In honor of Earth Day on April 22, ReDux members are showing you ways to reduce food waste. Whatever you would normally toss, use it up! Here’s some ways I try to use leftovers. When I cleaned out the fridge, I found lots of tortillas left over from a taco event, along with some beans from a taco salad, and I always have cheese, onions, and tomato sauce on hand. So I easily made some enchiladas for a meal.
Easy Bean Enchiladas
6 flour or corn tortillas
1 can black, kidney, or refried beans
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Enchilada Sauce: Combine and simmer 1 8 oz can tomato sauce, 6 oz water, 1 Tbsp each: cumin, chili powder, 1 tsp each: oregano and garlic powder.
To assemble: Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick spray. Lay out tortillas and spread a few tablespoons of enchilada sauce on each. Divide beans, onion, and cheese between tortillas. Roll up and lay in pan. Pour rest of enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with some extra cheese. Spray a piece of tin foil with non-stick spray and cover. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Whenever I am chopping vegetables and have some leftovers pieces like scraps of celery, onion, peppers, or carrots, I’ll put them in a freezer bag I keep in the freezer. When I have time I add them to a pot of water with some seasoning and simmer for a few hours.
I then let the broth cool and freeze into two cup portions for recipes. Saves money from buying canned broth! You could also do this with chicken bones and meat.
Here’s some other things I do to reduce food waste:
- Freeze leftover chicken. I usually chop and freeze for making casseroles.
- Freeze leftovers into meals in divided plates. Freeze for a healthier grab and go microwave lunch.
- Freeze bananas for banana bread and other recipes. They turn brown on the outside but they work perfectly for bread. They are even already mashed!
- Meal Planning: Be sure to check your fridge when planning meals so you eat foods before they go bad!