So, you have leftovers. Particularly if you shop at the farmers market or get your veggies via a CSA box, you may have to stuff your crisper full of veggies. And, if you’re like me, you sometimes forget about a few of those veggies. Have half a carrot, some diced peppers and a third of an onion? Never fear! Try one of our nine easy recipes using leftovers to stay budget-friendly.
You don’t necessarily need a recipe to clean out your crisper, just a technique. Soups, quesadillas, frittatas, fried rice and even chilis are great repositories for leftovers. Be creative and try your own. But first, use these easy recipes as a guide to crisper clean out greatness!
1. Soups: From chilis to chowders, soups are an excellent way to use up veggies. Slow cooked soups work especially well because the slow cooker is great for blending flavors. Leftover corn can be made into chowder. Leftover mixed veggies of nearly any variety can be tossed into black bean soup. And, if you’re lucky enough to have leftover roasted cauliflower, you can make a fantastic cauliflower soup. Find these recipes and more, here: 20 Warming Slow Cooker Soups. Or try this simple clean out the crisper vegetable soup.
2. Salads: Have a bevy of greens and other veggies? Try out a big fat salad! Fresh veggies, some leftover cubed chicken and pre-boiled eggs make a delicious array of salad toppings. You can even use some leftover yogurt to whip up your own creamy bleu cheese dressing to go on top!
3. Quesadillas: Cheese, tortilla, and whatever sauteed vegetables you like means you can make delicious quesadillas. You really can make just about anything into a quesadilla. Around Thanksgiving, I’ve been known to make turkey-cranberry-sweet potato quesadillas. Need more guidance? Try out our vegetable quesadilla.
4. Stir Fries: A stir fry is one of the simplest ways to serve a variety of veggies and a bit of meat, if you like. Anything from chopped peppers to cabbage can be tossed into a stir fry. Who cares what the recipe calls for? Just toss in whatever you like (and especially whatever is about to go bad) and enjoy over rice!
5. Fried Rice: Small amounts of various veggies are the perfect add-in for the best crisper clean out vessel ever—fried rice. Add your cooked rice and veggies, a bit of oil and soy or amino acid sauce, and then add raw egg and toss until the egg is fully cooked.
6. Vegetable Dumplings: Have leftover cabbage or coleslaw mix? Try these easy vegetable dumplings.
7. Frittatas: Love eggs in the morning but want to change it up from the usual sunny side up or scrambled? Try a frittata with all those crisper foods. Use our Tomato-Feta Frittata recipe as a guide!
8. Pasta: Pasta is another wonderful vessel. Instead of the usual tomato sauce, try an olive oil and veggie sauce instead. Chop some garlic, roast some veggies and go to town! Use our Asparagus and Fresh Pea Pasta recipe as a guide. Delicious. Or, if you have enough, make your noodles from the veggies instead!
9. Fruit Salad or Fruit Crisp: Yes, gasp! Even fruit can be forgotten. Dice your fruit, mix in a bit of honey and lime juice and toss it in a bowl, you’ll create a fantastic fruit salad and save all that fruit from the compost bin. Or, if you prefer your fruit warm, add a crumble topping and bake your fruit mix in the oven for an impromptu fruit crisp. Yum! To preserve fruits over a longer term, try homemade jelly or canned preserves.
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