The Cleaning Out the Fridge Salad

On the weekends, I try to keep cooking to a minimum and use whatever is left-over in our fridge to minimize waste (or it’s passed down catholic guilt).  Like my mom used to, as if I need anymore signs that with each day I am slowly becoming her (pretty sure all husbands get really excited about this), I empty the soon-to-expire contents of the fridge onto the counter and start assembling my meal (after assembling everyone else’s.)  With friends coming over for Superbowl and Superbowl food on the menu, lunch needed to provide some nutrition that would off-set the impending guilt.

This is basically the same line of reasoning as my rule that on days when I will be watching a sporting event, I must run or work-out that same day.  My husband noticed the rainbow on my plate and suggested I post it…so here it is.  The best part about this combination is that it works with almost all lingering left-overs.  All of the left-overs were prepared separately.  I am including how they were prepared before landing in my salad. My formula is nothing novel: base, 2-3 vegetables, cheese, nuts, dressing.


  1. Base – Shredded red cabbage. Even though Kroger has put salad mixes back on the shelves, I’m still a little gun shy. In lieu of lettuce, I bought a head of red cabbage, shredded it in the food processor and have been using it wherever I would use lettuce/greens.
  2. Sautéed Butternut Squash – Peeled, cored and cubed butternut squash (I do all chopping as soon as I get home from the Sunday grocery trip. Makes meal prep and saying no to take-out easier.)  Skillet on stovetop.  Add tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Throw in the butternut squash.  Toss with salt and pepper.  I use a lid to catch the steam and move the cooking process along.  Stir frequently to keep the burning to a minimum – I do like a little sear.  Takes 15-20 minutes to get tender – varies by size of cubes.  Thanks to the natural sweetness, this is a favorite with the kids too.
  3. Roasted Brussels Sprouts – Trimmed and halved. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper (this is pretty much how I prepare all vegetables unless I am steaming them.)  Place on baking sheet.  Roast at 400 for about 15 minutes. I watch these – cooking time varies based on the size of the brussels.
  4. Grape Tomatoes – halved.  Too good to need anything.
  5. Goat Cheese Crumbles – This is a staple in my fridge because it pulls almost any weird concoction of mine together.
  6. Sliced Almonds – only because I ran out of the walnuts I love and won’t let myself buy more until I use all of these almonds.  Maybe I should use them to make almond butter…
  7. Organic Balsamic Vinegar – About a tablespoon, like the goat cheese, this tends pull it all together.

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