How to Reduce Food Waste at Home

This post is sponsored by Glad. All opinions are my own.

Here are 10 easy ways to reduce food waste in your home.

Did you know that the average Canadian wastes over $175 per year on produce spoilage?

If you follow my blog, then you already know that I hate throw out food. For example, I recently wrote about how to use up bits of puff pastry that were leftover from a recipe I made. I also have a recipe on how to make a smoothie with leftover grilled peaches. I would much rather eat leftover food rather than throw it out! 

So when GLAD asked me to participate in the #GLADFreshFoodChallenge, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. The goal was to cut back on food waste for at least two weeks, and GLAD sent me some of their products to help me accomplish this goal.

I have to say, I think I did pretty well. We don’t throw out a lot of food at my house to begin with, but, some weeks are better than others. Taking this challenge helped me identify some ways to reduce food waste, and I want to share my best tips with you.

10 Ways To Reduce Food Waste:

1.  Only buy what you need. 
This seems obvious, but it’s so easy to make impulse purchases when you’re at the grocery. Your best bet is to use a meal planner to help you figure out what you need to buy. Then make a shopping list, and stick to it! Don’t go to the grocery when you’re hungry either – you’ll want to buy everything that looks tasty.

2. Use what you have at home before you buy more.
Take a quick inventory of your fridge and cupboard before you go the store. This will help prevent you from buying similar or duplicate items.

3. Check the expiry dates on discounted grocery items.
It’s a common practice for groceries to reduce items that are about to expire. If you know that you will use up the product before it spoils, then you can buy it. Otherwise, it’s better to purchase an item that will last as long as you need it.  [Read more...]

Pumpkin Spice Cookie Bars

Pumpkin Spice Magic Cookie Bars | In Search Of Yummy-ness.com

The last time I went to Second Cup (a Canadian coffee shop) I tried something called a Magic Cookie Bar. Have you heard of these? Apparently, they are a popular treat made with graham, condensed milk, chocolate chips, nuts and coconut. The treat was created by Eagle Brand in the 1960’s, and was formerly known as the “Hello Dolly”.

I think I must be the last person in North America to discover these cookie bars. There are entire boards on Pinterest dedicated to variations of this recipe! I can see why they are so popular though. These sinfully sweet bars are incredibly easy to make. I know that sometimes I say, “this recipe is easy”, and people look at it and think… yeah, sure. But trust me, this recipe is as straight-forward as they get.

These Pumpkin Spice Cookie Bars are sweet, sticky and have just a hint of fall flavour.

My dad needed to take some treats into work for a bake sale this week, so we made cookie bars. But not just any cookie bars – these are Pumpkin Spice Cookie Bars! [Read more...]

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter and Pecans | In Search Of Yummy-ness

Let it be known that Brussels sprouts are extremely difficult to photograph!! I was losing my mind trying to snap these images today. Thankfully, no one was waiting for me to finish my shoot so they could eat these. They went straight into the fridge when I was done, and they will be part of our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

Tomorrow!

Wow, the fall season really snuck up on me. How is it Thanksgiving already??? I think I’ve been living under a rock since I started working from home. Time just sort of gets away from you when you’re working 6-7 days a week. Hopefully, I can take a mental break before Christmas shows up and kicks in me the… well, nevermind.

How do you feel about Brussels sprouts? I didn’t really like them as a kid, but that’s pretty common. Alton Brown once explained (in an episode of Good Eats) that some people, especially kids, don’t like vegetables because they contain bitter compounds. Bitter is just not a flavour that kids like. Adults, however, seem to have a much better appreciation for bitter flavours. I love Brussels sprouts so much now, that sometimes I’ll eat an entire bowlful for lunch.

If you hate this vegetable, maybe you just haven’t had them prepared in a way that you enjoy yet. Boiling them seems to be a fairly common practice, which boggles my mind. The only things you get from boiled Brussels are a smelly house and limp veggies. Bleh.

These Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter are so much better. The sprouts take on a deep nutty flavour when you roast them, almost like popcorn but with less crunch. The brown butter adds a salty touch, with even more nutty flavour. And of course, toasted nuts are great in this dish. I usually use pecans or walnuts, but I’ve heard that hazelnuts are nice too.

 

These roasted spouts have a deep nutty flavour. I love how the outer leaves get crispy, those are the best parts!

