Meals from left overs – frugal and self sufficient?

stuffed pepper

It is estimated that in the UK, we throw away, on average, one third of all the food we buy each week.

A lot of this is through leftovers. So it makes sense to either measure out portions more carefully or start viewing ‘leftovers’ as ingredients.

This is one of the ways in which you can move towards a more self sufficient and sustainable lifestyle. A few years ago, NOTHING was wasted; it would have been unethical to do so! All scraps were used up and made into a home cooked meal.

Practising this yourself is not only better for the environment, reducing landfill and packaging, but will save you money.

Looking through the ‘fridge this evening I found a few pieces of cooked bubble and squeakcarrot, broccoli and cauliflower, a few ounces of mashed potato, some cheese coming up to it’s ‘grow a green jumper’ moment, a few tablespoons of curry, some split pea soup (enough for one hungry baby), one naan bread and 327 peppers. (well, I exaggerate on the peppers, but you get the drift).

So tonight’s feast consisted of bubble and squeak (fried broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and mashed potato), and stuffed peppers with naan bread.

The peppers were stuffed with an interesting mix of curry mashed up with split pea soup (I usually make soup that you can stand spoons in) and topped with cheese.

We cut up the naan into small pieces, dipped them in olive oil and fried them.

fried naan breadSome of our best meals are created in this way. Yes, some of them are complete disasters, but most of the time they turn out wonderfully! Most chefs will admit that many of their best recipes were created through ‘mistakes’. So, put aside your assumptions and your expectations, mix things together that you would never normally consider and see what you can come up with.


  1. Melissa McCann on March 29, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    In my limited experience, there is often a discord between going green and sticking to a budget. That is not to say that in the long run, strictly from a financial viewpoint living green is cost efficient, but often the initial output can be prohibitive if you’re already on a tight budget. (The cost of Energy Smart appliances, hybrid vehicles, non-CFC bulbs all cost more to begin with).
    It’s really nice when choosing the greener option is also more cost effective and time efficient! It’s like win-win-win! I’ve tried for the last year (since becoming a stay at home mom) to minimize the food I throw out. Most of the time we do pretty well. It’s also nice to cook enough food at once for two or three meals and then need only reheat.

    Great post! Cheers!

  2. Mrs Green on March 30, 2008 at 2:34 am

    I agree that the initial cost of things can be daunting. There are certainly lots of things I would like to do here that are not financially viable at the moment. CFL bulbs are a reasonable cost over here now; we’re lucky on that front. But I agree that the A rated appliances and hybrid cars are out of my league most of the time. And of course, as technology moves on at an ever quickening pace it’s hard to keep up. I bought an A rated washing machine 2 years ago, but now there are A plus that use even LESS resources. Like wise the oven I bought last year, I could probably get something even more fuel efficient.

    Like you say though, you can’t go wrong with making your food go further. I wrote a post a while back about going green on a budget, with 10 tips on it. I might expand on each of those and turn each one into an article over time.

    You can check it out here:

    Lovely comment; thanks and it’s good to see you being frugal with your food too – even food is becoming scarce if we believe the newspapers!

    Mrs G x