When it comes to our fridge, every week is the same. The farm box comes on Saturday overflowing with amazing produce, gorgeous eggs from pastured hens, raw milk and cream. Sunday morning we often venture to the farmer’s markets to stock up on beef, lamb, pork, and chicken from our favorite local farmers before an afternoon cook-a-thon where I get inspired to whip up some simple but satisfying dishes to last us through the week. Everything goes great, until Friday (or Thursday, depending on how inspired Sunday was) when we seem to have an empty fridge – a few straggling veggies, butter, a few jars of lard and pickles, but nothing that really looks like a meal.
In the past, the empty fridge called for a night of take out or a visit to a local restaurant, but these outings proved both tough on the wallet and disappointing to our nutrient-dense-trained taste buds. So, I’ve taken Empty Fridge Friday on as a challenge: Use the stray ingredients in my fridge and pantry, and create a delicious meal for the whole family while saving a few pennies.
This week’s mystery surprise:
How to make empty fridge veggie hash
Here are the ingredients I found in my fridge and pantry:
- The leftover juice, veg, and meat from this week’s brisket (about 3/4 cup)
- A half head of cabbage
- A bunch of just slightly wilted, but still-green kale
- 1 pint of sweet cherry tomatoes
- Grass-fed cheddar cheese
- A big bowl of Delicata squash and pomegranates
This morning we were low on eggs, so I heated up some leftover brisket. When it came time to face the empty fridge and prepare dinner, I saw the leftover brisket still sitting in the pan, and thought, “What the heck…” I sliced the cabbage and kale into ribbons while my 4 year old pulled the stems off the tomatoes. I melted the cabbage with butter in the pan with the brisket juices, added the garlic, cherry tomatoes and kale. When my husband got home he warmed up the pan and melted a big fistful of cheese on top. Viola!
As for the children, I feared rejection two Fridays in a row, so I roasted slices of the squash in the oven tossed in coconut oil, cinnamon, allspice, and sea salt. I served them a bit of leftover brisket with their squash fries. The baby got pomegranate seeds too.
Me: Hmph! This isn’t horrible.
Husband: What do you mean? This is amazing!
Four year old: I’m not hungry. I ate a lot at snack.
One year old: Devoured the squash, most of the brisket, and some pomegranate seeds.
My rating: 6/10 for my Empty Fridge Friday meal – hoping this will be the last Friday for a cabbage-centric creation.
Got last minute Empty Fridge success stories? Let’s hear them! Inspire us to make a something from nothing!