My absolute favourite Masterchef Australia episode was the one where the Mystery Box was full of scraps of food from one of George’s restaurants. The look on the the contestants faces was priceless.
If you missed it, just read Reality Ravings’ recap. BTW you should be reading her blog ALL THE TIME if you love reality TV. It’s fab.
What I loved most was that the contestants were being encouraged to think about food in its entirety.
Like many, I try really hard not to waste food.
So my biggest pet peeve with reality cooking shows is how much food they seem to waste. Veggie peelings and trimmings, bones with chunks of meat, chicken carcasses, fish trimmings. All these ingredients can easily be repurposed into a dish that is not only edible, but tastes divine.
At the very least you can make a beautiful bone broth.
Mine is simmering away right now – with the chicken carcass from last night’s roast, leftover chicken bones from a meal last week, the parsley stalks I didn’t use in a salad a few days ago, the tops and tough bits of the fennel from lunch on the weekend, the onion and garlic skins, the leafy bit of the carrots from the markets last week.
I certainly didn’t have all these ingredients fresh for tonight. Last week’s chicken bones, the fennel and the onion and garlic skins were all popped into a ziplock bag as I accumulated them, and into the freezer. Then all dropped into the slow cooker with tonight’s scraps.
It’s really not hard.
And then there are other ways of repurposing food.
Last week I made a soup for lunch. Two nights before it had been a roast veggie salad with roast pumpkin, capsicum and red onion, corn off the cob, baby spinach leaves, a heap of herbs and some shaved manchego cheese. Yep, it was as good as it sounds. But two days later it looked a bit grim. Manky baby spinach, very wilted herbs. The dressing pooling at the bottom of the bowl. Bleugh.
The quickest way to revive it was to pop the lot in the Thermomix with a litre of chicken broth and cook it on 100c for about 15 minutes before blitzing smooth.
Now I hear you say you don’t have a Thermomix. No problem. Chuck it all in a pot on the stove, heat through, blend with a stick blender, or mash with a potato masher. Or a fork. Whatever works for you.
The flavours were fantastic. Lunch was served.
How do you repurpose food? If you want some more ideas about how to avoid food waste, read my top ten tips to avoid food waste.