Food: Give leftovers a lift with three tasty “upcooking” ideas

(NC) Reducing food waste is essential to preserving the planet. It’s estimated that the average Canadian wastes a staggering 174 pounds of household food each year, according to Radio Canada International. On a smaller scale, we have leftovers we don’t know what to do with that pile up in the fridge, whether they’re unused ingredients or uneaten takeout. But there are always quick and easy fixes to elevate your leftovers and bring some fun to mealtime. Here are three tasty ideas to “upcook” your extra food.

1. Spice up stews and soups

Leftover or unused meat and vegetables take up room in our fridge, but they can bring endless and tasty upcooking opportunities in soups, braises and stews, which can taste even richer on the second or third day. Most of the flavour and weight of meat comes from the bones, so why waste them? Maximize your grocery bill by simmering bones to make nutrient-packed bone broth. Season with different spice profiles to make a wide range of international dishes and travel the world without leaving your kitchen.

2. Bacon makes everything better

Bacon is one of the most popular foods in Canada. In fact, a recent survey by Maple Leaf Foods reports that nearly half of Canadians believe that bacon makes everything taste better. Bacon is such a versatile ingredient that you can use leftovers to create tasty dishes for each course – even dessert! Look for all-natural bacon products, such as those from Maple Leaf Foods, to ensure you’re making a tasty choice that’s also sustainable.

3. Don’t loaf around

Bread ends and crusts have long been considered waste. However, these choice pieces – even when stale – can be the start of wonderful recipe ideas. French toast, crostini, and bread pudding all demand the use of bread crusts and day-old loaves, so with a little creativity, you can make the most of your next bakery purchase.

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