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Taste not waste: 28 recipes to rescue food from the rubbish

Every year, Londoners throw away 900,000 tonnes of food, at a cost to the average person of £200, and a far greater toll on the environment. As part of our City Now City Future season, we're trying to help citizens change London for the better by reducing the food they throw away: Taste, not Waste.

We've partnered with Pop Brixton and environmental charity Hubbub to create a set of recipes that will use up your leftovers.

Sian-Estelle Petty, Rosylvia Wang, Katie Balcombe, Nikki Anderson

Communications team

12 January 2018

Main dishes

Recipe designed to use up food leftovers.

Ox heart with chimichurri sauce

From Aaron Webster and Remi Williams of Smoke & Salt.

A taste not waste recipe to reduce food waste.

Beetroot gnocchi

Recipe from Urvashi Roe, former Great British Bake Off contestant and blogger at The Botanical Kitchen.

These hearty dishes are a great reminder that meals assembled from kitchen scraps don't have to be paltry or leave you feeling hungry. You'll probably need to pick up some extra ingredients to finish off these recipes, but often you'll find overlooked veg, cheap cuts of meat or waste ingredients like stalks lurking in the back of your fridge looking in need of a little attention.

Okay, so not many people have leftover ox hearts lying around the kitchen- but organ meats and other less prestigious cuts are available for cheaper. Get to know your local butcher and ask them for advice. By expanding the range of ingredients you consider, you'll be able to reduce the amount of food that grocers and supermarkets throw away.

Soups and light bites

Making soups and salads for the Taste not Waste campaign.

Preparing a lentil and coconut veggie soup

Recipe from Daphne Duval, a nutritionist working in London to raise awareness about healthy diets and sustainable food systems.

Download Soups and Light Bites recipes (PDF, 4MB)

Maybe you're not ready to commit to a feast of leftover pie and juice pulp burgers. These smaller recipes, ideal as side dishes, will ease you into the wonderful world of food waste fine dining. We particularly love the recipes for sourdough crisps and steamed bread pudding, both perfect for using up the stale ends of that loaf you never got round to eating.

Salads and sides

Part of the taste not waste campaign.

Carrot top pesto salad

Recipe from Tom Hunt, author, chef and founder of Poco.

Download Salads and Sides recipes (PDF, 0.9MB)

We keep on going on about leftover fruit and vegetables, but that's because, as a city, we throw so much of it away. These recipes will sweep clear the bottom of your salad drawer and turn it into a fresh, tasty meal. There's a big focus in these recipes from using the parts of the plant that you'd usually throw away, from beetroot leaves to carrot tops.

Pickles and preserves


Ingredients for aubergines in oil

Recipe from Maria and Alessio of Italian street food restaurant Don Luigi.

Download Pickles and Preserves recipes (PDF, 2MB)

Potting and preserving seasonal fruits and vegetables used to be something done in almost every kitchen in London: in the days before freezers or lettuce with air miles, it was the only way you could plants to eat in the winter. Nowadays, this skill is mostly done as a hobby rather than a necessity. But fresh veg is still cheaper at harvest time and these recipes, from pear butter to preserved lemons, are a fantastic way to store your leftover perishables to polish off later.

Sweet treats

Taste not waste.

Lemon and mashed potato cakes

From Nicole Freeman, founder of The Kids Kitchen cookery school based in North London

Download Sweet Treat recipes (PDF, 0.9MB)

From mashed potato cakes to dairy-free "nice cream" made with bruised bananas, these tasty treats are a great way to clear your cupboards and indulge your sweet tooth.