September 25, 2017
Posted in: Culinary Arts

Versatile Ways To Use Up Your Vegetables

Students working toward a culinary arts certificate online always need an array of fresh, tasty produce on hand. However, it’s also a good idea to clear out your refrigerator’s crisper from time to time. Fortunately, there are plenty of recipes that rely on an assortment of veggies for great flavor and texture.

Try one of these easy dishes the next time you find yourself with a vegetable surplus:

Throw together a soup

“Put a vegetable to good use by incorporating it into soup.”

One of the best ways to put almost any type of vegetable to good use is by incorporating it into a hot, satisfying soup. The Kitchn offered directions that can employ up to two pounds of whatever you have handy, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, celery or onions.

After weighing out your produce, chop into pieces, along with aromatics like garlic or a leek. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into a Dutch oven, setting it over medium heat. Saute the aromatics for five minutes.

Throw in the vegetables, cooking until they are browned and softened. Season with salt and pepper as they cook. Next, add four to six cups of stock, bringing to a simmer.

Add a sprig of a fresh herb, like thyme or rosemary, to the broth. Then, lower the heat, cover and continue simmering for about half an hour. Taste the soup and add seasoning according to your preferences, cooking until the vegetables reach the desired softness.

Wrap them in bacon

Bacon has the power to make almost any dish irresistible, including one you make out of leftover produce. A recipe from A Spicy Perspective combines the comforting tastes of roasted veggies, thick-cut bacon and maple syrup to create the perfect snack.

First, trim carrots, parsnips and asparagus. Cut the carrots and parsnips into pieces that are roughly the same size as the asparagus stalks. Form the vegetables into bundles that include three pieces of each, and tie them together with pieces of bacon.

Place the bundles on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, adding salt and pepper. Roast in an oven set to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, create a glaze by using a whisk to combine maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, salt and ground cumin and ginger. Drizzle the glaze over the bacon-wrapped vegetables. Then, return to the oven for five minutes.

A stir-fry is an easy and delicious way to make leftover veggies a meal.

A stir-fry is an easy and delicious way to use up leftover veggies..

Prepare a classic stir-fry

Stir-fry is a weekday dinner tradition that’s also an ideal way to use up whatever ingredients you have lying around. The Pioneer Woman provided a recipe designed to make the most of your vegetable supply. It starts with making a sauce by combining half a cup of soy sauce with two tablespoons each of sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch and sriracha, plus some fresh ginger.

In a large skillet, warm peanut oil on medium-high heat. Saute chunks of onion and bell peppers for two or three minutes before adding minced garlic. A minute later, throw in zucchini, followed by broccoli and baby corn.

After a couple more minutes, stir in the sauce. Let the veggies cook in the sauce for about two minutes, watching for the mixture to thicken. Serve the stir fry with rice or noodles, topped off with sesame seeds.

Culinary academy graduates learn how to adapt dishes according to the ingredients they have available. With the right techniques, vegetables are among the most versatile items in your kitchen. Instead of wasting any, find exciting new ways to put them to work in a flavorful meal.