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Some Recipes For Those Leftover Foods in Your Kitchen

We asked chef Pat Greer to share with us ideas that make your ingredients go further.

By Timothy Malcolm

Pat Greer, the venerable chef and owner of Pat Greer's Kitchen, has good advice for everyone quarantined in their homes: "You gotta work with what you have and make it go really far."

For example, you made pasta and marinara, but there's a lot of sauce left over. "Then you turn it into a soup, then a salad dressing, then you dry it out and make a cracker out of it."

That sounds pretty great right now. Maybe it keeps you from visiting the grocery store another day or two. But how do you actually do all that?

We asked Greer to share some recipes that give new life to established ingredients or foods that you probably already have in the kitchen pantry, refrigerator, or freezer. That way you can "work with what you have and make it go really far." You can do it!

Krispy Kale

  • 1 head kale, washed and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped bell pepper
  • ¼ cup ground or fine chopped sunflower seeds or nuts of your choice
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Remove the ribs from the kale and tear or cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Toss with remaining ingredients until well coated. Place a cookie cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. Spread kale on top of the cookie rack. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes.

'Rawsome' Everyday Soup

  • 3 really ripe medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1/4 of a red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
  • 1/4 of a medium cucumber
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1–2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small cloves garlic (or 1 large clove)
  • A few pinches sea salt to taste

Chop the tomatoes and cucumber. Then add all the ingredients, put it in a blender, and blend until smooth. Choose a different garnish every day—whatever is on hand. The more chopped vegetables you put into your soup, the more filling it’s going to be. You can add fresh herbs and seasonings to the soup such as basil or oregano for variety ... whatever you have in the fridge works.

Geez Sauce

  • 1 cup cashews or macadamia nuts
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley, or two tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • dash of salt
  • 1–1¼  cup water

Blend all together in a blender or food processor.

Lasagna in the Raw

  • 1 cup spinach (Baby spinach works great!)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini squash
  • 1 cup sliced tomatoes
  • 1 cup eggplant (Peeled, sliced very thin, and cut into thin strips. Soak in salt water 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.) 
  • Geez sauce
  • A few slices of red onion

Build up your different layers, alternating veggies, Geez Sauce, eggplant, tomato sauce, etc. Finish with shredded zucchini, and decorate with the onion slices.

Herbed tomato sauce

  • 3 cups fresh, diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or chopped dates, or agave
  • 1 tablespoon mix of Italian herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, and garlic)          
  • ½ cup fresh basil or 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (soak in 1 cup water for 1 hour and drain)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeño pepper to taste
  • 1 medium garlic clove or 1 teaspoon powdered garlic

Blend until smooth or chop in food processor with “S” blade. Makes about 2 cups.

Fast and Easy Fudge

  • 2 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon agave or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pecans, assorted nuts, or nut butter of choice

Mix together well by hand in small bowl. Or use a mini-processor for a family batch!

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