Growing up, I remember eating some weird meals in the name of “refrigerator/freezer cleanout.” Bless my practical and wonderful Midwestern mother who taught by example that we shouldn’t waste a bite, eating a smorgasbord of leftovers or an unexpected combination of sausage, broccoli and peaches (or something like that) was never out of the question. (Note: the saving grace of these meals was that they were likely to be eaten by candlelight).
In my adult life, I have trouble putting together these random meals (in part because I married and share meals with a man who rarely ate leftovers when we met). But nonetheless, I inherited my mother’s practicality and like the idea of putting what I have in the fridge to good use. I made my favorite fridge cleanout meal last night: stir-fry. I’m sure real chefs would cringe to hear me talk about the prized stir-fry as my “cleanout meal,” but I’m not a real chef. I’m just a human trying to put colorful, real, nutrient-dense food into my body via meals that look pretty and taste good enough to make mealtime pleasurable. So if you’re in the same boat as me, here’s the version of the stir-fry I made:
- Saute garlic, ginger, and red onion in sesame oil
- Add 2 diced carrots, a handful of sliced mushrooms, a head of broccoli chopped into small pieces, spinach leaves, leftover chicken broken into small pieces
- Drizzle soy sauce as cooking veggies and warming chicken in wok
- Add leftover cooked brown rice
- Mix in one scrambled egg per person
- Add spice with a drizzle of sriracha sauce as desired
This took 10-15 minutes to make and tasted hearty and whole and real and (dare I say) interesting. I even had seconds….in honor of my mom.
What’s your go-to refrigerator cleanout meal? And if you’re not into using whatever scraps you have, what’s a delicious and super fast meal you’ve cooked lately?