fridge clean out day

By the time that Sunday rolls around my fridge is looking pretty pathetic. Small end pieces of cucumbers, a small cube of cheese, the very end of a bag of ready made salad mix, a mushroom or two, and maybe some left over chicken or some other meat.
In the past, Sunday use to be fridge clean out day. A chance to make room for whatever I thought I would need in the upcoming week. These days, it’s a challenge – what to do with what is in the fridge? – what can I create?
Take this week for example – I have half a can of tuna, half a can of kidney beans, some cream cheese, a cucumber, some feta, and half an onion.
My idea is a two parter – a salad and a pasta dish. So, everyone most likely has pasta in the cupboard (if not, the next time it goes on sale, stock up – it keeps pretty much forever – and will make easy food when needed).
So lets start with the pasta dish because that will take the longest. Half cook the pasta (you will need about 3/4-1 cup of dry – if you leave it uncooked it sometimes stays too crunchy, and if you cook it all the way it will literally dissolve in the dish). Once that is done – save some of the pasta water, take the cream cheese and mix it into the pasta – then mix in some of the pasta water until it is creamy and a little runny. Add in the tuna and the kidney beans and some of the onion (maybe a half of the half chopped up) and the chopped up mushrooms. Add a little salt and pepper (or hot sauce) and place everything into an oven proof dish (in a pinch I’ve just used a bowl, but if you have a small casserole dish, use that) The oven should be at 350-375 and depending on how thick the casserole is, it can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes – it’s done when it gets bubbly and kinda crusty looking on the top.
Now onto the salad. Slice the cucumber as thinly as you can. Slice the onion up the same way. Crumble some feta onto the top – then add some salt, pepper, and equal parts olive oil and either lemon juice or white vinegar. This is also a good time to use up any fresh spices that you might have (basil leaves or oregano work really well and so does parsley). Let everything sit at least 10 minutes (which works out well because you need to wait for the casserole anyways).
So my point is, make one day a week a use up everything day – experiment and have fun – some of my best dishes came out of using everything.


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