Recipes by Di Swann
Try this great Italian Salad idea from Leigh G. - Place 500g sliced courgette into a colander and sprinkle with salt and stand for an hour, then rinse and pat dry. In a pan, heat oil and sauté the courgette slices a few at a time until golden. Drain on paper towels and layer into a serving dish with 2 cloves chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar and mint leaves. Marinate for a few hours before serving at room temperature
Cookie dough like this gingerbread mix can be frozen uncooked, so you only need to bake what you need. Less waste and a great way to portion control, you will also have something on hand if unexpected guests pop by. To find out more about freezing Food in a minute meals click through to Lisa's Blog Freezing – Save Time and Money
Sometimes a cauliflower seems too big and gets wasted. So here is a delicious tip from Beth S: Steam cauliflower florets and then mash, blend or process with butter, salt and pepper. This is an awesome substitute for mashed potatoes.
Pick your basil or other herbs before it is too cold or they go to seed. Chop it all finely and put in ice cube trays. Fill with good quality oil and freeze. All you need to do is throw a couple of cubes through hot pasta or into casseroles. Thanks to Berys M for this tip.
Too many feijoas? Peel and chop feijoas, stew until soft and either freeze them or add them to a can of Wattie's fruit. They taste great with Wattie's apples, pears and fruit salad . Use this as the fruit portion in either our Anzac crumble or our Boysenberry Apple sponge recipe.
Leftover cooked mince or casseroles make gorgeous pasties. Just let it go cold and add some cooked diced potatoes and a few cubes of cheese. Cut each sheet of flaky pastry into two. Dollop spoonfuls of mince onto one half, then moisten the edges with beaten egg or milk and fold the other half over and seal well. Bake in a hot oven (220C) for about 20 minutes. Thanks to Jane W for this tasty tip.
Here's a tip from Carole B, if you have excess windfall apples; Peel and slice apples, put into a large pot with a little water. Add a packet of dates, about 1 to 2 cups of sugar and enough fresh lemon juice until it tastes to your liking. Simmer until thick and either freeze or refrigerate. Use as a toast spread, on porridge or add to puddings or baking.
Here's a great savings tip from Jane B. If you are making a cheese sauce you can add Dijon mustard to the roux (butter and flour mixture) and that means you either don't have to put in any cheese at all or it cuts down the amount of cheese you use. The mustard adds a cheesy flavour. Thanks Jane.
Here are a couple of savings tips you may like to try: Add cup rolled oats when making meatloaves; it helps pack it out and bind the loaf. Thanks to Patricia H. Kimberley B. suggested if you want to use up leftover Wheat-bix crumbs use them in your meatloaf or meatballs. Thanks for these tips.
To keep to budget Sue R makes a big pot of home made soup Start with a bacon hock in the water to make a flavourful stock, then adds as many chopped seasonal vegetables, such as onions, celery, pumpkin, leeks and carrots. Choose what is cheap that week. Add some soup mix and simmer slowly until soup mix is tender and soup is flavourful. Remove bacon hock and serve with bread. Freeze any excess.
Here’s a great money saving tip from Kimberley F. Before heading to the supermarket to do your weekly shop, plan out all of your meals in advance and write down the exact ingredients you need. That way, you will not be tempted to buy extra products...plus you won't need to head back to the supermarket during the week. The food in a minute website has lots of recipes so start planning the week now!
Special ingredients are too expensive to waste so when Maureen M buys Parmesan cheese she grates it all and places it in the freezer so there is always some when she needs it. This also works for root ginger.
If you chop off the leaves on the celery it won't go limp so quickly, or cut celery sticks to fit into an airtight plastic container, seal and store in the fridge. Celery can also be chopped and frozen this is handy to add the next time you are making soup or a casserole. Don't waste the leaves either, when fresh these can be added to salads and chopped into soups or use to flavour stock.
Thanks to Christine H for her Italian Silver beet Recipe. Slice and cook a big bunch of silver beet and drain any liquid off. Heat oil in a frying pan add 1 diced onion, a finely diced carrot and 2 cloves garlic chopped, when cooked add the silver beet, 2 beaten eggs and 1-2 cups grated cheese. When egg has cooked serve and enjoy.
