Use them up before they go to waste!

Tips for Using Leftover Veggies

TDS Reader Contributors

Using Leftover Veggies for A Custom Meal

Looking for tips to use leftover veggies, bits of meat or other leftovers in the fridge? A frittata is a cheap, easy dinner that can utilize a lot of the stuff you might otherwise throw away.

To make one, use about three eggs per person. Crack into a bowl and beat with salt and pepper. Then, add in your filling, using what's in the fridge. Cold cuts can be sliced and added in. Cooked vegetables can also go right in. Firm fresh produce (carrots, broccoli, and even mushrooms) should be sauteed until tender, preferably with a little garlic or onion, before adding to the eggs. Italians even throw in leftover pasta, which is a great way to use those leftovers. Then, heat a little olive oil in a saute pan and pour in the eggs.

While this is going on, turn the broiler on low. Heat eggs on stovetop until they start setting. Then, grate some cheese over top. (Use what you've got. Cheddar is really good with broccoli; Italian cheese like Parmesan is delicious with ham and/or mushroom.) Turn off the stovetop and put under broiler until eggs are set and cheese is melted. Cool briefly, slice and serve.

You've just made good use of food that might otherwise get tossed, and you have a delicious dinner.
Amanda C.

Leftover Cauliflower Idea

Throw the cauliflower heads into a big bowl and mash them with a fork until they are a paste. Adding some chopped onion, grated carrot, a beaten egg and a handful of flour, stir the mixture and season with salt, parsley, cumin and oregano. Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with vegetable oil, and drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the sizzling oil, waiting until they are brown on one side and then flipping them over. The smell is out of this world delicious, and the taste of the tiny fritters is even better. Who would have believed that some tired old cooked vegetable from the back of the refrigerator could become such a culinary delight?

Leftover Vegetables for Soups

Make a big pot of soup on the weekend, and you can eat soup for several meals. If you save leftover vegetables in a container in the freezer, you can make soup from what you would have thrown away.

Related: 14 Ways to Buy Produce for Less

Smorgasbord Night from Leftover Veggies

Leftover veggies are great for a Smorgasbord Night! I freeze all those bits and pieces as they appear, then gather an interesting combination on a Friday evening or other lazy-day. It's like going to the smorgasbord at your local restaurant.

There's another reason why I freeze these small amounts of leftovers separately, not in the same container to make soup, for example. It's so that at each meal, I can pick and choose a different combination. That leftover chicken would go great with those peas and a small amount of leftover carrots we had the night before, etc.

Also, it allows me to use a greater number of ingredients in my meals, which seems to improve the taste. My quiche is different each time because I'll put different veggies and small bits of meat in it, depending on what's available. People ask me for my recipes, but there really isn't one.

Reviewed January 2018

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