No Waste Tastes Great / Turning Chaos Into Calm

It’s Friday Guys – time for No Waste Tastes Great

Click here to find out more about my Friday routine

Simply Being Mum’s Friday Fridge

Looking good, even if I do say so myself. Top Shelf contains spreads, cheese and garlic all with life left in them. Ahead of the game today, I’ve already lunch and dinner sitting on the bottom shelf – Broccoli, Cauliflower and Stilton soup and Lasagne. Apart from that just a yoghurt and creme brulee (donated to try!) for dessert. Easy day for me then?

It could have been a whole different story.

This is what my Fridge looked like on Wednesday.

One photograph and panic attack later, I launched into action.

In order I:

Had a general tidy up so I could see what I was dealing with!

Devised a hit list of snacks to be eaten up as part of lunches.

Slow-cooked the broccoli, cauliflower, onion and stilton. I now have frozen soup for lunches next week.

Slow-cooked 5 vine tomatoes with onion, herbs and garlic to make a ragu and popped in fridge.

Chopped onion and froze

Chopped 3 carrots and added to my freezer container where I keep veggies to make stock.

Froze blueberries for later use, knowing I would need to use the 2 eggs for cakes rather than muffins.

Slow cooked a spaghetti bolognese for dinner last night using the ragu and some more onion. I kept half and made up a lasagne for dinner tonight. Not having enough cheddar to make the sauce I used double gloucester. Anything goes at Chez Wright on a Friday!

Finally, knowing I still had buttercream in the fridge from making Dan’s cake last weekend, I whipped up 19 cupcakes and frosted them to take to the Kids’ dance class later today.

I mentioned last week it’s about keeping your eye on the prize, and I did! This was a slightly extreme week for potential food waste, so quite a bit of effort was expended. Two factors are probably the most likely causes for the extent of the disarray. Firstly, Friday afternoon I came down with a stomach bug and didn’t eat until Sunday. Then with the Birthdays, party and guests popping in, it all spiralled out of control!

There’s one casualty however. Houmous.

Not bad considering me thinks…

How’s your Fridge looking this Friday? Anything to declare? Or is it nice and bare? Please share…

No Waste Tastes Great is bought to you (as always) with thanks to The Frugal Girl for the original inspiration.

FoodWasteFriday

{ 46 comments… add one }
  • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn June 15, 2012, 11:58 am

    My goodness, I didn’t think your refrigerator was ever that full. You did a great job recovering from both your illness and extra food. Your hard work paid off.

    • simplybeingmum June 15, 2012, 12:01 pm

      Thanks for that – twas a bit of an effort. I must say, had I not the blog and NWTG and FWF to keep me accountable I’m wondering (hand on heart) whether I’d have salvaged so much with the week I’ve had… I know in my heart it’s the right thing to do but baking cupcakes at night (well clearing up is the worst part) after a busy day takes some doing! Pretty pleased with myself today though – it was worth it!

    • shelleyshell June 16, 2012, 3:18 pm

      I too thought the same thing, and it completely transformed! Very inspired! Thank you so much for the ideas. I have never frozen onions before. Your cupcakes look heavenly. Thanks for working so hard and sharing it with us! You are truly inspirational and a great role model.

      • simplybeingmum June 16, 2012, 4:46 pm

        Hi Shelley… thanks for that! Frozen onions are so convenient, and to do them yourself rather than buying chopped is pretty economical also!

  • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn June 15, 2012, 11:58 am

    My goodness, I didn’t think your refrigerator was ever that full. You did a great job recovering from both your illness and extra food. Your hard work paid off.

    • simplybeingmum June 15, 2012, 12:01 pm

      Thanks for that – twas a bit of an effort. I must say, had I not the blog and NWTG and FWF to keep me accountable I’m wondering (hand on heart) whether I’d have salvaged so much with the week I’ve had… I know in my heart it’s the right thing to do but baking cupcakes at night (well clearing up is the worst part) after a busy day takes some doing! Pretty pleased with myself today though – it was worth it!

    • shelleyshell June 16, 2012, 3:18 pm

      I too thought the same thing, and it completely transformed! Very inspired! Thank you so much for the ideas. I have never frozen onions before. Your cupcakes look heavenly. Thanks for working so hard and sharing it with us! You are truly inspirational and a great role model.

