5 Ways to Be Less Wasteful With Those Old Veggies & Leftovers in Your Fridge
It can be hard enough finding ways to eat healthy as much as possible, and as you find yourself staring down some wilting vegetables and other leftovers that are staring right back at you in your refrigerator, you may feel the garbage can is their only option. Before you think those sad looking veggies cannot be saved, I have 5 wonderful creative solutions for your aging produce. Yes, we know that as vegetables sit in the fridge unused, as each day passes the nutritional content is lessened. However, it is possible to transform those veggies and some other leftovers beyond the typical next-day sandwich.
Nutritional broth made from veggies or bone has been a hot food trend, and for a good reason. Cooking down your veggies or the marrow out of bones produces some unique flavors, in addition to releasing some delicious nutritional potential. Consider boiling your passé vegetables in a stock pot with 2 to 4 quarts of water, add some salt and pepper to taste, and strain the contents to reveal homemade vegetarian broth. Omnivores can enjoy tossing in some chopped bone and meat bits from leftover chicken, beef, pork, or fish for added protein. Feel free to puree a little of the cooked down vegetable contents and add that to your broth for richness and depth of flavor.
Fried rice is traditionally made with day old rice anyway, which makes it extra delicious. Play up being less wasteful and throw in diced up old carrots, onions, broccoli, and other vegetables to make your fried rice colorful and healthy. After you toss in some sesame oil, peanut oil, or soy sauce you wouldn’t know those veggies have been in the fridge for more than a few days time. Add some ginger or garlic for their unique health benefits and an egg for protein.
I am a huge fan of scallion pancakes doused with garlic chili sauce or Rooster Sauce. They were introduced to me after working at a business in my local Chinatown, and I haven’t let go of them since. If you want to spice things up, consider adding some chopped old veggies to make your pancake more interesting, and adding an egg or two adds protein and texture.
There is nothing quite like the American pot pie. Roll out some biscuit dough into disks for the top and bottom of your pie. Take a pie plate and shape out your base. Fill your pot pie with your homemade nutritional broth thickened up with flour or cornstarch, add your old veggies, and some lean meat if you will. Top it off with the biscuit dough, pinch it to seal, and cut it at the top to release steam. Enjoy!
Composting your old vegetables is an eco-friendly solution that helps cut down on waste, puts nutrients back into soil, and is good for the planet. If you don’t already have a compost container, you can find a place that accepts natural plant materials for composting in your area. Compost is great for gardens and is a natural fertilizer.
Think of Solutions
So there you have it, 5 easy ways that you can make use of those old veggies in the fridge instead of tossing them out. Yes, it is beneficial to eat fresh vegetables whenever possible, but there are creative solutions for your vegetables that are days to a week old. I’m sure that with your creative mind and innovative spirit, you can find even more uses for your veggies beyond the 5 ideas I have listed here.