Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham


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Food and cooking demo goes down a treat

There might have been a bit of a chill in the air but there were plenty of hot and spicy treats for the large crowds that gathered throughout the day for Lewisham’s first Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) cooking demonstration.

Richard cooks up a few treats for all the on lookers.

Richard cooks up a few treats for all the on lookers.

On Monday 21st November, celebrated chef Richard Fox spent the day just outside the shopping centre near Lewisham market showing people how to make simple yet wholesome food from ingredients that they might on another day have considered throwing away.

 First up on the menu was a biryani accompanied by flat bread made from left over chicken, sausages, peas, green beans an onion, some rice, some flour and a few herbs and spices that are probably lurking in everyone’s cupboard somewhere. This was all cooked and dished up within 10 mins or so and served to show the shopping residents of Lewisham just what could be achieved using simple everyday ingredients.

 As well as showing people simple and easy to cook recipes, Richard was also giving out many tips on how to make food last longer and therefore increase its chance of being used up and of course not wasted (which is what the event was all about). For example, he demonstrated how to make coriander last at least a week longer by simply wrapping it in paper towel, sprinkling it with some water and then wrapping some cling film round the stalks.

He also showed a plastic punnet filled with mushrooms that didn’t look their best and asked the crowd how many people would throw the mushrooms away with many agreeing that they would. Richard then cooked the mushrooms in some hot rapeseed oil before leaving them to cool. Once cool they could be put back into the fridge where they will keep for up to another 4 or 5 days and can be added to stews, curries etc. when required. This method was also demonstrated with some very overripe tomatoes which Richard explained were probably at their tastiest now and would be ideal for pasta sauces.

Shoppers gather to watch Richard in action

A second cooking demonstration is being planned for tomorrow (24th November) just outside the shopping centre again where chef Leigh Adams will be in action showing people how to make simple dishes and to think about not wasting food when there is really no need to.


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Top 10 tips for cooking and storing food in the home

So how do you go about cutting down on food waste? Here are some top tips:

 

1. Make the most of foods approaching use by date: why not cook and freeze for later use? For example, cook those sausages, freeze them and then turn them into a sausage risotto on another day.

 2. Remember to check the fridge daily (not just to get the milk out!) and look at dates and what needs using up – use this information in your meal planning. For example, if the eggs are approaching their ‘best before’ date then it might be omelettes for tea instead!

 3. No need to throw carrots and cucumbers away if they’ve gone a bit soft. Just put them in a glass of water in the fridge – they’ll perk up in no time. You can then peel and chop carrots, onions etc, bag them and freeze. When needed, just take out as much as you need and reseal. No more soggy veg at the bottom of your veg box.

 4. A curry is a good solution for just about any unused or leftover food, even vegetables that are on the soft side will be fine in a curry or casserole.

 5. Always finding the half used jar of pesto at the back of the fridge? Why not freeze the leftovers for another day?

 6. Understand the best way to store foods to keep them fresher for longer. Keep your fridge at the correct temperature: below 5°C.

 7. Storing fruit in the fridge can extend its life for up to 2 weeks (this does not work not bananas and pineapple).

 8. You can keep food safely in the freezer for years, in theory, as long as it has stayed frozen the whole time. However, the taste and texture of food changes if it’s frozen for too long, so you might well find that it’s not very nice to eat.

 9. Plan around your schedule and choose a time to plan when you will not be interrupted (too much) – include meals from the freezer, leftover recipes (e.g. pasta for tea, leftovers for lunch), cooking double and freezing half. If possible, use the time to look through cook books and recipes.

 10. Get others involved in menu planning – this ensures there’s something for everyone.

(image: Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)