Don't get in a flap over Christmas turkey leftovers.

PUBLISHED: 14:59 15 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:54 17 June 2010

AROUND a third of all the food we buy ends up being thrown in the bin costing the average Devon family around £420 a year - and this figure increases by 80 per cent during Christmas.

AROUND a third of all the food we buy ends up being thrown in the bin costing the average Devon family around £420 a year - and this figure increases by 80 per cent during Christmas. This is often because we simply don't know how to turn it into another meal.

But help is at hand to stop you feeling guilty. From making yummy curries to simple soups, Masterchef of Great Britain Paul Da-Costa-Greaves has joined forces with 'Don't let Devon go to waste' to offer top tips and recipes to make families' Christmas dinner go beyond Boxing Day.

Visitors to www.recycledevon.org/lovefood can download a selection of Masterchef Paul's favourite Christmas recipes with a twist for the 'Love Christmas, Hate Waste' campaign. All contain waste-saving ideas to help combat the estimated 230,000 tonnes of festive food thrown away each year.

Paul said: "I'm pleased to offer a selection of my personal recipes for the Love Christmas, Hate Waste campaign to give people ideas on classic family favourites with an alternative twist. Crunchy Topped Sprouts, Knickerbocker Glory, Bread and Butter pudding - there are many recipes available for download, and every one will help us all to cut down on food waste."

Other ideas include cutting down on peelings by leaving the jackets on roast spuds to recycling extra mincemeat and mandarins into a Boxing Day bread and butter pudding. Paul, who runs The Galley in Topsham, is keen to help Devon families get the most from their cupboards, wallets and their time.

The environmental impact of food waste is significant. The energy and resources used to transport food from producer and supplier to the home, and subsequently to landfill has a major carbon impact. As well as saving money, successfully tackling the food waste issue could mean the energy equivalent of taking 1 in 5 cars off UK roads.

Paul describes one of his Christmas recipes: "It happens every year, you've made such a wonderful job with the main meal that the family can only manage a mouthful of pudding. Don't bin it - download my online recipe to show you how to make Christmas Pudding Ice

Cream. All you need is your left over pud, some custard and your freezer!"

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council's Executive Member for the Environment, said: "We're delighted to have Paul on board for Love Christmas, Hate Waste to help us all make our food go further this Christmas.

"With our busy lifestyles and the current credit crunch we are all looking to reduce waste and save a bit of money, and we sometimes lack the knowledge on how to use up our leftovers. Our campaign is designed to help, with recipes, tips and ideas to get started."

Visitors to www.recycledevon.org/lovefood will in future be able to get free advice on reducing food waste at Easter, BBQs and summer parties as well as a free book called 'Eat Well, Waste Less' by Devon based author Bish Muir.

Bish shows that anyone can achieve great results with leftovers by keeping a stock of simple ingredients in the cupboard. The book also contains advice on sell by and use by dates, an a-z of leftover ingredients and how to use them, and quick and easy recipes.

Copies of Bish's book can now be obtained by calling the Helpline on 0845 450 2477 as well as visiting the website www.recycledevon.org.

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