4 Ways to Use Up Vegetables So You Don’t Waste Food

Amanda over at Frugal Confessions recently wrote on the topic of wasting food in a post called Waste Not Want Not Baking Catastrophes and Food Waste in Our Household.  As I began making a comment in response, I realized I have a lot to say about wasting food so I decided to put together a post or two of my own on the topic. Another inspiration in putting this post together came from One Frugal Girl’s Pizza Night Gets a Face Lift.  I have done the very same thing myself in the past but since I am currently not eating gluten and dairy products, I typically use these vegetables in a stir fry.

The other two ways that I use “need to be used quick” veggies are soup, and other which is relatively new to me, quiche.  I thought I’d share some basic recipes to use your own leftovers or extra “need to be used up quick” veggies.

Stir Fry

For stir fry, I use just about any vegetables I have on hand. The more the better, as I love leftover stir fry!  It helps if you have a wok, but if not, a cast iron skillet or stainless steel skillet works well. It is not advised to use non-stick skillets at high temperatures because of the fumes that can be released from the surface.  At any rate, just put some of your favorite fat in the skillet and get it nice and hot. Add in a cup or two of chopped veggies and stir continuously so that they cook without burning.  Cook the vegetables in batches and place into a large bowl so that you can mix together once they are done.  Here are some vegetable combinations I might use:

  • Cabbage, carrots, peas, green beans, onions, garlic, yellow crookneck squash
  • Celery, onions, carrots, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms
  • Onions, garlic, red and green bell peppers, ginger, green beans, cabbage
  • Broccoli, mushrooms, onions, carrots, peas

Basically just throw all the vegetables together. You can also use leftover meat in stir fry.

Pizza

Take a visit to the post I linked for One Frugal Girl above to see what she does. What I have done in the past is make my own pizza dough and then lightly steam all the veggies. Put on the sauce, layer on the veggies and cheese and bake. I would make individual pizzas for my children so that they could pick and choose their favorite vegetables to put on top.  You could also use meat this way.

Soup

Ever since I got out on my own as a young adult I have incorporated this idea.  Basically you just keep a plastic freezer safe container in the freezer and put any leftovers into the container. Any vegetables that are leftover, and maybe even meat.  A really good time to use this method is when you also have a chicken carcass leftover and can make some chicken stock for some nutritious and delicious stock. While you are making the stock, take the container out of the freezer. Once you have the chicken stock made, put all the vegetables in and bring to a boil. Salt and pepper to taste, and you might want to add garlic or onion powder to bring out the flavor.

Quiche

As I mentioned, this is a new way for me to use leftover veggies.  You will need a pie crust, or maybe you can make one from scratch.  You’ll need about two cups of steamed or sauteed vegetables for a 9″ pie pan.  Season the vegetables by adding salt and pepper, or onion powder and garlic powder.  Season them to taste so when they are in the quiche they won’t need more seasoning. Prebake the pie crust.  Once the vegetables are done, ladle them into the pie crust.  If you can eat dairy products, grate in some cheddar cheese.  Then scramble 3 or 4 eggs and pour in on top of the vegetables. Bake at 350°F until the top is lightly browned and firm, about twenty minutes in my oven. Allow to cool for thirty minutes and serve. This is also delicious cold and a great finger food if you need something easy for lunch at work and don’t have the time to heat it.

On the topic of food you may enjoy these articles:

Carnivals that Out of Debt Again was included in this week:

How do you use your leftover veggies?

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