This week has been an exercise in creativity! As I mentioned earlier in the week, I did minimal grocery shopping in order to first try to eat as much of the food in our fridge/freezer/pantry as possible.
Here are a few of the meals I made and ideas on how you can make the most of the food you already have.
Smoothies – smoothies are a great way to use up both fruits and veggies. Have some produce on its last leg? Throw it in the blender! Even if you don’t have time or want to eat it right way, put it in the freezer to use in a smoothie at a later date.
Blueberry-Banana-Spinach Smoothie (frozen fruit that needed to be eaten)
You guys, this smoothie surprised the hell out of me! I based it on a recipe I saw in a magazine and just used what I had on hand. Into the blender: frozen cherries (that were going bad about a month ago so I pitted and froze them), spinach, almond milk, water, flaxseed, chocolate protein powder, PB2 (powdered peanut butter), and 1/4 avocado. Sounds terrible, tastes amazing. I had it twice this week I loved it so much.
Oats in a jar – don’t waste that last bit of nut butter!! Although I’m sure I’d have no problem just getting it all out with my fingers, overnight oats in a jar are a great way to use up the last goodness at the bottom.
Into this almost empty jar of maple almond butter went oats, banana, coconut, almond milk, and some blueberry chia jam that needed eating.
Dips – no better way to use up a ton of veggies than with a tasty dip. My favorite is of course hummus (a great way to use up frozen or canned beans!). Sometimes I don’t always want to eat a salad, but a bevy of fresh veggies is just as good.
Veggies with lemon-paprika hummus
Stir Fry – another great way to use up veggies that are too blah for a salad. Simply sauté up some veggies, add tofu or beans, a sauce, and serve over grains.
This stir fry consisted of 2 kinds of onion (only had a nub left of a red and white), bell pepper, broccoli, and tofu. All sautéed up in a citrus soy sauce and served over brown rice. Topped with green onions and cashews. Amazing!! And it made for some tasty leftovers for work too. I followed a recipe from Twitter and was out of orange so I mixed grapefruit juice with soy sauce instead and still thought it was tasty.
Try to keep the hungry kitties away!
Bean & Grain Combos – I almost always (99.99% of the time) have some sort of dry grain and canned beans on hand. One of the easiest vegan meals to make is simply a dish containing a grain, a bean, and your veggies of choice. Seasonings and dressings are up to you.
This week my favorite was 2 cups cooked quinoa, 1 can cannelloni beans, steamed broccoli (sadly, not enough – I would recommend 2 crowns), and some peas from the freezer. Dressed in a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, and red pepper. So easy to make and so good! I need to remember to use peas more often – they are a great source of plant protein.
Veggie Burgers – though I have a couple of tasty veggie burger recipes of my own (and usually most of the ingredients on hand to throw them together), I’m still a sucker for store-bought. They’re just so much better. I hate to spend the money, but it’s always a meal I enjoy.
Tonight’s dinner consisted of a veggie burger served over tomato and onion and topped with 1/2 avocado that needed to be eaten (leftover from the Cherry Smoothies). Sweet potato fries on the side.
So that pretty much wraps up my eats for the week. I’m going to do my best to keep eating what we have, though the fridge is getting a little bare. HOWEVER, I do have an idea for a recipe with the ingredients I still have left. I’m going to give it a shot this weekend – let’s hope it turns out!
What are your favorite throw together meals with ingredients you always have on hand??