Lemon Heart Vinegar

Lemon Heart Vinegar

Leftover lemon heart vinegar

I started obsessing about food waste when my kids were little and I was determined to give them as much organic produce as possible. Not everyone’s priority or privilege. I got by on spending around £60 a week on food and honestly, I was proud that I did manage.  Family or friends would raise their eyebrows and roll their eyes when I talked about my veg box, but I knew I was giving us good food. I learned to ignore the eye rolls. Using every scrap of a leftover lemon, half a sausage or pot of sour yoghurt made sure we could eat home-cooked food and I’m grateful that I learned to cook at home and school.

Lemons are so normal in our fridges but travel from Spain, Italy, Israel and, TBH, who knows where, just so we can put a little wedge in our gin & tonic or have a sweet and sour pancake. Leftover lemons deserve more than going hard inside your fridge door – let’s use every last scrap.

I came across this recipe in the James Beard Waste Not Cookbook. I have a growing collection of food waste books which makes me happy. Some focus on the scraps and others on how to cook one meal and then use those leftovers. For me it’s a mixture of both.

This ‘recipe’ is great and so thrifty. A 50p bottle of white vinegar. Lemon rinds. That’s it. You likely will use about 10 pence worth of vinegar in this recipe. You can use your leftover lemon vinegar in dressings, marinades or even mixed with sugar syrup and lightly poured over ice cream (especially good for those of us who don’t have the sweetest tooth).

The eco-cleaners out there know that distilled white vinegar is *the* hot cleaning product. I use mine in place of laundry detergent and for cleaning my bathroom (along with washing up liquid and bicarbonate of soda). Eco often means cheap because a spangly new product isn’t necessarily going to do a better job than some cheap bicarb (I say this as a person whose mum bought her a ££dress££ on Sunday and I enjoyed every second). 50p well spent, no?

Using every last scrap of your food saves you money which sometimes means you can buy that nice dress (over time), or, for me, means I can buy the organic butter or lemons. Every purchase we make is a choice, one way or another. Every leftover we make the most of helps the planet one little choice at a time.

 

 

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Dosas, for every little leftover curry

Dosas, for every little leftover curry

Dosas, a love story

Tomorrow is a big day for StorrCupboard: the first StorrCupboard Food Waste workshop. Quite nervous. I’ve been putting a lot of background work into StorrCupboard so I’m often running to chase my tail. So I’m writing this just ahead of hitting send, on this blustery Sunday morning. Tomorrow I’ll be cooking dosas with 12 members of the public, learning how to be food savvy with the wonderful people of Hubbub charity. I can’t wait and I’m terrified all at once.

Dosas aren’t simple to learn. There’s a practice needed in learning the right grain to achieve and you do need a food processor, sorry. If you like the idea, then a basic gram flour ‘dosa’ will be similar but won’t have the same flavour. But it will allow you to clear your plate.

The batter is lightly fermented, so if gut health and fermentation are of interest to you then it’s well worth having a go. It took me a couple of goes to get anything that I’d even serve to my kids, so there’s been a lot of eating soggy batter!

The ground rice/lentil/fenugreek mixture has to look like thick cream, that’s the only way I can explain it. Then you loosen it, until it’s like English pancake batter – worryingly loose is how I think about it.

I loved learning to make these and pushing myself to keep on experimenting, learning. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

PS this is a lovely piece

 

Dosas

Ann Storr

Ingredients
  

  • 375 grams basmati rice
  • 125 grams urad daal (split, skinless black gram)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Tools

  • Sieve
  • Scales
  • Large Bowl
  • Clean tea towel
  • Food Processor
  • Non stick or cast iron frying pan
  • Flipper
  • Ladle or coffee cup
  • Plate

Instructions
 

The night before

  • Wash the rice and urad daal well. Add the fenugreek seeds to the mix and fill enough water in the rice-daal bowl to cover them about 2-inch deep. Soak overnight.

