Did you know that New Zealanders waste over 150,000 tonnes of food a year? It’s the equivalent of 271 jumbo jets of food, all of which could have been eaten. In Waste Not Want Not, Sarah Burtscher shows how to make ugly and forgotten ingredients into delicious meals. She expertly shows you how to forage in your own fridge, fruit bowl and pantry.
Sarah loves food and hates to waste it. She has lived on a remote High Country Station hours away from a supermarket, so she is used to making do with what you have. Since her teens she has been involved in the hospitality industry and brought her first café in the early 2000s.
“With remote living you are totally responsible for all your own rubbish. The more I looked into it, the more I came to realise that the food waste statistics are shocking, some people just don’t know how to utilise their grocery shop to the full,” she says.
It wasn’t until March 2020, when the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were felt and overnight, home cooking became a necessity.
“Never before has it been more important to value your food, to help the environment and help your wallet,” she says.
Waste Not Want Not is based on the top 10 foods thrown out in New Zealand; bread, leftovers, oranges and mandarins, apples, bananas, potatoes, poultry, rice, lettuce and beef.
There’s plenty of hearty meals included. The Beetroot and Apple Soup looks divine, uses whole apples (cores included) and freezes well. The Buddha Bowl with Quick Karaage Chicken is partnered with tangy ginger and peanut butter dressing. I’ll certainly be trying the Forgotten Vegetable Soup, after cleaning out our fridge veggie draw at the end of the week. The French Toast Tray Bake is also set to become a family favourite too.
The chapter on Lockdown Cooking is full of recipes that Sarah documented during 2020. Sarah also includes plenty of useful tips to help you reduce waste in your kitchen. I especially liked the tips for the fridge, pantry, fruit bowl and freezer.
Follow Sarah Burtscher online at Fridge Cleaner Cooking.
Reviewer: Andrea Molloy RRP $39.99