Let's try out the later
Consider some of these options when you need to find a way to clean out your fridge:
2. Bread - You may have heard that overly ripe bananas are the best for banana bread, well the same can be true for things like zucchini and carrots. If you have some leftover carrots in the bottom of your crisper drawer or some baby carrots that you have not gotten around to eating - grate them coarsely (or finely to preference) and bake up a loaf of your favorite vegetable bread. I like this recipe for carrot bread and for zucchini bread, this recipe is a great base. To many vegetable bread, you can even stir in some chocolate chips if you are looking for something a little more indulgent. Anyways, summer is over; it's bulking season. Live a little.
What if I don't want to cook right now?
Say you still are not in the mood to cook or don't plan on it for a while. What else can you do? Prep and freeze of course. For fruit, cutting it up and freezing it is perfect for smoothies - just wrap tightly in plastic wrap or in zip-top bags with as much air removed from them as possible to prevent freezer burn. For vegetables, freeze in large bags with as much air removed as possible. Since their texture will change and become softer after freezing and thawing, it would be best to use the frozen veg for pureed soups.
Now, with all these ideas now fresh in your head, I do want to make sure it's clear that these ideas and techniques apply only to produce just past their prime, not anything that is actually rotting or unsafe to eat. It may sound obvious, but if you are starting to see mold or puddles or brown liquid coming from mushy produce, at that point throw it out. There's no saving it. Throwing out a bag of spinach is less expensive and painful than having to deal with food poisoning.
Alright, now that you have some ideas of how to make the most of the produce you buy, try out some of these methods above. Of course, they work just as well on fresh fruit and vegetables. To give you an idea of what is possible, even with less pretty veg, try out this recipe for Green Vegetable Soup. If that doesn't sound good enough for you or your guests, just call it Soupe des Legumes Verts. Everything sounds fancier in French.
- 2 Medium Zucchini, halved and roughly chopped
- 1 Yellow Squash, halved and roughly chopped
- 1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped
- 1 Bag Spinach
- 1 Medium Russet Potato, chopped
- 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
- 5-7 Cups Chicken Stock or Broth
- 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- In a large Dutch oven or Pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat
- Add zucchini, squash, onion, potato, and a heavy pinch of salt and pepper and sauté for about 5-7 minutes until the onion turns translucent and the vegetables start to become tender
- Add minced garlic and spinach and continue to sauté for about 1-2 minutes until the spinach is all wilted down and you can smell garlic from the next room over (or just until nice and fragrant, that's fine too)
- Add in the stock until the vegetables are just covered. If you prefer a thinner consistency soup, add until covered by about 1 inch of stock. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat the medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes until everything is tender and the potatoes pierce easily with a fork
- In batches, blend the soup in your blender, transferring the blended soup into a separate pot or large bowl until everything is the desired consistency. If you have a stick/immersion blender, you can do this right in the pot
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and finish by mixing in two tablespoons of finely grated parmesan cheese
- Serve in a bowl with more parmesan on top, fresh herbs, or a swirl of cream and plenty of bread
Note: Substitute vegetable stock or water and omit the Parmesan cheese to make this soup vegan friendly.
Cheers Y'all. Stay Hungry