Food waste sucks. If there is one chore in my house that I absolutely despise it’s cleaning out the fridge. It's awful, it's disheartening, and it's such a waste of money! Before we get into this post - if you haven’t read my initial post on food waste, and two super easy hacks to avoid it, head to the post and take a ready:
Just to give a little refresh on the stats, the average Canadian throws away over 870 pounds of food each year. That is just for one person and is a pretty staggering amount of food. And I think food waste is a pretty easy one to address - it just takes a little bit of preparation and a whole lot of love for leftovers.
Having a few go-to ‘use up everything in your fridge’ meals takes a bit of the pressure off! Plus reimagining leftovers into a totally different, unique meal, is pretty dang rewarding. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing a few of my fave zero waste recipes. No, I am not a food or recipe blogger, so here goes nothin!
To kick things off I thought I would share my spinach sauce recipe with you. Spinach goes bad in the blink of an eye it seems, and this recipe can use up a whole lot of it. It’s vegan, it's garlicky, you can put it on everything, you can change up the seasoning depending on your mood. This recipe is more of an Italian take, but you can totally switch it up to cajun style, lemon and pepper, super spicy, whatever you’re in the mood for.
If you’ve ever sauteed or steamed spinach, you know it shrinks up really quickly, so you can add SO MUCH SPINACH into this recipe, like overflow your pan if you need to.Okay I actually hate when you're looking for a recipe and the blogger feels obliged to provide a three thousand word preamble with at least 10 ingredient substitutes and one million pictures, so I'm going to get right to it.
- Chopped spinach (three to four cups, or more!)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (“nooch”), you could also sub this for parm if you aren’t trying to keep it plant-based
- ~ ⅓ cup diced onion (whatever kind you have on the go)
- 1 tablespoon diced garlic, or one clove
- 1 tablespoon of your fave spices (I typically go for Italian type seasoning for this sauce)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch to thicken (or you can leave it thin!)
- ⅓ cup chicken or veggie stock
total cook time, about ten minutes, total prep time, about five minutes (unless you're a slowpoke)
The steps are easy peasy. Saute the garlic and onion with the seasoning and a dash of the stock. Let that sizzle for a minute or two then add the remaining ingredients aside from the cornstarch and stock. Let it all cook down for a few minutes and add the stock gradually with some cornstarch bringing it all to a bubble. Keep adding cornstarch until you have reached the desired thickness, or leave it out altogether for a runnier sauce.
And you’re done! If you’re feeling really fancy you can blend up the sauce for a smoother consistency. But to me, that just creates more dishes, and who wants that.
Use it on pasta, on chicken, on rice, on lentils, add it into a quiche, this spinachy garlic goodness is so versatile; your spinach will be gone before you know it!
ps - fun fact, you can get nooch in bulk at Bulk Barn, just bring a jar or a bulk bag and fill 'er up!