The disposal of unused food reaches a peak over the Christmas so the Stop Food Waste team have put together a few recipes and tips to help you avoid wasting food and money.
A few points worth remembering are:
- Serve food in bowls rather that dishing up on plates. This way the leftovers can be easily used.
- Keep children’s portion sizes big enough to keep them happy and small enough there’ll be a cleaned plate!
- Go against tradition. If there is something on the Christmas menu that nobody really likes or more probable that no one has room for, why not leave it out this year?
- Pay particular attention when planning parties or dinners for guests. Try to limit the amount of quickly perishable foods served on the night to what you know will be used. Unlike other times of the year the leftovers from a party are a hard sell when a house is full of goodies. Have some non-perishable snacks in stock which can remain unopened until the perishable items are used.
Some Stop Food Waste Recipie ideas (post-Christmas):
Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Vol-au-Vents
- Leftover Smoked Salmon, cut into small pieces
- Cream Cheese at room temperature
- Some chopped chives or parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon wedges
- Frozen Vol au Vent Cases
- A little bit of beaten egg
This recipe uses whatever ingredients that are at hand and the amounts are not critical.
Cream the cheese until soft with a beater or in a food processor. Add the cream until the cheese and cream are the consistency of stiffly whipped cream. Add in the parsley or chives, salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and the salmon. Mix well. Coat the top of the vol au vent cases with the egg and bake according to the instructions on the box. Allow to cool. Fill with the salmon/cheese mixture and garnish the dish with lemon wedges and some parsley. Serve cold.
The above may be also be made in a lower fat version by replacing the cream with crème fraiche and using a low fat cream cheese.
Yule Tide Tip! Many people feed bread to birds in the garden. Bread provides little value to birds in very cold weather. High energy foods such as nuts, seeds and fat balls are more appropriate to help birds get through cold spells.
A quick meal that makes use of left over ham, cream and cheese.
- 500g of pasta
- 25g butter
- 150g leftover ham diced into small pieces
- 2 – 3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
- A tub of double cream or crème fraiche
- 2 teaspoon mustard
- 2 beaten eggs
- A handful of chopped parsley
- 50g of hard cheese grated
- Black pepper
- Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water.
- Place the butter ham and garlic in a large non stick pan. Stir for a few minutes and then add the cream or crème fraiche and mustard. Season with salt. Take off the heat and add beaten eggs.
- Drain the pasta and return to the pan with the egg mixture. The heat from the pasta will cook and thicken the mixture but if serving to children you should cook the mix gently over a low heat for an extra minute. Serve with a sprinkling of black pepper and some grated cheese.
Yule Tide Tip! Fresh parsley is one of the easier herbs to grow in the garden and can be still in production for the Christmas season. It can be grown in a large pot. Sow according to instructions and add warm water to encourage rapid germination.
Christmas Pudding Ice Cream
A kind of cheats version of rum and raisin using leftover Christmas pudding and cream.
- 150ml chilled ready made custard
- 150ml double cream, whipped
- 125g leftover Christmas pudding, crumbled
- Liquor such as brandy, rum, whisky or Baileys (optional)
Mix together the custard and whipped cream then stir in the crumbled Christmas pudding. Freeze in a large Tupperware and stir every half hour or so until it’s the consistency you want. For a softer freeze, add a little brandy or leftover Christmas liquor such as rum, whiskey or Baileys.
Yule Tide Tip!
Instead of getting fed up with turkey and ham dinners, why not freeze individual dinners. Make up batches of one, two or more dinners that can go straight from freezer to oven or microwave.