It’s important that you keep an eye on all your food so that you don’t waste any of it.
Make sure you remove all fruit and vegetables from their plastic wrapping as it makes them go slimy and bad quickly.
Use up the perishables first. Carrots don’t last very long so use them in a coleslaw with onions and white cabbage, mayonnaise, oil and vinegar or blanch and freeze them.
If you have some cool outside space, put potatoes in a cardboard box and close the lid to keep them in the dark. Do pick through them weekly and remove and use any that are showing signs of rotting.
Plan your week’s meals so that you don’t waste anything. But be prepared to change your plans if you find a better recipe or need to use something up.
This is a very delicious, cheap and easy meal that Spanish restaurants charge a lot for.
The secret is to prepare all your ingredients before you start. It’s adaptable as well.
I’m still using my chicken from the Sunday roast.
Heat a dash of olive oil in a large flat frying-pan. Add, in order, chopped onion, chopped red or green pepper, garlic, tomatoes, chicken, and something like French beans or chick-peas.
I’ve got some Spanish rice, but long-grain rice is fine. How much? About a handful per person plus a couple more. Remember, rice expands a lot.
I have Spanish Colorante, but you can use a shake of turmuric to colour the rice yellow.
Season, and you can add some herbs like thyme or rosemary.
Cover with hot water and stir. But don’t stir again as it can go sticky and burn at the bottom.
Simmer for about 40 minutes, topping up the water if it needs it. You can push the edges into the middle, but don’t stir it.
Turn off the heat and leave it for about 10 minutes to absorb all the liquid.
The Spanish will serve it with crusty bread and a salad.
Paella can also have steamed mussels in their shells on the top, or squid or octopus mixed in.
I’ve had it in Spanish country houses with rabbit used instead of chicken. So use what you’ve got and don’t be afraid to improvise.