Week Three – “Lessons in Leftovers”

“Did your Grandma teach you how to make soup with your leftover produce?”


Welcome to Week Three of the Just Eat It, Caledon! Food Waste Challenge. Whether your goal is to reduce your impact on the environment or your wallet – it makes sense for us to get smarter about using the food that we purchase, including using up our LEFTOVERS.

Here are 5 TIPS to help you with LEFTOVERS:

Better Storage Glass storage containers are not only reusable and sustainable but they are great for storing leftovers – it’s much easier to track what’s in the fridge when you can see what you are storing – Bryn Mooth (10 Creative Ways to Use Leftovers)

Don’t forget about your freezer! If your family isn’t interested in eating the same meal two days in a row – freeze leftovers in portion sizes that you can defrost another day. A little tape and a marker can help you keep track of what you stored and when you stored it.

Want to learn how to keep different foods fresh? Visit Love Food Hate Waste Canada to learn more about optimum storage.

Turn Dinner into Lunch Tired of taking sandwiches for lunch or spending money each week eating out? You can save money and time by stashing leftovers in lunch-able portions to enjoy the following day. Have a small portion of protein and roasted veggies? Add them to a salad for a healthier lunch option – Bryn Mooth (10 Creative Ways to Use Leftovers)

Dedicate a “Leftovers” Night Want to avoid the weekly dump of leftovers into the green bin? Make sure to dedicate a night to eat up all the yummy leftovers you’ve accumulated over the week – Bryn Mooth (10 Creative Ways to Use Leftovers)

Think Ingredients NOT Leftovers Instead of tossing leftovers into the green bin, try creating something new!

Turn extra pasta or cooked vegetables into a frittata. Blend cooked vegetables with a can of whole tomatoes and create a veggie-packed sauce for pasta. Create burritos with leftover cooked rice, protein and vegetables, and top them with sour cream and salsa – Bryn Mooth (10 Creative Ways to Use Leftovers)

Visit Love Food Hate Waste Canada for some great ideas and recipes for using up extra ingredients and leftovers.

Stash Veggie Scraps Instead of tossing veggie scraps and wilted or bruised veggies into the green bin, turn them into stock. Keep a ziploc bag in the freezer and add vegetable scraps like peels, tops and stems, as well as, any produce that is past its prime, cheese rinds and bones. When the bag is full, defrost the contents and simmer with water and seasonings. Homemade veggie stock can be added to soups, gravy, and stews – Bryn Mooth (10 Creative Ways to Use Leftovers)

Week Three – Challenge Activity:

It’s time to get creative with your leftovers! This week we are challenging you to think outside the lunch box, think INGREDIENTS not LEFTOVERS!

Try using one or a number of the tips mentioned above – pack leftovers for lunch or freeze them to enjoy another night. Take leftover roasted veggies and create a pasta dish or frittata. The possibilities are endless. Chef Bob Bumer (through LFHW Canada) offers some great tips on how to use leftovers or ingredients that you’ve probably never even considered to be ingredients – have you ever used the leftover oil from a jar of sundried tomatoes? Several of his inspiring videos are listed in the resources for this week.

Food for Thought! We’d love to see or hear what you’ve done. Please share pictures of your creations so that others can get inspired as well. In addition, feel free to share tips that help you reduce food waste or ones that have been passed down to you. We’ll be doing the same.

Need a little inspiration? Have Netflix? Check out “Best Leftovers Ever”! A reality game show where skilled cooks are challenged to make new dishes out of already made dishes.


 5 Ways to Revive Food  

Take 5 for the Earth – Empty the Fridge Soup

From Waste to Taste with Bob Blumer – Love Food Hate Waste Canada

Bob Blumer’s Pesto 

Bob Blumer’s Free-tatta

Bob Blumer’s Banana Bread French Toast

Food Ambassador

Palgrave United Community Kitchen
Through programs, events and community connections, Palgrave United Community Kitchen is committed to the creation of a healthy, sustainable local food system.


Community Champion:

Kathryn MacDuffee
Who am I? I am an elder; blessed with rich life experiences, travel adventures, and a gaggle of children and grandchildren. Although an officially retired teacher and journalist, my gift of brimming energy keeps me keeping on, and I remain active in both professions. I am eternally grateful to live on a hilltop in rural Ontario surrounded by fields, forests and wild things. Open Heart Press is born out of my fierce belief in the intelligence of the heart – hearing it, trusting it and following it. And, I believe in joy.

Week 3  – Reflections:

Link to reflections

Food for Thought - Community Feed

  1. Congratulations to Nicole J of Caledon who is our latest winner of the weekly raffle for a $50.00 gift card! She will choose a card from any local restaurant or food retailer in Caledon.

    Don’t forget to go online this Sunday and answer the reflection questions for Week Three of the challenge. All participants who complete their reflection questions will be entered into the next draw!

