It’s fun to think about what you’re going to serve – but have you considered what you’re going to do with all those leftovers?
Here are a few zero waste ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your party food:
Instead of piling the nachos high with all the favorite toppings or prepping the salad and burgers beforehand, set everything up with a “build your own” theme.
This helps ensure that only food that’s going to be eaten is placed on plates, and helps prevent your leftovers from becoming soggy and unusable for the next day or so.
It’s time to get innovative! Utilize your leftovers to make a well-rounded salad – and the best part? Your dips can be used as the dressing!
You can also change out the condiment on your sandwich or wrap for the leftover dip. Instead of mayo for your ham and cheese, try out your ranch dip – you might be surprised how much you enjoy it!
The beauty of wings is in their versatility. Pick all the meat off the wings and throw them on a quick salad (make sure to use the leftover dip as your dressing – you won’t regret it!). Or you can add the meat to some cream cheese, blue cheese, and wing sauce, and throw in the over for the perfect buffalo chicken dip.
Wings also turn into a soup or stew quite nicely, which is perfect for those cold winter nights in February. Add leftover veggies, meat from the wings, and stock with some red chili paste, then serve over rice and you’ve got your main course for the night!
For any veggies that still have their crunch, there are plenty of recipes you can use them in!
Throw any carrots, celery, or peppers into your lunchtime salad the next day for a healthy boost. You can also create an omelet or egg scramble with the chopped-up veggies – throw in some wing meat and hot sauce and you’ve got yourself a great breakfast!
Or, if you need a side with dinner, toss all the veggies onto a sheet pan, add some oil and seasoning, and roast them for a well-rounded dinner.
You can also use your veggies to make a delicious (and healthy) blended soup – we tell you how here.
Bread can be repurposed in a multitude of ways!
You can turn leftover burger and hotdog buns into bread pudding, or toast them to be the perfect breadcrumbs for casseroles. Even better – leftover bread makes the perfect croutons for any salads you’re thinking of making (and they’re super easy to make!).
All you need to make croutons is olive oil or melted butter, bread, and seasonings. Toss the torn pieces of bread with the oil/butter and seasonings, line on a baking sheet, and toss in the oven till they’re a perfect, crisp golden brown.
In the United States, about 35% of food will go to waste. To put it into perspective, that’s about $408 billion worth of food that is uneaten or unsold. More than 100 billion pounds of food end up in landfills every year in the U.S.
It’s been estimated that if we were to recover just half of that waste, we could feed every hungry person (about 34 million people) in the United States 3 meals a day, every day.
If you’re ready to join the fight against hunger, going zero waste is a great start! Learn more about living sustainably by checking out our blogs or check out 8 tips for an eco-friendly summer cookout!