Clean out your refrigerator lately? Do you dread it? I love it…it’s often when I feel most inspired! What I used to see as needless waste, I now see as the new raw materials for my newest creation…and the artistry begins! Here are a few ways that I reduce waste and create some fun and affordable dishes that look like I’ve spent hours in the kitchen…shhh…they are my secret!
Salad Dressing: Nearly empty bottles of salad dressing have many possibilities! Combine two or more vinegar based dressings to create one new flavor and microwave before serving. Top off a beautiful salad with the warm dressing for an elegant wilted salad. For creamy dressings, add approximately 2 Tablespoons of milk to the bottle and shake. Drizzle over steaks or poultry for extra zing!
Garlic Bread: This is a no-brainer! Reheat or toast the bread and cut into cubes. Use as croutons (see salad above!) or grind up for breadcrumbs. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week.
Jelly or Jam: I can’t remember when I discovered this, but try this and you’ll never buy ice cream topping again! Simply microwave the jelly, jam or preserves at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until warm and smooth. Add this scrumptious topping to ice cream, pound cake, CHEESECAKE or waffles for an elegant twist. If you have fresh fruit on hand, mix up what you have left and serve it on angel food cake, a drizzle of the warmed preserves and whipped cream…YUM!
Cooked Veggies: Get out your crockpot and throw them all in with a can or two of your favorite chili or beef stew. Perhaps you have some of your own in the freezer? Simmer on low for approximately 2 hours until steamy! Top off the chili or stew with the leftover shredded cheese you have in your cheese drawer!
Raw Veggies: Don’t have enough for a healthy snack tray? Slice what you have and use as additional pizza toppings! Or saute on the stove with olive oil and serve with rice or a baked potato!
Cooked Meats, Poultry and Fish: Not enough for a second meal? Stretch one steak into two servings by making a pasta dish or rice casserole from the leftovers. Try recipe sites like recipeczarr.com for a great selection of free and creative recipes!