  2. I am a fan of using leftovers, stock and soup-making. Having grown up in post-rationing Britain, we knew all the tricks. All bones are made into stock for the freezer.

    All bread crusts (home-made in this house), are placed in a bag in the freezer. When we have a bundle, I zizz (food processor or grater) them into breadcrumbs. These breadcrumbs are used for fish cakes, chicken Parmesan, spicy chicken strips etc. My favourite is upscaling baked mushrooms (with butter and garlic) or grilled tomatoes with herbs and Parmesan cheese. Far nicer than the dry crumbs you buy in a packet.

    Dry bread slices are made into quick-croutons, butter both sides, sprinkle with herbs or garlic and toast in the toaster, cube and serve.

    Love hearing other ideas…..

  3. Beer can chicken is one of our fav meals but always too much for 2 people. So the leftover chicken becomes an ingredient in our next pizzas or pasta sauce or quesadillas.

    • This looks like a restaurant gourmet pizza, Patti! Fantastic!

      Since our kids have both been living with us again, every Friday night is pizza night, but we don’t order it in. The boys do all the chopping and any leftover veggies go on our – well… mostly my – pizza! The kids like to use naan bread as the base. We haven’t ordered pizza in months since starting our weekly homemade pizza ritual.

  4. Last week I decided to use up the remnants from several boxes of pasta. It turned out to be kind of a pretty “pasta medley” topped with a simple sauce.

  5. I can’t remember the last time I bought broth from a carton! Have you ever wondered if there was something you could do with your veggie scraps (peels, tops, stems)?

    Instead of tossing veggie scraps and wilted or bruised veggies into the green bin, turn them into stock. Keep a ziploc bag in the freezer and add vegetable scraps like peels, tops and stems, as well as, any produce that is past its prime, cheese rinds and bones. When the bag is full, defrost the contents and simmer with water and seasonings. Homemade veggie stock can be added to soups, gravy, and stews – Bryn Mooth (10 Creative Ways to Use Leftovers)

    • This is where I put the leaves from my cauliflower head, and sometimes my kale stems. The stock never tastes the same twice – it’s as unique as the ingredients you happen to use that week.

    • This has been started up in our house too…. great suggestion.

      FYI my family only like Asparagus tips, so I cut them off to use. Then I cut a 1” piece from the stalks and use them blanched/warm on my salads, the footy end, goes into stock.

  6. “T’was the night before garbage day and time for that weekly shovelling of leftovers, scraps and slightly wilted veggies from the fridge into the green bin.” But wait, what if we tossed those not so attractive veggies into a pot with a few other ingredients, and turned them into a pretty awesome soup?

    Last night was “Empty the Fridge” Soup Night! On hand, two carrots, half a jar of crushed tomatoes, parsley stems, half a bag of frozen peas, a bit of veggie stock (leftover from an earlier recipe), half a jar of alphabet pasta and the rind from a finished chunk of parmesan cheese. Add to that some staples like garlic, onions, a can of chickpeas and some seasonings…and, we ended up with a pretty awesome soup for a cold January night.

  7. So last week, I had the unpleasant experience of discovering our milk was going bad and yet it was a full bag! The idea of throwing it away felt horrible. So being inspired by the thinking that Gratitude for Food has instilled in me because of this Challenge, I went to Google to see what I could do with all this milk. I found this fantastic webpage: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/spoiled-milk. It has lots of great wisdom and provides the necessary cautions about using spoiled milk, but some excellent suggestions too! I’ve managed to make two batches of pancakes and 4 batches of tea biscuits and used up all that milk, not a drop wasted! And every bite was delicious!!!!

  8. This week I made a recipe a friend gave me for “Cabbage Roll Soup”. After making it I realized it would be the perfect meal for any leftover cabbage rolls. Simply “deconstruct” your leftover rolls a bit and add broth. It was really good!

  9. Whenever my potatoes start to get old, [potatoes become soft to the touch, potato skins start to look dried up or the eyes start to sprout], I make mashed potatoes out of them. I will also freeze them for a later date. Can be used with leftover vegetables and make shepherds pie with or without ground beef. Can be vegetarian.

    I do the same with tomatoes. When you see wrinkly skin, cut in half, put on roasting pan, drizzle some olive oil and bake for 30 minutes [+/-] at 375. Then make a tomato sauce, tomato soup or put on top of pizza. You can also freeze tomatoes after roasting and use at a later date to make any of the above.

    • I am definitely going to use this idea, Niki. I have some tomatoes that I will roast today for my mushroom pasta sauce later in the week. Thanks for this timely advice!

    • We do this when tomatoes are in abundance in the garden. I roast batches of tomatoes, fresh herbs, onions, garlic, plus peppers anything available. Freeze for soup, pasta sauce or to use with couscous. (Often done in a pan on the bbq).


Food for Thought - Community Feed - Join The Conversation

The maximum upload file size: 10 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here