Eating the Voeden way requires a LOT of vegetables. That's why we feel so good.
But sometimes we get to the end of the week and have a few veggies still lingering, and we don't want those precious babes to go to waste!
One of the most widely wasted foods is vegetables, so it's high time we talk about how to use them all up and avoid waste.
These 5 strategies will save you time in the long run, will reduce food waste, and will save you lots of money, honey.
1. Shop with a list
In order to reduce your food waste, you have to start at very the beginning (a very fine place to start!): go into each week with a meal plan.
Randomly throwing veggies into your cart and hoping you find a way to eat them when you get home is a sure fire way to end up with rotten veggies in your fridge.
Of course we all deviate somewhat from the best laid plan, and that's totally ok! When that happens, use the strategies below to make sure the ingredients don't go to waste.
2. Prep, store, and organize perishables properly
Confession - I am the worst at keeping my fridge organized. Last week, I finally had enough, and came up with a plan.
First: wash and chop the veggies as soon as I get them home. Store them at eye level. Now they are ready to be thrown into a meal, making it more likely I'll make the recipe in my meal plan.
Every item has a home:
- Leftovers, pre-made, ready to eat foods have a shelf
- Washed and chopped veggies have a shelf.
- Whole fruits and veggies (peppers, cucumbers, etc.) have a shelf.
This way, our leftovers don't fall into the abyss only to be found a week (or 10) later, and I can keep tabs on our veggies.
3. Re-purpose leftovers
I happen to looove leftovers for lunch the next day, but some people just don't like eating the same thing twice or thrice in one week. If that's you (really trying not to roll my eyes), here are some ways to make it seem like brand new meal (for goodness sake).
Leftover chilis, stews, soups
- Throw an egg on top: I've eaten leftover Chickpea Stew and Lentil Stew the next morning with an egg on top, and pretty much have had the best day ever.
- Add a scoop of salsa and avocado chunks to pretty much any soup, and eat with tortilla chips
- Skim off some of the broth, and eat over rice with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream
- Make into a quesadilla with a little cheese
- Eat in a tortilla as a taco with a little avocado and hot sauce
- Eat on a bed of greens with a simple vinaigrette for a fresh salad
- Bulk it up with more veggies, grains, an egg, and avocado
- Add it to a salad or soup.
- Create a casserole - mix brown rice with an egg, veggies, some cheese or nutritional yeast, a can of beans, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Leftover roasted veggies
- Scramble into eggs
- Toss in your salad
- Toss into soup at the end of cooking
4. End of the week stir fry
Still have loads of veggies in your fridge at the end of the week? Make a stir fry. Here's my favorite free style stir-fry:
- Chop up whatever veggies you have in your fridge.
- Heat 1 T. coconut oil over medium heat in a skillet.
- Saute veggies with a pinch of sea salt. Start with onion and garlic if you have it, then add the remaining veggies.
- Add a couple splashes of tamari (soy sauce), rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, and a squeeze of lime juice.
- Eat over brown rice, quinoa, millet, cauliflower rice OR fry up an egg or two (for however many people you have) in the veggie mixture. Simply create holes in the veggies in the skillet, crack an egg in each hole, cover and cook until the egg is cooked to your preference.
5. Freeze it
- Salad Greens: Have a bin of greens that are looking a little wilted? Put the whole bin in the freezer and use them in smoothies.
- Leftover soup or stew: Put it in a mason jar and freeze it. Grab it for lunch on a busy morning - it will thaw throughout the morning in time for you to heat it up for lunch.
- Brown bananas: Freeze those thangs. Frozen bananas are smoothie making must haves.
- Fruit: pears, avocado, berries, oranges - slice and freeze them and use them in smoothies.
- Veggie Scraps: Hate throwing away your scraps from chopping up veggies? Freeze it for making veggie broth.