Waste not, want not: Pro tips for making food go further

Jayne Cherrington-Cook
·5-min read
Pro tips for reducing food waste from Masterchef John Torode and wife Lisa Faulkner.
Pro tips for reducing food waste from Masterchef John Torode and wife Lisa Faulkner.

What we eat has taken on new meaning during lockdown: a supermarket trip is not only perilous for fear of catching the virus, but can also take hours. Gone are the days of buying what we want, when we want it.

So, what do you do when you’ve got very little in the fridge and can’t get to the supermarket? For starters, you can head on over to Lisa Faulkner’s Instagram account and watch her and Masterchef hubby John Torode make meals out of nothing.

Lisa Faulkner and John Torode, who got married last year, are creating daily recipes while in lockdown together
Lisa Faulkner and John Torode, who got married last year, are creating daily recipes while in lockdown together

Explaining the initiative on White Wine Question Time, Lisa said the lockdown had made her and John feel like they had to contribute something.

READ MORE: John Torode admits lockdown obsession with cleaning

“We want to do something to help,” she said. “Just to do a recipe a day… It's all simple things that anybody can do.”

John agreed, saying that perhaps food can also help bring a sense of occasion back into people’s Groundhog Day lives.

“Like Thursday night becomes a date night where you dress up and you put on your nice clothes,” he suggested. “You open up a nice bottle of wine and you cook something nice.”

And John and Lisa have plenty of tips on how to make your food stretch out for longer.

1. Use potato peelings as chips

This is one inspired tip. Lisa said the first time they did this recipe on their Instagram page, everyone went mad for them.

“You just put them in the oven, bake them with a little bit of and salt and pepper and they are delicious. You know, dip them in ketchup or mayonnaise!”

READ MORE: The protein-packed breakfast Jamie Oliver creates in 1 minute flat

And if you have any potatoes left over, try a ‘pot luck’ potato recipe where you mix all your leftovers with cooked potato and place back into their skins to bake.

2. Use up everything!

John’s tip for making food go further is to use everything, especially when it comes to cooking meat and poultry.

“I cooked a chicken yesterday,” he said. “I'm going to do a masterclass on how to take a chicken apart and get the best out of it so you can freeze bits of it. You can actually make a soup from the bones.”

They’ll also be using the chicken for one of Lisa’s famous recipes, Rice Krispie chicken, which allows you to create chicken nuggets with the use of that famous breakfast cereal. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

3. Don’t throw away old bananas

It seems like everyone and their dog is making banana bread during lockdown, but if you’re fed up with this sweet treat, Lisa has another inspired idea.

READ MORE: The virus is about to hit banana supplies next

Cut your over ripe bananas into chunks and freeze and then, with the addition of a few other ingredients, you’ve got banana ice cream – yum!

4. The same goes for bread…

Odd crusts and slightly stale bread may not seem appetising, but don’t bin it as it can become a useful cooking ingredient: breadcrumbs.

“The one thing we’ve been doing is saving our bread crusts and any old bits of bread and making them into breadcrumbs,” says Lisa on her Instagram account.

“Put them in your food processor or even grate them. Freeze them or dry them out and keep them in a jar.”

READ MORE: Meat-free dinner ideas if you're a vegetarian struggling for inspiration

5. Don’t dismiss random leftovers

You’ve got one tomato, a bit of cheese, some cooked potatoes and a bit of broccoli… Don’t despair, as John and Lisa have lots of great ideas of what to do with random leftovers.

Our favourite has to be quesadillas – as Lisa says, “There’s loads of wraps in the shops and they freeze really well”, which means these can become a staple meal during lockdown.

6. Flour isn’t always needed

It seems the baking flurry that’s occurred during lockdown has made flour a precious commodity, but what if you really fancy a sweet pastry treat and the shelves are bare? Just use bread instead.

7. Bake your own bread

Bread-making can be complicated. You need yeast and there’s this whole proving and kneading thing going on.

READ ON: Everyone's baking bread, but there's no 'regular' flour left—here's a solution

Lisa and John however have created a really simple flatbread recipe – it has four ingredients only – that you can use in a variety of ways from sarnies to pizza.

Hear Lisa and John talking about life together in lockdown, what they miss most and why ironing has become John’s latest obsession on the latest episode of White Wine Question Time. Listen now on iTunes and Spotify.