      • simplybeingmum June 16, 2012, 4:46 pm

        Hi Shelley… thanks for that! Frozen onions are so convenient, and to do them yourself rather than buying chopped is pretty economical also!

  • Apple June 15, 2012, 12:04 pm

    My first week back to a sort-of meal planning. So my Friday morning fridge looks like this:
    some milk,
    a little bread,
    a few tomatoes and raddishes,
    6 eggs,
    two joghurts (well within date),
    some ham and salami
    8 mandarines
    … and the regular “top shelf stuff”. (butter, garlic mayo etc)

    Hopefully between lunch and afternoon snack, we’ll empty the fridge! Any ideas the mandarines? …just so that I could get a kick out of using up everything before my shopping trip… 🙂

    • simplybeingmum June 15, 2012, 12:15 pm

      Hmmmm…mandarines…I’d probably go for a fruit flan type thingy. Or just a fresh fruit salad (but the main ingredient being mandarine ;-))

  • Apple June 15, 2012, 12:04 pm

    My first week back to a sort-of meal planning. So my Friday morning fridge looks like this:
    some milk,
    a little bread,
    a few tomatoes and raddishes,
    6 eggs,
    two joghurts (well within date),
    some ham and salami
    8 mandarines
    … and the regular “top shelf stuff”. (butter, garlic mayo etc)

    Hopefully between lunch and afternoon snack, we’ll empty the fridge! Any ideas the mandarines? …just so that I could get a kick out of using up everything before my shopping trip… 🙂

    • simplybeingmum June 15, 2012, 12:15 pm

      Hmmmm…mandarines…I’d probably go for a fruit flan type thingy. Or just a fresh fruit salad (but the main ingredient being mandarine ;-))

  • Jenny @ Ex-Consumer June 15, 2012, 1:58 pm

    You’re a food waste ninja Jo! I’m seriously impressed with how creative you got.

    We just joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) this year and this week was the first week we received a harvested crop share. I’ve had fun trying to figure out what to do with things I don’t normally buy — like beets and turnips. The kids are surprisingly adventurous and will try (and usually enjoy) whatever I prepare. My husband on the other hand…well, he wasn’t a huge fan of glazed turnips. 😉

    I’m glad you’re feeling better too!

    • simplybeingmum June 15, 2012, 7:17 pm

      That sounds like a great initiative! the beetroot you can pickle, but also do you know that it works well in a chocolate cake? Maybe the Hubby would like that!
      Just as your comment came through I was actually thinking about you – spooky – will be in touch shortly

  • Jenny @ Ex-Consumer June 15, 2012, 1:58 pm

    You’re a food waste ninja Jo! I’m seriously impressed with how creative you got.

    We just joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) this year and this week was the first week we received a harvested crop share. I’ve had fun trying to figure out what to do with things I don’t normally buy — like beets and turnips. The kids are surprisingly adventurous and will try (and usually enjoy) whatever I prepare. My husband on the other hand…well, he wasn’t a huge fan of glazed turnips. 😉

    I’m glad you’re feeling better too!

    • simplybeingmum June 15, 2012, 7:17 pm

      That sounds like a great initiative! the beetroot you can pickle, but also do you know that it works well in a chocolate cake? Maybe the Hubby would like that!
      Just as your comment came through I was actually thinking about you – spooky – will be in touch shortly

  • Sharron June 15, 2012, 2:26 pm

    Super impressed with that Jo!! Take on the fridge and win!! Mine was really bare this morning, so much so a quick dash to the newsagents to buy a drink and crisps for packed lunches this morning!! We have ‘Fat friday’ in this house, so generally as the shopping gets done on Friday, we buy something a tad unhealthy and easy for tea. Tonight it’s bami noreng?! Ready meal from aldi, really nice with a bottle of soave. At the kids request they are having hot dogs. Shoppings all done, and 6 meals planned and bought for, my idea of heaven!!
    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum June 15, 2012, 7:19 pm

      That’s spooky – I noticed the dish in Aldi you mention – saw it for the first time today. May have to give it a try when I have a Fat Friday :-)! You sound super organised this week! Way to go!

