The Love Your Leftovers Challenge

Love Your Leftovers on
Are you throwing money away? The average household in the UK throws away £700 per year of food waste – things that have gone bad before they can be eaten or that are out of date. In the US the figure is even higher, estimated at around $2,000 (roughly £1,290) per year. Often this is a result of over purchasing and in many cases, a lack of knowledge about food storage and what to do with leftovers.

Recently I attended a Love Your Leftovers Challenge evening with The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and greenredeem.

The evening began with an interesting presentation. I was shocked to learn that disposing of food waste that is not placed in recycling bins costs the Royal Borough over one million pounds each year! If you multiply that by the number of local authorities in the UK, the amount of tax money spent is staggering. With the help of greenredeem, who offer points which can be redeemed for discounts on products and services or donated to charity in exchange for recycling, Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council are hoping to encourage even more people to Love Their Leftovers. They also want to encourage everyone to recycle any unavoidable food waste like rinds and peelings.

The guest speaker was Martha Collison, who many folks know as a contestant on The Great British Bake Off. Martha offered lots of ideas for how to preserve and use up leftovers. I enjoyed Martha’s talk as teaching How to Love Your Leftovers is a passion of mine!

We were then split up into groups for the Love Your Leftovers Challenge. Each group was given a tray of leftovers and asked to make something delicious within a limited time period. We also had access to a table of items many people would have in their store cupboard or pantry, like sugar, chocolate, liqueurs, citrus fruit, sauces and spices.

My group was given four slices of leftover Madeira cake and a pot of crème fraîche, along with some blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. We decided to make a free-form trifle.

The Love Your Leftovers Challenge
After slicing the Madeira cake into smaller slices, we arranged half of it on a serving plate. We scattered a few raspberries and blueberries over top and drizzled everything with a bit of Cointreau orange liqueur. The crême fraîche was mixed with two generous tablespoons of sugar, a tablespoon of orange zest and one tablespoon of Cointreau. We then covered the first cake layer with one third of the crême fraîche mixture. The remaining cake slices were arranged over top of this along with some more raspberries and blueberries. After we had drizzled a bit more Cointreau over the top, we then spread the remaining crême fraîche mixture over the whole trifle, covering the sides as much as possible. We thinly sliced the strawberries and arranged them round the edge of the freeform trifle and then scattered shaved orange rind and chocolate over the top. We also drizzled some raspberry coulis (from a jar) around the edges.

Love Your Leftovers on

What looked like a few bits and pieces turned into a dessert which could easily serve four people! When the time was up, all the groups presented their creations for judging. The other two entries included some delicious chicken wraps as well as smoked salmon tea sandwiches and canapes.

Love Your Leftovers Challenge
I was amazed by the amount of food produced with very limited, leftover ingredients. The tasty Chicken Wraps were judged the winner, but my group was very pleased with how our trifle turned out.

Our hard work was rewarded with a scrumptious four course dinner made with seasonal Berkshire produce. From the vegetables to the lamb and even the cheese and wine, everything was sourced locally.

Love Your Leftovers on

And of course, at the end of the meal, we were encouraged to package up the leftovers and take them home. Check out the greenredeem website and my How to Love Your Leftovers post for more ideas on how to recycle food waste, help the environment and love your leftovers!

My husband and I were treated to a delicious dinner at the Windsor and Maidenhead Council and greenredeem event at Stubbings Nursery in Maidenhead. This has not affected my coverage of the event or my opinions. I am passionate about encouraging people to enjoy great food while being conscious of the environment and this event was the perfect vehicle to help me to share that. Many of the photos in this post were kindly provided by The Love Your Leftovers Challenge event. 

* indicates required

Article by April Harris

April has written 1280 great articles for us.
April is a writer, recipe developer, frequent traveller and blogger sharing travel, food, and style. Based in the south of England, April is a British Canadian who is passionate about family, hearth and home, healthy living (with treats!) and the transformative power of travel.
View all posts by


  1. As soon as I saw the list of ingredients you had, I immediately thought that they would make a great trifle. Yours looks gorgeous!

    We are also trying to be much more mindful about the food we buy and we try to plan our meals in advance to reduce the amount of food we waste. When we do have food waste, we compost the fruit and vegetable matter and our municipality has a good Green Bin program which sends other organic matter (including meat and fish waste) to an industrial composting facility which can process such things. As a result of the program and our recycling programs, our municipality and others in Ontario have been able to reduce the amount of garbage that is going to landfill. Do you have such programs in the U.K.?

    • Thank you, Lynnd 🙂 Great minds think alike! Recycling programmes vary from county to county here in the UK but most have implemented similar recycling programmes to what you’ve described. We have a green bin facility here in West Berkshire. I agree though, the first step is to be mindful about what we buy and to plan ahead. By the way, I grew up in Ontario – it’s a beautiful part of the world and it’s good to know it’s going to stay that way with the help of good recycling programmes 🙂

  2. I would have never had any problems using up the ingredients you had as leftovers! Your trifle looks great. 🙂 What a fun and delicious–as well as educational and inspiring–evening for all!

  3. I LOVE leftovers. I could never understand why other people don’t. Not only do we love the convenience of a quick meal the next day, but I am a huge fan of cook once, eat twice. I will usually cook additional meat, pasta, etc, so that I can quickly turn it into another meal the next day. Such a time-saver!

Speak Your Mind