Make a zero-waste lunch! Try this fun and interesting way to spice up leftovers, use up the last bits of many things in your fridge, and even maybe convince your kiddos to try a few new foods. When it comes to food, presentation is paramount, and creating this zero waste lunch charcuterie board of leftovers from our fridge and cabinet exemplifies this perfectly.
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Last week, without a plan for lunch (yet again), I decided to throw together a collection of whatever we had hanging out in the fridge. I gathered all the odds and ends in the fridge that needed a little love and arranged them in a fancy array on a cutting board.
I called it a zero-waste lunch charcuterie board because that sounded fun. Technically charcuterie includes cured meats, and we only had leftover chicken, but who’s keeping track? We made our leftovers look fancy to reduce food waste, and that’s all that matters.
It’s amazing how a bunch of random bits and pieces become a delicious zero-waste lunch with just an ounce of creative presentation. Not only did we all enjoy a healthy lunch, but my boys ate a bunch of new things they hadn’t tried before.
My picky eater even wanted to make a salad for himself! He may have put together a seemingly random collection of ingredients that didn’t suit my tastes, but I told him it looked great for him and was so proud of his lunch.
I suspect the novelty of the zero-waste lunch charcuterie board generated much of the excitement about otherwise boring leftovers. I don’t plan to use it every day for that reason; I want to keep it novel. But it was an awesome way to use up small portions of food we had while also making healthy eating fun for my boys. They especially loved that they got to choose their own lunch from so much variety!
How We Made Our Zero-Waste Lunch Leftover Charcuterie Board
To pull together this zero-waste lunch of “fancy” leftovers, I took a scan through our fridge and cabinets. I pulled out anything that needed to be used up or looked fun and colorful.
Eco-friendly Cutting Board: We used a cutting board we already had on hand. Do the same if you already have one. If you’re looking for a new or replacement cutting board, I love this reBoard cutting board that is made of recycled plastic and renewable sugarcane. It’s even dishwasher safe, which is a win for the whole family!
Containers: I placed most of the items directly on the cutting board. However, there were a few things that made sense to put in containers. We LOVE these small Pyrex containers. This set comes with a variety of smaller sizes, and we use them all the time to store food and reduce food waste in our home.
We have had our Pyrex containers for a while, and they are holding up really well! I also love that we can replace tops without replacing the entire container. It’s such a waste to replace the whole container when we just need a new lid.
Great Quality Knife: A good knife to cut all the veggies on our leftover lunch tray is paramount. I love that this knife is of great quality, more affordable than many of its competitor products of the same quality, and a portion of the proceeds support a local charitable organization. That’s a win-win-win all around!
I’d love to hear your ideas about interesting ways to brighten up boring leftovers. We arranged them in a colorful way on a cutting board for our “magic” food waste reduction trick. Have you made a zero-waste lunch for your family?
If you’re up for it, we have a Reduce Our Food Waste Footprint printable. Sign up to get two pages of ideas to reduce food waste in your house and tell me all your tips to reduce our food waste footprint in the comments below!
- Miscellaneous snacks, foods, and leftovers that your family will love.
- Cutting Board
- Small Bowls
- Gather up whatever odds, ends, and leftovers in your fridge and cabinet need to be used before they go bad.
- Organize the food items on the cutting board to look pretty. Mix up textures, colors, and sizes to keep the board interesting and fun for the family.