  • Sharron June 15, 2012, 2:26 pm

    Super impressed with that Jo!! Take on the fridge and win!! Mine was really bare this morning, so much so a quick dash to the newsagents to buy a drink and crisps for packed lunches this morning!! We have ‘Fat friday’ in this house, so generally as the shopping gets done on Friday, we buy something a tad unhealthy and easy for tea. Tonight it’s bami noreng?! Ready meal from aldi, really nice with a bottle of soave. At the kids request they are having hot dogs. Shoppings all done, and 6 meals planned and bought for, my idea of heaven!!
    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum June 15, 2012, 7:19 pm

      That’s spooky – I noticed the dish in Aldi you mention – saw it for the first time today. May have to give it a try when I have a Fat Friday :-)! You sound super organised this week! Way to go!

  • Jo H. June 15, 2012, 6:30 pm

    Now THAT fridge looks more like mine 🙂 I am getting much better, though. This week just past I decided no protein would be purchased, instead I would use up things from the freezer. What with late working and hot weather, we ended up eating very light and I only had to dip into the freezer once. If I had bought fresh meat, I’m fairly sure it would have perished before I had time to tend to it. It’s amazing to me how little we need to keep in, and still eat the same as we always do.

    • Jo H. June 15, 2012, 6:31 pm

      P. S. Glad you are feeling better – tummy troubles are the thing I mind most!

    • simplybeingmum June 15, 2012, 7:21 pm

      Totally agree, you need very little stock to get by. In fact you could manage with careful meal planning no stocks (I reckon! But then I am a bit fanatical! ;-)). Glad to hear you Guys are getting some warm weather. The UK is a washout. We have the heating on sporadically and you cannot leave the house without a raincoat. Most bizarre year ever weather wise!

  • Jo H. June 15, 2012, 6:30 pm

    Now THAT fridge looks more like mine 🙂 I am getting much better, though. This week just past I decided no protein would be purchased, instead I would use up things from the freezer. What with late working and hot weather, we ended up eating very light and I only had to dip into the freezer once. If I had bought fresh meat, I’m fairly sure it would have perished before I had time to tend to it. It’s amazing to me how little we need to keep in, and still eat the same as we always do.

    • Jo H. June 15, 2012, 6:31 pm

      P. S. Glad you are feeling better – tummy troubles are the thing I mind most!

    • simplybeingmum June 15, 2012, 7:21 pm

      Totally agree, you need very little stock to get by. In fact you could manage with careful meal planning no stocks (I reckon! But then I am a bit fanatical! ;-)). Glad to hear you Guys are getting some warm weather. The UK is a washout. We have the heating on sporadically and you cannot leave the house without a raincoat. Most bizarre year ever weather wise!

  • Lauren June 15, 2012, 8:39 pm

    Loving the before and after photos, and fantastic job clearing that out!

    We have some potential casualities. For some reason (although you can take one guess!) we have three loaves of bread. One can get used up this weekend, one can go in the freezer but the last is dried out. So I think that might have to go, unless I can fit a batch of breadcrumbs in the freezer too. Plus half a pot of coleslaw, and probably some creme fraiche. Fridge is otherwise still pretty full, but everything else in there has a purpose or is still in date. Getting there!

    • simplybeingmum June 16, 2012, 4:47 pm

      The flatmates been at it again….
      ps – any great tips on getting some good breadcrumbs?

      • Lauren June 17, 2012, 1:19 pm

        He has indeed. I sent him out for one thing this morning, and he came back with one of those BIG jute bags full of stuff – I didn’t even look, but I’m guessing all junk. It’s definitely a work in progress, sigh.

        I just make crumbs with the food processor. But I don’t bread anything, it’s mainly for throwing into things like meatloaf or bread sauce, so the texture isn’t all that important to me.

    • shelleyshell June 16, 2012, 7:01 pm

      Hi Lauren! I’d like to make a couple suggestions regarding the dry bread. You can make French toast, bread pudding, and or croutons, Great work reducing food waste! My hubby and I finished off the blueberry pie for mid morning Saturday snack so that it didn’t end up in the compost.

      • simplybeingmum June 18, 2012, 9:19 am

        Shelley – That’s so what we’d do here! Blueberry pie at any time!

