In our attempts to limit our trips to the shops our fridges are likely somewhere between bursting at the seams and looking sad and bare. More than ever we need to be watching kitchen stock levels so that our fresh food doesn’t end up compost. When planning meals it can be a good idea to have a good look at what you already have in your fridge and pantry. See what foods need to be used up first, what can wait a little longer and what is in all those little containers or leftovers. Vegetables like soft greens and herbs will go off first, while hardy vegetables like carrots and cabbage will last longer – so keep these to eat until last. Here are a few of our favourite recipes for using up all those odds and ends.
|Leftover item||Ideas||How to/ recipes|
|Avocados||A tasty avocado dip will see them disappear in no time. Great with sandwiches, burgers, toast and eggs, salads and of course anything Mexican.||Chunky Avocado Salsa|
Leftover bananas freeze really well. Peel them, pop them in a container and then freeze them. Smoothies, smoothie bowls and muffins are a great way to use up over-ripe or frozen bananas.
|Cheese||You can try adding all different types of cheese to frittata, salads, toasties, pizzas and quesadillas.|
Break the fish into bite sized pieces and add cold or warm to a salad.
Use leftover fish as a pizza topping.
Leftover fish can also be delicious added to a frittata.
|Herbs and leafy greens|
Sauces and salsas can be used as a dressing on salads and vegetables, as a pasta sauce, or served alongside grilled meat or fish.Add a big handful of leafy greens such as spinach and rocket to toasties. They will wilt as the toastie cooks. Soft herbs such as mint, basil and parsley are also delicious toastie additions.
|Pasta and Noodles|
Pasta salads are a great way to use up leftover pasta and can be served warm or cold.
Turn leftover noodles into a quick and easy noodle soup.
|2-minute Noodle Soup|
Fried rice. Fried rice is also a great way to use up leftover meat and fish.
Rice salads. Serve cold for a refreshing salad when the weather is hot or serve warm in the cooler months.
|Tuna & Rice|
|Raw vegetables||Use cucumbers to make a tzatziki.|
Lots of different types of vegetables can be added to baked beans and meat stews like these. These are also great to freeze so they are a great way to reduce waste and use as quick and easy meals later.
Capsicum and tomatoes can be used to make sauces. These go well with eggs, grilled vegetable, meat and fish dishes and can even be used as pizza sauce. Freeze leftover sauce to use later.
All kinds of raw vegetables can be grated and added to fritters. Carrots, sweet potato, zucchini, corn and potato work especially well.
Stuff whole roasted vegetables with filling to make another meal.
Slice cooked vegetables to use in a burger.
Use as a pizza topping.
Experiment by adding all kinds of cooked vegetables to frittata.Mix them all up and add a dressing for a vegetable salad. These will all work well with different kinds of roasted or steamed vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, carrot or sweet potato.
|Pepper-Crusted Beef & Salad|
|Wraps||Wraps aren’t quite as soft as they used to be? Try toasting them or using them as a pizza or quesadilla base. This is also a great way to use up leftover meats, fish, cheese and vegetables.||Sandwich Press Chicken Pesto Pizza|
Use instead of sour cream in tacos and burritos.
Use as a sauce or dressing.
|Herby Yoghurt Sauce|