Cook up tomatoes with onions&herbs (you can also add diced courgettes, spinach and rocket). Either use straight away or freeze and use as pasta sauce, pizza topping or the base for a great minestrone. Thanks to Sue L. for this delicious idea.
To use up excess courgettes, silverbeet and any vegetables that are plenty in the garden, make a vegetable lasagne. When the lasagna is cooked, cut it into serving size pieces and freeze; this is great when you need something extra in a hurry!! For a great variation and more ideas, please see our recipes for Mexicali Lasagne or Pumpkin&Spinach Lasagne. Thanks to Lorraine S. for this tip.
Thanks to Judith B. for this tip: You can use up excess cauliflower from the garden by treating it like pickled onions. Cut into bite sized pieces or florets, soak in a salted brine solution overnight, drain, pack into sterilised jars and pour over boiling spiced vinegar. Yummy as a nibble.
Thanks to Belinda O. and others who sent in similar tips to use up those excess courgettes: grate and pack into clean, dry containers and freeze. During winter these can be added to soups and casseroles or thaw and squeeze in a tea towel before adding to quiches. This is a nutritious and cheap green for winter.
Slow roasting tomatoes is an excellent way to use up the excess of your home grown tomatoes and it doesn't matter if they are mixed varieties or misshapen. Just thickly slice, sprinkle with salt, sugar, red wine vinegar and then drizzle over a little olive oil. Slow roast on a flat tray for approx 2 hours at 140 degrees. They last well when covered in the fridge, but usually disappear very quickly. Thanks to Eileen R.
Gardening can save you money but you often have everything ripening at the same time. Check out Lisa's Blog for some tips and ideas on how to use excess garden produce.
It's handy to remember that 1 cup of uncooked rice equals about 3 cups cooked rice. Extra rice can be easily frozen. Recycle plastic takeaway containers and fill to the brim with rice so they don't get freezer burnt. Sprinkle with a few drops of water before reheating in the microwave.
Freezing or pickling is another way of using up excess summer vegetables to find out how see the tips in Lisa's Blog.
When draining cooked vegetables, especially green vegetables keep the vegetable water aside to use in a recipe which calls for liquid stock. Freeze in 1 cup portions if you don’t use within 2-3 days. Thanks to Denise T. for this tip.
Crockpots and slow cookers are great for saving time and money on power and being able to slow cook cheaper cuts of meat. Look in our slow cooking section for recipes with slow cooker instructions as these have been tested. Also be sure to try Wattie’s Condensed Soups as they make great bases for slow cooker recipes.
Left-over mashed potatoes, vegetables, cooked mince or diced meat can be easily made into rissoles. Just add a little chopped herb, an egg to bind it and form patties and fry until golden. Thanks Anne H. for this tip.
No need to waste bread again! Crusts and day old bread can be made into soft breadcrumbs by crumbling them or using the food processor. For dry breadcrumbs toast bread in the oven before processing. If cutting crusts off bread, dice the crusts and toast them in the oven for great croutons and use on salads (visit our salad section for great salad ideas) or soups. Remember to save power by using the oven when it's hot from cooking. Thanks to Jaelle D for this tip.
If your meal serves more than you need freeze the remainder for another meal or make double the recipe and freeze half of it. This will save on power, as well as time and a full freezer uses less power too! Be quick and pack it into containers while you’re dishing up or it might disappear into seconds. Thanks to Chris D for this tip.
If you have left over canned Wattie’s Tomato Paste or Wattie’s Tomato Puree don’t leave in the fridge for too long; freeze it in 1-2 tablespoon amounts and defrost when needed. It's great when making pizzas, mince dishes or sauces. Thanks to Helen A. for this tip.
A little advance planning can go a long way: When buying a whole large chicken, try making it go a little further. From the cooked chicken for dinner one night, you can get a stock for a soup and any leftover chicken can be used for a pie for another dinner or sandwiches the next day. Visit our Chicken section on the wesbite for great chicken ideas. Thanks for this tip from Gina B.
