Amongst the existential angst we've experienced lately, there's another niggling feeling that's living rent-free inside our homes: food waste guilt. Quarantine baking and shaking might have made home cooks out of the culinarily inept — but it also meant we were routinely packing our fridges with food we could never finish.
Of course, some food waste can't be helped, like eggshells, tea bags and bones which must be thrown out in the Green Bin. However, according to the City of Toronto, over 50 per cent of food waste generated in Toronto households is avoidable, including leftovers and untouched food that could have been eaten. To address this, the City of Toronto is part of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, which helps people reduce their waste, make their food go further and save money.
In addition to the financial cost, the environmental impact of food waste is a huge problem. In Canada, almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is wasted each year, squandering resources used to grow food and producing greenhouse gas emissions in the process.
But it's not all bad news. With just a dash of forward-thinking, you can make your food go further and make some serious magic in the kitchen. We've compiled a few simple tricks so you can experiment with new fave weeknight recipes and make sure that more of your grub ends up in your tum and not the trash.
Simple tips and tricks to give your groceries a glow-up:
1. Broccoli isn't just a side veggie — it can be used to make fritters, soup, coleslaw, stir-fry or even a delicious pesto.
2. Nothing screams fall more than apples — but what if you bought too many in the County last weekend? Diversify your snacking by making apple rings, chutney, apple cider vinegar or an apple crumble. Best of all, freeze your new creations and enjoy them long after the leaves have changed colour.
3. Leftover rice doesn't have to be a fridge-filler. You can make fried rice with other leftover veggies, use it in burritos, soup or make rice balls. If you've got room for dessert, make a creamy and satisfying rice pudding.
4. Tomatoes are as versatile as they are tasty. Blitz up a spicy salsa, make sundried tomatoes, a hearty pasta sauce, or simply make a big soup you can freeze for later.
5. Adding some spice can take lacklustre leftovers up a notch and solve weekday dinner dilemmas. Kimchi pancakes are a great way to use up veggies that have seen better days.
For more creative solutions, check out Love Food Hate Waste's 5 Ways With Commonly Wasted Foods.