As I wrote one of my posts during my first SNAP Challenge week, food waste is a big ecological problem. As much as I try to keep our eating green, I must confess to that bad behavior. I make a dish, but I don’t like to serve the same dish too many days in a row. So I make something else and plan to alternate leftovers. But it is all too easy for the first leftover to be pushed to the back of the fridge and for me to forget about it until a week or more later when it is no longer any good. Our food waste at least goes into the woods instead of into the landfill, but still, it is a waste of resources (though, the raccoons around our house would probably disagree). My more careful food planning around the SNAP Challenge is making me more diligent about this issue.
In my original plan, I was supposed to make another new dish today. However, I realized we still have a lot of broccoli soup, a lot of chicken, and one whole focaccia left from the past two days. I decided we should eat down some of that before I start cooking again. But what to do to keep some variety going?
I knew I had some ricotta left from the focaccia, along with half a pepper, half an onion, and most of a tomato. So I thought I would mix up the soup a little by adding some ricotta to it. That made it creamy and the taste a little more delicate. I heated that up, then mixed in the raw chopped up pepper and onion, which gave it a nice bit of crunch. Finally, I topped it with some shreds of fresh basil, also left over from the focaccia. We just ate the leftover tomato on the side.
It was good! And it made having the broccoli soup for the third day in a row not seem so monotonous. Here, you can see the comparison between the two:
For dinner, I’m going to heat up some of the leftover chicken and mix it into a Caesar salad, served with some fruit–a perfect summer dinner!
I need to transfer this “use it up” mentality to my everyday meal planning. But I appreciate the SNAP Challenge encouraging me to reduce my food waste.