Kiwi mum wins $5k turning leftovers into a winning dish
A Rotorua woman’s creativity with leftovers when there was nothing else to feed her family has paid dividends, with her recipe for Boil Up Croquettes taking top honours in the Best Foods Best Kiwi Recipe Challenge.
Passionate about cooking nourishing meals for her family on a tight budget, Letitia Paul came up with her winning recipe idea one evening when she had nothing but a bowl of boil up leftovers with which to make dinner.
Letitia says she became quite upset, knowing the small bowl of food wouldn’t be enough to feed everyone, but she decided to employ a little kitchen creativity.
“I’ve always tried to nourish my family properly regardless of the food budget, which often means using up every scrap of leftovers,” Letitia says.
So after combining the leftover meat and vegetables with a large dollop of mayonnaise to make crumbed croquettes, Letitia found she had made a delicious meal from very little.
She was then inspired to share her croquette creation after learning of the Best Foods Best Kiwi Recipe Challenge.
“There was one more day left to enter the competition, so I stayed up all night thinking about the classic Kiwi recipes I’d made in the past using mayonnaise,” she says.
“I really wanted to win in order to help get my family ahead, so I submitted four recipes, including the Boil Up Croquettes – and it has really paid off!”
With her recipe taking out the competition vote on Facebook, Letitia won a prize of $5,000.
She says the money will go towards her small coffee cart business and her crusade to help other families working within tight food budgets.
Letitia’s own experience with food budgeting began two years ago when she and her husband left their jobs in Auckland to buy a home and their coffee cart in Rotorua, and found it difficult to make ends meet, especially during the winter months. Letitia began growing her own vegetables and started cooking and baking everything from scratch.
“I would surprise myself with what I came up with and thought that other people going through a similar situation could benefit from these recipes, too,” she says.
So Letitia began sharing her recipes and tips on her own Facebook page.
“I share how I shop and how I cook. I feel like careful meal planning and knowledge of how to feed your family on a low budget can take a bit of the financial burden off,” she says.
Letitia says the $5,000 she won is a welcome boost for her own family – but she is also planning to use some of the money to buy food vouchers to give to others in need.
“I’m so grateful to everybody who voted for my recipe – and also to Best Foods NZ for a prize that is going to make a big difference for my family.
“I still can't believe my bowl of leftovers won