This weeks blog comes from Cracking Good Food
With the nation tightening its belt, you may not know that we’ve been running free Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) cookery classes in partnership with Recycle for Greater Manchester. Our recent class at Ashton Town Hall was a spicy treat and it was a brilliant opportunity to show everyone just how easy and affordable it is to make tasty veggie chilli. With the average family wasting £60 a month on food that is not eaten, this session introduced the class to helpful ways to save time and money.
Some participants wanted to peel their veggies but in true LFHW style our cooking guru Maz explained the benefits of keeping the skins on such as extra vitamins. This meant we had very little peelings to be recycled. Even better, one of the attendees, John, asked if he could take them for his wormery! Result! No waste at all!
We got all the veg chopped and into the pans with the spices and tinned tomatoes. We opened the tins of beans and showed everyone the different types. All were pretty familiar with the kidney beans but most had not had much experience of aduki and pinto beans. Lots of questions were asked as to their taste, price and availability. Some people tried them and some were surprised at their ‘nuttiness’. We also discussed the high protein content and cheap cost and how they could be bought for very little dried, so any excess could be shared with friends and family.
Our quiz went down well again and we had some lovely comments about how much fun was had discussing using up the ingredients left in our cupboards and fridges. It was agreed that some great recipes could be put together with leftovers including making a sandwich which is a fantastic way to use up food.
Shopping habits were discussed and questions asked about best places to buy items and how planning and portion control are great ways to limit wastage plus freezing any extra portions.
The chili was ready to serve and the rice had fluffed up a treat. One or two people were cautious about chili heat but Maz explained that you can make this dish as hot or mild as you like. Plus the great thing about this dish is the versatility of the recipe. This one pot wonder can use all sorts of veggies; whatever you’ve got in your fridge and cupboard.
We made two chillies that night and the spicier of the two was the most popular! Lots of chilli fans in this session! Take home containers were filled with the leftovers and true to the session ethos, there was no waste whatsoever! Storage is so important if you want to keep food fresher for longer!
The class was a great success. We had some really lovely comments from the participants who had learned what they could do with leftovers. We made learning to cook uncomplicated and fun. Result!