It’s slightly staggering to think about, but more than half of all food produced in Canada is wasted. That’s 35.5 million tonnes of produce and other food products that could definitely be put to good use. If you find that you’re throwing out leftovers, extra ingredients, and items from the back of your fridge, get motivated to use them up instead with these delicious recipes.
Spuds are also a top landfill offender in Canada — we chuck out about 2.4 million of them every day. That’s a lot of wasted French fries, potato soups, curries and mashed ‘taters. Rather than buying the giant bags when they go on sale, invest in smaller portions, and get creative in how you use them. May we suggest this cauliflower gnocchi, which is the perfect hybrid of potatoes and veggies delivered in a pillowy parcel of perfection?
Tomatoes are another one of the most-wasted foods in Canada, with 1.2 million of them winding up in the trash or compost each day. If you find that you’re throwing out extra tomatoes, this is an excellent opportunity to make your own sauce from scratch. Sauce freezes for up to six months, and is so much tastier than the store-bought variety. Need proof? Whip up these vegan “meatballs” with homemade sauce the next time you have a couple extra tomatoes kicking around.
It’s bananas how many bananas hit the rubbish bin — 555,000 per day. Considering all of the delicious uses for the ripe fruit, that seems almost criminal. When bananas are beginning to brown, peel them in chunks and dry-freeze in ice cube trays before transferring them to a freezer-safe container. They can be used for a world of things beyond banana bread (although that’s delicious too), including puddings, smoothies, oatmeal and pancakes.
Sunday night roasts can become the bane of your existence by Wednesday morning, but that could be because those leftovers need a slight remix. Add leftover beef to casseroles, whip up a stroganoff, throw it into a beef and barley stew, or enjoy those meaty strips in all their glory with a good old-fashioned Philly cheese steak.
It’s easy to get crackin’ on using up those leftover eggs (rather than letting them join the 450,000 other eggs in the trash each day). Scramble them up for breakfast or dinner, add them to baking, or make yourself something extra tasty, like eggs in a delightful hash-brown cup. Inspired? Here are more creative ways to cook eggs.
Nothing beats a good roast chicken, but how often do we actually consume an entire one in a single sitting? Whether you cooked the whole bird or a tray of breasts, thighs or legs and find yourself with extras in the fridge, chances are you’ll be desperate for reliable leftover chicken recipes.
Dairy products are among the most thrown-out food in the country, which makes sense when you consider quick expiry dates. If yogurt happens to make its way into your compost bin more often than not, go for plain Greek yogurt that you can flavour for yourself, and then use in place of sour cream for Mexican food, pierogies, and even these creative nachos.
Bought a little too much fromage for that cheese platter you threw on the table during your latest shindig? Leftover cheese and cheese rinds are the perfect thing for thickening up and adding flavour to soups and stews, plus they’re pretty great in mashed potatoes and casseroles. Then there’s this quiche, which is a next-level way to use up leftovers.