“There will come a time when we will sit down to the banquet of our consequences.”

3 Mar

What a wonderful quote by Robert Louis Stevenson. It applies to so many things in this world that we need to work on. But the word "banquet" in the quote makes me think of food. I'm sure you remember being told, as a child, to not waste food because there are starving children in this world. Of course, no one expected you to mail the unwanted crust of your PB&J sandwich to some kid in Africa or something, BUT — there are ways we can make a difference in a starving child's life. Not wasting food is one of them. Check out some statistics on food waste:

Did you know that approximately one-third of the food in America ends up in a landfill every year?
Did you know that a staggering 96 billion pounds of food are estimated to be wasted?
Did you know that if just 5% of this food was reclaimed before making its way into a landfill it would be enough to feed 4 million people an entire day's worth of food?
Shocking, isn't it? As a family on a limited budget, I think we do our fair share of donating food to worthy causes. But more importantly, we don't waste food in our household. Accidentally poured too much juice? Put your cup in the fridge for later. Accidentally took more crackers than you can eat? Back in the box they go. Right now, our only real food waste is that we don't compost. And that's about to change.
For pretty much my entire life, my parents have composted. A bucket sat on the kitchen counter by the sink and scraps of food, egg shells and coffee grounds went in. When full, it went out to the garden to work its magic on our vegetables. But I hated looking at that compost bucket on the counter. Yuck. And it wouldn't last long in our house now because we can't even keep those annoying fruit flies off of our fresh produce all summer. So I gave up long ago on the idea of composting. Then I read this great magazine article. The author mentioned that she keeps her compost bucket in her freezer. She pulls it out when preparing meals and then puts it back in so it never sits on her counter, rotting, smelling, or attracting fruit flies. Brilliant! We have a side-by-side refrigerator and this weekend I'm hoping to find time to reorganize it so I can use the bottom slide-out bin for storing food scraps. When full, out it will go to the garden. I will not be adding my food scraps and coffee grounds to a landfill. I will be nourishing my vegetable garden instead!
Another major waste of good food? Leftovers from a meal. So many people just throw them away! We almost always have food left over after dinner. Generally, it gets boxed up for the next day's lunch. It never gets thrown out unless it's been in the fridge too long. (And now it will get composted!) But last night was the ultimate leftover challenge. I still had filling left from the weekend's stuffed mushrooms. I also had a bowl of the vegan alfredo sauce left. I started thinking about what I could do with these leftovers that weren't really something you could just heat up for lunch. I came up with this rich, delicious soup. It's warm and filling and flat-out divine…and I ate the leftovers for lunch today!

MUSHROOM ALFREDO BISQUE
makes about 8 cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 of a large onion, chopped
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups leftover Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Mushroom filling
2 tablespoons red wine
3/4 cup leftover Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo sauce
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup water
salt substitute and black pepper
In a stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the onions and mushrooms and cook until soft. Sprinkle with thyme and stir. Add the vegetable broth and leftover mushroom filling. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in the red wine and whisk in the leftover Alfredo sauce until well blended. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water until dissolved. Gradually whisk the mixture into the soup. Season to taste with salt substitute and freshly-ground black pepper. Garnish with a dollop of vegan sour cream, if desired. Enjoy!

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3 Responses to ““There will come a time when we will sit down to the banquet of our consequences.””

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