How To Reuse Fridge and Pantry Essentials in Not-So-Basic Ways
While steakhouse doggie bags can lead to some pretty royal leftovers, those half-used jars, bags, or cartons can lead to hours of mold-eradicating sessions that are fit for Cinderella. Finding creative ways to use up leftover items will not only prevent stinky face-to-fridge time, but will also let you reduce waste and spending. Here are some tips on how to bring new flavor to those ever lingering bits and crumbs.
Half an Avocado
SuperEats staff probably eats two dozen avocados on any given day, we occasionally have a half or so left over. We often find ourselves saving that half, forgetting about it in the office fridge, and discovering it a week later in a black sludgy plastic baggy that mirrors The Bog of Eternal Stench. So we started thinking: What do people eat practically every day that could benefit from a little creamy avo-nice-ness? Salad dressings. Everyone loves a good Caesar salad, but we realize that the term salad is a false identifier, given the copious amounts of creamy cholesterol-y goodness that make it so tasty. Plus, we knew the trick about using avocado to make smoothies creamier, so why not toss it in something more savory too. After some careful Google research we came across this recipe, and we really, really love it! Just be sure to cut the other ingredients in half if you’re only using half of an avocado. The dressing gets bonus points for not requiring ingredients things that we don’t have on hand, and it satisfies that Caesar craving. Plus the acid from the vinegar keeps your dressing from browning for at least a few days.
Our more refined SuperEats staff tends to enjoy the European experience of choosing a loaf of bread at the neighborhood bakery. But how often do you arrive home, cut off a nibble of the end, and abandon the majority of that country boule for about a week? Needless to say, there is a ton of leftover bread in our pantries and freezers, so we SuperEaters have become a bit more experimental with ways to use it all up. A staff favorite stale bread-based dish is panzanella. It’s basically an Italian chopped salad with toasted croutons. Take a few slices of the stash (ours is usually a mix of wheat, rye, and rustic white) and chop them up into 1 to 2 inch cubes. Toss the cubes in olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever spices or herbs you like. Then place them on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until crispy on the outside. Meanwhile, chop up your on-hand veggies including cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, parsley or cilantro and also a bit of feta or goat cheese for good measure. Once the cubes have cooled slightly toss everything together, throw in some fresh chopped parsley or cilantro, and dress lightly with your go to homemade vinaigrette. This salad is filling and delicious with a satisfying crunch. You can style your salad however you wish. Use pita, garbanzos, and cumin dressing for a Middle Eastern twist or raisin bread, apples, walnuts, and blue cheese for a take on the Waldorf.
We have a good stock of SuperEats Kale & Chia Chips in the office, and while we love crunching them straight all day long, we should probably add a bit of balance to our diets. A few weeks ago we started thinking outside of the bag. We crumble up a handful of chips and mix with a bit of yogurt or olive oil as a quick coating for our favorite fish. It’s a win-win, since we get to eat our favorite snack while adding a little crunch, flavor, and nutrition to dinner. The Chili Lime flavor would be great with tilapia or halibut for fish taco night, and the tomato basil would fancy up your simple roasted salmon.