Alright. Let’s talk about one of the WORST food faux pas:
Not using up the leftover ingredients from recipes past.
My dad can definitely tell you that I used to be one of the worst about this. I would use an ingredient once and then let it expire in the fridge before just throwing it out. Luckily, I’ve learned my lesson. Hopefully, if you haven’t already, this will help you see the wrong in your ways.
Reasons that using your leftovers helps you and the world:
- In this recession, no one can afford to let food go to waste! We just don’t have that kind of money!
- When you waste leftovers, you put to waste the energy that went into getting that food to your table. All of the transportation that added to the greenhouse gases!
- You also add to the amount of land being put to waste, overfishing, and water source degradation (obviously this depends on what food is going unused).
- There are so many ways to use leftover ingredients! This never needs to happen!
- Freeze extra fish/meat and many vegetables/fruits. I’ve even found that it’s easy to freeze extra bread products (they are exactly the same once you defrost them).
- I bet you didn’t know you can also freeze things like eggs and milk! Check out this website it gives you some cool little hints!
- You can make a stock out of extra veggies, or even leftover chicken bones! Stocks can be used in everything from soup to roasted chicken. Here are some ideas for your leftover chicken stock.
- There are so many ways to use leftovers! Check out this website if you want some more ideas!
So, now that I’ve hopefully convinced you that you need to use your leftovers, I’ll show you some recipes I came up with for the things I have in my fridge.
Salmon Caesar Salad Wraps
- I used the leftover salmon from the homemade sushi. About 1/4 lb.
- 1 wheat tortilla
- Romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
Blend the parmesan, garlic, olive oil, egg, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. It makes way more caesar dressing than you’ll need, but it was really good and you can always use it on your leftover romaine lettuce.
Place the romaine lettuce, caesar dressing, and salmon (I ate it raw, but if you don’t have sushi grade salmon or you feel like it, bake the salmon) onto the wheat tortilla.
Let’s talk about why this was better for getting rid of excess ingredients than for getting new things to get rid of:
- Salad is delicious and great for you! You can always use extra lettuce!
- The ingredients for the caesar dressing tend to be lying around. It’s a very pantry-friendly salad dressing to make.
- Wheat tortillas can be used for wraps, quesadillas, pizzas, etc.
- Salmon is really great for you so even if you did not have extra lying around it’s a good thing to eat!
For dinner, I had so much leftover vegetable stock and kale from yesterday’s vegan adventures that I decided to turn it around and use both in a hearty soup. I based my soup off of this one, but my recipe is a bit different.
Sweet Potato Kale Coconut Peanut Soup
(You may want to come up with an easier name)
- 1 whole sweet potato (no leftovers there!)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 can coconut milk
- I used all of the leftover vegetable stock I had (around 2 cups)
- All of my leftover kale (a really good amount because it shrinks a lot)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- pumpkin spice (I love all of the flavors in it)
- cayenne pepper (I love the little kick it gives to everything. It’s my #1 spice to have)
- salt and pepper to taste
- top with peanuts (for protein!)
Cover the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and brown the sweet potato (cut into small, uniform cubes) and the garlic (minced). When they are browned, add the coconut milk and vegetable stock (you can also add a bit of milk if you like your soup creamier). Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Blend mixture and then strain with a super fine strainer to get rid of all of the extra lumps.
Put the soup back into the pot and add all of the other ingredients (except for the peanuts –> those are for the top). Cook until kale is bright green.
I made this soup recipe so large not only to avoid having extra ingredients, but also because it is so good you’ll want the leftovers!!!
- Leftover ingredients are easy to use in many different ways!
- It’s good they’re easy to use because they’re horrible for the environment! All of the environmental degradation done in getting the food to you is a waste if you do not use the food!