Mission clear out the fridge

Stuffed portobello mushrooms with tofu & spinach
Every now and then there is a little game I like to challenge myself with. It involves scavenging for leftover (sometimes wilting) ingredients in the fridge and trying to turn these into a scrumptiously inventive meal, rather than letting them end up in the bin. I absolutely hate food wastage. Living in London while paying an insane amount of rent each month meant that I felt (the pain of) every single cent of the 5 quid Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference cherry tomatoes. You learn to value every precious juicy ball of goodness in the pack, racking your brains to find new ways to use the tomatoes to avoid them wasting away past their expiry date.

There’s nothing more satisfying than finding a creative way to transform leftover ingredients into a new, exciting dish. Maybe it’s just me, but it sure feels like hitting the jackpot when I’ve managed to completely clear out my fridge without throwing anything away. I tend to rely on the following transformation templates:

  • Carrots, sugar snaps, generally most green leafy veg are great used up in stir fries
  • Potatoes, celery, leeks act as useful base when blitzed into heartwarming soups
  • Last night’s grilled salmon will turn into yummy fishcakes for lunch
  • Cold rice is actually the best fried rice while risotto makes decadently cheesy arancini balls
  • Extra quinoa/cous cous/pulses can significantly bulk up a salad or soup
  • A frittata works wonders to swallow up any remaining ingredients into a filling brunch
  • Just about anything can be tossed into a pasta style dish – a can of sweet chopped tomatoes hides many sins
I made the dish below, Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Tofu and Spinach, last night when i was determined to finish off some portobello mushrooms, remaining shavings of mozzarella cheese, not so crunchy spinach, and a half block of tofu. This actually makes for a pretty filling meal with a side serving of quinoa. With this dish I’ve also learned another useful fridge straggler clearing tip – you cannot go wrong with a blanket of cheese on anything. Ever. 

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Tofu and Spinach

Basic Ingredients
Portobello mushrooms, tofu, spinach, onion, tomato puree, Italian dried herbs mix, salt & pepper, mozzarella cheese, quinoa (optional)

The preparation
1. Remove mushroom stalks and finely chop

2. Pan fry tofu until golden brown on all sides
3. Saute onion with olive oil. Add tofu and keep stirring to break this up into small pieces. Add spinach, chopped mushroom stalks, tomato puree, Italian dried herbs, and season.
4. Scoop mixture into portobello mushrooms. Top with mozzarella cheese.
5. Bake until tops are golden brown.
6. Cook quinoa (with chicken broth) and serve on the side.  

Visit Love Food Hate Waste for some resourceful ideas on what you can do with leftovers.

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