With food waste being the third largest contributor to global warming it seems appropriate to manage our food use and consumption as wisely as possible. Not only will we do our bit, but it will also save you some money and provide the family with something to talk about…”you did what with the spinach??!”
This week I thought I’d share 8 ways to ensure that you use the whole bag of pre-washed leaves in the fridge rather than leaving them to go mushy and smelling of rotten grass.
- If you have multiple half empty bags you can easily make a green soup. Follow the recipe for Watercress Soup but add the bags of leaves, it will be lovely. Trust me!
- Likewise if you have bits and bobs of leaves you can make a very nice pesto that tastes very fresh and tangy by following this recipe.
- Adding spinach, pea shoots or coriander to stir frys at the end of cooking is a great way to boost the green component without it needing to be a whole portion per person.
- Blend leaves into sweet smoothies for kids to get a green boost. A handful of spinach or pea shoots with some frozen banana (another waste not hack) and some milk and berries and you’ve got a smoothie that’s delightful.
- Lentil dahl is a great standby dish to have in the fridge ready to heat up when in a hurry. Stir through some bagged leaves near the end to use up. When cooked even the slightly mushy ones get hidden.
- Eggs are incredibly versatile and a fab way to combine some greens. Chop finely and add to an omelette just before serving. Or you can wilt in some butter and serve with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon or you can make into little grain free muffins by whisking some eggs with seasoning, adding a little chopped ham and leaves before baking in muffin tins in the oven.
- Chopping finely and adding to a salad with other leaves, seeds, spring onions, thinly sliced peppers and cucumber and dressed with a lemon and garlic dressing makes a very fresh tasting side dish for a pasta dish.
- Wilted greens goes really well with smoked foods, salmon, mackerel, bacon, ham, haddock. Use this as a bed of greens, add a baked tomato or two and you’ve a meal in a few minutes.
One final suggestion. Sometimes I get to a bag of leaves and they are on the turn but I can tell that there are some decent leaves in there still. I work on the basis that if they can be shaken out of the bag without being stuck to the sides they’re fresh enough to eat. If something is too soggy to move, it’s probably best where it is!
Good luck and happy cooking!