Do you ever have leftover veggies that you don’t know what to do with? I have a list of meals you can make with those vegetables so you don’t have to waste money or food.
I made this list because I’ve run into this situation myself lately. My boyfriend gets a box of discounted produce delivered to him every week. The boxes are filled with produce that grocery stores reject for their poor appearance.
It’s a great idea, but the problem is he often does not know what to do with all of the veggies and has a lot leftover wasting away in his fridge.
I will then come over and have to quick think of a meal we can make together so he does not have to throw the vegetables out in a couple of days. Here are ten meals I have come up with!
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1. Soup or Stew
Chop up all of your leftover veggies and cook them until soft. Then throw them in a pot with vegetable stock to make soup or stew. Add whatever you’d like to make it a complete meal like noodles, rice, chicken, meat, or beans.
Recipe Inspiration: Our Best Veggie-Packed Soup Recipes by EatingWell
2. Farmer’s Market Scramble, Veggie Omelet, or Quiche
Add your veggies to eggs to make a scramble, omelet, or quiche. Don’t forget the cheese for extra flavor!
Recipe Inspiration: Farmer’s Market Scramble by Williams Sonoma
3. Vegetable Stir Fry
You can make a stir fry by cooking your vegetables in a frying pan with oil. Then mix it with rice or noodles. You can also add proteins like chicken, meat, nuts, tofu, salmon, or egg. Use Asian seasonings for flavor like soy sauce, fish sauce, or teriyaki sauce.
Recipe Inspiration: Vegetable Fried Rice by EatingWell
4. Smoothie or Juice
If you have a blender, you can make a smoothie or juice with your leftover veggies. If you don’t want to drink straight vegetables, be sure to add some fruit to make it sweeter – bananas or dates are two of the best fruits to sweeten things up.
You can also use other alternatives to sugar such as honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, cinnamon, coconut water or coconut milk. Keep in mind honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar should still be used in moderation because your body still processes them as sugar.
Recipe Inspiration: Spicy Chard and Pineapple Smoothie by Serious Eats
5. Roasted Vegetables with a Protein
I am of the firm belief that you can make any vegetable taste good if you roast it in the oven. They taste even better if roasted on the same pan with other vegetables, because the flavors will start to mix together.
Cut up your vegetables into uniform, bite-sized pieces. Mix them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place them in the oven at high heat, around 400F to 475F. Then, take them out once the edges of the vegetables have browned.
For a complete meal, add a protein such a chicken, fish, or tofu. For easy cooking, you can cut them into cube sized pieces and cook them on the same pan with the vegetables. To further round out the meal, add a grain or bread on the side.
Recipe Inspiration: Roasted Root Vegetables by Rachel Schultz
There are a few ways you can make pasta with your leftover veggies. The first way is to roast your veggies in the oven, then add them to pasta with olive oil and Parmesan (a personal favorite!).
If you would like sauce with your pasta, cook your vegetables in the sauce then add it to your pasta. Veggies taste good with any pasta sauce such as tomato or Alfredo. For protein you can add some chicken or lean ground beef.
I recommend using whole grain, chickpea, or vegetable-based pasta for added fiber.
Recipe Inspiration: Roasted Vegetable Pasta by Food Network
7. Loaded Vegetable Pita Pizza
I made pita pizzas all the time as a nutrition student in college because they were easy to cook, cheap, and a healthier alternative to ordering pizza.
Use whole grain pita as your crust, then add tomato sauce, low-fat cheese, and your veggies. Place it on an oiled or greased pan and put it in the oven or toaster oven. Cook at 350F until the edges of the pita are golden brown and cheese is melted. This will also work with tortillas instead of pita bread.
Recipe Inspiration: Vegetable Pita Pizza by Epicurious
8. Veggie and Grain Power Bowl
Have you seen all of those beautiful-looking, trendy power bowls on Pinterest? You can make them for yourself too! They are great because these bowls are packed with nutrition.
Cook your vegetables (I recommend roasting them), or keep them raw if you prefer, and add them on top of a grain in a bowl. For a cheap and nutritious route, you can use brown rice. If you want a trendier bowl with more protein, you can add an ancient grain like quinoa, farro, or bulgur instead of brown rice.
Add in other ingredients as desired such as herbs, nuts, seeds, eggs, meat, cheese, hummus, dressings or sauces to truly make it a power packed bowl.
Recipe Inspiration: Healthy Lunch Bowls by The Everygirl
9. Veggie Sandwich or Wrap
Pack your leftover veggies in between two slices of bread or inside of a wrap! Add a sauce and some cheese for flavor. The vegetables in the sandwich can be raw or cooked. You can also cook the sandwich to make a Panini or a veggie-packed grilled cheese.
Recipe Inspiration: The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich by Tried and Tasty
For another quick and easy meal, make a quesadilla by placing cooked veggies and cheese into a whole wheat tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half and cook it in an oiled frying pan until both sides of the tortilla are browned and the cheese is melted. You can also add cooked meat or beans to the quesadilla for more protein. Try it with salsa or guacamole on the side.
Recipe Inspiration: Caramelized Onion, Spinach, and Avocado Quesadilla by Oh My Veggies
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