Rhian Hunter shows off a beautiful desert ready to be plated.
Rhian Hunter shows off a beautiful desert ready to be plated. Amy Formosa

Top tips to cut your food waste in the kitchen

RHIAN Hunter has mastered the art of turning food scraps into gourmet meals.

The 28-year-old tries not to waste a skerrick of food in the kitchen, right down to freezing left over herbs in olive oil for salad dressings.

Rhian uses the tops of carrots and onion skins to make vegetable broth and any scraps are turned into compost for her garden at Craignish.

Over the years she's become smart about cutting food wastage.

For someone with similar aspirations but don't know where to start, the Bay Plaza in Hervey Bay has launched a new online recipe and food waste reduction tool in a bid to help the community reuse leftover foods.

From turning slow-cooked spaghetti bolognese leftovers into tasty stovetop 'baked' eggs, to creating zucchini, black bean and corn enchiladas from last night's chilli beef with cornbread dumplings, TheBestovers.com can assist Fraser Coast families of any size to reduce their waste.

The new online community shares fun and inexpensive ways Bay Plaza shoppers can repurpose food waste into delicious recipes for the whole family to enjoy.

Marketing Manager at Bay Plaza, Emily Howard, said TheBestovers.com eliminated the daily conundrum of 'what's for dinner?' while also addressing important community issues.

"Whether it is throwing out imperfectly shaped fruit and vegetables or waste from the kitchen table, we want to provide Hervey Bay shoppers with the inspiration to redesign their nightly family meal using last night's leftovers," she said.

Rhian said when looking at recipes it wasn't always wise to follow the recipe book.

"Have a look at home and use what you already have to avoid wastage," the qualified nutritionist said.

"Always make a shopping list so you don't double up on things you already have at home that can be used.

"Any herbs from the end of the week can be chopped finely and put in olive oil then frozen to use in salads," she said.

Rhian works in the kitchen at the Front Room where coffee grounds are swapped for herbs at a local farm to minimise wastage.

"The coffee grounds nourish the gardens," Rhian said.


Rhian Hunter gets the coffee grounds ready at the Front Room to be recycled at a local farm who trade herbs.
Rhian Hunter gets the coffee grounds ready at the Front Room to be recycled at a local farm who trade herbs. Amy Formosa

Bay Plaza shoppers can access recipes and retailer food offers, and play for instant prizes on TheBestovers.com.

Charter Hall is running TheBestOvers competitions in 39 of its shopping centres across Australia, and will be giving away up to $200,000 worth of in centre pre-charged cash cards for local shoppers to spend on groceries.

TheBestovers.com promotion runs until Sunday 11 June 2017, with winners notified directly. For more information visit Bay Plaza on Torquay Street or www.thebestovers.com.

Top tips for reducing food waste include:

 1. Smartly store your fruit and veggies: keep your potatoes with apples to stop them from sprouting, and store bananas away from other fruit to slow browning

 2. Watch your portion size: use small plates to ensure everything you serve to your friends and family gets eaten

 3. Write a shopping list aligned to your weekly meal plan: and don't shop hungry as that's when you'll pick up items you don't need

4. Renew last night's meal for tonight with spices: keeping garlic, tomato paste, fresh vegetables and pasta or rice on hand will ensure you can switch up any old leftovers

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