Believe me. These are TRUE fridge surprises so recipes to follow don’t really work.
Experiment. Play!! Hopefully you’ll find a way of creating your own quick and easy dinners that are also super nutritious.
I must add…sometimes a little bit of planning goes a long way. Use your freezer (AKA new bestie!). Prep some ingredients that you can just whip out and add or easily steam and include in your dinner. Some ingredients that might be helpful:
1/2C per person servings of cooked
- brown rice
If you’re time poor…
Batch cook the bases suggested and store in the freezer. I do this for lunches too, so that I can grab one out if I don’t have fresh leftovers, throw in some fresh salad ingredients and take them easily to work. For a bit of added flavour you can also cook your bases with stock or miso – one less thing to add later on!
Chop, grate, spiralise, leave raw, lightly steam or fry in good oil.
- Cauli-mash or Cauli rice
- Kale – stem removed. You can also buy a decent kale salad from Coles (thanks for the tip Jackie!)
- Sunflower seeds
Dress it up…
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Flaxseed Oil
- Lemon juice or lemon oil
Some fridge surprise combos to consider…
- Tempeh marinated (read: dipped and left for a minute! Who has time to wait?) and then lightly fried.
- Steamed greens (broc, zucchini, beans etc) with mini roma tomatoes, meredith goats cheese, some EVOO and lemon juice.
- Mushrooms stuffed with a multitude of different seeds/grains and veg, with or without cheese.
- Salad with lettuce, spinach, mint, sauerkraut, grated carrot and beetroot
- Broccoli or broccolini with sprouts, feta, sunflower seeds, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil
- Spiralised zucchini mixed through a smaller amount of spelt or rice pasta with pesto as the sauce. Avo and miso sauce mixed also work similarly well.
The trick is just to trust your instincts and throw a combo together. Believe me, I’ve forced myself out of my recipe comfort zone, purely because I hate having to make 6 billion trips to the supermarket, I often get home late and I HATE waste. Using everything in my fridge is a priority. On the odd occasion I’ve certainly hit a combination that wasn’t as enjoyable as the ones above. It’s still healthy, real, unprocessed food so I grin and bear the unpleasantness, and think about all the benefits my body is getting and that I didn’t waste time shopping and reading recipes to make it!
Let me know what you like to whip up from your fridge below :o)
Ps I wrote this post over the weekend, demonstrating mid-report writing Erin at her best…Crowned Queen Procrastination in previous years I really feel honoured to continue the tradition.
Enjoy my ramblings!
Yahoooo!! Slow cooked veg that’s quick to make. You’d expect the opposite, no?
I have stacks of zucchinis (my FAVOURITE veg!) and bunches of overgrown basil just waiting to be torn and thrown in something quick.
Luckily I found a recipe, the perfect side dish to a little bit of protein or some quinoa, that will deal with both these dilemmas in one swift ( or slow!) cook.
I made mine into a ripper fridge surprise abundance bowl – coupled with sauerkraut, olives, feta, silverbeet and zucchini with white cashew sauce and a bit of left over quinoa.
This recipe is from The Petite Kitchen via IQS
6 Zucchinis sliced into rounds
Olive oil covering the base of you slow cooker or large frying pan.
Juice of 1 lemon
3 handfuls of basil leaves
Throw the zucchinis in warmed oil to coat and cook for 1 minute. Close the slow cooker lid and set the timer for 25 minutes or over a low heat for the same amount of time. If it’s in a pan, don’t forget to stir!
Remove from the heat.
Add lemon juice, basil, a pinch of sea salt.
I’ve been flicking through, gathering Sarah Wilson’s tips on food waste of late and have stumbled across something that I have been doing for a little while but have felt recently…it’s time. To step it up a notch.
I use my freezer. Sometimes I don’t get home until unreasonable dinner hours and, rather than reach for stodgy take away or packet meal…I prefer to eat from my freezer. I often make and store soups this way. Usually created from all my random left over vegies that are on their way out of the fridge. I trim, chop and have a little chat with them before popping them into my ‘soup bag’, ready for the next batch. (Tip number one. BAM. Have a soup bag in your freezer).
When the bag is bursting and I’m out of freezer soup, I brown a bit of onion in my slow cooker, throw the veg in (YES frozen!), add stock to cover, your choice of spices and pressure cook the batch until it’s done. (Tip number two. Freeze portioned soups for lunches or a quick dinner)
The other thing I’ve been doing with my fruit and veg of late is pre-preparing smoothie bags. I got home this arvo and dinner was a little way away so I whipped myself up a green smoothie to take the edge off – green smoothie addict? I think so! The bags are best packed when you have fruit and veg that needs something done with it – love food, hate waste as they say! Zucchini has even made it into my smoothie combos. I do have a bit of a penchant for anything green! (Tip three – bag those smoothie options)
The last handy tip…. number four!
How often do you open coconut milk or cream or squeeze a lemon and then ‘save’ the rest, only to have it go to waste. I know this used to happen frequently with lemons in my house. Now though, I’ve reacquainted myself with my freezer trays and love filling them up with all sorts of leftover bits and bobs so as to save throwing things out. Here are some examples:
- Leftover broth from slow cooked chicken to use to enhance flavour when I cook for meat eaters (Mekaila doesn’t know this yet but she’ll be getting a bunch of these cubes with her next delivery!!)
- Leftover coconut cream – to throw into smoothies or into recipes when required in small amounts.
- Lemon juice – to add to recipes when a small amount is required.
- Chopped herbs in water or oil – to add flavour to stir fries, soups or stews.
- Portioned cooked quinoa – into 1/2 C serves to use as a base to a fridge surprise dinner or lunch.
- Sprouted buckwheat – ready to make into porridge or dry in the oven for a crunchy cereal.
- Frozen homemade pesto and dips – I take a couple of cubes to school with some corn chips or veg to snack on.
- Portioned slices of Lee Holmes’ Supercharged spinach loaf – this works with any kind of loaf, cut up ready to pull out and toast/bake or take frozen to be eaten later in the day.
A fridge surprise combo from earlier this week above.
Do you think any of these tips will work for you?
Let me know!