Sponsored by
Abel & Cole

Reduce your food waste with Abel & Cole’s waste-free recipes

Abel & Cole know what it takes to produce good food, and that’s why they don’t want a morsel of it to go to waste. When food waste is put into landfill and decomposes, it produces methane: a greenhouse gas up to 84 times more potent at heating our planet than carbon dioxide (ONS). Yes, that gets alarm bells ringing for us too.

It’s calculated that (post farm gate) in the UK, 70% of food waste happens in our homes (Wrap 2019). Fortunately, there are lots of simple things we can all do to help cut back on food waste at home, like finding uses for every part of the food we buy. Find inspiration from Abel & Cole’s food waste-fighting recipes, such as their banana skin and coconut curry here.

Reduce your food waste with Abel & Cole’s waste-free recipes

Get 50% off an Abel & Cole veg box

Abel & Cole’s handy Fruit & Veg Box Swaps mean you can tailor your box of produce to enjoy more of the seasonal stars you love – with less waste. Each weekly box of Abel & Cole’s fruit & veg also supports their One Box: One Portion initiative, donating fresh, organic fruit or veg to their food charity partners.

Get 50% off your first box and 40% off your second and third Fruit & Veg Box with code ABELDEL23 at checkout*

fruit and veg

*To redeem the offer, add a weekly Fruit & Veg Box to your basket and add the code at checkout. Each order within the offer (of 3) must be delivered within 4 weeks of the previous one, or the promotion will expire. £3.50 delivery fee applies. Offer expires 30/04/2023. Offer does not apply to those who have an order or delivery in place with Abel & Cole already. Offer is valid for UK residents with an address in an Abel & Cole delivery area. Postcode checker can be found online here, and T&Cs at abelandcole.co.uk/terms-conditions. Swaps are not available on all Fruit & Veg Boxes, please check website for details.

How to cut down on food waste in your cooking

Abel & Cole’s recipe writer has some top tips to help you reduce food waste.

Forget everything you’ve learned in the past about waste

It’s time to retrain your way of thinking when it comes to waste. We’ve been programmed into thinking that we should only cook with certain parts of vegetables and throw away the ‘scraps’, or that we couldn’t possibly eat slightly stale bread when it could definitely be whizzed into beautiful breadcrumbs (or used to thicken soup or make a bread pudding). Store crumbs in the freezer for a rainy day or to coat chicken, pork or veal for tasty homemade schnitzels.

Try to use your imagination before putting food in the bin; turn the old throwaway mindset on its head and look for ways to use everything!

Plan your week in advance

Get out your diary and plan what you need for the week ahead to ensure you’re not buying ingredients for meals when no one’s around to eat them. Think about the recipes at the same time, checking what you already have, so you only buy what you need. If you end up with leftovers of one particular ingredient, put it to good use in your next recipe; too much spinach? Add it to the curry tomorrow. Leftover chicken breast? That’ll make a lovely salad tomorrow lunchtime. Don’t think of food items as one-meal ingredients. 

Make use of your freezer

Freezing gluts of produce helps minimise waste in times of plenty and, with wise planning, means you’ll have a thaw-and-eat option (or ready-prepped ingredient) for when you’re next short of time.

Five quick ingredient hacks to avoid waste

  1. Bread Got a stale loaf? Whizz into breadcrumbs and freeze or use to coat different meats.
  2. Coffee grounds Don’t tip into the bin… used coffee grounds taste great in brownies or as part of a marinade, like in this coffee-marinated venison recipe.
  3. Ends of sauces Make dressings or sauces in the jar to use up the last scrapings.
  4. Bananas Don’t bin the peel. Use them up in smoothies.
  5. Salad leaves Dousing in iced water perks up sad-looking leaves. Halve and griddle old lettuce hearts, then serve hot if past their best.

Low-waste recipes to try

Banana skin and coconut curry

Love your leftovers, yes – even your banana skins! Based on a South Indian thoran, this dry curry uses finely sliced banana skins with sweet desiccated coconut and plenty of hot spices to make a fiery curry that’s full of flavour.

banana skin curry

Find the recipe here

Pappa al pomodoro

Juicy ripe tomatoes are the heroes in this thick Italian bread soup, combined with tomatoes’ trusty sidekicks garlic, basil and olive oil. It’s an elegant way to use up leftover stale bread and it makes a substantial starter or main meal, served hot from the pan or cooled down to room temperature.


Find the recipe here

No-waste citrus cake

Got a few lemons leftover from your fruit and veg box? Or some spare oranges kicking around your fruit bowl? Don’t waste them – turn them into a tender drizzle cake that’s bursting with zingy citrus flavours and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. You can use a mix of lemons, limes, clementines or oranges for this cake, which makes the perfect afternoon treat any time of year.

citrus cake

Find the recipe here

Kale stalk pakoras

When you’re cooking kale or cavolo nero leaves, don’t bin the woody stalks – keep them and use for crunchy pakoras instead. Whip up a chickpea flour batter flavoured with turmeric, garam masala and smoked paprika, add the kale stalks, then deep fry them to make a munchable snack or starter that’s delicious served with a creamy yogurt dipping sauce.


Find the recipe here

Cheeseboard Welsh rarebit

Welsh rarebit is a brilliant way to use up any leftover cheese you have hiding in the fridge, and in this twist on the classic you also get to use up leftover veg from your dinner or veg box. Zero waste cheese on toast is the sustainability snack we can get behind.

Welsh rarebit

Find the recipe here

More to discover

Subscribe to our magazine

Food stories, skills and tested recipes, straight to your door... Enjoy 5 issues for just £5 with our special introductory offer.


Unleash your inner chef

Looking for inspiration? Receive the latest recipes with our newsletter

We treat your data with care. See our privacy policy. By signing up, you are agreeing to delicious.’ terms and conditions. Unsubscribe at any time.