So I was getting ready to make that vegetable stew for dinner again on Friday night when I realized that the baby bellas I'd bought earlier had gone south, along with a whole bunch of other stuff. I'm too ashamed to post a picture of all the food we had to get rid of, but I realized that:
a) I was going to have to clean out the fridge right that moment, and,
b) I was going to have to improvise on the stew, since I was now out a few of the ingredients.
And that's when I decided it: Friday nights, we're going to have to make something delicious from whatever we've got left in the fridge that's about to go bad, or that's been in the fridge for just a bit too long. That way we don't waste that food, and the fridge is cleared out for my Saturday morning grocery trips.
So I pulled out most of the good stuff that was left in the fridge, along with a few staples, and decided that we'd have an old fashioned "whatever's left" stew.
Aside from the staples, like olive oil and lentils, we had most of a tomato (I had to cut the gross-ish part off), a slightly withered orange pepper, some carrots, a lemon from when I had my cold earlier in the week, an onion, two potatoes, and from my trip to the greenmarket last Saturday, a bunch of nearly wilty kale (Note: kale often revives nicely if you dunk it in some cold water and swish it around after chopping it.), half a loaf of bread, and a honeycrisp apple for dessert. I chopped my ingredients up and threw them in my stockpot and cooked them roughly according to the vegetable stew recipe.
In hindsight, because of the lentils I added, I should have held off a little longer before adding the kale, but it turned out okay anyway. It looks disgusting, but I promise you it tasted delicious.
I burnt the heck out of the bread when I tried toasting it to have on the side, but I'm saving it for breadcrumbs. Ben and I split the apple, dipping it into sunflower seed butter and a really delicious flavored sugar Pete's mom got me for Christmas last year. It was like vegan caramel apples! So delicious, and so unfortunately not pictured.
I went to the new Bay Ridge greenmarket the next morning and re-stocked our fridge with fresh veggies, and next Friday, we'll take whatever we have leftover and improvise something else. Meanwhile, we have plenty of this stew to take to work with us for lunches! As Ben noted, "It's so thrifty!"
Lisle, I'm hoping that my posts about what I do with my odds & ends will help you out in the "what do I do with these ingredients?" department. It's a good opportunity to get creative!