For November let's discuss- Food Waste

Did you know that 40% of the food in America goes to waste? That’s like making a Holiday turkey and throwing almost half of it away! Often times, the excitement of the holiday season and family gatherings leads people to make way too much food for the amount of guests they are feeding. It’s a season of giving and often times excess, so how can food waste be reduced while still making sure everyone has a full belly? Let’s take a look at common areas of food waste and how we can combat them.

  • Think ahead when planning dinner. Has all of that green bean casserole been eating in previous years, or does most of it end up in the trash? Consider cutting less popular recipes in half to reduce waste.
  • Have a list ready when you go to the grocery store and stick to it. It’s very easy to go food shopping and buy unnecessary items that may not be eaten.
  • Utilize freezers for leftovers. Many dishes will keep in the freezer for about 6 months. Who doesn’t love some sweet potato casserole in March?
  • Repurpose your leftovers. Some ideas are listed, but there are many more!
    • Turkey soup Using the turkey bones/leftover meat.
    • Open-faced turkey sandwiches can include any and all leftovers.
    • Shepherd’s Pie
    • Cranberry maple syrup using cranberry sauce.
    • Sweet Potato Frittata
    • Pumpkin Soup
    • Turkey Sloppy Joe’s
    • Egg and Potato Hash
    • Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Chili

Get creative!

Recipes

Cranberry Maple Syrupmaple syrup

Ingredients

  • ½ cup leftover cold cranberry sauce
  • ½ cup maple syrup

Directions

  1. Put cranberry sauce in a blender and process until very smooth.
  1. Add maple syrup and blend until well-mixed.

** This syrup is delicious with pumpkin pancakes and waffles that can be made from extra pumpkin puree from Thanksgiving dessert.

Leftover Shepherd’s PieSheperds pie

(adapted from Baked by Rachel)

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ¾ c onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 ½ cups leftover turkey
  • 1/3 cup peas or green beans
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 2/3 c gravy
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 C mashed potatoes
  • 4 oz shredded 2% cheddar cheese
  • Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook onion, celery, and carrots in olive oil for several minutes. Add the garlic, turkey, corn, and peas/green beans, thyme, and gravy until warmed.
  2. Transfer turkey mixture to baking dish.
  3. Add ½ cheese to mashed potatoes and microwave until warm. Spread potatoes over turkey mixture and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes and serve immediately.