Bestselling author, home cook and friend of The White Company Melissa Hemsley shares her top tips and delicious recipes for eating healthily and happily while reducing food waste.
Now more than ever, we are thinking about consumption and making produce stretch further – whether for environmental reasons, or due to the situation we currently find ourselves in where supply is unpredictable. From raiding the fridge and using leftovers to trying your hand at baking, there’s never been a better time for making meals mindful.
Rescue Noodle Soup with Leftover Chicken
1 tbsp ghee, or butter
1 large leek, or onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1.2 litres vegetable stock, or bone broth
1 big handful of a mix of fresh herbs, like parsley and dill, leaves and stems chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried
1 bay leaf, dried or fresh
2 celery sticks, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of 2cm chunks of root veg, like sweet potato, squash, pumpkin, potato, or (in the Summer) courgette
Sea salt and black pepper
400g noodles, or spaghetti, any type
1 tsp olive oil
300g mix of cabbage, rainbow chard and/or chard, stems finely chopped and leaves shredded
300g leftover shredded chicken
Juice of ¼ lemon, or 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 big handfuls of frozen peas, or sweetcorn
- In a large wide saucepan, heat the ghee or butter, and fry the leek or onion over a medium heat for eight minutes while you prep everything else. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
- Add the stock, or broth, chopped parsley or dill stems, thyme, bay leaf, celery, carrot, root veg and some salt and pepper. Pop the lid on and cook for 15 minutes until the carrot is almost tender.
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a separate pan until almost tender (check the label for suggested timings), then drain and rinse under cold water to stop them cooking further. Toss with the olive oil to stop them clumping and set aside.
- Back to your soup pan: add the chopped cabbage and chard stems, shredded chicken, lemon juice, or vinegar, and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add the chard leaves, frozen peas, or sweetcorn, and cooked noodles for a final two minutes so that the chard wilts, the peas cook and the noodles heat through. Season to taste and serve up straight away, topped with the fresh herb leaves.
FLEXI SWAP: For a vegetarian version, swap the chicken for 500g roughly chopped mushrooms and a pinch of dried seaweed, or seaweed salt.
1 large head of broccoli, florets evenly chopped and stem finely chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp butter
Sea salt and black pepper
2 large handfuls of grated cheese (I use mature cheddar, or you could use crumbled feta or goat’s cheese)
A handful of chopped fresh basil, parsley, chives, or celery leaves
Chilli flakes, to taste
2 handfuls of wild garlic, chopped (when in season)
- Grab a medium-sized, deep-sided frying pan and steam the broccoli for three minutes in about four tablespoons of water, lid on, until almost tender and just turned bright green. Drain any excess liquid (though the broccoli will probably absorb it all) and set the broccoli aside.
- Pop the pan back on the heat and gently fry the red onion rings and garlic in the butter for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs together in a bowl, add salt, pepper and the cheese, plus any of the herbs, chilli flakes or wild garlic, if using.
- Preheat the grill to high. Add the broccoli back to the pan to coat in the garlic butter, then pour in the egg mix, stirring so that the broccoli and onions are distributed evenly. Let the bottom and sides cook and start to set over a medium heat for about five minutes.
- Pop the frittata under the grill for a further five minutes, until golden on top and just cooked through (give the pan a wobble to check), then slide it onto a chopping board, or plate. Cool for 10 minutes and slice up into quarters.
WASTE NOT: This is divine with cauliflower, too, and tastes a bit like cauliflower cheese.
Tahini Choc Chip Cookies
Makes 16 cookies
2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
150g light tahini
110g smooth nut butter
100g good-quality dark chocolate, broken up into squares, or chips
30g black and/or white sesame seeds
A pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to fan 170°C/gas 5. Line a large baking tray with reusable baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, then mix in the baking powder, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Add the tahini and nut butter and mix together until very well combined.
- Roughly chop the chocolate (if not using chips) and fold through the batter along with the sesame seeds.
- Measure out 16 balls of the cookie batter, roughly one tablespoon each, and bake for 10–15 minutes on the lined baking tray (making sure to leave a little room between each one), until the cookies are just set. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a little sea salt and allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.
FLEXI SWAP: For vegans, replace the two eggs with one large mashed ripe banana. You can also swap the nut butter for the same amount of a seed butter, or more tahini for a nut-free alternative.
Recipes from Eat Green by Melissa Hemsley (Ebury Press, £22). Photography by Philippa Langley.
Portrait photography by Sarah Malcolm.
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