Every year in the UK, we waste a massive five million tonnes of edible food. A quarter of this waste comes from leftovers – food we end up throwing away because we’ve cooked, prepared or served too much.
Chances are you’ve heard of leftovers. But what about nextovers? It’s the latest food philosophy to hit our kitchens – and for once it’s a trend that every single one of us can follow with ease. So, whatever your dietary requirements or the size of the family you’re feeding, nextovers will work for you!
The idea of nextovers is simple: instead of putting any uneaten food into the bin, turn your leftovers from today into new meals for tomorrow. And with most people owning a microwave oven, it couldn’t be easier.
In fact, the microwave is truly the secret weapon in the war against waste, as it can create delicious culinary creations without the constant need to clock watch, work out cooking times or weigh food. What’s more, you’ll also save time, allowing you to get on with your day! With modern combination microwaves, you also get the added functionality of a grill, oven and sometimes steamer in one compact appliance, easily adding new dimensions to dishes.
Why does it matter?
Helping reduce the amount of food we throw away, eating up leftovers can also save us stacks of time in the kitchen. When there are leftovers in our fridge, there’s no need to cook a new meal from scratch. Leftovers mean we already have a meal – or at least a good part of it – just waiting to be eaten.
And it’s not just the environment that wins if we eat leftovers, putting perfectly good food into our body rather than landfill means we benefit from all the nutrients it contains – things like muscle-friendly protein, filling fibre, vital vitamins and minerals, and health-promoting antioxidants.
The result: a happier environment, body and bank balance – and a delicious new dinner that’s ready in a matter of minutes!
Tips for using your microwave for Nextovers…
- Make sure you use microwave-friendly bowls and dishes.
- Invest in a reusable and washable cover that’s designed for using in a microwave – it will reduce the amount of single-use clingfilm you use.
- Make sure to clean your microwave regularly to ensure quality results.
- Make sure you reheat food until it’s piping hot and remember, only ever reheat food once.
- If your microwave is combined with an oven and grill, get experimenting with these functions – it will open even more possibilities for creating delicious nextovers.
- For any further information on food safety, you can also visit the Food Standards Agency website.
Nextovers really are one of the simplest ways to create delicious new dishes and using your microwave oven ensures they get from fridge to table in super speedy time. To get you started, why not try one of these tasty recipes made from some of the most common leftovers:
- Bread is one of the most commonly thrown away foods, so use your spare slices to turn them into this indulgent Bread and Butter Pudding recipe.
- Leftovers from a family sized spaghetti Bolognese? Use this recipe to create a tasty Chilli Con Carne using leftover mince.
- Vegetables past their best before dates? You can chop them all up to make this Roasted Vegetable Pasta Bake (and it’ll add to your five-a-day).
Head over to The Ideas Kitchen for more microwave-friendly, inspirational recipes.
About the Author
With over 10 years of experience Helen Walsh, Home Economist, heads up all activity in the Test Kitchen at Panasonic UK HQ. Day to day, Helen works closely with the Panasonic design and factory teams, testing and developing all kitchen appliances before they are launched in the UK market. To ensure UK customers truly get the best from their Panasonic appliances, Helen also spends time creating delicious new recipes which can be found on The Ideas Kitchen website. Researching and testing a variety of flour brands, Helen also continues to ensure Panasonic offers its customers up to date and thorough tips and advice (especially when it comes to creating the perfect loaf!).