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Chick Young and Liz McColgan are two of the Scottish personalities taking on the Too Good To Waste challenge, trying to live a less wasteful life and save themselves some cash in the process.
As a mother of five children, Liz admits she often finds she doesn’t have the time to plan out healthy, economic meals for her brood, while Chick doesn’t even know where the food is stored in his kitchen cupboards. Oh dear…
Enter no nonsense chef and author Rosemary Shrager, who quickly whipped this wasteful pair into shape, helping Liz and Chick to plan ahead and eat more economically.
First up, Rosemary visited Liz’s home where she suggested the busy mum make sure her kids get involved in simple domestic chores, such as making their own beds, to help lighten the load.
Rosemary also encouraged Liz to get her little ones involved in making up their own packed lunches the night before school, stimulating enthusiasm in the kids. Making a chart with the lunches for the week ahead helped keep things on track, and made sure no food was wasted and the kids ate healthily.
The chef also had a good look around athlete Liz’s store cupboards, to get a better feel for the type of food she was stocking up on – and was left far from happy when she saw a distinct lack of fresh fruit and veg, and a surplus of fatty, salty snacks and treats. And excuses about the kids not liking vegetables wouldn't cut it with Rosemary either…
Putting a plan in action, the renowned chef showed Liz how easy it can be to make healthy, nutritious meals on a budget, with little or no food wasted in the process. With an £80 budget to make five meals for five people – just £3.20 per head per meal, in just over an hour – Rosemary stocked up on essentials like chicken, rice, ham and flour.
Out of the selected ingredients, the chef showed Liz how to make wholesome dishes such as roast dinners, bread and soup, using every last piece of each ingredient. And she encouraged Liz to try to see the enjoyable side of cooking, telling her: “You’ve got to learn to make this fun for yourself. Have a bit of fun, because cooking to you, I’m feeling, is very serious.
Liz was impressed with how far the ingredients went, commenting: “Although you’re cooking one particular dish you’re actually preparing it for another one as well, so the stock for soup, and the chicken for the risotto, and there’s no waste, we haven’t thrown anything out.” Rosemary added: “We’ve cut down food, we’ve cut down miles, we’ve cut down money, so think about that.”
Football pundit Chick is hardly heavenly in the kitchen either, as Rosemary soon found out, after having a root around his store cupboards – and discovering that he had no idea what was inside them!
So she decided to take Chick to the supermarket to try to awaken a passion for cooking, as well as show him how to correctly plan out meals for the week ahead, helping to avoid unnecessary food waste.
After deciding to make a three-course meal consisting of leek and potato soup, a veggie pie, and a fruit crumble, the pair set off to stock up on their essentials, before returning to Chick’s kitchen to turn in into a culinary masterpiece.
“I’m doing you the most amazingly healthy meal. It’s wonderful when you get food and it’s of the season,” the chef said.
Costing £30 for a large three course dinner which would feed a family of four, Chick now has the ideal menu to serve up to his family – and any leftovers could be frozen and used at a later date, again cutting down on any potential food waste, saving those all important pounds.
Rosemary was certainly impressed with the outcome, telling Chick: “The thing about this is there is no wastage here, everything is locally bought, locally sourced, so it’s really, really special.
“Everything is in season, so it’s buying at the right time, and it’s just so delicious and easy to do. Another thing is the quantity here is enormous and what it cost us so little, and we made it go a long, long way.”
By planning meals and finding new ways with leftovers, a household made up of two adults could save around £430 per year.
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