What to with kitchen leftovers | The Gourmand & Gourmet

What to with kitchen leftovers

Hey you. Yeah, you with the old cheese-ends in the fridge. Are you gonna eat those? Because if not, we will. Seriously. We all accumulate leftover foods that end up going in the trash, whether it’s the salty juice from that jar of pickled onions or the grinds from your morning coffee. But what if you could repurpose those scraps into something useful? Well actually, you can. Here’s our favourite ways to use up our kitchen leftovers.

Old cheese

You know those hard crusty bits that have been left in an open packet in the fridge for a little bit too long, and now look as though they’d crack a tooth? As long as they haven’t gone so mouldy they look like they’re about to start talking, you can still turn them into something drool worthy. Grate ‘em up and make out-of-this-world mac ‘n’ cheese, gooey fondue, or cheese sauce to pour over your greens.


Before you give the great big bone from your lamb roast to the neighbours dog, have you thought about making bone broth? All it takes is some left over bones, old veggies and a few extra things, and you end up with a murky brown brew that’s an elixir of health and also doubles as a flavoursome stock. Find a recipe for bone broth here.

Coffee grinds

What do you mean you’ve been throwing out your coffee grinds? Don’t you know those things can be repurposed for just about anything? Make a coffee salt scrub to leave your skin feeling softer than a babies bum, get rid of the smell of that mouldy cheese you left in the fridge or get rid of stains on your kitchen bench. Seriously, just Google it and you’ll be making coffee just so you can have extra grounds.


1 tablespoon of chopped basil’ the recipe says. Well that’s great, but what about the other 3 quarters of the bunch of basil we just spent $3 on? Before it goes all floppy in the fridge, chop or blend it up and pour it into ice cube trays with some olive oil or soft butter and freeze. Then next time you’re cooking or whipping up some toast, bam! Herbalicious goodness.


To be honest, we’ve never had a leftover bottle of wine. But apparently there are people out there who don’t feel comfortable drinking their Sauv Blanc six weeks after opening. Try putting it in a mason jar covered with cheesecloth and leaving it in a cool, dark place for a few months to turn into vinegar, or freeze it into ice cubes to throw in sangria. Or you could always use it to cook those steamed white wine mussels you’ve always planned to try – but never managed to save a drop to do it.

Pickle juice

Yes, there is a use for that leftover brine! And you don’t even have to tip it out of the jar. Just throw onions, garlic, cucumbers, radishes or any soft veggies (even canned artichokes will work!) and let that juice work it’s magic on them for a while. Or you know, just do pickle back shots with whiskey next Saturday night. So are you going to eat that cheese, or what? Words by Ranyhyn Akui