Food is money. Cold hard cash. When we throw our food away we are putting our hard earned dollars in the trash! It pains me.
I recently read The Nightingale, a novel, historical fiction, set in WWII. The main characters are French women living under Nazi oppression. My favorite parts of the book were about how they used up all the little bits of food, letting nothing go to waste. Their food rations were painfully modest, so naturally they used everything.
I so admire the ability to be frugal, creative, and not wasteful in the kitchen. I've been working to improve but still missing the mark so many weeks as I throw away more food in the trash.
So the other day when I found this post by Kendra the Lazy Genius, I had an a-ha moment, a revelation. I was totally blown away and inspired.
"Before you plan and before you shop, prep. "
FIFO on steroids style.
What? Why have I never ever thought to do this before? In one big session. The idea is before you plan your next week's meals and before you make a grocery list and before you shop, you prep - everything that's lingering on its final days in your fridge, get it out, chop, roast, eat. And then make a list so you know what you've got.
Last week, I gave this concept a try. I washed, chopped, cooked, grated, froze, labeled, and reconfigured our meals so we could eat up all this perfectly good food. Once I got started I was amazed at all the food we had. Amazed!
Here's what I ended up with...
spinach - from the farmers market, too fibrous and bitter for salads - I cooked it and froze it for soups.
zucchini - grated and froze to later make zucchini bread
squash - chopped and roasted - side for dinner
leftover baked sweet potatoes - removed peels and diced for a side dish or to give to Caroline
leftover red potatoes - roasted, side dish or perfect with scrambled eggs
pineapple, strawberries, peaches - cut up and put in containers for easy snacks
chocolate chip cookie dough to keep in fridge
Do you do this? Do you waste food?