Waste Not. Want Not.

by Sarah on September 14, 2011 · 15 comments

If you know me at all by now, you know I hate wasting food. To me, there is nothing worth throwing away, unless it literally has visible mold growing on it (that cannot be removed with a quick cut of a knife). This hatred of waste also leads me to accept free food, regardless of what it is or how much remains. A common phrase you’ll hear me say is “If it’s free, I will find a way to use it.” Going to dinner with a friend who decides not to eat her whole wheat tortillas?Well, make like an 80-year-old woman and stash those babies in your purse! Seriously, they were already wrapped up like they wanted to come home with you.They might not survive the trip (or a few nights in the fridge) all that well, but a cracked tortilla is still worthy of being eaten, now isn’t it? [They certainly tasted great with my Indian Butter Chicken, that's for sure.]
There is no reason why your excess of honeydew that you won’t have time to eat before it gets all slimy and acidic should go to waste. Freeze those suckers and then retrieve them when you’re ready!They might shrink in size after thawing, but they will be cold and oddly delicious, despite their less firm texture. [You could also use them in a smoothie...if that's your thing. It's not mine.]
This week I’ve been saving a lot of nearly wasted food (including that which you saw above), and that effort has guided most of my meal planning (or lack thereof). It might mean I eat yogurt-and-cereal delici-messes twice in one day,* or overdose on figs,^ but at least I’m doing my part in saving food from death without purpose or glory, right?
*So not a bag thing.
^Neither is that.

Welcome to What I Ate Wednesday: Waste Not. Want Not. Edition. Thanks to Jenn for hosting, as always, and hopefully she won’t kick me out for slighting bending “the rules” after a brief attempt to stick to them last week. :) What to do when you realize that your blueberries aren’t long for this world? Well, obviously you eat blueberries for breakfast!*
*Or give them to Sal. [Anyone get the reference? Anyone?]
Not just blueberries of course, but also yogurt and the shreds of the shredded wheat that you caught just before it was thrown away.
Silly roommates, crumblies aren’t trash….they’re the best part of eating cereal!Add to the delici-mess a fig or two that are starting to leak their juices….….and some Nutty Guys’ Almond Butter, because an opportunity to use nut butter should NEVER be, um, wasted.Did you have to buy a whole bag of parsnips just to use two of them for creating a veggie “roasting rack” to roast a chicken?
They might be “just for you”…but your fridge is not,* and part of reducing waste is using up what’s taking up space!
*Unless you live alone. Obviously.
Peel ‘em and chop ‘em…
…and coat them in (too much) olive oil.*
*Yes, I’m finally using the real stuff after realizing that using cooking spray for 5 straight minutes is just the same as drizzling the “real thing” sometimes…besides, parsnips can dry out without oil.
Somebody’s packing parsnip fries in her lunch bag…
A refusal to waste the almond milk yogurt that was turning slightly acid in flavor resulted in a creative concoction that was one of my favorites this week:
I simply mixed it with PB2 to add some protein and cover up any mild aftertaste, then topped it with an overripe plum or two and another oozing fig.
Oh scrumptious bowl of granola and cereal, yogurt-y fruit-astic goodness…I want to eat (at least) one of you every day.

Oh wait. I usually do.

And what does a “no-waste”-er eat for dinner? Well, she takes stock of the fridge and the pantry.Notices what’s wrinkly…
…and what’s crumbled.She recognizes the silliness of an entire egg carton taking up fridge space when there are two lonely little eggs (who at least still have each other) just b-egg-ing* to be eaten.
*Sorry. I had to.She slices and dices and thinks to herself, “Self, I’ve already made an Italian version of the Mexi-favorite that is migas…”
“…so why not make Griegas!”^
^That would be Greek in Spanish. Which works, because you are using Pita Bite crumblies instead of tortilla chips…and it sounds a bit like migas. So that’s helpful.
I’ll try and tell y’all more about THAT in a future post (wouldn’t want to waste any more of your time today^)…
^Especially when I could waste it later.
…for now I’ve got to think about dessert. And it would really be such a shame if that half-eaten bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms, or the chocolate crispy cookie on the counter, went to waste…now wouldn’t it? :)

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli September 14, 2011 at 5:53 am

Hahaha! Girl, as always you CRACK me up! I almost spit my coffee all over the place over the comment about the eggs! Lol! You bend the WIAW rules in just the right way!

