Previously on the blog we talked about food waste and ways that you as a consumer can help make a difference and be a zero waste hero. As a reminder, about one-third of the food supply in the United States is wasted each year and, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), roughly half of all food waste comes from fruits and vegetables. Taking steps such as freezing surplus fruits and vegetables, planning meals ahead of time and storing fruits and vegetables properly are great ways to help reduce food waste. But what can you do when you feel that isn’t enough? “Kitchen sink” recipes are great ways to utilize produce leftover at the end of the week and can be easily modified to fit your family’s needs and preferences.
The great thing about kitchen sink recipes is they can be loosely followed and modified to use whatever you have on hand. Vegetables such as corn, carrots, potatoes, turnips, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, beets, onions, zucchini, squash and leafy greens can easily be added to any kitchen sink recipe. Don’t have the specific vegetable or protein source the recipe calls for? No problem! The following swaps can be easily made:
- Swap out root vegetables such as onions, potatoes, turnips and carrots for other root vegetables.
- Swap out leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, spinach and swiss chard for other leafy greens.
- Swap out animal protein sources for vegetables and plant-based proteins such as tempeh, tofu, eggplant, and lentils for a vegan or vegetarian option.
Our Favorite Kitchen Sink Recipes
At Farmhouse Delivery, we are dedicated to minimizing the amount of food we waste. Check out these easy and unique ways we love to use leftover produce:
Kitchen Sink Hamburger Soup
Start with browned ground turkey or beef, salt, pepper, garlic, a can of tomato paste, a can of stewed whole tomatoes (crushed up with your hands), Worcestershire sauce, chopped sautéed onion and beef or chicken broth (add some chili or chipotle power for a kick) and get it all boiling. Add the veggies and simmer until everything is cooked through. Adjust any seasonings to taste and throw in some fresh herbs, such as thyme, basil or rosemary. Serve with some crusty bread for a hearty lunch or dinner!
Easy Kale Salad
Remove kale from the stems and chop or tear the leaves. Massage the leaves in a Farmhouse Kitchen vinaigrette or just olive oil, salt, and pepper and store in a food container in the fridge. Leave in the fridge all week as a quick prepared salad that you can top with roasted or freshly chopped vegetables. Top with citrus, Farmhouse Kitchen Basil Pesto, or Farmhouse Kitchen Chimichurri sauce. Add cheese, nuts, toasted pepitas, leftover meats, whatever you have!
Kitchen Sink Snack Spread
I love to make a snack tray with leftover veggies to dip in hummus. Sprinkle the hummus with Farmhouse Za’atar spice to amaze your friends. Adding Barrel Creek pickled products & Thunderheart bison jerky (cut into smaller pieces) really takes the spread up a notch.
Easy Vegetable Stir-Frys
Saute leftover vegetables of your choice and toss with any of the following cooking sauces for a great burst of flavor:
- Farmhouse Kitchen Tikka Masala
- Thai Fresh Red or Green Curry
- Farmhouse Kitchen Sesame Stir Fry Sauce
- Sap’s Thai Chili Sauce
Serve over a bowl of jasmine rice, quinoa, couscous or any other grain of your choice.
Kitchen Sink Tostadas
Spread a layer of carrot hummus or leftover beans on top of an El Milagro tostada. Top with sautéed chard, kale, green garlic, and/or spring onions seasoned with just salt and pepper or spices of your preference. Finish it off with a fried egg, Farmhouse Kitchen pickled red onions, fresh chopped Fruitful Hill Farm cilantro, thinly sliced Gundermann Acres radishes, and a helping of Taco Deli Salsa Roja. Add sliced G & S Groves avocado or leftover guacamole to take it to the next level.
These are just some of our tips and tricks on how to use leftover produce. Stay tuned for more on how to stock your pantry with items you can use for even more quick and easy meals!