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Zero waste, great taste – make the most of leftovers with tasty recipes

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Did you know that in Scotland we throw out enough food each year to make 800 million meals – enough to feed everyone in the country three times a day for 50 days?

Zero Waste Scotland is calling on us all to act now and put an end to unnecessary food waste.

The need to reduce this waste – which also costs households £1 billion a year – is highlighted as a Europe-wide week of action gets under way, which will see organisations and community groups across Scotland sharing their ideas for tackling food waste with their European neighbours.

European Week for Waste Reduction (November 19-27) brings together action on waste by schools, universities, businesses, charities and community groups.

This year, there is heightened interest in Scotland’s approach after the Scottish Government announced a target to reduce all food waste in Scotland by 33% by 2025.

As a result, several Scottish projects are ‘twinning’ with similar groups overseas to share learning, including link-ups between Food Sharing Edinburgh and Food Sharing Germany and between the University of Strathclyde and the University of Malta.

Ylva Haglund, food waste campaign manager, Zero Waste Scotland, says: “In Scotland we are working jointly towards one of the most ambitious targets on food waste in Europe. Having local communities on board taking action to reduce waste at grassroots level is vital to achieving that, so it is fantastic to see so many organisations sharing Scotland’s expertise at European level this week. We need to harness their findings and enthusiasm to tackle food waste at all levels of society.

Woman Throwing Away Out Of Date Food In Refrigerator

Each year 360,000 tonnes of avoidable food waste, that could have been eaten is binned in Scottish homes. Award-winning chef Neil Forbes, chef director at Edinburgh’s Café St Honore, has devised a series of simple, quick recipes using some of Scotland’s most commonly wasted food. The recipes for these can be found on Zero Waste Scotland’s Love Food Hate Waste website, and include short, easy to follow videos.

 “Reducing food waste is one of Zero Waste Scotland’s top priorities and we welcome the Scottish Government’s ambition in setting a stretching target for this,” Ylva adds.

“Action is needed at all levels of society so it is great to see such a wide range of initiatives taking place all over Scotland for European Week for Waste Reduction. Often people just don’t realise how much food we all waste, so learning about the simple steps they can take to reduce waste through our Love Food Hate Waste website really does help to make sure food means meals and not waste.”

Neil Forbes, ambassador chef for the Love Food Hate Waste campaign, says: “As a chef and restaurant owner I’m very conscious of avoiding food waste, so I was amazed to discover how much food we as a country throw out. European Week for Waste Reduction is a great opportunity for people to play their own part in reducing waste, and I hope by showing people how they can use up food in tasty and easy recipes people will be encouraged to really make the most of the food they buy.”

Why not sign up for European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) and register your event at:

food recycling, including meat and bread

Food waste facts

Commonly wasted foods in Scotland include fruit, vegetables, bread, dairy and meat and fish. Meat and fish are the most expensive items wasted, with £130 million worth thrown out each year. Veg accounts for £100 million worth of food thrown out as waste each year, while fresh fruit accounts for £70 million. Wasted bread amounts to £35 million a year, while £24 million worth of milk is poured down the sink per year.

To make the most of your leftovers, we’ll be sharing a recipe each day this week, starting with a delicious way to use up lamb, or any other kinds of meat and veg.

One Pan Haggerty

This traditional Geordie recipe has been updated to make a one-pot meal that uses up leftover bacon and cheese. All the family will enjoy this hearty and economical meal.

One Pan – Haggerty




20 Minutes


40 Minutes


  • 15g butter
  • 2 rashers lean smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 large leek, washed and sliced
  • 600g potatoes such as Maris pipers, scrubbed then thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 50g grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley
  • black pepper for seasoning


  1. Melt half of the butter in a 27cm ovenproof frying pan, and gently fry the bacon and leeks for 3-4 minutes until the leeks have softened. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and arrange a layer of potatoes in the bottom of the pan, then a layer of onions, a layer of bacon and leeks followed by a sprinkling of cheese and parsley. Season with pepper then repeat finishing with a layer of potatoes.
  3. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and dot over the top layer then cover the pan with a tight fitting  lid or foil and cook over a gentle heat for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Remove the lid and place the pan under a hot grill for 3 -4 minutes to brown.
  5. Serve directly from the pan or loosen the edges of the pan haggerty from the frying pan with a heatproof spatula and turn out onto a plate and serve in wedges.


Leftover boiled potatoes could be sliced and used, just reduce the cooking time by one third.

Vegetarian Options

Leave out the bacon for a vegetarian version and for vegans replace the cheese with a vegan cheese.

Freezing and Storage Tips

This dish is best eaten fresh, however, once cooled, leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to two days or frozen immediately. This dish can then be eaten cold or reheated until piping hot. If using from frozen, defrost in the fridge, use within 24 hours and reheat until piping hot throughout.

Allergy advice

Contains milk products.