By guest blogger SIOBHAN KELLY
A small but perfectly formed group gathered on Saturday 15 March for another of our Love Food Hate Waste sessions, in partnership with Recycle for Greater Manchester, at the Elms Community Centre in Whitefield, Bury. Six lovely ladies joined us to make quesadillas, re-fried beans and salsa. Shop-bought tortillas were used today, but with more time outside the session, these can be easily made at home for this dish. A lovely mix of fresh ingredients was used and there was an array of colours, textures and tastes created from the food combinations. We used sweet potatoes, red onions, red, yellow and green peppers, fresh garlic and cheddar cheese for the quesadilla filling; pinto beans, borlotti beans, red onions, garlic, chilli flakes, ground cumin, vegetable oil, lime juice, salt and pepper for the re-fried beans, and chopped tomatoes, garlic, red onion, cumin powder, chilli flakes and fresh coriander for the salsa.
Everyone had the chance to chop the fresh veg and herbs, taste and smell the ingredients, be part of the preparation of these dishes, then sit down and eat together. There was also an exercise halfway through where the group split into two and wrote down any ingredients that are in their cupboards that they either never use or had no ideas what to do with, or that are regularly bought each week. Long lists were created then the teams then swapped them over and began to create dishes from them. They weren't short of ideas... each group filled a flip chart piece of paper with food combinations, new dishes and old favourites. We hope that this exercise encourages everyone to try foods that they might not put together usually, to avoid throwing away ingredients you might not know what to do with.
Discussions happened throughout the session about food waste, packaging, how people shop, where they buy their ingredients, local facilities, recycling, recipe ideas and favourite dishes, cooking from scratch, and freezing whole meals and/or leftovers - all thought-provoking. There were clean plates all round, even after second helpings, and this was a really friendly and enjoyable group to work with - they made us very welcome and we had fun sharing ideas together.
Our next LFHW session is tomorrow (Tuesday 25 March) in Chadderton. Full details are on our website here, where you can also reserve your FREE place.