Dietitian Meal Hacks: Repurpose Your Veggies
The dietitians at Nutrition for Longevity like to save time and healthily cut corners whenever we’re not eating our N4L healthy meal plans. We recommend bulk prepping vegetables to eat on your off days — it’s a time saver, creates less pots and pans to wash, and is a healthy option when you’re busy and need a bite to eat. However, after a meal or two of eating the same exact veggies in the same exact way, it gets boring. We don’t want to throw out our vegetables, but we’ve all been there and if we must eat one more baked sweet potato or Brussels sprout — we’ll go crazy! Here are some of our favorite ways to repurpose your left over veg (and hopefully keep your sanity!)
- Make in to fried rice: If you have some carrots, peas or corn laying around, try preparing homemade fried rice! This is an ultimate favorite in our at home kitchens. Simply add (toasted) sesame oil or plant-based oil to a wok or pan on medium-high heat to sauté your vegetables to “wake them up”. Then add some day-old rice to the pan and allow it to get crispy. Once rice is crispy, drizzle with coconut aminos or gluten free soy sauce!
- Make a vegetable hash for breakfast: If you have roasted sweet potatoes, give them a second life by preparing a breakfast hash. Heat a touch of oil in a pan over medium heat. Once it's hot, add half of a small onion (diced) and sauté, making sure not to burn. Once the onions are translucent in color and fragrant, add in the cubed leftover sweet potatoes (with the skin on!) and allow to crisp up. Next add in any green of choice (spinach, kale, collards) and cook until the greens wilt down. Remove your hash from the pan, add a side of fruit and you have a delicious and fiber filled breakfast.
- Turn into soup: If you have any leftover chickpeas, lentils, or other legumes, throw them into a soup. We like to survey our refrigerators and look for any produce that’s “on its way out” to add to soups. Have some limp celery and carrots? Dice and throw them in the pot! Soups are a great way to make a delicious and nutritious meal with nearly any leftover produce or cooked legume you have in the fridge.
- Create “mashed” potatoes: Thinking of what to do with leftover cauliflower, turnips, parsnips and (or) potatoes? Use any two or all to make “mashed potatoes.” Use a mixer to blend the vegetables together until they make a thick puree. You may have to thin with a bit of plant-based milk of choice. Season with salt and pepper. Optional garlic powder and parsley.
- Add to a fajita: Have leftover peppers or onions? Toss them in a pan to cook up a delicious fajita mixture. Heat a pan with a touch of olive oil and add your veg. Let your veggies soften and add them to a corn or gluten free tortillas. If you have a can of black or pinto beans laying around, rinse and drain, then add them in to make a protein packed meal. Top with cilantro or parsley and a chef’s kiss!
- Toss over pasta: Some of the best ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet is by adding them to pasta. Add any leftover vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, or spinach to your favorite pasta dish for extra fiber and flavor.