I know not everyone feels this way, but I love my greens more than anything. My motto is, “The greener the better!” I didn’t always love vegetables this much, though. It took me awhile to figure out how to fall in love with them, but now I like my bowls to be as “green” as possible. My mission is to help other people learn to love their veggies, too, and to teach them to sneak as many as they can into their meals. I’m about to share one of the best tricks I have for doing just that.
Another thing I’m obsessed with? SAUCES. Or, as I like to say, SAWCES. A good sauce can instantly transform any meal. It can turn a bland bowl of plain veggies into pure magic. It can liven up any piece of fish or meat. Basically, a good sauce is the perfect way to take the same exact meal and completely change the flavor. Variety keeps life exciting!
My other motto? NO FOOD LEFT BEHIND. My biggest pet peeve is food waste. I’m currently at my cabin, and my family thinks I’m crazy because I always use up every last morsel of food. My parents are the type to throw the last few bits of uneaten food into the trash instead of saving it, or to throw away a container of spinach even though there are a few leaves left. I, however, will use every last bit. One spinach leaf is better than no leaf. One bite of salmon is better than none. There is absolutely no reason to waste food! People ask me all the time how to save money on healthy eating, and one of my top tips is to make sure you’re utilizing leftovers and not unnecessarily throwing anything away. There is always a way to use the food.
I’ve been taking a lot of weekend trips over the past few months, and I play this weird game with myself where I try to completely finish everything in my fridge before I leave. This requires strategic meal planning and grocery shopping, and I get better at it every time. Apparently a lot of you do this, too, so I don’t feel as strange. Basically, I try as hard as I can to make sure I finish every bit of food right before I leave so that I don’t have to throw anything away just because I’m leaving, and I don’t have to bring any “extras” with me. I’m not sure why it’s so satisfying to completely clean out the fridge perfectly on time, but it is.
Recently I discovered my favorite way to nail the fridge clean-out – making a veggie green sauce with my leftovers! A few weeks ago, on the last day before leaving for my road trip, I needed to use up all of the random containers of greens in my fridge. There were a few bits of spinach in one container, a few bits of kale in another, a few bits of arugula in another… you get the idea. I also had a lemon, a few random fresh herbs, and some ready-to-steam veggies in the bottom of my crisper. Just a bunch of odds and ends on top of the food I was already planning to eat for dinner that night. The fridge was almost cleaned out, but not yet. And I was not going to throw anything away.
I decided to throw it all into my food processor and see what happened. I steamed the veggies and threw half of them in, added in the greens and the herbs, squeezed in the lemon, added some olive oil and spices, and WENT TO TOWN. The result was a thick, creamy, delicious green sauce! Why had I not done this before?! I poured it over the last of the food left in my fridge, and it took my leftovers to another LEVEL.
This isn’t really a “recipe,” persay, more of a suggestion of how you can repurpose leftovers in your fridge. Remember: NO FOOD LEFT BEHIND. Maybe instead of lemon, you happen to have lime. Maybe instead of using olive oil, you use avocado oil. Maybe you have different herbs in your fridge than I did. Maybe you have completely different greens left. The point is to use whatever you have on hand! There is never just one way to make a vegetable or use food in a recipe. Never thought of blending steamed broccoli into your sauce before?! TRY IT! This turned out to be one of the best sauces I have ever made, and it was all an accident!
My favorite thing about this is that the flavor changes every time. The leftover items in my fridge are always different, so the sauce will always have a slightly different flavor! That’s why I love cooking so much – there is no wrong way to do it, and there is always space to be creative! You’ll never get bored with this “no recipe” recipe!
“Clean Out the Fridge” Leftover Veggie Green Sauce (Paleo / Vegan)
- In general: any leftover steamed veggies you have in the fridge, any leftover lettuces/greens, some oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper
- What I used specifically for these photos (but it changes every time based on what is left in my fridge!):
- Toss everything into a food processor and puree.
- Taste a bit and add any more herbs/spices to adjust the flavor. If it’s too thick, try adding a bit more oil, a dash of vinegar, or a splash of water. Puree again until you reach the consistency and flavor of your liking.
- Pour on top of your meal and enjoy!
If you come up with an amazing combination while making a “Clean Out the Fridge” Veggie Green Sauce, I’d love to hear it in the comments! If you try this out, be sure to tag me in the photos!