Condiments

Yes, hot sauce is the spice of life. Or maybe ranch dressing is. But more importantly, when did we buy all the condiments clogging up our refrigerator? And, can we spare them the slow, gloppy drip down the drain before heading to the recycling bin? You bet.

Nothing illustrates it more than having gone on vacation: You come home, starving, but the fridge is empty. Well, except for the door racks full of condiments. There are jams and pickles, some sort of dressing, 6 types of mustard… Whether you unintentionally over-buy condiments or they end up leftover from a party, they need to be eaten and not left to take up space until mold grows. Besides being a waste of food, it’s also a waste of money–your money. Store bought condiments can be pretty pricey! So don’t let them just sit there! Use them up. (Hint: If you get in the habit of making your own, you’ll also be more mindful of not letting them go to waste.) Check out some of these favorite ideas for using up every last glop.

1. Use that last bit of ketchup in a homemade glaze recipe for a veggie meatloaf.

2. Make your own barbecue sauce, using your ketchup remains and a few other ingredients you may have in that fridge, too… unless of course, you have bottles of that left over, too.

3. DIY yourself a big bowl of barbecue-baked beans with your own homemade sauce per above, or use what you have left in that jar you bought last year. Toss a dollop of mustard in for good measure.

4. Make a honey Dijon salad dressing: Mix a large spoonful or three of Dijon mustard (but any kind will do) with ¼ cup of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of your favorite local honey, the juice of one lemon a few teaspoons of balsamic vinegar for a delicious dressing or marinade.

5. Cook like French people. When I was in high school, my dad tried cooking for a few years and he actually made one French dish I really loved. It was chicken and veggies in a white wine mustard sauce served over rice. This recipe should do.

6. While you’re probably used to dousing your potatoes with ketchup, you can also give this roasted potatoes with mustard sauce a try.

7. Bake with your jam. Make thumbprint or sandwich cookies.

8. Make a jellyroll.

9. Jams are also great bases for glazes.

10. Got an excessive amount of pickles? Make a warm potato salad with a light mustardy vinaigrette and include some finely diced dills.

11. Turn your apocalypse-sized jar of Vegenaise into a spicy vegan sour cream: mix ½ cup Vegenaise with juice of one gorgeous lime, ½ teaspoon each: paprika, cumin and crushed red pepper flakes. Serve atop Mexican-inspired fare.

12. Or, make it into a vegan ranch dressing.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: Robert S. Donovan