About a 1/3 of our food gets wasted each week so here’s some tips to help. Fruit is a great snack and kids especially like to have their fruit cut up, squeeze lemon juice over cut fruit in a lunchbox or any leftover pieces so it doesn’t go brown. Freeze old or bruised bananas and use in muffins, cakes or loaves. If an apple is looking tired, peel and grate it and add to pork mince for meatballs or add to the pot when cooking porridge. Thanks to Lycia P.&Chris G. for these tips.
A 450g roll of sausage meat at about $2.95 makes a great meal extender. You can add it to mince to make meatloaves and rissoles go further You can also make your own sausage rolls by adding onion and mixed herbs, or if you want a small roast chicken to go further stuff it with sausage meat and herbs. Visit our Mince and sausage section on the website for great ideaes on ow to use sausages. Thanks to June-Lorraine for this tip.
When making gravies, pesto or sauces freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. These are a perfect size to add to casseroles, mince or pasta dishes. Thanks to Debbie C for this tip.
If you want to reduce leftovers and waste when you have children in your household get them involved with the preparation and cooking. When children help with the meal preparation they eat well and at the same time they are learning a very useful life skill - how to cook. For great ideas and recipes for kids, visit our Kids in the Kitchen section on the website.
When you have an excess of fresh herbs in the garden, such as parsley, chives, mint or basil, wash and chop up finely then put in ice cube trays so that they are accessible all year round. Thanks to Maria S. for this tip.
A great way to use leftover potatoes, veges and roast meat is to make a Calzone. Just make a pizza dough, spreadWattie's Tomato Paste over the base, put the veges and meat and grated cheese on top, close the dough up and cook. Delicious!! Thanks to Tracey G for this super tip.
Did you know beans are a real Super Food - delicious and a valuable source of nutrients. They are a good source dietary fibre, and protein, plus provide iron and are low in fat! To make your mince dishes go even further try adding in a can ofCraig's Red Kidney Beans. A tip from our Nutritionist - Julie Dick.
Any leftover roast meat can be cut up, mixed with leftover vegetables, gravy or cheese sauce, mix together with a can of Wattie's Chicken Soup, put into soup bowls, top with pastry and you have a delicious pie! Our whole family loves it. Thanks to Toni W. for this tip.
When cheese is on special, try buying a larger quantity to save money. Use the amount you need and any extra grate and put away in the freezer for later use. Saves both time and money for next time. Thanks to Maureen M. and Le-Anne T for this tip.
Remember if using a frozen turkey before thawing place it in another plastic bag to prevent drips. For best results thaw in the refrigerator; however this can take 3-4 days and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days after thawing. For great ideas visit the Turkey and Chicken Section on the left hand side.
Here’s a great idea for your Christmas cooking from Lorraine M. When I make a Pavalova I use a little bit of the mixture and make mini Pavs around the big one. Keep in an airtight container (for up to 2 weeks) for quick desserts. Visit our desserts section for Pavlova and other great dessert ideas.
Keep food safe this summer: remember the message - Clean, Cook, Cover&Chill. Don't leave food out for longer than 2 hours; less if it is really hot. Cover and place in the refrigerator.
Did you know you can cook fresh corn on the BBQ. Trim the hair but don't remove the green husk from the corn and place the whole corn cob on the BBQ. Cook until it has blackened turning frequently. The corn would have steamed inside. Use hot mitts to remove husk and enjoy! There are more great BBQ and picnic ideas on the section on the left hand side.
Open cans of Wattie’s Asparagus Spears at the bottom of the can and turn out into a sieve to drain. This way you won’t break the delicate tips. Try our Aparagus Slice recipe for a new way to use your canned asparagus.
At picnic time many people write in asking how to achieve a crispy base pastry for their pies or quiche. If the recipe doesn't suggest to Blind bake your crust then a good idea is to bake your pie in the lower third of the oven so the base can get cooked well without the top getting too brown.
Place leftover fish scraps in a plastic bag in the freezer until rubbish day so your bin doesn’t get smelly and attract flies. And to remove fish odours from your hands rub your hands with a squeezed lemon. You’ll find great Seafood recipes on the left hand side. Thanks to Daina G. for this Tip.