Updated: Mar 27
This year we commemorate National Nutrition Month’s 50th anniversary with the theme Fuel for the Future. We can fuel our future by sustainably nourishing our bodies and protecting the environment. At some point, we end up with leftovers in our fridge. Instead of letting them wilt and turn into something unrecognizable, why not revamp them? Turn those leftovers into something fabulous, while reducing food waste.
Here are some ideas:
Stale bread: Use a food processor to make bread crumbs, or cut, season and bake to make croutons. If you know you won’t be able to finish a whole loaf of bread, freezing bread is better than refrigerating as it will not dry out as much.
Use stale tortilla chips to make chilaquiles or grind in a food processor to use as a breading.
Soggy salad: Puree wilted, dressed salad as a base for a refreshing gazpacho. Salad greens can be added to pasta dishes at the end of cooking for some added fiber and color. Lettuce also makes for a great stir-fry ingredient.
Finish a mustard bottle? Add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar, ¼-½ c oil, season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar then shake; now you have a vinaigrette.
Hit the bottom of the peanut butter container? Use the jar for overnight oats, or make a spicy peanut sauce for noodles by adding: ¼ c water, ¼ oil, a pinch of pepper flakes or fresh minced jalapeno, a minced garlic clove, and a couple tablespoons of fish sauce. Season with salt to taste. Shake vigorously.
Carrot tops are edible and delicious. They can be used for pesto or sauteed.
Use leftover herbs to make a pesto or salsa. You can use an ice cube tray to freeze herbs in broth and have herb bombs to add to soups or sauces later.
Leftover cheese: Make a grilled cheese or transform boxed mac n cheese to something more sophisticated.
Leftover pizza: Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle fresh basil on pizza. Fold pizza in half and reheat on both sides in a skillet, or use a waffle maker or panini press to make a calzone.
Green onions can be regrown, just put the roots into a glass with some water. Green onions freeze well, too. Chop up the onions and put them into a freezer ziploc, or water bottle, for a way to quickly sprinkle them onto dishes.
Eggshells and coffee grounds can be added to gardening soil for extra nutrients.