How to Cook through your Refrigerator

HAPPY FRIDAY! WoooHoooo! 🙂

We’ve all been there. You have a little of this and a little of that in the refrigerator. Frozen foods in the freezer that you just don’t feel like making. Do you go to the store or make do!? My goal this week was to avoid the store and use whatever I had in the apartment. Here are some helpful tips I learned during my week.

1. Start with a Basic Plan – You don’t have to decide on every detail, but decide what’s going to be your “Main” for each day. I ran through the freezer and refrigerator and set a daily protein  Take note of which may be perishable, use that one first!

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Freezer pork tenderloin (literally has been in there for months) on top of canned split pea soup and leftover frozen veggies! I topped it with some canned corn salsa. 🙂

2. Sides will be Found in the Pantry and Freezer – You’ll have to be quite the hunter but chances are your cupboards and freezer are filled with things that you’ve forgotten about. Take advantage of the challenge and reach faaaaar back there to find the hidden treasures!

3. Be Fresh Food Mindful – When using what ya got, you don’t want to be wasteful. Especially when it comes to fresh foods. If you’re only in need of half a pepper then only cut half. If you cut more and don’t use it, it will perish. No one wants that!!  If your greens are starting to wilt, sauté them and give them new life. Either way just use wisely!

Pumpkin Rav

These collard greens and leftover broccoli rabe had seen better days, But they were perfect with my pumpkin ravioli!

4. Make Peace with Leftovers – It’s ok to take your dinner and make it your lunch. Or add last night’s meal to your breakfast in the morning. There are no rules when it comes to when to eat certain foods. Better yet! My mother always had a wonderful way of taking leftovers and making them new by simply adding a frozen veggie or some canned beans. It always felt like a brand new meal.

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My last pita pocket pizza topped with whatever I had in the fridge! Same frozen veggies from the pork tenderloin dish.

apple2ways

My one, lonely apple made it to my oatmeal dinner, and 2 of my breakfast mornings. I topped my toast with it, sautéed and sprinkled with cinnamon! YUM!

5. Creativity is Key – You’ll have to take a chance when working with the last of your groceries. Mix things together that you never thought would work. You never know, you could come up with your new favorite meal. Look for recipes that help, mix new dry rubs or dressings. Chances are you have condiments you’ve forgotten about or spices a plenty!

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The highlight of the week! Dry rubbed steak (BF found the recipe online) with frozen broccoli, canned chickpeas and whatever was left of the peppers and onions!

I think it’s a good idea to challenge yourself and your grocery list once and awhile. Stretch those culinary muscles and save a little extra money. We did it and actually came up with some pretty tasty dishes! YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Have you ever cooked through your refrigerator?

Did you surprise yourself? Any wonderful meal emerge?

Make it a Strong Weekend!

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