These are best eaten fresh, straight out of the oven, but they are ok the next day too. Just keep in mind that they won’t have any crispness after you put them in the fridge. The brown butter can easily be made ahead of time though, and stored in the fridge until needed. [Read more...]

Downey Potato Farms #LoveONTFood

I-Love-Local-Fall

It’s Ontario Agriculture Week here in Ontario, Canada, and to celebrate I thought I’d share my experience at Downey Potato Farms.

I visited Downey Farms for the first time last week, along with fellow food-blogger Lisa Le. This was my first time seeing commercial farming first hand, and it was actually very educational.

Spudnik-at-Downey-Farms

When I buy a bag of potatoes from the grocery, I never think about where they came from. It turns out that it takes a lot of time, equipment and manpower to grow enough food to meet our needs. One man who is working particularly hard to get delicious potatoes on our table is Trevor Downey.

Trevor is a fourth generation potato farmer from Ontario, and a hard-working father of three. He is also the President of Downey Farms, Ontario’s premiere local potato growing, packing and distribution company. Trevor took time out of his busy day to show Lisa and I the journey that potatoes take from the field to your fork.

Trevor-Downey

Photo Credit: Lisa Le

[Read more...]

SweeTango Apples (Giveaway)

This post is sponsored by SweeTango apples. All opinions are my own.

Enter to win a basket of SweeTango apples from In Search Of Yummy-ness

I’ve noticed lately that when you start eating healthy foods, your cravings change. Or at least that’s been my experience. In my teens I could eat an entire bag of chocolate chip cookies in one sitting, and I craved junk food all the time. Over the past few years, though, I’ve made an effort to change my eating habits. This was partly because I discovered that I have some food sensitivities, and partly because I realized that I needed to fuel my body with better foods.

These days I find myself wanting fresh fruit over cookies. It’s not that I never crave sweets or dessert, I just want them less often. Instead, I’ll eat a half-dozen of juicy mini mandarin oranges, or a big handful of crisp grapes. My body definitely likes those snacks better than junk I was eating before. One of my favourite fruits to snack on are apples. Apples are easy. They last forever in the fridge, they almost never need to be peeled, and they give you a nice jolt of energy.

Of course, some varieties of apples are better for eating raw than others. I use to work with a 4-year-old who absolutely hated apples. He could be starving – it didn’t matter. If you put a bowl of apple pieces in front of him, he’d stare blankly at them and refuse to even take a bite. At first I thought, “maybe he’s allergic to them,” because you know, some kids can’t figure out how to tell you if their mouth gets irritated when they eat something. It wouldn’t be hard to believe – my brother can’t eat apples at all because of his allergies (poor guy).

Anyhow, after a while I realized that the type of apple that the kid had been eating wasn’t a very nice when eaten raw. It wasn’t very sweet, the texture was sandy, and they turned brown really fast. I couldn’t blame him for thinking that he hated apples. One day I managed to get him to try a piece of a Honeycrisp and he decided that maybe he didn’t hate apples so much after all.

If I was still working with that kid, I would get him to try a SweeTango apples. These apples are fantastic for eating out of hand! They are actually a naturally bred cross between the Honeycrisp and Zestar! varieties, and they seem to have taken the best traits from both varieties.  [Read more...]

Lunch at Momiji & a Mini Spa Day

Miso-Soups-from-Momiji

Momiji Japanese Grill
2955 Bloor Street West
Etobicoke, ON
416-232-2320
www.momijis.com

I spend a lot of time in the Bloor West/Royal York area of Toronto. There are so many great places to eat and buy food there like Hot Oven Bakery, Young’s Produce and Just Greek restaurant, to name a few. I have eaten lunch at Momiji’s Japanese Grill more times than I can remember, but I keep forgetting to blog about it.

My last visit was several weeks ago, but at least I remembered to take photos! My mom and I had a light lunch there before heading to a new spa that opened up in the area. More on the spa in a minute.

Momiji had a bit of a facelift over the summer, and it looks really fresh and clean in there now. Although, I think they removed the sushi conveyor belt which is a shame. I always wanted to try that thing…

I didn’t want to drink alcohol before going to the spa because I’m pretty sure that’s counterproductive. So we ordered a Shirley Temple (one of my fav’s) and a Cinderella. These drinks are so pretty, like sunshine in a glass.

Shirley-Temple-and-Cinderella-from-Momiji [Read more...]