November: When your fridge and your turkey gets stuffed
November 10, 2018
Clean out the Refrigerator
Before you stuff your refrigerator full of turkey and cranberry relish, you need to make some room. Which is why November is perfect for hosting the National Clean out the Refrigerator Day.
A couple tips for cleaning out the fridge
What is okay to keep?
Milk is typically okay for about 1 week after the sell by date.
Eggs are typically okay for about 3-5 weeks after the sell by date.
Deli meats should be used within 5 days.
High acid items such as pickles and vinaigrettes are typically okay for 18 months.
Obvious items to chuck in the bin would be anything that looks or smells off.
If in doubt, chuck it out!
Check the date
Check your expiry dates and chuck anything that is old, but understand the different labels. "Sell by" date means the date a product should be pulled from the shelf according to the manufacturer. This label is more about freshness and less about spoiling. "Best if used by" and "Use by" is a date determined by the manufacturer for peak quality.
It is strictly about quality, not safety.
Dinner ideas for inspiration
Pasta can be a wonderful base for many dishes. One of our favorites on the farmstead is homemade SpaghettiOs.
I make it with left over hamburger meat and spaghetti sauce or if you have meat sauce you can use that as a substitute. First cook your noodles al dente, I use Spaghetti rings for the authentic look. Drain your noodles then put them back into the pot. Add in the crumbled meat and sauce. Add water equal to the amount of sauce. Simmer and serve.
We love to make different stir fry recipes using the veggies we have in the fridge. You can use a variety of veggies (zucchini, kohlrabi, carrots, squash, onions, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli), proteins (chicken, beef, pork, peanuts, or tofu), and sauces (sweet and sour, orange, Mongolian, Szechuan, Teriyaki, the possibilities are endless) to change up your dinner dishes. By using different items in the stir fry, it keeps the meal feeling fresh. Prepare Orange Chicken one night and Broccoli Beef another night. This provides 2 very different tasting meals.
Fall is the perfect time of year to make soup. The first sign of a nip in the air and I'm pulling out my large stock pot!
This is a great time to go through your fridge to clean out all the left over bits from other meals. For protein, debone your rotisserie chicken for chicken soup, cut up the left over steak for beef stew, or crumble up left over hamburgers for chili, hash, or Faggioli. Pull out the odd and end bits of a meal and toss those into the pot. A partial side serving of corn, green beans, or carrots and your half way to making next delicious meal!
Left over dinner
Pull everything out of the fridge and divide up all the leftovers. You might only have one spoonful of creamed corn and a slice of meatloaf, but unless you do this at least once a week you will probably have enough for everyone to eat. It might be an eclectic meal, but what a great way to use up all the odd and ends.
Cleaning out your fridge can seem like a chore, but this year try turning it into something fun.
This could be your very own episode of Chopped! What's in your basket?