Today is Earth Day as you all know and it’s always important to remember that the earth provides us the beautiful produce we utilize for our health. We have a lot to be grateful for and there are plenty of ways to repay our debt including recycling, composting, and not being wasteful with our energy but what about using up old ‘wilting’ leftover produce?
In my house we rarely throw food away. If I make a recipe for one dish, I’m always using up the leftovers in another dish. A lot of people I talk to seem to run into the same problems with their leftover produce, “I just made this awesome recipe, now what do I do with the leftovers?” Most of the time for a lot of people that means throwing the fresh (now wilted) produce into the compost-BUT WAIT! Before you toss out that limp rainbow chard or basil, think about ways you can use that produce in efforts to not ‘waste’ an otherwise still nutritious plant.
Earth day inspired me to also make it clean-the-fridge-day! The past couple of days I have been doing my best to use up all the produce in making whatever meals I could before today’s grocery shopping trip. While cleaning the fridge, I found some rainbow chard buried beneath the two beautiful kale bunches in the vegetable drawer. It was looking pretty pathetic, wimpy and well not really something I’d want to toss into a delicious crisp salad. However, I know that this chard is still very nutritious for me and I really wanted to put it to good use. I also found last week’s pint of heirloom tomatoes and some shredded cabbage in a container (if you buy cabbage and it starts to go soft after a week, shred it up and sauté it into a delicious cabbage salad which you can use as a snack or as ‘noodles’ for Phad Thai–more on that in another post, yes you can also use fresh cabbage). The heirloom tomatoes were the ‘baby’ version and two had started to lose their moisture (aka shrivel), so I absolutely needed to find away to eat these guys before they all lost their moisture. Luckily I have a dog who loves tomatoes and while the two shriveled tomatoes weren’t esthetically pleasing to me, he LOVES them no matter what they look like. I also found some leftover (about 1/4 cup) of cooked ground turkey meat from a couple mornings ago. Okay! I think I got enough to make a pretty awesome meal!
After I finished adding all the goods to the fridge I decided to open up a new package of goat cheese and use about 1 tbsp. for this recipe. This was an afterthought, the recipe was already really good without it but I was really craving some goat cheese. Note: you do not have to add goat cheese to this dish to make it tasty but if you got some-why not add it?
Earth Day Sauté
- 1 tbsp. Coconut oil
- salt to taste
- Half a bunch of rainbow chard finely chopped (or any other greens you find on their last leg)
- 1 cup of shredded cabbage (thinly sliced)
- 6 cherry sized heirloom tomatoes halved (or any tomato chopped to 1″ pieces)
- optional: you can add to this: 1-2 tbsp. chives/green onions, 1/4-1/2 cup sliced leeks, 1/4 cup chopped onions, 1/2 cup finely chopped spinach, 1/4 cup minced celery, 1-2 tbsp. sliced olives and/or any other herb mint, cilantro, parsley, dill, etc..
- 1/4 cup of cooked ground turkey breast or leftover meat of your choice (preferably lightly seasoned or salted) optional: if you don’t have leftover meat you can also go vegetarian/vegan on this and add a handful of nuts instead.
- Heat cabbage on cast iron pan on medium-high for 1 minute.
- Stir cabbage and add a dash of salt (this will help dry out the cabbage) cook for another minute.
- Add coconut oil and rainbow chard (stir) cook for about 2 minutes. (if you have onions, this is when you’d add the onions)
- Add tomatoes, meat/nuts and any other options you want at this time and cook for 1-2 minutes before turning off heat.
- Salt and season to taste.
- Optional add 1-2 tbsp. chevre goat cheese and stir in to create a creamy base.
Make a special creation today? Please share your creation in the comments section below!
Thanks for reading, hope this inspired you to use up your leftover produce!!