#ZeroWasteWeek Day 3: The Importance of Messing Up and a Recipe for Fridge-raiding Spaghetti

There comes a day, usually midweek, when you question if it would be better to go out and buy more fresh produce for your dinner or eat some of the random stuff in your freezer. I contemplated this as I realised I would run out of mushrooms before I ran out of meals on my Meal Planner that called for mushrooms. Remember the drunken risotto incident from two nights ago? Apparently I went to town on my chestnuts and my portobellos. Oh and somehow tofu had escaped my shopping bag as well, so I had to get some for that tofu scramble I’ll be attempting. I’d bought a small loaf of bread so I wouldn’t waste any, however I seem to have run out and it’s not even Wednesday.

Sometimes we all mess up, and with all the planning in the world things just don’t always go the way we expected. Take today for example. I woke up to the joiners putting up the rest of my doors, loudly and with great enthusiasm. They really love their jobs, but as my job involves working from home most days, I decided to maintain my sanity I had to get the hell out. Get the hell out and take the dog with me.

Poochtastic and I wandered into Five Degrees, a lovely new cafe that had everything we needed, with wifi and vegan bagels, bubble tea, caffeine and dog dinners. I mentioned Zero Waste Week when ordering and realised that when you ask, you can get your bubble tea in an actual glass. Sometimes all it takes is a wee conversation, asking if we really do need our drinks in so much packaging. We’ve all grown used to bringing our own reusable travel mugs for hot drinks, but what about smoothies, juices and bubble teas? It got me thinking about all the little things we take for granted as “normal” and “expected” when it comes to food packaging.


I’d planned to make spaghetti bolognese for dinner. It was on the Meal Planner, and I could have sworn I had vegan mince in the freezer. I didn’t. I dragged everything out from the depths and there was nothing but fake chicken in all its forms. Breaded, fillets, and the wee chicken style strips I’d bought for a stir fry about 6 months ago. Should I make a last minute run to the shops? Hell no. I cracked open some vegan “chicken” and all the half used veg from the last week’s worth of dinners. I then took hundreds of photos.

Spaghetti with the Contents of My Fridge

  • 100 g spaghetti
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 whole pack (380 g) Fry’s chicken style strips, or similar
  • Broccoli, stalk and head
  • Red pepper (I only had half of one so in that went)
  • Cavalo Nero, shredded
  • 5-6 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 glass of red wine (optional)
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar

Pasta, in salted boiling water.

I took the packet of frozen chicken style strips and transferred then to a bowl, then sat the bowl in a pot of boiled water for an emergency defrost mission. Heated a bit of oil in a pan and sautéed the onions and garlic until softened, then added the vegan chicken, the broccoli (chopped up, stalk and all), pepper, cavil nero and tomatoes. Poured in that last glass of wine that we’d forgotten to drink on Friday night and simmered until the tomatoes softened and turned into a sauce-like substance. Splash of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and finished with chopped parsley.

This made an immense amount of sauce, so I spooned out about 1/3 and tossed it with the drained pasta and a bit of the leftover water I’d boiled it in. Then I ate it.

The End.

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