Like many others I was shocked at the figures recently released from the UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers that almost half the world’s food is wasted. Shock rapidly turned to anger. People are going hungry in the UK in 2013 for lack of affordable food, the environmental cost of producing food which is wasted must also be staggering. This level of waste is wrong and utterly bonkers.
Any waste is an anathema to me; my parents bought me up to be a good steward, looking after and treating my possessions, wealth and the planet with respect and care. The principle also applies to my larder.
This January I am focussing on reducing the amount of food in my home. Various samples have arrived, products bought for one recipe and numerous BOGOF offers have been taken up. Half used up packets abound, and the freezer is full of reduced bargains and leftovers. The crunch point came when just before Christmas a large container with 5 packets of speciality flour got infested with mites and I had to put the entire lot in the bin.
I have given myself a target of reaching the end of February without buying any non perishable foods. Until the end of January I only intend to buy milk, fruit and vegetables. Realistically during February I will need to buy the odd bag of flour or sugar, but I really do not want to restock say, the pasta, until all the noodles, cous cous, rice and other grains are gone. I will have to be inventive and certainly will enjoy having more money in my bank account.
I am tweeting and instragramming progress on #storecupboardempty so please do join in.
This dish was devised to use up the last bits in several jars of antipasti; like many of my recipes it is adaptable, use what you have – certainly do not go out and buy anything especially to make this. I buy my lemons in the market – 10 or more for £1. As soon as they are home a few are sliced and free-frozen before being packed into tupperware boxes to be used to enliven glasses of dull London tap water. Other lemons are squeezed and the juice frozen in an ice cube tray.
My sea trout was delicious – pink, firm textured and flavoured – from Farmers Choice, who deliver fish as well as their excellent free range meat. I like that it comes deep frozen, in vacuum packets (drop into tepid water for a rapid defrost), insulated by wool rather than in those ghastly wasteful polystyrene boxes which squeakily grate at my nerves and guilt. I give the wrapped wool pads to the homeless, they are excellent insulation against the pavement for those poor men and women sleeping rough.
Recipe: Baked Sea Trout With Leftover Antipasti
- 1 tbs roasted artichoke antipesto (drained of the oil)
- 1 tbs sun dried tomatoes
- 1 tsp capers
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 sea trout (or salmon fillets)
- Mix the artichoke, tomatoes, capers and lemon juice and blitz either in the food processor or with a stick blender. Keep a chunky texture rather than pureeing to a smooth paste.
- Take a sheet of foil (about 60cm) and lightly oil. Place the fish skin side down into the middle of it, spread the antipasti mix over the top.
- Left the edges of the foil up and fold them together to make a parcel. Place on a baking tray
- Bake at 200C/400F/GM6 for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the fish. Open the foil for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Serve with a green salad and your choice of grain.
Many thanks to Farmers Choice for the immense box of fish that I and my parents have been enjoying.