Season’s eatings with waste-free recipes

We had a little too much post-Christmas bubble and squeak last year, so I’ve been on the look-out for waste-free recipes to have at the ready.

  Boxing Day Burritos (Abel and Cole –

Wrap up your Christmas dinner leftovers in a flour tortilla – just add a gravy dip.


Large flour tortillas.

A few handfuls of cooked veg, such as braised red cabbage, Brussels sprouts, boiled carrots

1 tbsp butter

A few handfuls of leftover turkey

150 ml leftover gravy, plus extra to serve.

A few handfuls of leftover roast potatoes and parsnips

2-3 Yorkshire puddings

2-3 tbsp leftover stuffing

2-3 tbsp leftover bread sauce

4 tbsp cranberry sauce


1. Heat your oven to 100°C/Fan 80°C. Unpack the tortillas and place them in a large square of foil. Lay the tortillas in the foil and wrap it around them to make a loose parcel. Place on the bottom shelf of the oven to gently warm.

2.If you’re using any chunky veg, like carrot batons or whole Brussels sprouts, roughly chop them so all the veg are roughly the same size. Place a medium-sized pan on a medium heat and add 1 tbsp butter. Add the veg and gently fry, stirring often, for 4-5 mins till the veg have warmed through. Scoop the veg into a heatproof dish, cover with foil and place in the oven to keep warm.

3.Roughly chop the turkey. Scoop it into the pan you reheated the veg in and add around 150ml gravy – enough to just cover the turkey. Set on a medium heat and reheat for 4-5 mins, stirring occasionally, till the turkey is piping hot all the way through and the gravy has reduced to coat the turkey. Scoop into a heatproof dish, cover with foil and pop in the oven to keep warm.

4.Roughly chop the roast potatoes and/or parsnips to make small chunks around ½cm across. Wipe the pan clean and place it back on a medium heat. Add 1-2 tbsp oil and, when it’s hot, add the chopped roasties and fry, stirring, for 3-4 mins, till they’re warmed through and a little crisp. Scoop into a heatproof bowl and place in the oven to keep warm.

5.If you have leftover Yorkshire puddings, slice them into thin strips. If you have any cooked stuffing, chop it into small chunks (unless it’s soft and can be easily spooned into the burrito). Pour around 400-500ml gravy into the pan and set on a medium-low heat to slowly warm while you’re assembling the burritos. You want it to come to the boil, then turn the heat down so it stays steaming hot.

6.Take the flour tortillas, veg, turkey and roasties out of the oven, but leave the oven on. Place 1 tortilla on your work surface. Spread 1 tbsp bread sauce (if using), then 1 tbsp cranberry sauce down the middle of the tortilla. Top with a handful of the roasties, then the veg and then the turkey, making sure it forms a strip down the middle of the tortilla, leaving a gap at the sides. Top with a few strips of Yorkshire pudding and some stuffing.

7.Using both hands, fold the sides in over the filling, then use your thumbs to pull the bottom of the tortilla up and over the filling to create a pouch. Fold the top corners of the tortilla over the filling, so you have something that looks quite square. Roll the burrito to enclose the filling. Transfer to a heatproof plate, seam-side-down, and place on the bottom shelf of the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings.

8.To serve, pour the hot gravy into small serving bowls and halve the burritos. Serve them with the gravy for dunking.

Yeo Valley’s Sweetcorn and Turkey Chowder (


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 400g potatoes cut into cubes
  • 5 litres of chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 350g sweetcorn, tinned or frozen
  • 400g leftover turkey cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 200g crème fraiche
  • Small bunch of parsley, chopped


Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the celery and onion. Cover and sweat over a medium heat for 5 mins.

Pour the stock into the pan along with the potatoes and bay leaves and simmer for 10 mins until the potatoes start to become tender.

Add the turkey, sweetcorn and a good grind of black pepper. Cook for another 5 mins. Check the vegetables are cooked and adjust the seasoning.

Stir in the crème fraîche then divide between 4 bowls and top with the parsley.

Cheesy Sprout Bake (Becketts Farm –

Serves: 6-8


5 slices back bacon, diced

3 tbsp butter

1 small onion

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1kg Brussels sprouts, halved

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

300ml double cream

50g Cheddar, grated

50g gruyere, grated


  • Preheat the oven to 190°. In a large, shallow frying pan or oven-safe dish, melt the butter and fry the bacon until crispy, over a medium heat.
  • Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon keeping as much of the cooking fats in the pan. Fry the onion, garlic and sprouts together, stirring well to combine. Add in the dry seasoning and spices then stir. Cook all together over a medium heat until tender and gently browning (approx. 10 minutes).
  • Remove from the heat and pour over the cream. Top with both cheeses and the crisped bacon.
  • Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling.

Sprout Leaves Pesto

(Conor Spacey, Wasted)

Place outer sprout leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds, then refresh under cold water.

Squeeze dry and add equal quantities of the leaves with basil to a blender.

Add toasted nuts and Parmesan cheese and blend, slowly adding rapeseed oil and salt and pepper until it becomes a paste.

 Merry Mince Pie Tiffin (Abel and Cole –

A great way to use up any last mince pies that have gone a bit stale by turning them into an easy fridge cake.


