustainable Ventura News video (below)
- 8 c. chicken or vegetable broth (homemade stock can be made in the slow cooker with the turkey carcass)
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1½ c. sweet potatoes, diced
- 1½ c. cubed squash
- 1½c. chopped kale
- 2 bay leafs
- Italian spice seasoning blend
- Himalayan sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Red chili pepper flakes (optional)
- 3 c. Leftover turkey or ham diced or shredded (optional)
- 1½ c. Leftover prepared rice or pasta noodles (optional)
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over low heat on the stovetop and add in onions and garlic, celery, and carrots and sauté until slightly golden.
- Place the broth, meat, other vegetables, and celery and onion mix, 2 bay leafs, Italian seasonings, and a few dashes of salt and pepper in a large pot*. Bring to a boil and simmer about 1.5 hours or so.
- If adding prepared rice, noodles, and/or leafy vegetables, add these for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
- Taste the soup and see if it might need more seasoning. For a little “kick” add in a dash of red chili pepper flakes to taste.