Did you know the UK wastes 7 million tons of food per year which is almost half of the food and drink we could have consumed? That's enough to make you sick right, I mean the waste figure and not singularly eating 7 million tons of food.
I was lucky enough to come across a Love Food Hate Waste project in Birmingham who is looking to help disadvantaged young people living in the city to waste less food and ultimately save money to spend on more important things, like food.
The project is called Don't Go Hungry and they are doing a number of cool stuff in Brum. Such as setting up shared fridges and spice banks in community spaces, you can check out some of their work on Twitter by using the #LFHWBrum hashtag.
I found a spice banks in Moseley, the lady who was running the workshop kindly offered me to help myself but only if I used it to cook leftovers or stuff already in my fridge and then write about it.
Challenge accepted, I basically live like a student in a small crappy flat with a fridge full of random stuff so I set out to make something off the cuff. Let me take you on a journey of cooking leftover mince and past it's sell by date onions.
I looked in my freezer to see what I have, I bought a whole load of reduced mince beef for £4 a while ago, I just put separated it all and froze them separately, that will do!
Ladies and gentlemen, in the spirit of the challenge I present to you my recipe for Black Country kebabs, with fried paprika onions and tomato salsa.
This is what you will need:
250 grams of Beef
First things first, grab a freezer bag, throw in your mince beef in and had a pinch each of cumin, chili flakes, paprika and black sesame seeds. Add a splash of olive oil for binding and a few twists of black pepper, and then mash it all up in the bag.
Pop that in the fridge for ten minutes and now up the onions. Once you have done that add them to a bowl with olive oil, two pinches of paprika and a pinch of sugar, mix together and ready them to be dropped into your wok or frying pan.
Grab your lovely big meatball out of the fridge along with an oven tray and now make four flat patties, these will go into the oven for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Now it's to make your tomato salsa which is super easy. Roughly chop two tomatoes along with two spring onions and put them in freezer bag, splash of olive oil, pinch of chili flakes, black pepper and then give it a big jumble in the bag, done!
Your kababs would have been in the oven for around 15 minutes now, give them a flip and add your onions to the wok which you'll cook for another ten minutes..
And that's it, I served mine with a naan bread I brought from a local shop that has a naan oven who are ridiculously cheap and mint sour cream raita which is basically a case of mixing sour cream, a pinch of coriander powder and fresh mint off my little herb plant.
The moral of the story is that food can be expensive and normal young people, especially those who live alone are genuinely struggling which makes the work of projects such as #LFHWBrum even more important.
I think the spice bank is a fantastic idea and it's amazing what a pinch of this or that can do to any old meat you have in the freezer or the veg you have that is on the turn in the fridge.
If you think a spice bank will go a long way in your community, reach out to the Don't Go Hungry team and I am sure they would be happy to give you guidance.
Right, I'm off to save some money, one potato at a time.