Three great frugal ‘leftovers’ recipes by Mia Vincent

Here are three of our favourite recipes to use up leftovers. Enjoy!

Pantry Pesto
We often find ourselves throwing away loose greens, whether its some sweating rocket, carrot tops or browning herbs. However, a pesto can be a great way to use up these ingredients. Perfect in a sandwich or tossed through some pasta, a vibrant, nutty pesto is a store-cupboard staple. The greens, nut and cheese elements are all interchangeable, so be creative*!

1 big bunch of green leaves (rocket, spinach, carrot tops, beetroot tops, herbs)
½ a garlic clove
1 handful of toasted nuts or seeds (pine nuts, cashews, brazil nuts or walnuts)
1 large handful of grated cheese (Parmesan is best as a base but don’t be afraid to throw in some leftover feta or cheddar)
Extra-virgin olive oil (enough to loosen the pesto)
Zest and juice of half a lemon (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and crush the garlic, add a little salt to achieve a smooth paste. Add the leaves, garlic, nuts and half the cheese to the food processor and blend. Gradually drizzle in the oil until a oozing consistency is achieved yet the pesto is still slightly chunky. Add the remains of the cheese and the lemon before pulsing in order to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add more cheese or oil until you are happy with the consistency.

*Variations, try: basil and pine nut; coriander and cashew; carrot top and pumpkin seed; or spinach and walnut.


Browning Bananas: a waste-free shake
The spotty banana is an all-too regular feature in our fruit bowls as we buy large bunches that we just can’t get through in time. You may not be a fan of an over-ripe banana but don’t be too hasty chucking them away. Banana bread is one option, and so is this delicious milkshake/smoothie.

1-2 over-ripe bananas, frozen or fresh
150ml of milk (or lactose-free alternative)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
4-5 ice cubes (optional)

Peel and slice the bananas, placing into a blender or food processor. Add in the milk, vanilla and ice, and blend until smooth.

For added flavour, optional add-ins include: 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tbsp of honey or maple syrup, 1 tbsp of crunchy peanut butter, 2 tbsp yoghurt, 1 tbsp of oats.


Crispy Potato Peels
Peeling potatoes can be gruelling work, so why not make yourself a pre-dinner snack to ride you over whilst those roasties cook? Roast your potato peels for a crispy snack that falls between a crisp and a French fry – delicious dunked in ketchup or on their own with a scattering of sea salt.

Leftover potato peelings
A drizzle of rapeseed or sunflower oil
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper

Heat the oven to 200°C. Toss the potato peels in the oil and season with salt and pepper before placing them on a baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, tossing once half way through as they turn golden brown. Once cooked, remove from the pan onto some kitchen towel to drain, and allow to cool slightly so they crisp up before serving.

Mia Vincent
The author:

Mia is a graduate living in West London with her boyfriend. By day she studies for a diploma in food & wine. By night she can be found out and about in London – usually close to or in a local wine bar.