One week ago, I started an experiment; you can read about it here. I started tracking our waste production. I do understand that sounds weird, but we have been working hard over the last year to reduce our waste to zero. After moving out here to the country our waste production has gone up! I decided drastic measures (trash tracking) would be necessary. This is what I learned.
All of our waste comes from food wrappers. We had plastic bags from pasta, apples, green onions, peppers, raisins, and Italian sausages. Clearly we needed to find a new place to shop. While living in Denver, I bought in bulk and shopped local. I rarely returned from the grocery with produce, pasta, or meat in plastic wrapping.
We had food waste, but An Everlasting Meal helped me with that. I was able to turn leftover pasta into a frittata, which I agree seemed a bit strange, but it was extremely tasty, and resulted in no kitchen scraps for the trash. Broken mayo became pasta sauce, and a large collection of leftovers were turned into fried rice. At the very least, this experiment demonstrated we can manage our food waste.
So where do we go from here? We take control of our trash production. This month while doing our monthly shopping in the big city, we used a new store and returned home with almost no plastic wrapping. We will also continue to use our food waste constructively.
Last night, I had wanted to use a few leftovers that were still lingering from before we had journeyed to the city for fresh goods. We ended with a roasted eggplant bruschetta, using leftover tomatoes, pepper, garlic, and an oddly shaped loaf of bread. I also used half of an eggplant I had just purchased.
Roasted Eggplant Bruschetta
½ roasted eggplant
1 roasted pepper (or any other leftover that fits in)
2 roma tomatoes
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ white onion, thinly sliced
2 T. olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
Freshly grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted bread drizzled with olive oil
- Begin by cubing the eggplant, pepper and tomatoes into a bowl. Try to cut into uniform bite sized pieces.
- Add the basil, onion, and garlic.
- Drizzle with the vinegar and oil. Then sprinkle with parmesan, salt, and pepper.
- Mix well and taste. Adjust flavors accordingly.
- Serve at room temperature with crusty bread drizzled with olive oil and with freshly grated parmesan.
With temperatures inching towards 70, this turned out to be the perfect meal for such a spring-like day. Today may be even warmer making it even better for those leftovers! What have you made with your food leftovers?