You did the right, budget-friendly thing and you bought vegetables in bulk. But now, you’re stuck with loads of excess even after making delectable dinners and healthy snacks for the whole family. Yes, you can freeze some of it, but frozen never tastes as good as fresh, right? We’ve got you covered!
There are more ways to use those last portions of carrots or beans than you think. You may just find your new favorite recipe in our list of suggestions. We found such tasty options you’ll realize why many of your friends prefer vegan snacks and meals to a traditional diet. Veggies rock! Here’s how not to let any of it go to waste.
When is a Vegetable Not Safe to Eat Anymore?
The fridge can be your best friend to keep your vegetables fresh for a long time. But even there, after a while, they may not look so good. But are they still safe to use for cooking? Should you really throw a wilted carrot out just because it doesn’t look very appetizing anymore?
Don’t be too quick to discard!
You do need to be careful because spoiled vegetables can be an ideal environment for bacteria growth. However, you only need to be worried if they start smelling weird or if you see liquid trickling from them. And if it looks moldy of course!
If your leftover vegetables still look and smell reasonable, add them to one of these dishes and surprise your family with a new take on the veg!
Creative Ideas for Leftover Veggies
Interesting Breakfasts—Omelets and Quiche
Why only have eggs and cheese in your omelets if you have veggies around? Cutting up some carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions creates the ideal ingredients for a scrumptious omelet. Don’t forget flavorful bell peppers, but there’s also no reason not to use leftover broccoli. It will add to the texture. If you have the time and patience to do magic with pastry, turn it all into a quiche.
For this idea, almost any vegetable will do. For picky eaters, it’s even a helpful way to hide veggies in yummy meals. Give the kids a healthy but tasty start to the day!
Invite Vegan Friends—Veggie Burgers and Salads
Here’s where you’ll find out that being vegan and eating lots of veggies doesn’t have to be boring. Give the meat a skip and turn the vegetables into veggie burgers. And as a side, you can have a fresh salad, which will leave you feeling much better than oily fries!
For a veggie burger, you need to mash ingredients together, not puree them! The latter won’t give the ideal texture. Root vegetables work well, but add anything you have on hand. For example, avocado helps to give the burger a creaminess.
This also gives you a chance to use any leftover bread!
Fight the Cold—Soups and Curries
Here’s another idea that works with almost any vegetables you have in the house. Cook up some soup and use your favorite spices to complement those natural flavors. Don’t underestimate the potential of any vegetable you have in the pantry. Even something as simple as potato peels can be turned into a yummy soup. Make it creamy enough and you’ll think it’s a mushroom-based dish.
If you do like spicing it up, make a curry! This is yet another way to get the kids to enjoy veggies. They’ll come after the rich, spicy meal and not even realize the number of vegetables they’re consuming.
Tip: just don’t tell them that you exchanged your usual ingredients for a few new ones.
In the Oven, On the Stove—Muffins and Fritters
If you enjoy baking, there are options for you too!
Skip the bran muffins and rather add some grated vegetables to your muffin mix. You can use zucchini, carrots or corn, but even peas will do fine. To add the X-factor, simply add some cheese to the mix as well. The whole family will devour them.
To get everyone into the kitchen, get some vegetable fritters sizzling in the pan so the aroma can be smelt throughout the house. Whether you have butternut, cauliflower or carrot, it all works. Mix with some flour and garlic before popping spoonfuls into the oil.
Offer some sour cream as a dip and everyone will ask for more.
Comfort Food—Veggie Pizza and Pasta
There’s a huge market for vegan comfort food, like vegan slices, and your vegan friends will love you for inviting them for veggie pizza! You won’t miss your usual pizza restaurant when you have flavorsome slices topped with peppers, tomatoes, jalapenos, basil, and onion. The aroma will be irresistible. If you do want the cheese effect, today’s vegan-friendly markets will have cheese options to choose from.
Similarly, try your favorite pasta dishes and add vegetables instead of just meat ingredients. You can even leave out the meat entirely. You’ll be surprised how the textures and flavors are more than enough to satisfy your tastebuds.
Share Your Secrets
What are your tips on preventing wastage in the kitchen? What do you do with over-ripe fruit or bread that’s about to become really stale? Share your tips and help others cut down on waste too.