I love the saying, “Waste not, want not.” Don’t you? Especially because it’s so true! According to a recent study published by Resources, Conservation, and Recycling, the average household generates 690 grams/person/week of food waste. What’s worse? Researchers found that providing information or raising awareness wasn’t enough to reduce food waste.
Let’s see what we can do to try and make a positive change in our kitchens and our everyday lives. First off, don’t throw away leftover food. Why not start a weekly tradition like “Leftover Friday’s” or something similar? Just make sure to keep your food fresh and refrigerate or cool it as needed to keep it edible.
To help you out, I’ve listed one of my very own recipes below. Here’s a special dish that I made from wilting peppers.
Scrumptious Pepper Recipe
Although these peppers may not look very old in the pictures, they’ve definitely lost that fresh-out-of-the-grocery-store crispness. Most people don’t want to eat peppers that have lost their snappy bite. I get it; I don’t really want to, either. Now, I could put them in a pasta sauce but we’re going to do something else. We’re going to…Burn them! Eh, sorry Broil them.
Below you’ll find my recipe for a deliciously sweet and savory pepper appetizer. This way you can eat something that’s tasty and do good for the environment in the process: composting!
baking sheet or oven tray
Cut a piece of culinary parchment paper and place it on an oven tray.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Gather the peppers that are still good enough to use. I have small yellow and red ones here. Even the softer ones can be used, especially if they still smell sweet.
Pop ’em in the oven until they become blackened. They’ll be done pretty fast if you put them on the top rack of the oven.
Take the peppers out of the oven and allow them to cool down before you remove the skin. To make it easier, I left them in olive oil overnight, but you don’t have to.
The peels and the rest of your unused peppers can go into your composter.
This is what mine ended up looking like. Doesn’t that look amazing?! They ended up tasting really sweet and lovely. The yellow pepper’s texture almost resembles that of mango and it was sweeter in taste. Just add some cheese, grapes, and a Sauvignon Blanc, you’re done! (Or put them on top of a homemade pizza. That’s really good as well and it gives a real kick to the taste buds.) Bon appetit!
Tips for being more environmentally friendly
“Waste not, want not,” can be taken really broadly. To help the environment, avoid buying products that have too much plastic around them. Plastics contain BPA, which is bad for you—it leaches into your store-bought fruits and vegetables.
You can also cover a container with a small dish plate (make sure it fits!). This way you avoid having to use plastic or aluminum foil/tin foil. You can then stack and put something else on top. Fridge space is always scarce, right? Be sure to put a label of some sort on your containers, otherwise, you’d better be prepared for some really smelly surprises.
To reduce water waste, refrain from grabbing a clean glass or plate every time someone needs water or a snack plate. It’s going to save you a lot of time and also money in the long run, especially with bigger families. I’m not suggesting that you and your family drink from the same cup, just use one cup or mug or glass as long as possible for that day.