Do you ever throw food away that’s been sitting in your fridge for too long and then feel guilty about it afterwards? C’mon, you know you have. We all have.
It’s that time of the month for another Recipe ReDux post and this challenge was a good one! ReDux members were charged with the task of showing how they reduce food waste. I’m the type of person who will make a dish and then eat the leftovers for the next 5 days so I don’t throw away any uneaten food. Now, if I can just get my husband on the same page about eating leftovers, I’d only have to eat them for 2 days instead of 5!
Here are 5 tips for reducing food waste:
- Pick a day where you intentionally cook your meal from food that you need to use up!
- Shop smart and don’t overbuy, especially on produce.
- Write “eat by” dates for items in the freezer. Don’t be like me and forget when you put that chicken in the freezer and then have to throw it away because you’re not sure if it’s still good! Check out this great food storage chart from the FDA.
- Use FIFO ! In restaurants we use the term FIFO: first in first out. Arrange your fridge like the pros and put older items at the front so you use them up first.
- Turn dying herbs into pesto. If you don’t need the pesto that day, freeze it in an ice cube tray and pop out as needed. Need a pesto recipe? check out this Parsley-Sage Pesto
Now…onto the ReDux!
I somehow always end up with a big package of corn tortillas that sit in my fridge FOREVER! Once they’re stale, I throw them away. Recently, I thought, why have I never thought of making chilaquiles with my stale corn tortillas??? Not familiar with chilaquiles? They’re basically corn tortilla chips bathed in a red or green salsa and topped with cheese, sliced onions, eggs, chicken or every Dietitian’s favorite ingredient, the humble avocado.
How did I make my chilaquiles healthier? It may be sacrilegious to do this, but I did it anyways. I baked my tortillas instead of frying them to make the chips for the chilaquiles ! And you know what? Still delicious and less mess! Frying in my kitchen usually means splattered oil all over the stove and the floor. I also added plenty of chicken to up the protein factor in a traditionally carb heavy dish.
This chilaquiles recipe uses a rotisserie chicken because it’s easy. Of course, you can cook off your own chicken and shred it, but, sometimes (ok, most of the time), I need a shortcut. Plus, you can use the leftover chicken carcass to make homemade chicken stock! Add whatever mirepoix veggies you have lying around in the fridge (onion, celery, carrot) or don’t use any at all. I just put the leftover chicken into a large pot, covered with water and let it simmer for at least 1 hour to make a flavorful stock to be used in soups, sauces, and chili.
I’d love to know if you have any tips and tricks for reducing food waste! Leave me a comment below!
While this version of chilaquiles is made with chicken, I love making a vegetarian version with scrambled eggs. Sometimes, I'll add some sauteed zucchini to up the veggie factor of my meal!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 8 corn tortillas, cut into quarters
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 2 - 14.5 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes in juice
- 1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons chile powder
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 1 whole jalapeno (if you want it spicy, leave the seeds in. If you want a mild sauce, remove the seeds)
- 4 medium size garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grab 2 baking sheets and spread 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil on each pan. Divide tortilla wedges between the 2 pans and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt over each of the pans.
- Bake chips for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden and crunchy.
- While chips are baking, place tomatoes, chile powder, onion, jalapeno, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt into the blender and puree until smooth.
- Heat a large saute pan or pot on medium high heat. Once hot, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the sauce to the hot oil. Once sauce starts to bubble, turn heat down to medium low and simmer until thick, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the shredded chicken to the sauce and stir to combine. Add the chips and stir, being careful not to break the chips.
- Portion chilaquiles between 4 plates and top each with chopped cilantro and queso fresco. Enjoy immediately!