Every night is the same dilemma: what do I make for dinner? My family gets sick of the same meals over and over again but figuring out what to make is a time consuming process. I’m sure you can relate. Are you tired of recycling the same four or five meals time and time again? Well this Sunday is Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day! It may not sound like a thrilling holiday but it’s the perfect opportunity to revamp your leftovers and set yourself up for success. Dress up those leftovers to create exciting and delicious new meals that everyone can enjoy.
Take an Inventory
The first step to cleaning out your fridge is taking inventory. Open up your fridge and take a thorough examination of what’s inside. It’s possible that you forgot you had brie from last week or jalapenos on your fridge door. Take a look at your leftovers from previous meals and see what’s salvageable. Toss out anything that seems spoiled or something you know you can’t reuse. They’re just taking up space.
Now write down all of the options you can work with. In my fridge this week, I have some leftover roasted turkey breast, some veggies, and some barley I cooked earlier this week. Knowing what you have can help you plan a meal without making a trip to the grocery store.
Here’s the fun part! Turn to the internet or your favorite cookbook for a new recipe that includes some of the items you have in your fridge. Click HERE for recipe ideas. I know Pinterest has a lot of fresh and interesting topics that are easy and quick as well.
After taking my own inventory, I found a wonderful recipe for a turkey-barley soup. The best part is that I had everything on hand except the parsnips and dill, so a quick run to the market and $6.00 later, I had everything I needed to make a hearty meal for dinner.
Perks of a Clean Fridge
After serving my leftover turkey soup to my family, I have to say, it was a big hit! Not only did I clean out my fridge but also I found a new recipe that the whole family loves! This has to be my favorite part of Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day- you get to use up those boring leftovers and may find a new, fun way to use them that will become a staple in your menu planning. So, why not give it a try?
Go look inside your fridge and try to think of a new way to incorporate those leftovers into a meal. This is especially important with Thanksgiving coming up. We all know we’re going to have a ton of leftovers, so why not explore new ways to combine those same old ingredients!
Tips for the Future
The key to healthy and efficient meals is planning in advance. Here are some tips on how to keep your fridge clean and organized to guide you to make better eating choices throughout your week.
- Keep your food stacked and organized. When your food is piled in, it makes them less accessible and easier to forget what you have.
- Keep fruits and vegetables in clear containers at eye level. The first food you can actually see will make you more likely to choose them.
- Pre-portion and pack your cheese, crackers, popcorn etc. in Ziplock baggies to grab in a rush.
- Precut your veggies. Having them on hand will make it less of a daunting task to cook when you’re tired after a long day.
- Keep processed foods or less healthy options in the drawers so that they are not the first thing you see in your fridge.
Your turn to take action: Waste less and reuse more! Take a look in your fridge and try to come up with a new way to use your leftovers! Share your experience below.