I am totally with you on the "down with waste" thing…and salvaging a block of cheddar by slicing off the chalky-near blue-colored parts…eh, just adds more flavor! Cheese is a by product of mold anyway, right? ;)

And there's just something about that ability to turn down free food that I've never understood. C'mon…it's FREE!

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Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free September 14, 2011 at 7:00 am

I hate hate hate wasting food. It's my biggest pet peeve.

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atastelife September 14, 2011 at 7:33 am

B-egg-ing. HAHAHAHAHA!
And I can't stand to have ONE egg in a carton.
OCD much?
And like I've said before, cereal crumbs = perfect yogurt mess.

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table September 14, 2011 at 7:45 am

I am the SAME say! Wait until the see the veggie smorgasbord I put in the soup I'm posting tomorrow. Veggie drawer = clean.

P.S. I finally tried out your yogurt mix idea (and gave you credit on my own rule-bending WIAW) – I am forever indebted. Seriously.

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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean September 14, 2011 at 9:12 am

mmmm pb m&ms are my absolute favorite candy.

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sarahlearns September 14, 2011 at 9:23 am

i hate wasting food too! good thing i live with a man who thinks eating is an olympic sport that he's in training for. anytime i need to use something up or want an almost empty container out of the fridge, i just say, "babe, why don't you eat x, y, & z for lunch tomorrow, ok?" and i come home and it's gone! :) perfect system.

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lovesweatandbeers September 14, 2011 at 9:25 am

Your eats look great, and I totally would have done that with the wraps. Why not?!? I've gotta ask though, were the leftover fries still tasty? I see lots of people bringing leftover roast veggies to lunch (on blogs, not at the office), but I just don't see how they're still as yummy.

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iheartvegetables September 14, 2011 at 9:36 am

Dude, I need you in my kitchen. I hate to admit it but I'm a big food waster :( I always forget to eat things and then they go bad! I've tried to stop buying so many groceries, to force myself to finish what I have!

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Missy September 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

Oh my goodness! I love that book.
And now I have a hankering for blueberries. And storytime. Followed by a nap.

Why don't adults get nap time?

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Courtney September 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm

hmm I might have to try the parsnips, I did rutabagas yesterday and lets just say they were not a hit at all.

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Anastasia September 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Love this! I hate wasting food too. Everyone always finds it so disgusting that I will cut the moldy part of a veggie away and eat the rest. They always freak out and say it grows further than you can see, but to be honest.. I don't care. haha :]

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mindrunningwild September 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I love your blog so much. I think I need to subscribe finally. Don't ask me why I haven't.
Also, I think sal would appreciate the blueberries, that way she wouldn't run into that bear!! (love that book! and the one where she loses her tooth? Stuff of my youth!)
You're so creative with your meals and I have to say, I'm a big user it upper too. The ends of cereal always are used and so are things that others would toss immediately. If someone isn't going to keep something, I always take it with me. I'm a saver. My mom calls it borderline hording, I call it resourceful and thrifty. I've surely sliced off mould and mixed 5 different cereal crumbs to make a serving. No harm in mixing flavours!

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Katie September 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I hate wasting! I will eat anything as long as it smells okay, except for maybe milk and lunch meats.
I get skeeved out by those.

However, you turn yours into such works of art!

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blissfulbritt September 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Wasting makes my tummy cry with anger! Love this post. We are non wasting fools I tell ya!

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lindsay September 16, 2011 at 11:32 am

uh, did my comment go through before? just testing!

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