With so much fresh produce at your disposal it’s easy to become overwhelmed with how to cook it, especially when you encounter a vegetable you are not used to buying.That’s why I’ve curated a list of all the different ways you can use your leftover veggies so you’re guaranteed to always find some delicious way to use your tasty vegetables.
How to prepare them: Wash and scrub the skin clean. Dig out any sprouts or “eyes” with a small knife. Peel the skin only if it’s your preference, otherwise leave it on for an extra boost of flavour, fibre and minerals.
Ways to cook them: Boiled, mashed, fried, baked whole, oven-roasted in cubes, sliced in wedges and roasted, sliced super thin and baked (homemade chips!), shredded and fried (hashbrowns!) shredded and fried 2.0 (latkes!), baked, de-fleshed and filled with cheese and bacon (potato jackets!), or boiled, riced and mixed with flour (gnocchi!).
How to prepare them: Wash and dry. Depending on the recipe you may also want to salt your cucumbers and let them sit for at least 30 minutes to help draw out some moisture.
Ways to cook them: De-seeded, grated and combined with yogurt (tzatziki or raita!), sliced into rounds and added to your water bottle (spa water!), pureed into soup (gazpacho!), juiced, drenched in vinegar for a few days (quick-pickle), or drenched in vinegar for a few months (classic pickle). Whatever you do, just don’t actually “cook” them!
How to prepare them: Wash and scrub the skin clean. Cut away the stalk and the root of the beet. Depending on your method of cooking you can peel the beets during preparation or once they have been cooked whole.
Ways to cook them: Boiled and then cubed, wrapped in tinfoil and oven-roasted (i.e. slow roast), cut into wedges and oven-roasted (i.e. fast roast), cut into quarters and steamed, sliced thinly and pickled, simmered with cabbage and meat (borscht!), or oven-roasted and baked with chocolate and flour (chocolate beet cake!).
How to prepare them: Wash, dry and cut off the top. Often recipes call for peeling carrots, but leaving the (clean) peel on is perfectly fine.
Ways to cook them: Boiled, steamed, pan-roasted, braised, oven-roasted whole or in halves,, added to stir-fry, glazed with maple syrup and roasted, shredded and combined with cabbage and vinegar (coleslaw!), grilled on the BBQ, roasted and blended (soup!), pureed (babyfood!), or grated and and baked with spices and flour (carrot cake!).
How to prepare them: Wash thoroughly by filling a bowl with water and letting the mushrooms float while you gently scrub them with your fingers. Drain the bowl and repeat again to ensure all the sand and dirt is removed from the gills.
Ways to cook them: Sauteed with butter or olive oil, thrown into a stir-fry, chopped and added to a sauce or stew, oven-roasted, thrown atop a pizza, added to an egg dish (omelette or quiche!), finely diced and added to any stuffing, grilled on the BBQ, or filled with egg, onion and cheese (stuffed mushroom caps!).
How to prepare them: Wash, dry and remove the stem.
Ways to cook them: Sauteed, oven-roasted, boiled and simmered (basic tomato sauce!), sauteed and pureed (tomato soup!), oven-dried, braised, grilled on the BBQ, sauteed and combined with onions and spices (tomato relish!), or chopped and combined with red onion (salsa!).
Bell Peppers/Pointed Peppers
How to prepare them: Wash and dry. Remove the green stem, pith and seeds.
Ways to cook them: Oven-roasted in slices or chunks, sliced and added to a stir-fry, cut into chunks and added to chili, grilled on the BBQ, scattered atop a pizza, oven-roasted whole and blended into soups (pumpkin and pepper soup!), sauteed and added to omelettes, chunked and thread onto a chicken skewer, oven-roasted until blackened and blended with cream cheese (roasted red pepper dip!).
How to prepare them: Cut in half lengthwise and peel off the skin.
Ways to cook them: Sauteed, oven-roasted, caramelised, grilled on the BBQ, deep-fried (onion rings!), drenched in vinegar for a few days (quick-pickle), or sauteed and added to beef broth (french onion soup!).
About the author: Maggie Clark is a 26-year-old nutritionist living in Toronto. She is a food enthusiast and can often be found posting her own #fridgecleanout meals on Instagram @omnivoresdelight