  • Lauren June 15, 2012, 8:39 pm

    Loving the before and after photos, and fantastic job clearing that out!

    We have some potential casualities. For some reason (although you can take one guess!) we have three loaves of bread. One can get used up this weekend, one can go in the freezer but the last is dried out. So I think that might have to go, unless I can fit a batch of breadcrumbs in the freezer too. Plus half a pot of coleslaw, and probably some creme fraiche. Fridge is otherwise still pretty full, but everything else in there has a purpose or is still in date. Getting there!

    • simplybeingmum June 16, 2012, 4:47 pm

      The flatmates been at it again….
      ps – any great tips on getting some good breadcrumbs?

      • Lauren June 17, 2012, 1:19 pm

        He has indeed. I sent him out for one thing this morning, and he came back with one of those BIG jute bags full of stuff – I didn’t even look, but I’m guessing all junk. It’s definitely a work in progress, sigh.

        I just make crumbs with the food processor. But I don’t bread anything, it’s mainly for throwing into things like meatloaf or bread sauce, so the texture isn’t all that important to me.

    • shelleyshell June 16, 2012, 7:01 pm

      Hi Lauren! I’d like to make a couple suggestions regarding the dry bread. You can make French toast, bread pudding, and or croutons, Great work reducing food waste! My hubby and I finished off the blueberry pie for mid morning Saturday snack so that it didn’t end up in the compost.

      • simplybeingmum June 18, 2012, 9:19 am

        Shelley – That’s so what we’d do here! Blueberry pie at any time!

  • Clare June 16, 2012, 6:21 am

    Tummy bugs this side of the world too! I’m surprised by how little food has been wasted this week considering all 4 of us have been taken down by the dreaded lurgy. Luckily it’s freezing cold and it seems to be helping the vegies in my crisper last longer! I think the kiwifruit in the fruit bowl might be my only casualty – Alex (who is 4) is the only one who likes them and he has hardly eaten all week (first to go down, last to bounce back…) but I have just this minute thought that I do have to bake muffins for the lunch boxes tomorrow so they might just end up in there. Hoping for super good health at your house (and at mine!)

    • simplybeingmum June 16, 2012, 4:49 pm

      Hey Clare – the lurgy has been rife here, everyone and their dog has been ill. We are cold also over here, but it’s supposed to be our Summer! Kiwi in Muffins – sounds like a NZ signature dish to me – good luck!

      • simplybeingmum June 16, 2012, 4:49 pm

        ps – wishing you all back on the road to recovery all the way over there!

  • Clare June 16, 2012, 6:21 am

    Tummy bugs this side of the world too! I’m surprised by how little food has been wasted this week considering all 4 of us have been taken down by the dreaded lurgy. Luckily it’s freezing cold and it seems to be helping the vegies in my crisper last longer! I think the kiwifruit in the fruit bowl might be my only casualty – Alex (who is 4) is the only one who likes them and he has hardly eaten all week (first to go down, last to bounce back…) but I have just this minute thought that I do have to bake muffins for the lunch boxes tomorrow so they might just end up in there. Hoping for super good health at your house (and at mine!)

    • simplybeingmum June 16, 2012, 4:49 pm

      Hey Clare – the lurgy has been rife here, everyone and their dog has been ill. We are cold also over here, but it’s supposed to be our Summer! Kiwi in Muffins – sounds like a NZ signature dish to me – good luck!

      • simplybeingmum June 16, 2012, 4:49 pm

        ps – wishing you all back on the road to recovery all the way over there!

  • Lili@creativesavv June 16, 2012, 4:10 pm

    What a fabulous job! You had so much that could’ve totally derailed you, yet you managed to pull it all off in the end! You’re inspiring, Jo!

    • simplybeingmum June 16, 2012, 4:50 pm

      Cheers Lili – it was worth the effort… as most things are if you get stuck in 🙂

  • Lili@creativesavv June 16, 2012, 4:10 pm

    What a fabulous job! You had so much that could’ve totally derailed you, yet you managed to pull it all off in the end! You’re inspiring, Jo!

    • simplybeingmum June 16, 2012, 4:50 pm

      Cheers Lili – it was worth the effort… as most things are if you get stuck in 🙂

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