8 hours before you want to cook

  • Drain all the water from the rice mixture. Now put into the food processor and grind - adding very little water if necessary - to a smooth yet slightly grainy paste
  • When you are happy with the texture, put it into a large mixing bowl and add enough water to make a batter. The consistency of the batter should be such that it thickly coats the back of a spoon - to me like English pancake batter
  • Now add salt to taste and keep the dosa batter aside in a warm, dark spot, covered, for 6 to 8 hours. During this time it will ferment

Cooking the dosas

  • Pour a little oil into the pan and tilt it to cover the base
  • Fill the ladle up to the 3/4 level with dosa batter. Gently pour this batter onto the centre of the pan - just as you would for a pancake
  • Now begin to spread the batter in sweeping circular motions to cover the base of the frying pan. The dosa may have little holes- this is normal
  • When the upper surface begins to look cooked (it will no longer look soft or runny), flip the dosa. By this time, ideally, the surface that was underneath should be light golden in colour. Cook for 1 minute after flipping.
  • The dosa is almost done. Fold it in half and allow to cook for 30 seconds more

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover peas and pasta

Leftover peas and pasta

After all that Easter gluttony, we need some more green goodness. Peas are a huge part of our shopping, our dinners and after school teas.

When I was a kid, one of my brothers and I would eat little pots of frozen peas straight from the freezer (a habit that my youngest has picked up, I’m happy to say).  Peas are so small!  And sweet!  And I usually will just eat them all with a spoon (esp if there’s a little butter and salt on there.

 

But not always, so you can quite often find little Chinese takeaway containers with a couple of handfuls of peas waiting for their starring role…

 

Peas will keep for a couple of days; make sure that they are in a lidded container in the fridge. Do no re-freeze cooked peas.

 

A little pasta; some grated cheese and butter. That’s it.  Cook your pasta as usual; put a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water in a mug then drain the pasta.  Stir the pasta, a little of the water, a teaspoon of butter and the peas together.  If it’s a little dry, add a little more water.  Cover with whatever cheese you have/like and enjoy.

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Brown Banana Bites

Brown Banana Bites

In a previous life I was lucky enough to go on a work jolly to South California (I KNOW). It was, pretty much, the only one over the course of eleven under-paid years, and it was amazing.  Beach motel: check.  Early morning beach walk and watching dolphins frollic in the sea: check.  Putting on half a stone in a week: check.

Not kidding.  Half a stone.  In a week.

 

On the plus side, I learnt that frozen bananas on a stick is a real thing in SoCal.  Be still my British heart.  I thought it was all ‘Arrested Development’ nonsense.

 

These little banana bites are quite messy to make but that’s half the fun.  It’s a good way to use up leftover birthday cake sprinkles, a couple of discarded biscuits or hundreds and thousands.  Use whatever chocolate you like.  I didn’t use coconut oil because it’s damned pricey and I don’t really like it TBH, so I went for butter.  Budget-conscious vegans could use groundbut (i.e., flavourless) oil and it’ll be fine.

 

Crunchy, smooth and not too sweet. Yum.​​

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

(Brown) Banana and nut butter smoothie

(Brown) Banana and nut butter smoothie

Anyone who’s looked at my feeds knows I love a good banana bread.  Specifically Nigella’s from ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ – dense, sweet, keeps well, uses two bowls.  Yes, another recipe where the pages are crusted and have strings of banana dried on.  Yummy.

 

But there’s got to be more ways with a browning nana than a banana bread, and given how my youngest will sometimes eat 3 in a day (I know) to zero in a week … well, I’ve got some practice.

 

Waaaaa….​​

 

Banana peanut butter smoothie

 

Quick.  Cheap.  Currently believed to be healthy.  Delicious.  Frugal.  So basically yeah, love em.

 

You don’t have to add the yoghurt and oats, but we sometimes have these as breakfast, so the oats help to keep you going.  Or leave them out, I’m not checking am I?

 

Blend the bananas first; I used to add extra sugar but if you blend the bananas alone, first, then it’s unecessary – and that’s some ££ saved, hoorah.

 

Sweet, cheap and filling banana smoothie​​

Banana and nut butter smoothie

Serves 2 kids or 1 adult

Ingredients

1 large banana (about 190g with peel on)
40g nut butter
40g yoghurt (cow or vegan)
20g small oats
150ml milk/milk alternative

Tools

Knife
Spoons
Stick blender/smoothie maker

Time

10 minutes max

Level

Easy

Prep

Remove bananas from freezer if necessary

Method

Blend banana on its own

Add nut butter and blend

Next oats (if using) and yoghurt.  Make sure it’s really smooth

Add milk until it’s the right texture for you (I like mine thin, but with the odd bonus lump of peanut butter…)

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

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