Food waste special

Food waste special

Making the most

Food waste is not only bad for the planet, it’s bad for your purse strings too. With a touch of creativity, you can use up food that might otherwise be thrown out, as these tasty, easy-to-make recipes show

Veggie scrap Buddha bowl (V) (GF)

Instead of throwing away your peels, roast them with a blend of spices to make this flavour-packed dish

Feeds 4 • Ready in 35 mins

  • ½ small red cabbage, shredded
  • 4 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Co-op Fairtrade dark brown soft sugar
  • 320g Co-op easy cook long grain brown rice
  • Leaves from 2 cauliflowers, tough ends trimmed
  • 3 leek tops, trimmed, leaves separated
  • 1 head broccoli, stalk trimmed and chopped, florets separated
  • 1½ tbsp Co-op olive oil
  • 2 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
  • ½ tsp each ground cinnamon and chilli flakes
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges
  • 150g Co-op 0% fat Greek style natural yogurt
  • 200g tub Co-op reduced fat houmous
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley, plus leaves to garnish
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  1. Put the cabbage in a colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water. Mix the vinegar and sugar together in a non-reactive bowl, then stir in the cabbage. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6. Cook the rice according to the pack instructions. Meanwhile, toss all the veggies with the oil and spices. Season, then roast in the oven for 20-25 mins, until tender and golden.
  3. Make a dressing: mix the lemon juice, yogurt and houmous, with black pepper to taste, until well combined. To serve, stir the parsley through the cooked rice, then spoon into bowls. Top with the roasted veggies, pickled cabbage and the avocado. Drizzle over the dressing, then garnish with the parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.

Shredded pork tacos with watermelon-rind pickle

An unlikely pickle, yes, but also very good. Try it in sandwiches, curries or with cheese

Feeds 4 • Ready in 45 mins, plus cooling

  • 4 Co-op mini white and wheat tortilla wraps
  • 300g leftover shredded roast pork
  • 1 baby gem lettuce, shredded
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp Co-op soured cream


  • ½ watermelon
  • 150g Fairtrade caster sugar
  • 200ml Co-op white wine vinegar
  • 1½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  1. Start with the pickle: peel the hard green skin from the melon, then remove most of the red flesh, leaving a thin layer of rind (the flesh is great whizzed into a smoothie). Cut into 1-2cm cubes — you’ll need around 500g.
  2. Put 500ml water in a pan with the sugar, vinegar, chilli flakes, peppercorns, ginger and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then add the watermelon rind.
  3. Bring back to the boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat. Allow the rind to cool in the liquid for 30 mins before transferring it to sterilised jars. Top up with pickling liquid before sealing the jars shut. You’ll have about 1kg — it keeps in the fridge for up to 1 month.
  4. To make the tacos, stuff the wraps with pork and lettuce, then top with pickle, chilli slices, coriander and a drizzle of soured cream to serve.

You can make the pickle up to 3 days ahead. Simply store in an airtight container and chill.

Potato peel crisps with storecupboard dip (GF)

Coat your potato peel in a garlicky butter for maximum flavour — and use up all those herbs in the bottom of your fridge

Feeds 4 • Ready in 30 mins

  • 200g potato peel (from about 4 large potatoes)
  • 40g Co-op unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp chopped leftover herbs (we used parsley and basil), plus extra to serve
  • 2 tbsp Co-op Italian green pesto
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 200g Co-op 0% fat Greek style natural yogurt
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6. Pat the potato peel dry with a clean tea towel if necessary, then set to one side in a bowl. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, then stir in the garlic and herbs. Season.
  2. Pour the herby butter onto the potato peel and use your hands to coat well. Transfer to a lined baking tray in a single layer — you may need to use 2 trays. Bake for 15-20 mins, until crispy, shaking the tray halfway through cooking.
  3. Stir the pesto and lemon juice into the yogurt to make the dip, then serve with the warm crisps, sprinkled with the extra herbs.

Asian style salad with ‘core’ slaw

Perk up your Sunday roast leftovers with this nutty slaw, using the stems of hearty veggies

Feeds 4 • Ready in 15 mins

  • 3 tbsp Co-op smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp Co-op white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Co-op reduced salt dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Co-op Fairtrade light brown soft sugar
  • Juice of ½ lime, plus wedges to serve
  • Stalk and stems of 1 head broccoli, trimmed and shredded, plus a few florets
  • Stalk and stem of 1 cauliflower, trimmed and shredded
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander, plus extra to serve
  • 300g leftover roast chicken, shredded
  • 2 tbsp Co-op roasted and salted peanuts, chopped
  1. Combine the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and lime juice to make a dressing. Whisk in 1-2 tbsp water until it has the consistency of double cream.
  2. In a large bowl, toss three-quarters of the dressing with the vegetables, chilli slices and chopped coriander.
  3. Serve the slaw topped with the chicken, peanuts, extra coriander and remaining dressing, with the lime wedges on the side to squeeze over.