Waste not Want Not: Teachings in Food Waste Prevention with Hubbub Foundation

Ethical eating made super easy…

Offering a light and refreshing alternative to carb heavy meals with plenty of nutrients to help us feel healthy and energised, it’s no wonder salad is such a popular food choice for so many people during the summer. As much as we might enjoy tucking into lighter foods when the sun’s shining though, fruit and veg items remain some of the most wasted edibles in the UK, with up to two thirds of all bagged salad going to waste every year.

Hubbub Foundation is a social enterprise charity that has partnered with North London Waste Authority on New Leaf, a campaign dedicated to providing practical solutions to reduce household waste. I recently attended one of the foundation’s cookery demonstrations, led by professional chef Nick Wilkinson, and gained some useful insights into the many ways that leftover food items in danger of being thrown out can be rescued from the bin and brought back to life.

Rocket and Strawberry
Photo by Stacy Spensley via Foter.com / CC BY

Using a few stock cupboard ingredients and items salvaged from each participant’s fridge and cupboard, including half a romaine lettuce, some raw beetroot and carrot, and a few slices of hardened sourdough, Nick demonstrated how seemingly useless items can be successfully combined to create exciting and satisfying dishes.

Amongst the delights was an easy Caesar salad, which made good use of the aforementioned lettuce and sourdough, a Thai-style papaya salad, and a more unusual dish comprising rocket and strawberry – two items that I would never have thought of placing together. Finished with a fruity balsamic and pomegranate glaze to counterbalance the bitterness of the rocket, this turned out to be one of the tastiest concoctions of the evening.

Nick Supper Lovin'

Apart from the innovative flavour combinations and useful preparation techniques that were imparted over the course of the evening, one of the best things about the session for me was the focus on food preservation. In particular, tips such as wrapping salad leaves in paper towel to prevent premature wilting, and re-potting shop-bought herbs with fresh soil to rescue from untimely death were two very useful pieces of kitchen wisdom sure to lengthen shelf life and help reduce unnecessary spending.

Hubbub’s summer composting and cooking calendar is sadly nearing its end, but there is still one final session due to take place on 11 August. For more information and to book a place, visit www.billetto.co.uk/en/users/hubbub. In the meantime, why not have a go at making your own salvaged salad dish at home? Below is an easy recipe taken from Hubbub’s recipe bank and provided by nutritionist and cookery book author, Rosemary Furguson… Enjoy!

Ingredients
Any salad leaves you have in the fridge… rocket, watercress, spinach, romaine etc…
Grated carrot
Grated beetroot
Sliced apple
Pomegranate (use the juice as a dressing!)
Flaked almonds
Sliced cucumber
Parsley
Mint

A note from Rosemary: 
For quantities, make as much or little as you have ingredients wise in the fridge as this can be made into a big batch and enjoyed for lunch/dinner for a few days or simply for a quick dinner for 1!

This is a great antioxidant boost for the body. The pomegranate, carrot, apple and beetroot together are a power house of vitamins and minerals, the beta carotene from the carrots are great for the skin, whilst beetroot is naturally cleansing for the liver. The almonds are a good source of protein and healthy fats! The cucumber is hydrating, again lovely for the skin! Parsley is good for your energy and mint is calming for your gut! An array in benefits for a use it up salad!

To find out more about how you can reduce your household waste, be sure to visit Hubbub online at www.hubbub.org.uk.

 

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