3 Ways to Use Up Vegetables Before They Go Bad

On Sunday I went to visit my in-laws who were preparing for a trip to Italy. As we were leaving, my mother-in-law presented me with baby spinach, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, a bunch of zucchini, and two pints of blueberries that she wasn’t going to be able to use up. I was a bit reluctant to take it all since I knew my next farm share delivery was coming on Tuesday and I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able use it all up. But the idea of it all going to waste was too much for me to handle, so I agreed to take it. Then yesterday not only did I pick up my farm share, but a good friend also swung by with a gallon-sized Ziploc full of arugula that she wasn’t going to be able to eat. So suddenly I was absolutely drowning in produce, and some of it was on the verge of going off! But with a little thought and about an hour of time, I had taken are of much of it.

Magic? No. Here are some of my favorite ways to use up produce at this abundant time of year so that you can enjoy it throughout the week and even throughout the year:

red cabbage pesto

Pesto: Pesto can be made with many kinds of greens. Basil, spinach, arugula, and kale are all favorites in our house. Each has a slightly different flavor profile, but all of them are delicious! Another great thing about pesto is that you can freeze it in small amounts and then just pull them out anytime you need a quick meal. It can also be a wonderful taste of summer in the dead of winter.

Roasting: Many, many vegetables can be roasted. This week I roasted the cabbage in one batch and the broccoli and cauliflower in another. Almost every week I roasted a bunch of vegetables and then use them as snacks, in salads, as a side dishes at dinner, and in school lunches.

Skillet tomato sauce: This is a go-to in my house, especially in the late spring and throughout the summer, when tomatoes are in season. I love this recipe because it can be on the table in 20 minutes and can use up many vegetables—summer squashes, bell peppers, eggplant, greens, onions or spring onions, really anything you’ve got lying around that doesn’t take a long time to cook.

Do you have favorite ways to use up vegetables? I’d love to hear your ideas!


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