  • 150g milk or dark chocolate
  • 125g butter
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 100g agave syrup
  • 2 clementines
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 300g mince pies
  • 30g white chocolate
  • Method:
  • 1. Line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper. Roughly chop the chocolate and dice the butter. Scoop them into a heatproof bowl. Add the agave syrup[ and cocoa powder. Finely grate in the zest from 2 clementines. Squeeze in the juice.
  • 2. Melt the chocolate in your preferred way – bain-marie or at a low setting in the microwave.
  • 3. Toast the flaked almonds in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring often for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Add them and the dried cranberries to the melted chocolate. Crumble in the mince pies, breaking them into small chunks. Stir in until everything is coated and combined.
  • 4. Spoon them into the baking dish and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours till set.
  • To decorate – roughly chop the white chocolate and melt it. Using a fork or spoon drizzle the melted white chocolate over the tiffin. Return to the fridge for 1 hour.
  • 6. To serve – lift the tiffin out of the dish and peel off the paper. Slice into squares.

.And other tips:

  • Portion-wise 200g of cooked turkey is enough for most people. Factor in 250g of potatoes per person and 80g of other vegetables, such as sprouts, carrots, cabbage and parsnips.
  • Most items from the dinner can be frozen afterwards, including turkey, cranberry sauce and cooked vegetables, as well as cake and chocolates.
  • Turn veggie peels and ragged sprout leaves into crisps. Scrub and peel your veg, then fry in oil, toss with salt and rosemary and serve.
  • Scoop up leftover veg and whizz in the blender with veg stock for instant soup.
  • Create meat stock from your turkey carcass. Add it to a pan of cold water, simmer with onions and bay, then strain after 3 hours.

What will you do with that pumpkin?

Remember, remember, come the month of November,

Halloween brought fun and mirth,

But don’t let that pumpkin

Rot in a wastebin

When it could nourish the earth.

Don’t let your pumpkin lantern be one of those that contribute to greenhouse gases – compost it and feed the earth instead.

Along with all the tricks and treats, every year Halloween brings horror stories about how many pumpkins will end up in landfill or incineration. Around 15 -20 million apparently. Most of them haven’t been used as food first either. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You could make an occasion of pumpkin disposal and go along to a Pumpkin Smash. These are organised events where people are invited to take their used pumpkin lanterns to be smashed up in a variety of fun ways and then composted, putting nutrients back into the soil.

Check to see if there’s a Pumpkin Smash taking place near you. If you live in Leicester you no doubt know about the popular Pumpkin Smash at the Stokes Wood Allotments site. These events are usually followed by a practical session on composting pumpkins and food waste in general. People are encouraged to also collect pumpkins from friends, schools or pubs to help reduce waste. The more the merrier – let’s smash a hole in that 20 million statistic!

 Let’s hope this great idea catches on and we see more Pumpkin Smashes all over the country next year.

A Pumpkin Smash is great way to teach kids about composting and wean them off the idea that wastebins are for everything.

If you use battery-powered tealights inside a lantern, the insides will be kept fresh enough to eat later.

 Don’t bin that pumpkin –

It’s better to get a Johanna!

A happy Halloween ending

To compost your used pumpkin, cut the skin into pieces (the cutters in Halloween lantern carving sets can be useful for this job) or use a spade to chop it up.

Get children involved by letting them add the pieces of pumpkin to a composter and stir in well together with woody garden waste, autumn leaves or scrunched paper and torn cardboard.

If you’d rather eat your pumpkin – yes, the whole pumpkin – this recipe’s for you.

We got it from Chef Dan at Kitche, the food waste fighting app. We tried and tested it and found it totally delicious.


Serves – 4

Time – 1 hr 30 mins


1 medium large pumpkin

3 large onions

3-4 garlic cloves,

Olive oil

1 litre vegetable stock

1 can coconut milk (optional)

Sprig of rosemary

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper


1. Wash, cut in half and gut your pumpkin, making sure to separate the flesh and seeds.

2. Crush garlic and finely chop the onions and add them to the pan, add oil and simmer until slightly golden.

3. Chop remaining pumpkin into large cubes and add them to a large pan with the pulp.

4. Finely chop your rosemary and add to the pan with your bay leaves, which you can leave whole.

5. Add your veg stock, making sure the ingredients are covered.

6. Add coconut milk if using.

7. Put on lid and let the pan come to the boil. Once bubbling, turn the heat down so the soup is simmering. Sort out the seeds while waiting.

8. The soup will take at least an hour to cook. Make sure the pumpkin skin is soft (this can take a little longer depending on the type of pumpkin).

9. Once it is ready, remember to take out the bay leaves and add salt and pepper to taste. Use a hand blender to make the soup smooth and creamy. Add water if required until it is your desired consistency. Can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

What to do with your pumpkin seeds?

The seeds make a great garnish. Lay them out on a baking tray and lightly salt them. They only take 5 – 10 minutes and burn easily. If you don’t want the seeds on soup, save them till spring and plant them in your garden.


 We also like this idea for pumpkin seeds from the organic online store Abel and Cole:

Give seeds a rinse, then toss in a little olive oil, salt and paprika and fry them for 5 minutes until golden brown – a great snack to serve at Halloween parties.

Spare Parts