How To Repurpose Your Summer Fridge Staples

When you have a moment, take a peek at the contents of your fridge. Do you see more than a couple of leftovers slowly approaching their expiration date? If you’re wondering what you can do to reuse them, read on!

Food repurposing is a movement to cut back on food waste. Though it has been gaining traction quite recently, this practice isn’t new by any means. Indeed, the disguising of common or subpar ingredients in fanciful dishes was lauded as one of the most exquisite thing chefs could do in the ancient Roman, and perhaps oldest Western, cookbook known as De Re Coquinaria. A reflection of these core principles can also be seen much later in the anti-consumerist movement of the 1960s, when it became commonplace to embrace a minimalistic attitude to life in an attempt to boycott capitalism. However, fast forward a few decades, and consumerism is still on the rise while healthy and sustainable food habits are fading from the picture.

retro open fridge with kale, jackfruit, berries, and salmon

Today, food waste is a more pressing issue than ever before. With its impact on the environment and, conversely, the increasing rate of global food insecurity, wasting food can no longer be just a fleeting thought.  This summer, you can help by restocking your fridge and pantry with versatile produce, i.e. produce that can be repurposed into multiple dishes depending on what you’re in the mood for.

We created our own dream fridge for summertime meals, complete with squash, kale, jackfruit, peaches, artichokes, and berries, and chose two helpful recipes for you to try!

Jackfruit Curry

Jackfruit makes for the perfect pulled pork substitute in these delightful summer tacos. And you’re in luck, as many of the other ingredients like garlic and bell pepper are also in season! Try this Mango Curry Jackfruit Tacos recipe to have a fun summer dish that’s vegan and gluten-free too!

Vegan vegetarian curry with ripe yellow jackfruit, a great way to repurpose food, served in ceramic bowl with coriander and homemade flatbread flapjack over white marble background.

Salmon with Blackberry Glaze

If you’re tired of plopping berries onto oatmeal and tossing the rest in the occasional smoothie, we hear you. Blackberry Glazed Salmon with its fruity glaze is the perfect change from your regular meaty dish. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect is that this dish can be served in under a half-hour (maybe with some multitasking). Additionally, if you double the amount for the blackberry sauce, you can reserve it for other meats or savory, vegan-friendly dishes.

Baked salmon fillet with blueberry and rosmarin sauce on white plate, a great way to repurpose food

Give these recipes a try, and you will see your kitchen in a whole new summery light! To create your own summer fridge, visit the USDA’s SNAP-Ed Seasonal Produce Guide, composed of all the fruits and vegetables in season this summer and most likely to knock your socks off in the flavor department.

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Olivia deGregory

Written by Case van der Burg