3 Easy Ways to Rescue Those Poor Leftover Vegetables

Green cabbageMost people don't like to waste food. Especially if you have ever been through a time in your life when you didn't have enough food, it can really make you think twice. Did it ever occur to you that you're literally throwing money in the garbage when you let food go bad?

Or maybe it's not that you're letting your vegetables go bad, maybe you don't have enough to go around. Here are a few ways to use vegetables to make sure you don't waste food or money!

Here are the three ways I use vegetables to keep them from going to waste.

Stir Fry

Stir fry can be complicated or simple, but let's go for simple and use those leftover vegetables. You can use a wok if you have one, but a cast iron or stainless steel skillet will work great as well.

Hopefully you aren't using non-stick pans but if you do, please avoid them for stir fry because you'll be cooking at high temperatures.

Heat your skillet on medium-high and plunk a tablespoon or so of your favorite fat (I really like using coconut oil [affiliate link] with stir fry) into the skillet and start with one or two cups of vegetables. You'll want to stir every few seconds so they can cook but not scorch or burn. Cook in batches of one to two cups at a time, and as each batch is done, move the vegetables to a large bowl, replenish the oil and do the next batch.

Here are some good combinations, but as I said before, use what you have on hand!

  • Cabbage, carrots, peas, green beans, onions [affiliate link], garlic, yellow crookneck squash
  • Celery, onions, carrots, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms
  • Onions, garlic, red and green bell peppers, ginger [affiliate link], green beans, cabbage
  • Broccoli, mushrooms, onions, carrots, peas

Don't forget to use leftover meat in stir fry.

And one more thing… consider the way you prepare the vegetables. You can use a potato peeler to peel long strips of carrots for carrot noodles, a julienne slicer for matchstick sized pieces of zucchini. You would be surprised at how different and pretty your food can be when you mix it up a little when you're cutting it up.

Soup

My mom did this when I was growing up, and I started doing it when I moved out on my own. It's so simple. Just keep a dedicated freezer safe container in the same place in your freezer (a gallon Ziploc freezer bag works great if you're short on space) and every time you have any leftover vegetables instead of tossing them, put them into the container.

Before too long you'll have enough to make a great pot of soup. My favorite method is make chicken stock, then strain out the bones. Add your container of vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and dinner is ready!

Quiche

Another favorite way to use leftover vegetables is to make quiche.

And you don't really need a crust, although you could make one from coconut flour.

You’ll need around two cups of steamed or sautéed vegetables for a 9-1/2″ pie pan. Season the vegetables by adding salt and pepper, onion powder and garlic powder [affiliate link]. Season them to taste, and if you're using a pie crust, prebake it first.

Spoon the vegetables into the pie crust or even an empty pie tin when they are fork tender. If you can eat dairy products, grate in some cheddar cheese. Then scramble 3 or 4 eggs [affiliate link] and pour in on top of the vegetables.

Bake at 350°F until the top is lightly browned and firm, about twenty minutes. Cool for 20 minutes and serve. Quiche is also delicious cold, super quick for breakfast on the go, a great finger food if you need something easy for lunch at work and don’t have the time or means to heat it.

Let me know in the comments if you have used any of these ways to utilize leftover vegetables! 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Steak

3 Easy Ways to Make Bottom Round Steak

SteakI try to buy meat that is on sale and one of the least expensive cuts of beef is bottom round steak. It typically costs less because you can't just throw it on the grill or in a frying pan, you have to spend more time making sure it's cooked the right way so that it's delicious and easy to eat!

A lot of recipes will tell you to cook slowly in a slow cooker, marinate for several hours or cook with moisture. I have found a method of cooking round steak that doesn't use any of the previous methods.

The trick is to slice the meat very thin, either before cooking or after. This works because you are cutting through the tough connective tissue. The meat becomes easier to chew not necessarily more tender.

A good sharp knife is your friend in this endeavor! I like using a Santuko Knife or an 8-Inch Chef's Knife.

Usually when bottom round steak goes on sale you have to buy the family pack which will contain 2-3 steaks and weigh around 5-6 pounds.

First Prep the Meat

  1. The first thing you want to do is remove all the fat from the steaks.
  2. Next cut some of the meat into thin strips about 1/8 wide and make sure you are cutting across the grain. Cut the strips 1 to 2 inches in length.
  3. Dice some of the meat into 1-1/2 inch cubes.
  4. Leave some of the meat in large pieces, but slice thin.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Also to set for about 30 minutes.

3 Different Ways to Cook the Steak

Thin Strips

  1. Put butter in a cast iron skillet on medium heat until the butter is bubbling.
  2. Spread the meat out in one layer of the skillet and cook on one side until it is browned – actually you want it nice and browned – caramelized in spots.
  3. Turn and allow to cook on the other side until browned.
  4. Heat the cast iron skillet with some butter until it is bubbly.  Cook one layer of meat at a time until done.
  5. In between batches you'll want to braise the skillet by pouring in about 1/4 cup of water and use a spatula to scrape the surface if it is sticking.

Fry the Cubes

  1. Fry the cubed pieces in a hot skillet with plenty of butter or coconut oil [affiliate link], browning on all sides until nearly charred.
  2. Slice the cubes in thin strips. If they are still rare inside, eat them that way, or brown them in the pan a little longer.

Grill the Large Pieces

  1. Heat your barbecue grill until it is nice and hot.
  2. Grill the large pieces, browning on all sides until nearly charred.
  3. Cut into strips or small squares.

This meat can be packaged up and used within 5 days, or you can freeze it and defrost at a later time.

Here are two meals I like with this steak.

Steak Salad

Use whatever you love in salad, here are some of my favorites:

  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Blanched broccoli
  • Black olives
  • Tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Grape Tomatoes

I suggest the grilled steak for this salad. Slice the large pieces across the grain into thin strips.

Dress the top of your salad with the strips of meat.  My go-to salad dressing is super easy, I just drizzle a tablespoon or two of olive, some apple cider vinegar, a clove of fresh pressed garlic, and salt and pepper. Done!

Steak and Peppers

Use the strips or cubed steak for this meal.

You can cook the vegetables while the steak is cooking. In a skillet add the butter, and cook the peppers and carrots for 10 minutes. Add the green onions and cook 2-3 more minutes. Mix the strips into the meat,  and serve while hot! Sprinkle sesame seeds on top like a garnish.

What is your favorite way to cook inexpensive cuts of beef?

 

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.