Love Your Leftovers winner crowned

From tom yum soup to kidney bean katsu curry, students and staff shared their leftover recipes to take the ‘waste’ out of ‘food waste’ throughout May.

We have been bowled over by your innovative leftover tips and tricks, and excited to see sustainability experts – including Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Sustainability, Professor David Hannah, and Drs Miri and Onyeaka (School of Chemical Engineering) – take on the ‘Love Your Leftovers’ challenge, shining a spotlight on some of Birmingham’s ground-breaking research in the process.  

We even had Michelin star chef Luke Tipping and award-winning author Tamar Adler take part!

But there could only be one winner: second-year history student Olivia, who took home the Love Your Leftovers crown for her ‘banana skin bacon’ recipe.You’ll find it below if you’re intrigued to try it at home. 

Student Olivia Eaton smiling in the sunshine on campus while holding a copy of Tamar Adler's 'The Everlasting Meal Cookbook'

Love Your Leftovers winner, Olivia Eaton, with one of her prizes: a copy of Tamar Adler’s The Everlasting Meal Cookbook: Leftovers A-Z. Tamar is a self-proclaimed leftovers queen and regularly shares leftover tips and tricks with her Instagram followers.

She also has a nifty tip for using up peanut butter and chocolate spread to flavour coffee: ‘Whenever I finish a jar there is always a tiny bit left around the edges. I pour an espresso in, put the lid on, and shake it! It gets out all the extra spread and makes the espresso taste delicious.’

A feel-good prize for a feel-good campaign

No sustainability campaign would be complete without a sustainable prize. Olivia took home a copy of Tamar Adler’s The Everlasting Meal Cookbook: Leftovers A - Z, and not one, but three boxes brimming with fresh fruit and veg!

Olivia Eaton standing with two other people on campus holding boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables

Love Your Leftovers winner, Olivia Eaton, with Shaun Craig (left), Associate Director of Culinary Development, Events and Logistics at University of Birmingham, and Mike Evans (right), Managing Director of Beaumont Fresh Food Service Ltd.

The boxes were kindly donated by one of our local suppliers, Beaumont, and the talented garden team at Winterbourne House and Garden, which has been busy growing rhubarb, beetroot, and root veggies.

With the exception of a bunch of bananas, every piece of fruit and veg was sourced within a 40-mile radius of our Edgbaston campus. And there wasn’t a piece of plastic packing in sight.

A large wicker hamper containing homegrown beetroot, baby carrots, gooseberries, beans and rhubarb

Colourful fruit and vegetables grown at Winterbourne’s allotment, just a ten-minute walk from the centre of campus. Next time you visit the house and garden, look out for fresh, local produce on sale.

Olivia said: ‘I am so so grateful to have won – the prizes are incredible! Using up leftovers is so useful as I can have multiple meals from one food item, and it also helps to save money. I think everyone should use every leftover they have to also help the environment.’

She’s excited to put her prize to good use by cooking up gooseberry jam, veggie pasta, and carrot top pesto for her family back home. Vibrant fruit salads will also be on the menu.   

While only one person could win the prize, every single one of you who took part has helped make a difference, both to our planet and our community. Thanks to your support, our supplier Pelican Procurement has made a generous donation of non-perishable food and drink items to the Guild's Community Pantry to help students in need on campus. 

Guild Community Pantry donationPelican Procurement's generous donation will help dozens of students on campus struggling with the cost of living.

Olivia’s banana skin bacon


  • 2 banana peels, cut into four strips
  • ½ tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dark brown sugar
  • ½ tsp liquid smoke
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


  1. 1. Rub off the extra banana from the skin so it’s as thin as possible
  2. 2. Marinate for a few hours, while you’re in lectures or in the office
  3. 3. Pan fry for a few minutes until crispy 


The food waste revolution has only just begun 

Our Love Your Leftovers campaign may be over, but we can continue to cut waste in our kitchens. Check out our ‘How you loved your leftovers’ blog for some of our favourite recipes submitted by University staff and students.