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
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!)
Dress it up…
Extra Virgin Olive 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.
I’m like a DJ spinning the tracks that you want played for your night out (Ok, cut me a break, self confessed nerd here!).
A whole lot less DJ, more like huge food and recipe sharing groupie!
The lovely Hanifa sent me a snapchat last night asking what I put in my green smoothies. So I did what any great friend would do. I replied with a serious of ridiculous, long winded explanations of all the different types of smoothies that I make.
I also gave her a tour of my freezer. On video. Yes, isn’t she lucky?
Because remember? I fell in love with it a little while back, you can check that post out here.
Here goes. This is the smoothie explanation.
I do this a lot. Your freezer works more efficiently when it is full. So fill ‘er up!
At the moment I have…
Chopped celery tops
Kale leaves – you’d think these would go yucky but they don’t.
Activated cashews (Soaked for a few hours so as they are easier to digest)
Activated almonds (left overs from a similar nut milk recipe you’ll find here)
Cubes of juiced lemon (leftovers!)
Cubes of coconut milk or cream (the can dregs that I didn’t get to using)
Peeled and halved or chopped bananas – If I feel like I need the sweet
Chopped apples and pears that were on their way out.
2. Crowd out the refined sweet stuff with this little gem below.
Here’s a base recipe that’s easily modifiable to suit a creation of your own!
1 Cup liquid (water, coconut water, almond or rice milk)
1/2 zucchini or other frozen green veg
1/4 almonds (or other activated nuts)
Handful spinach (or other green)
A little fruit if you like 1/4 berries or 1/4-1/2 banana.
Blitz and enjoy with adjustments from below if you so desire.
3. Be creative!
Here’s a few suggestions that might float your boat…
For creaminess – add avocado or a little coconut cream. Zucchini also makes things a bit creamy!
Up the greens – spinach, kale, silver beet, beetroot leaves, cucumber, zucchini, celery, spiralling or chlorella powder, basil, mint, other herbs, ANYTHING green. Even leftovers! Yes Hanifa, I’ve even used beans!
Increase protein – chia, frozen nuts eg almonds or cashews, 2 tsp nut butter, flax seeds.
Add sweetness – 1/2 tsp maca, splash of vanilla, a medjool date (softened or chopped), sprinkle of bee pollen.
Add extra flavour – vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, coconut oil, ginger, handful of mint
I’m also going to be experimenting with essential oils in the coming weeks. Some of the doTERRA oils can be used internally so I’ll be having a go at adding these too shortly. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted! These uses are on my list:
Add a drop of peppermint – for alertness, to invigorate and help with focus
Add a drop of wild orange – to aid digestion, to allay nerves
Add a drop of lemon – invigorate, warm the body, alkalising
If you want to read more about oils or purchase click here
Also remember that both of these options are still sweetened (albeit naturally with stevia) so enjoy in moderation!
Here’s a few other random ideas, mainly using things that you might already have in the fridge or pantry…
Natural yoghurt with fresh or frozen berries – thrown in a container with a smidge of granola and you’re good to go!
Mixed, unsalted nuts and seeds – any that you have at home will do! Almonds, brazil nuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds. Admittedly its great if you have time to activate your nuts (oh god. did I just say that?) But seriously, soak for a few hours and then place on the lowest heat possible for 12 hours – yes 12 hours! Have you tried making your own spiced or tamari nuts? Another nudge in the ‘get inspired and creative’ direction. So simple!
Chia pudding (made in the morning and left for a short period of time it will thicken and turn pudding-y. Served with berries and a sprinkle of sugar-free granola. For a chocolatey kick, add cacao powder.
1/4 of avo and a sprinkle of feta or ricotta, a little salt to taste – perfection! Especially if you pack this straight back into the avo skin you’ve scooped it from to serve! Serve with mountain bread (thin, flat bread), celery or carrot sticks.
Celery or carrots with a bit of cashew cheese or nut butter.
Popcorn – popped yourself!
Homemade cream cheese (just strain the curds from the whey of natural yoghurt and then refrigerate) mixed with a little seasalt and herbs (chives, basil or whatever is handy)
Stay tuned for photos on my insta account @erycole
I hope these inspire you! Feel free to share some ideas back with me, I’m always on the lookout!
Did you know that you share your body with about 100 trillion microbes? Sounds creepy right! They co-inhabit your skin’s surface, your mouth and also love a little gastrointestinal hang out! Our microbiome is completely unique to each and every one of us.
So why do we have all these extra little, friendly (and sometimes unfriendly!) critters along for the ride?
Yes, they play a role in digestion, namely going to work on the foods that otherwise would be indigestible. They’re also critical in the production of a a couple of important vitamins – B and K in particular. They are also inextricably linked with our immune system and overall health – have you heard that whimsical musing…the gut is our second brain? I’ll definitely be posting more about the gut-brain-health connection so if this interests you, follow along!
There’s a book on my ‘to read’ pile called ‘Gut’ by Giulia Enders, a microbiologist and gut enthusiast. Let me know if you’ve read it!
Enjoy your fruit and veg and give fermented foods (microbiome boosters!) a go.
The sauerkraut pictured above is beetroot and purple carrot – feel free to mix it up and change the veg around based on what you have in the fridge.
Here’s the how to…
Finely slice or grate your veg – a few beetroots and carrots will do! You could also use a head of red cabbage.
Massage about a tablespoon of sea salt through the veg until it softens.
Pack the veg into a large jar and tamp down so that it sits below the level of liquid.
Press down at regular intervals throughout the first 24 hours.
You can add a little water/salt combo (1tsp salt to 1C water) if required as if anything sits out of the water it may go a little yucky.
Cover the jar with a piece of chux or cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.
Leave the jar on the bench for 3-5 or so days (longer if desired!) depending on the time of year/temperature.
It’s normal for it to get a bit bubbly and this can be skimmed if you like. To stop the fermentation process, close the lid and place in the fridge. Make variations by adding different herbs too – it’s all about getting creative. It lasts for AGES in the fridge so don’t feel like you have to eat it all in a hurry :o)