Breadcrumb navigation

Save with these zero-waste summer meals

Published: 16 January 2019

Are you feeling like the summer holidays have taken a bit of a toll, both on your wallet and your waistline?

The summer edition of Easy Choice – Family Kai meal planner by Love Food Hate Waste is here to help you get back on track.

The meal planner contains four weeks of in-season recipes that are nutritionist-approved, zero waste, and designed to cost $60 per week.

Easy Choice – Family Kai is a community-based initiative that was developed by Fresh Choice and Love Food Hate Waste, with support from Auckland Council.

The best part? Love Food Hate Waste has made the recipe and meal planning booklets available for free, meaning anyone can follow the Easy Choice – Family Kai program, no matter where they are or where they shop.

According to Love Food Hate Waste, New Zealanders throw away 122,547 tonnes of food a year. That adds up to nearly 213 jumbo jets of food that goes somewhere to rot, instead of being eaten. Love Food Hate Waste estimates that the food we throw out each year is worth about $872 million.

Planning meals ahead of time can save money and make it easy your family to make healthy decisions.

Marcial Keesing, founder of The Kaitiaki Sisters Incorporated Society has helped people in her community get on board with the Love Food Hate Waste kaupapa by holding workshops and distributing meal kits specifically for the Easy Choice recipes. Her organisation helps promote awareness about the environment and sustainability.

“It’s necessary for us as a community to learn about ways and tips that we as individuals can lower the amount of food going to landfill,” says Keesing.

“We want to help by spreading these awesome tips and information on how the community can save money and learn how to create Ataahua kai for the family.”

Easy Choice – Family Kai and shopping lists for the recipes are available for download for free from the Love Food Hate Waste website.

Check out a sneak preview of the meal planner with this courgette burger recipe below – just one of the 20 delicious recipes you will find in the Summer edition of Easy Choice - Family Kai.


Courgette Burgers with Garlic Wedges

Ready in approx. 50 minutes




Garlic Wedges

6 medium potatoes, cut into wedges

¼ cup oil

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or

1 ½ teaspoons crushed garlic

1 teaspoon paprika

salt and pepper, to taste



3 courgettes (approx 400g), grated

1 carrot, grated

1 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 egg, lightly beaten

¾ cup plain flour

1 cup grated cheese, divided

salt & pepper, to taste

6 hamburger buns

½ cup mayonnaise

½ iceberg lettuce, shredded

2 tomatoes, sliced



Preheat the oven to 220°C and line two baking trays with baking paper (one for the burgers and the other for the wedges).

In a bowl, coat the potato wedges by tossing them with the oil, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Place the wedges onto the lined baking tray and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown. Turn the wedges halfway through the cooking time.

Place the grated courgette inside a clean tea towel and squeeze it to remove as much of the liquid as possible. Alternatively, place the grated courgette in a sieve and push down using the back of a spoon to remove the liquid.

Mix the courgettes, carrot, onion and garlic in a large bowl. Add in the egg, flour and half a cup of grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper and gently mix until just combined.

Use a ½ cup measuring scoop, scoop the mixture into six patties. Gently press the mixture down into the measuring scoop and level it off with a spoon. Then flip it over onto the baking tray. Using the spoon, gently push down the mixture until it is about the width of the burger bun.

Repeat the process to make all six patties, leaving a gap between each patty. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 220°C. Then turn the oven down to 180°C, flip the patties and cook for a further 15–20 minutes, until golden.

Slice the buns in half and heat for a couple of minutes in the hot oven.

To assemble the burger, spread mayonnaise on the bottom half of the bun, then add lettuce, a courgette patty, a sprinkle of cheese, a slice of tomato and the top half of the bun. Serve with the garlic wedges.


TIP: You can use your favourite sauces along with or instead of the mayonnaise, such as sweet chilli sauce, tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, vegetable jams, chutneys and mustard.

LEFTOVERS: Eat for lunch the next day.

Read more: Waste Food & drink


Introduction to Composting Course

Learn the basics of composting at home at hands-on courses around Auckland.

Make five family meals this week for $60

Pick up the spring edition of Easy Choice – Family Kai for healthy and cheap recipes for your family.

Clever cookbook keeps costs down this winter

A new edition of Easy Choice – Family Kai from Love Food Hate Waste will help Kiwis feed their families and put healthy food on the table.