How to use what’s in your fridge

No matter how carefully you grocery shop for the week, there are always a few spare ingredients left in the fridge. Here are some ideas on how to use five foods you probably have in your kitchen right now.

Vegetables

An assortment of your favorite vegetables can serve as the perfect source for a healthy late night snack or a nourishing energy booster during a hectic day. When it comes to simple, nutritious meals, nothing really trumps a hearty soup. You can make soup with almost any vegetable by just sauteing them in a pot and adding vegetable or chicken stock. While vegetables are a great base, other satisfying ingredients such as rice or noodles help complete this dish. Another benefit of making soup is that you can always work on homework or do laundry while the soup simmers on the stovetop.

 

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Eggs

Get cracking on this versatile ingredient.  Although eggs are normally pigeonholed as a breakfast edible, they make great lunches and dinners as well. If you pick up a premade piecrust at grocery store, you can turn your eggs into a quiche. Just whisk the eggs with some milk or cream a good ratio is 2 eggs to 1 cup of dairy — then add the mixture to the piecrust along with some other fridge staples like spinach, bacon and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until the filling is firm to the touch, which will take about 45 minutes for a 9-inch quiche.

 

Tortillas

Tortillas are a perfect replacement for sandwich bread or for making a quick stovetop quesadilla. Almost any ingredient from nut spreads to cooked veggies and fruits to lunchmeat can fit inside a tortilla for a convenient sweet or savory treat. For some added fun, cut tortillas into strips and briefly fry them in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil until golden. Add to a salad or soup for some crunch, or just eat them plain.

 

Cheese

This refrigerator staple can complement almost any meal.  Whether it is a fancy aged gouda or shredded mozzarella in a bag, this dairy delight can add flavor and nutrients to tired recipes.  Try adding shredded cheese to your next batch of ramen instead of the flavoring packet for a new take on mac and cheese. One serving of cheese boasts more protein than a hard-boiled egg, so it’s a great option for vegetarians who need an energy boost.

 

Rice

Rice is not only versatile in its cooking methods, but it also serves as a wonderful staple to combine with other ingredients. Rice and eggs create a simple yet nutritious meal, and adding other ingredients such as vegetables, meat or tofu creates a filling dish.  Or, to span a few meals, rice casseroles are also an option, where wholesome vegetables, dairy and even seafood can be combined for a delicious treat.

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