Posts tagged "food and the like"

How can I reuse or recycle pineapple leaves and skin?

pineappleWe’ve had an email from Mina:

I love pineapples but I feel so guilty eating them! Not only about all the food miles involved but there is so much waste with all the leaves and the skin! Help me feel less guilty by letting me know what I can do with them!

Apparently you can re-plant the crown and make it grow new pineapples but it’s a difficult and slow process (two to three years or so) – it’s easier to keep it just as a fun house plant.

But if you’re eating a lot of pineapples, that’s not a scalable solution – so any other ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle brown sauce?

HP SauceI’m not brand loyal about many things but orange squash has to be Robinsons (full sugar, none of that sugar-free or high juice nonsense), baked beans have to be Heinz and brown sauce has to be HP, or at the very least Daddies.

Every now and then, I try other things because I hate habits, particularly habits that benefit huge corporations and sometimes this works out but other times it leaves me with an almost entire bottle of brown sauce on our condiments shelf and a nasty taste in my mouth. It is not going back in my mouth again – at least not as brown sauce.

I would be tempted to try it in cooking where I need something to add to the flavour but don’t need it to taste exactly like brown sauce but I’m wondering what else it could be used for too.

Now, I know that brown sauce, which Wikipedia informs me is similar to steak sauce in the US, has at least one other use: I used to use it to make coins shiny when I was a kid and evidently had too much time on my hands — so that makes me think it could be used for other cleaning purposes. I suspect it’s mostly the vinegar, combined with a slight abrasiveness from the solid particles in the sauce, that does the cleaning – but the brownness might get in the way of that.

So any suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle leftover cooked pasta?

SpaghettiWe covered leftover cooked rice about an eon ago but for some reason haven’t covered the other thing I usually over-estimate when cooking: pasta.

The obvious answer is, of course, lunch the next day and we usually go down the quick’n'easy route of it microwaved with a bit of pesto or fried up into a frittata.

And what about reusing it in other fun ways? I’m guessing like with cooked rice, pasta shapes work great as a filler in soups – just not added *too* early in the cooking process. Spaghetti/tagliatelle might be a bit too stringy for soups as they are but a little chopping up never hurt anyone.

Any other ingenious places you use it up? Or any crazy ways to use it in non-culinary situations?

(Photo by TouTouke)

How can I reuse or recycle herbal tea bags like chamomile?

herbal teaI know we’ve kinda covered this topic before – in the form of “real” tea bags – but I was thinking about chamomile ones the other day and wondered if there aren’t some special reuses for different herbal ones, instead of just winging them into the compost.

According to lore/half memories in my head this Monday morning, chamomile tea is good for bringing out blonde bits in hair: after you’ve enjoyed the tea, stew the bag/bags to get a couple of strong cups full of it, then lash it over your head. Wisdom (and by “wisdom”, I mean some internet forums I once read) differs on though whether it just cleans residues off blonde bits or (with the application of a bit of heat/sun) it actually lightens/re-colours the hair. Anyone know?

Any other less spurious re-uses for second/third/fourth soakings of chamomile?

And what about other herbal teas? I’ve always thought herbal teas smell better than they taste – anything to take advantage of that?

(Photo by Egahen)

How can I reuse or recycle broccoli stalks?

Broccoli(Ok, “reuse or recycle” probably isn’t the best term to use with these – it’s probably more “how can I use them instead of just composting them?” – but nevermind.)

The last few times I’ve bought broccoli, I’ve noticed the stalk attached to the stem seems ridiculously long compared to the head. It seems such a waste to throw it in the compost when I’ve paid by weight, so paying as much for that bit as the florets, but for some reason until last week, it didn’t occur to me to see what can be done with it.

Apparently it’s as perfectly edible as the florets but works better in soups than stir-frys or the like because it can be a bit tough so benefits from a nice long time in the pan. (This mash recipe also sounds nice: I’m all for mashes, saves all the bothersome chewing energy.)

Any other recipe suggestions for using them up? I suspect they might be a great addition to a veggie stock … anyone got a recipe?