Caring about the environment is patriotic.
May 3rd, 2010
I didn’t have time to go grocery shopping this weekend, and the contents of my pantry and fridge are looking pretty meager: a bag of lentils, a jar of tomato paste, a can of chopped tomatoes, a couple eggs, a container of yogurt, scraps of cheese, a few eggplants, and some old onions and garlic. I might be able to run out later today to pick up a few items at the store, but first, I like to play a little game called Shop Your Fridge.
I talked about this a bit in a HuffPost column (“Is Wasting Food a Sin?“), but here’s the gist: I pretend I’m on Top Chef and that my challenge is to make a gourmet dinner out of what I have left in the house. Some recent winners: spring pea risotto (Arborio rice, chicken stock, and frozen peas); pasta con le sarde (linguine, sardines, and bread crumbs); and cranberry wild rice pilaf (wild rice, frozen cranberries, and toasted pecans).
Am I being overly thrifty? I don’t think so: Forty percent of all food produced in the United States winds up in landfill, where it decays and emits the powerful greenhouse gas methane).
Today’s added challenge: It’s Meatless Monday.
Luckily, there’s an amazing online resource for pantry leftovers, courtesy of the UK-based campaign called Love Food Hate Waste. You just take a look at this list, click on whatever food you have in the house, and voilà! — a bunch of recipes pop up that’ll turn your odds and ends into gourmet magic. You can also search specifically for vegetarian recipes.
So what’s on my Meatless Monday menu for tonight, based on the seemingly scanty offerings I listed above? Lentil, Aubergine, and Tomato Moussaka — yum! — and all I have to pick up at the store are a couple of peppers and a container of cottage cheese.