Waste not, want not-Sister #3


My parents were raised in the midst of the depression. As a result, we kids were taught to never waste food.  While the results of finishing everything on my plate likely accounts for my tendency to be overweight, there were some good things that came as a result of this theology.  This week’s blog include some of my favourite ways to upcycle items that may otherwise go in the garbage, or sometimes, into already full tummies.

Freezer Fried Rice
I learned this one from my sister Kath.  At the end of a meal when there is a bit of leftover meat or vegetables, wrap them up and put them in the freezer. I have a special bin for these bits and pieces.  I also freeze the plain white rice that comes with a Chinese food delivery, as my favourite restaurant includes chicken fried rice with a large enough order.  Then when I have a craving for good fried rice, I pull out my rice, meat, veggies, add soya sauce and an egg and voila! A yummy dinner.

Refrigerator Soup
My father was the master of refrigerator soup. It’s a great way to use up what you’ve got on hand.  And I use this method all the time.  The only problem is, if you create a delicious meal, it’s not always possible to “re”create it. Sometimes I make a vegetable soup while cleaning out the crisper. Other times it’s the freezer and those frozen veggies get cooked up in a broth with onions and garlic, then put through the blender.  

Another favourite is taking some of the bits of meat with left over veggies from the fried rice bin, adding a can of tomatoes and frozen pasta.  A new creation every time, and pretty much free food.        

Smoothie Bin

I am awful at estimating how much fruit I need.  If I want a variety, I end up with too much, because it takes one person a long time to eat a whole melon and I refuse to pay more for store cut fruit.  Living alone and buying a pineapple often means I’m tired of it half way through, or worse, I cut it all up and forget it in the back of the fridge.  So before the berries get mushy or the peaches get grainy, I flash freeze them and put them in baggies in my smoothie bin.  This way I have plenty of frozen fruit and just need to add juice and yogurt, or some almond milk to the blender and I have a yummy way to start the day.

I often make my smoothie on the thicker side and turn into a bowl.  I top with nuts and seeds, some nut butter and fresh fruit and it’s very satisfying.

I think that one leftover food we can all relate to is bananas.  Why can I never buy the right amount of bananas?  I’m always peeling and freezing bananas. Thankfully I like them in my smoothies, but sometimes I can’t keep up and end up making muffins, or my very favourite banana bread recipe-most certainly more of a dessert than a breakfast item.  I got this recipe years ago from my friend Sabina. Hope you enjoy it.  

Banana Nut Chip Loaf


3 large ripe bananas, mashed 1 cup white sugar

2 medium eggs                       1/2 cup oil

1 1/4 cup flour                        1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chocolate chips          1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Mix all ingredients together and pour into a buttered loaf pan. Cook for 1 hour or until loaf comes away from the pan and a wooden toothpick come out clean, keeping in mind the chocolate will be melted and stick to the toothpick.  

Kath’s quote: “Give me liberty or – just some leftovers will also do”. Author unknown

Love never fails

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