Kids are learning to reduce waste, reuse and recycle in schools, but what about the adults at home? A whopping 92 per cent of Australian households throw out cooked food each week. And it’s not just an environmental waste, it’s a waste of money too – with the average Aussie household binning almost $1,000 in uneaten food each year.
With that in mind, celebrity sustainable cooking chef, Matt Stone has teamed up with Pampas to launch ‘Re-pie-cling’, a sustainable cooking movement inspiring Aussies to get creative with their leftovers by using their leftovers for the filling of a pie.
“It’s just a matter of popping yesterday’s leftovers into some Pampas Pastry and then popping that into the oven – all the while being mindful of the importance of food safety when using leftovers of course!” explains Matt. “What you end up with is a reinvented meal and renewed excitement for the food. What’s more, almost any dish can be Re-pie-cled from savoury meals like Spaghetti Bolognese right through to desserts like left over fruit salad and custard.” Matt says while it’s great to see so many Aussies are trying to be more sustainable in the kitchen, food waste is still a big issue in this country. “We can each do our bit to help,” he says. “It’s a lot easier than most people think, particularly with initiatives like Re-pie-cling, which tap into existing behaviours that people are already familiar with.”
Here, Matt shares one of his favourite recipes using last night’s leftovers…
Matt Stone’s Re-pie-cled Chicken & Vegetable Pie
“This pie is a great way to use up a few leftover vegetables!” says Matt. “Any vegetable can be used with this recipe. You may find that you often end up with things like ½ a broccoli, beans and zucchini from stir fries as well as small amounts of leftover rocket, spinach or kale from salads, all great things to use for this pie. A mix of any herbs that you have growing or leftover is also great. The sauce is a perfect way to use up any leftover end/pieces of cheese, a mixture of cheddar and brie but absolutely any type of cheese is fine.”
Prep Time 10 Mins
Cooking Time 20-30 mins
1 butter puff pastry
1 short crust pastry
400g shredded leftover chicken
½ cup peas
½ cup broccoli
1 cup green beans
1 handful Rocket
1 pinch Thyme
4 spring onions
Pinch nigella seeds (or sesame seeds)
1 Place a saucepan of water on the stove on a high heat. Whilst the water is boiling chop the vegetables roughly.
2 Once the water is boiling, add the vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes then drain. Place the same pot straight back onto the stove to start the sauce in.
3 Pre-heat your oven to 180°C.
4 To make the sauce: Pour the milk into a small pan on a medium heat to warm for the sauce.
5 Place the butter into the pot at medium heat. Once it’s melted and foaming add the flour and use a whisk to keep the flour butter mixture moving. Let to fry a little then stir again. Cook for at least 1 minute to cook the flour out so we get a creamy sauce that’s not floury. Add 1/3 of the warm milk and whisk. Add the rest of the milk and whisk till smooth and boiling. Cook for 3 minutes stirring often. Turn off the heat and add a pinch of nutmeg, pepper and salt. Crate in or tare in the cheese. Mix well.
6 Add the rocket, herbs, chicken and vegetables and mix through. Chop the herbs and spring onions and mix through. Place the mixture in the fridge to cool.
7 Spray the pie dish with some spray oil. Lay in 1 sheet on the short crust pastry leaving a few cm hanging over the sides. Cut some strips from the other sheet to cover the ends with a few cm over hang. Press the joins firmly to join the pastry. Add the filling mixture and press in well leaving no gaps. Brush the overhanging pastry with the egg white. Cut the puff pastry sheet to cover the dish with a few cm over hang, to be roughly the same size as the short crust.
8 Press the pastry together then trim so it’s only slightly over hanging the dish. Pinch the edges firmly and press into the dish so the edges are joined well and not stuck on the top edge of the dish.
9 Mix the egg yolk with a splash of milk and generously brush the top of the pie. Sprinkle with nigella seeds. Bake for 20 minutes then drop the heat by 20 degrees and cook for 20 – 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is warm.
10 Once cooked remove from the oven and let sit for about 8 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to make sure it’s not stuck. Next place a board over the pie and flip it. Place another board over the pie and flip again so it’s up the right way. Use a bread knife to cut the pie. Serve with some dressed salad leafs or any leftover salads on the side.
Recipes and images courtesy of Matt Stone Re-pi-cling and Pampas.