With only two weeks left in my house, the goal is to eat all of the food lining my shelves, fridge, and freezer to minimize what has to be moved. The difficult part about this is after a few days you start to wondering how you’re going to combine all of these random ingredients into an actual snack or meal.
Whether you’re moving or just trying to clear out your shelves, or perhaps waiting for the next paycheck and trying to survive off of what you already have, here are a few recipes for you:
1. Trail Mix: This is the ultimate snack food. You can take it to go or leave it out on the counter to pick away at. You don’t have to follow the guidelines of a traditional trail mix you see in a store, mix in whatever you have! Any leftover chocolate, nuts, dried fruit, cereal, granola, even crackers or chips, you name it!
2. Smoothies: The best thing about smoothies, is that it’s hard to mess them up enough so that they actually taste bad. Use up all the extra fruit – frozen or fresh – and combine it with various ingredients. This can include dairy products such as yogurt or milk or veggies such as spinach or cucumber. If you’re running short on liquids, a trick I like to use is to make extra tea, let it cool and use it as the liquid! There’s always a way!
3. Pasta: This is perfect for clearing out your random shelf. You know the one that contains onions, garlic, spices, canned ingredients such as chunked tomatoes or various sauces? All of these items work great in pasta! Make up a big batch and you’re on your way to clearing those shelves. Plus you have lunch for work the next day!
4. Stir Fry: This is one of my all time favorites! I eat stir fry all the time, and each time it’s a little bit different than the last. You can use any meat, any lentils or beans, any canned, frozen or fresh vegetables and you’re good to go! Combine that with some salad dressing you’re trying to get rid of or even just some herbs and lemon juice and you’re on your way to a delicious dinner.
5. Donate it: Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget the option of donating some food. Canned goods or other nonperishable food items are something that over time we collect without even realizing. You grab two soups instead of one when they’re on sale, or a club pack of an item because you think you’ll use it, but then never do. However they got there doesn’t really matter, what matters is that there are people out there who need it, and you have the opportunity to help.
Emptying out all the food you’ve accumulated over time can be challenging, but it’s a great idea! It’s a good way to start fresh and prevent yourself from having decade old canned goods in your cupboards. It also is a great way of managing space, as often we find it difficult to find enough space for all the new purchases we have made. When in doubt, donating is always an amazing option.
Don’t be afraid to get a little creative, or to fall outside of the recipe when trying to use ingredients around your house. Often times, swapping one ingredient out for another isn’t going to make or break a meal. Besides, change is always nice for our pallet! Next time you’re struggling to put together a meal with random ingredients, try out one of these options and see which one works for you!
Feature Image via Ariel Raee.