Posts tagged "vegetables"

How can I reuse Sunday roast/Christmas dinner leftovers?

Most food scraps are great for a compost heap – they tend to rot down quickly and can help keep a brown-heavy compost heap balanced, particularly in the winter when there is less fresh green matter around the garden.

But care should be taken with cooked veg and the like – if it’s been cooked with meat, fish or dairy, or soaked in a rich meaty gravy etc, the smell of that may attract undesirable vermin to the pile. Some people (particularly people with sealed bins or wormeries) are happy to chance it but other people are more cautious.

Anyway, we all know it’s much better to use them up in some other way first rather than just slinging them into the compost.

Sunday roast leftovers were always the basis of Monday night dinner in my house when I was growing up. The meat would be the star of another meal – chicken curry sticks in my mind most clearly but there were other things too – and I remember my mum used any leftover veg to make bubble and squeak.

What do you make with your Sunday roast/Christmas dinner leftovers?

We’re not really roast eaters now and steamed/boiled veg is an area in which we’re actually pretty good at only cooking what we need – but any leftovers we do have usually go down to the chickens as treats. I’ve heard you can also use them in homemade dog food.

Do you do anything else with your leftovers?

How can I reuse, recycle or use up floppy celery?

Several bloggers I follow take part in the “Food Waste Friday” meme, in which they post pictures of their food waste from the week and a few have featured the same thing over the last few weeks: floppy celery.

We don’t eat celery here very often (because my boyfriend John has … issues with it) but if it looks like I’m not going to eat it all before the floppy stage kicks in, I slice it into small rounds and freeze it to include in the mix next time I’m making stock. If John didn’t have his issues with it, I’d probably be happy to include no longer crisp celery in a stew/casserole – since it’ll soften up during cooking anyway. (I don’t tell him about putting it in stock, ssssh, don’t tell him!)

There is some debate on whether/how it should be fed to chickens – some people advocate chopping it up first so the “strings” don’t get caught in the chicken’s crop, others say they enjoy the challenge of breaking it up themselves. The similar yes/no debate seems to exist for rabbits and other small furry pets – just because like with people, some animals like it more than others – but all advocate that it should just be used as a treat in addition to other food, not in large quantities.

A good few people around the ol’ interweb also say you can revive soggy celery by leave it to stand in some ice water for a while – or more effectively, slice into smaller sticks and float them in a bowl of the same.

(If it’s too far gone for reviving or even cooking, it can, of course, be composted.)

What do you do with floppy celery sticks?

How can I reuse or recycle Brussels Sprout stalks/stems?

Long time Recycle This-er Lizzy has asked about “the big brussels sprout stalk thing”:

Any ideas for the big brussels sprout stalk things? Oh, and can you eat the leaves that are sometimes on top?

I think the easiest thing to do here would be to reduce in the first place – don’t buy sprouts in the first place, they’re horrible ;)

If you do insist on eating them though, apparently the leaves can be cooked like cabbage. I’ve had less success finding out anything about the stalk though… Other stalks in the Brassica family (like broccoli) can be eaten so it wouldn’t surprise me if you could eat them – just I can’t find any recipes for doing so. Anyone got any suggestions?

As for other reusing ideas, apparently chickens love playing with them – pecking off all the last bits of sprouts. Does anyone know if other small animals (rabbits etc) could nibble at the stalk too?

Any other ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle veg boxes?

Krystyna left a comment on the Suggestions page asking:

I’ve just had my first veg box delivery and was wondering if anyone had good re-use suggestions for the wooden veg boxes…?

First off, reduce – you should probably check with your veg box company to see if they have a scheme to take them back and reuse them as veg boxes. They might be able to collect old ones when they drop off new ones.

If that’s not possible, cute vintage apple boxes sell for a mint on eBay so if they’re nice, one idea might be to keep hold of them for 50 years then put them on eBay in 2060 ;)

More practically, my dad used to use those sort of boxes in the garden – as trays for holding pots of plants and for storage – and they’re great as veg storage boxes too funnily enough – people who grow their own root veg will probably be particularly interested in them (offer them on Freecycle/Freegle if you don’t grow yourself).

They’d be perfect for storage in general around the house – if they’re like the ones I’ve seen, the wood might be a little cheap/rough for fine/snaggable items but sanding & painting might take care of that.

And if all else fails, they’d make great kindling for anyone with an open fire/stove (assuming they’ve not been treated with anything to protect the wood).

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle cauliflower leaves?

I randomly bought a cauliflower on Saturday – not something we eat that often because John has overboiled nightmares from childhood – and as I was stripping off the many, many leaves into the compost bin, I wondered if there were any other options for the leaves other than just letting them rot.

The first idea thing that came to mind – as happens a lot – is that when we FINALLY get chickens, they’ll like the green snack. (It’s been a year since we decided to get chickens, a year since I went on a course to learn all about keeping them but circumstances have conspired against us so far – we should have them soon though. A very frustrating wait!)

The next thing I wondered was if the leaves are edible – well, not just edible but enjoyable edible – by humans — and apparently they are. I found suggestions to use them instead of cabbage in bubble & squeak type dishes, a recipe for soup, and (my personal favourite) recipes for putting them in pakoras or bhajis. As an absolute minimum, I should be adding them to my stock box in the freezer instead of putting them in the compost. It’s brocolli stalks all over again – a versatile vegetable that we silly wasteful people throw away because we don’t know any better.

What do you do with your cauliflower leaves?