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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 December 2005, 06:26 GMT
Christmas? What a waste!
TV chef Kevin Woodford
We've printed three of Kevin's recipes
Christmas dinner with all the trimmings is the high point of the year for many of us.

But, as the pressure grows on cooks to serve the perfect meal - with every conceivable extra - we're actually wasting millions of tonnes of food.

Every Christmas, the average family throws away a whole bin bag full of uneaten food, according to the charity Recycle now, creating an extra 3m tonnes of waste for landfill sites in the UK.

That's on top of the unwanted Christmas presents - and the cards which get dumped as soon as the festive season finishes.

So, how can you avoid creating unnecessary waste this Christmas?

  • We got some tips from Julie Brown from Recycle Now - and the chef Kevin Woodford. A recording of our interview will be available later this morning on this page.

    This Christmas, as a nation we're expected to buy 16.5 m turkeys; 175m mince pies and 15,000 tonnes of sprouts.

    Many end up going straight into the bin, as the guests depart.

    Recycle Now has some tips for avoiding waste:

  • Confirm how many people you're cooking for so you don't over-cater.

  • Make a list before you do the big shop: it will save duplication and avoid you having to go out for a second time.

  • Buy what you need instead of lots of "just in case" extras.

  • Buy fruit and vegetables loose rather than pre-packed, so you don't end up with too much.

  • Avoid putting out large amounts of perishable items like cooked meats, cheese and cream. And remember to put them in the fridge afterwards.

  • Take a moment to think how you can use any left-overs creatively

  • Use the peelings for compost

  • Make sure you recycle your used bottles and cans - and don't forget to recycle your tree.

    Don't waste those left-overs: try Kevin's recipes:

    Bubble and squeak potato cakes (serves four)

    I onion, finely chopped
    25g unsalted butter
    4 carrots (cooked and mashed)
    450g floury potatoes (cooked and mashed)
    225g green cabbage or brussels sprouts, finely chopped
    50g Cheddar cheese (grated)
    2 tablespoons snipped chives
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    vegetable oil for frying

    Heat half the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion until soft and transparent. Turn into a large bow; add the cooked vegetables, cheese and chives and mix well to incorporate. Season well.

    Divide this mixture into four and shape into round cakes. Add the remaining butter and a tablespoon of oil into the frying pan and fry the potato cakes for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown, turning once.

    Serve with eggs and bacon for breakfast or as part of a supper dish.

    Stilton, celery and turkey soup (serves six)

    40g unsalted butter
    1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
    300g celery (thinly sliced)
    250g potatoes (peeled and chopped)
    450ml water
    1 bay leaf
    250ml whole milk
    75ml double cream
    150g Stilton cheese (crumbled)
    200g diced turkey (cooked)
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    chopped parsley to serve

    Gently melt the butter in a large heavy based pan. Add onion and sauté gently until soft but not brown.

    Add celery, potatoes, water and the bay leaf. Season well with the ground black pepper.

    Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

    Remove from the heat, remove the bay leaf and add the milk.

    Blend in a food processor or liquidiser until smooth.

    Return to the pan and stir in the cream, crumbled Stilton and cooked turkey breast. Heath through without boiling and check the seasoning . Do not boil the soup once you've added the cream and Stilton.

    Serve at once, sprinkled with chopped parsley

    Turkey and Vegetable Risotto

    25g unsalted butter
    1 medium onion (finely chopped)
    1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
    1 courgette (finely chopped)
    1 stick celery (finely chopped)
    1 medium red pepper (de-seeded and finely chopped)
    400g risotto rice
    150ml white wine
    1.75l chicken stock, kept just below boiling point in a saucepan
    500g cooked, diced turkey breast
    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Melt the butter in a large saucepan and gently cook the onion, garlic and chopped vegetables until soft and lightly coloured. Add the rice and wine, bring to the boil and cook until the wine is absorbed (about three minutes) stirring gently all the time.

    Start adding the hot chicken stock to the rice a little at a time, stirring gently. Allow the stock to become absorbed between each addition and keep stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper and keep adding the stock until the rice is cooked but still al dente (about 20 minutes).

    When the rice is nearly cooked, stir in the turkey breast and allow it to heat through thoroughly. Serve at once with a crunchy green salad and some warm crusty bread

    How to cut down on Christmas waste
    Breakfast's live interview with Kevin Woodford and Julie Brown

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