Creative left-overs in a flash!

I don’t know about you – but most weekends we try to clean out our fridge before going to the store to restock. Although veggies tend to last longer in the fridge than meat – they can still go bad if not used within the week. Here are a couple of go-to recipes for using up those left over veggies.

Stir Fry Veggies and Tomatoes:

This week I had to find a use for left over spaghetti and spaghetti squash, zucchini squash, mushrooms, a yellow pepper and half an onion. After a busy week, dinner was basically on the table in about 20 minutes or less. It serves 2 – 4 people depending on amount of veggies and pasta.

Ingredients:

  1. 3 cups of cup up veggies (zucchini, colored peppers, mushrooms, onion – or whatever sounds good to you).
  2. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  3. 1 tsp. of Italian seasoning
  4. Salt and pepper to taste
  5. 1 – 14.5 oz can of tomatoes, undrained (optional: Diced tomatoes with onions and garlic)
  6. 2 cups of cooked spaghetti or other pasta (or cooked rice)
Veggie and Tomato Stir Fry

Instructions:

  1. Saut├ęs the veggies in a tablespoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes (add 1 tsp. of minced garlic during last minute)
  2. Stir in 14.5 oz can of undrained diced tomatoes with garlic and onions. Add 1+ tsp. of Italian seasoning.
  3. Let mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Check to make sure the veggies are tender and then add a little salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve over the warmed spaghetti noodles, spaghetti squash or rice.
  6. Optional: top with Nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan (ground up almonds and Nutritional yeast).
Veggie and Tomato Stir Fry over spaghetti squash

Sweet Potato & Bean Quesadillas

Another favorite quick and recipe using left-overs is Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas. These are easy to make for 2 – 4 people or more depending on how many sweet potatoes and tortillas you have on hand. If you are not vegan you may choose to add the cheese. If you are vegan – it tastes fine without cheese. I found this recipe in the Feb/March 2014 issue Taste of Home magazine. This takes 30 minutes or less to make.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quesadillas

Ingredients:

  1. 2 medium sweet potatoes
  2. 4 whole wheat tortillas (8 inch)
  3. 3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  4. 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (omit if you are dairy-free)
  5. 3/4 cup salsa
  6. Vegan sour cream (optional)
  7. Diced Avocado (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Scrub sweet potatoes: pierce several times with a fork. Place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 7 – 9 minutes or until tender, turning once.
  2. When cool enough to handle, cut each potato lengthwise in half. Scoop out pulp and spread onto one half of each tortilla. Top with beans and cheese (optional). Fold other half of tortilla over filling.
  3. Heat a griddle or a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 2 -3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve with salsa, vegan sour cream and/or avocado chunks (or guacamole).

Another quick and easy recipe to use left over veggies is the “Everything Minestrone” recipe that I shared in a previous post entitled “Soup in a Hurry”.

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