Cooking · Dinner

What to do with left over vegetables…

I never knew using left over vegetables could be so easy…

For the last two days (Monday night’s dinner and today for lunch) I have been enjoying my left over vegetable stir fry, baked tofu and brown rice dish:

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This was a seriously good meal that I had just made on a whim. I honestly had no idea what I was doing. The other day I had been talking to my friend Ned about the sad state of produce during the winter months in New England. On Sunday when I went to the local market (I love Dave’s, don’t you?) I decided to pick out some vegetables that looked good.

I came home with:

fresh spinach

snow peas

eggplant

zucchini

bean sprouts

mushrooms

…and I think that was about it. (I could have added onion, because the onions were looking pretty – but I did not want to over power the dish). So, the brain child of the veggie stir fry was born. I baked the tofu for some protein and added the brown rice for a little bulk. It lasted me three days, and i loved it all three times I had it.

So today when I looked in the fridge, I made a conscious effort to use the rest of the vegetables I had from Sunday’s shopping. Here is what I was left with:

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(that is half an eggplant, flesh down because the purple color is so pretty!)

The first thing I thought of was a ratatouille. But I immediately decided that was not what I wanted for dinner (I love it when the answer is as simple as that – ‘NO!’).

When I am short on ideas, and maybe energy after a ‘long’ day at work I always go to Bittman (of course). Today I took out his kitchen express, hoping there would be something to help me out. To my delight I found a recipe for pasta and mushrooms. It called for olive oil, mushrooms, white wine, parm cheese, parsley – I had all of it plus extra vegetables! I knew the extras would change the taste a bit, but I went with it anyway. The more the merrier I decided.

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So I started chopping. What do you think about chopping vegetables? A lot of people I know really do not like chopping and will use a food processor or another sort of ‘chopper’ to save their energy and time. Personally, I love chopping vegetables – even onions, and yes they make me cry – I find it therapeutic or something. I had a great time chopping tonight:

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I started the pasta water, and heated up a pan with extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil was hot I added the red pepper and a few zucchini… I thought the red pepper would take the longest to cook, so I wanted to be sure to start them at the beginning:

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The pasta water came to a boil, and I added the pasta (unfortunately I was out of whole wheat so I went with traditional pasta which I was secretly happy about 🙂 ). Once the peppers were starting to cook I added the rest of the vegetables. Then I added a bit of white wine and a little bit of butter, about a tablespoon. I seasoned the pan with a smidge of salt and a lot of freshly ground black pepper.

Once I plated the pasta and the vegetables, I added freshly chopped parsley and freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese (from Italy!) on top of my make shift dinner.

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Can I just tell you that this was amazing!? I loved it. I am really glad I decided to be creative and just add all of the vegetables in. I think it turned out quite well and it almost felt like summer because I was eating a colorful plate 🙂

I hope you are all having a great night and eating something amazing and healthy, too! See you tomorrow.

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