Posts tagged "bread"

5 fantastic reuses: the best recipes for using up leftover rice

It’s all to easy to cook too much rice but thankfully there are lots of ways to use it up.

Food safety warning: bacteria, specifically Bacillus cereus, loves cooked rice – and it can quickly grow to dangerous levels. Minimise it’s growth by cooling it quickly, put it in the fridge as soon as possible then use it with a day or so.

1. Rice pudding

Rice pudding is eaten all over the world in one form or another. The general principle is the same – cook the rice in milk then when it’s tender, add a sweetener (sugar, honey or fruit syrup) and something to give it a bit more flavour such as cream, egg yolk, fruit or nuts and spices such nutmeg & cinnamon. There are thousands of different ways to make it – experiment to find your favourite!

Leftover cooked rice can be used in place of dry rice – particularly if you’re happy to have a mushier pudding in the end. When making it fresh, most people use short grain rice but anything will do – white or brown, long or short, basmati, jasmine – whatever you’ve got on the go.

One of my favourite rice pudding recipes is with coconut and mango – yum!

2. Add it to soup

Leftover rice – again, any time – is great as a bulking agent in soup. Added early on, it breaks down and makes the whole soup thicker; added towards the end, it provides scoopable particles to chase around the bowl.

Add it to a hearty minestrone, or a tasty Moroccan veg soup – or add it to a simple chicken soup for those days when your belly needs something nice and bland.

3. Stuffed peppers (or marrow)

You can quickly make a tasty dinner by stuffing bell pepper or marrow rings with leftover rice.

Cut the top off the bell pepper and remove any seeds/white bits, then mix the rice with any meat, veggies or herbs you fancy, top with a bit of cheese and bake in a medium oven for about half an hour.

As with rice pudding, everyone has their own way of making them with their own favourite ingredients. Some great examples to get you started: beans and rice stuffed peppers; courgette, basil and rice ones; and super saucy tomato and beef mince ones.

To be extra frugal, use whatever meat or veggies you’ve got leftover alongside the rice – a little chilli con carne or casserole is perfect to stir in and lightly flavour the rice.

4. Bake it into bread – or muffins

Have you ever tried rice bread? Not rice cakes, those boring puffy white things but actual proper bread? If not, you should – it’s great and since you need to cook the rice down into a mush, starting with leftover cooked rice will save you time as well as preventing waste.

Check out this video how-to to see how it’s done.

Alternately, fancy something sweeter? Then I give you vanilla rice muffins.

5. Fried rice

Finally, no “uses for leftover rice” list would be complete without fried rice. Fried rice is best made with cooked rice left to go cold so it’s perfect for using up leftovers.

Again, there are a billion varieties and flavours. A simple recipe makes a good side dish but a couple more ingredients – some meat, fish, tofu or exciting veg – and you’ve got yourself a tasty main meal. Try this flavourful chicken and prawns recipe.


Reduce food waste – only cook as much rice as you need each time. Find a cup or dish that makes the correct amount and measure it out each time.

What’s your favourite thing to do with leftover rice?

(Photos by michaelaw and lockstockb)

How can I reuse or recycle waxed paper sliced bread wrapping?

This one came to me in my sleep the other night – the waxed paper type wrapping you get on some loaves of sliced bread. I obsessed about it until morning so I wouldn’t forget to write it down and let me tell you, I had some weird packaging related dreams that night.

ANYWAY, waxed paper bread packaging. We’ve had bread bags and the film stuff from fancy fresh supermarket baked bread but not the waxed paper option. It’s not as common as it used to be but some brands still use it across the board.

The wrapping is not currently recyclable but carefully opened, it can be opened out into a decent size wipeable sheet. It can then be reused for it’s original purpose again and again – wrapping around homemade bread or sandwiches – but has anyone done anything more involved with it?

From a reduce point of view, you could make you own packaging-free bread or source packaging-free bread from a local baker/independent store. If you have to rely on supermarket but also have decent plastic recycling facilities in your area, you might prefer to buy bread in easy-to-recycle plastic bags – that seems to call back to our discussion the other week, about whether or not you choose to buy things with more packaging or in this case packaging which on the face of it seems worse for the environment (paper versus plastic) but is actually easier to recycle.

The Really Good Life: Baking things that’ll last

Hey guys, sorry I haven’t got time to write a full Recycle This post today – but can I point you to the latest article on my new blog The Really Good Life?

It’s about how to reduce food waste and having to rely on supermarket supplies by getting the most out of each home baking session – how to make baked goods that’ll last.

Do you have any tricks to stop bread, biscuits, cakes etc from quickly going stale?

Do you freeze dough or part-baked/fully baked items? Any tricks or tips?

Any special ingredients to include or avoid to make things last that little bit longer?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

How can I reuse or recycle mouldy bread?

We’ve had an email from Milly:

I know about making breadcrumbs with stale bread but is there anything that can be done with bread that’s gone a bit mouldy? I don’t mean eat it of course but compost it?

Obviously the best thing to do is avoid it going mouldy in the first place – freeze it if you don’t have time to use it up or turn it into breadcrumbs there and then. But sometimes loaves have a tendency to turn in a blink of an eye so it’s harder to avoid.

Bread is one of those things that some people compost and others don’t. It will break down quite quickly but in an open, slow going compost heap, it might attract vermin to the pile even quicker. It’s also not going to add that much goodness to the heap either so you might decide it’s not worth the risk. But then what do you do with it instead?

Any suggestions? Do you compost bread?

(Photo of non-moldy bread because looking for a photo of moldy bread was making me too queasy!)

How can I use my oven more efficiently during baking?

Yesterday, over on my new growing/cooking/making/frugal blog The Really Good Life, I discussed my love affair with slow rise/no knead bread. It’s really frickin’ ace – it doesn’t take much effort, reduces our food waste, is cheap in itself & stops us spending money in other ways too – and most importantly, tastes great. However, at the moment, we’re not making the best use of our oven while we’re baking it – meaning we’re wasting energy and therefore money.

The recipe needs the oven to be hot (230C/450F/Gas mark 8) and in addition to the 40-50 minute cooking time, it needs to be well pre-heated (the cast iron casserole dish needs to be sizzling or the bread will stick) – so a lot of heat for a long time. We don’t generally eat enough bread to warrant making multiple loaves at once so I try to use the other space for other things. I’ve made scones/biscuits a few times and we nearly always have egg shells that need baking before crushing & returning to the chickens as grit.

Any other suggestions for things I could cook/bake alongside the bread? It’s not a huge oven and the casserole for the bread takes up quite a bit of space but there is a spare rack for things no more than 6cm/3″ high, a narrow strip next to the casserole, and the oven floor too.

(We usually bake mid-morning so we have cooled fresh bread for sandwiches at lunchtime. Since I’m usually working then, I don’t have a lot of time to make things from scratch and also it’s not a suitable time to make things that need to be eaten immediately after cooking. The oven is too hot for slow-cooking anything for lunch/dinner. Any suggestions would be welcome but suggestions taking these points into account would be especially great!)