A little goes a long way…

Can you relate? You are leaving town for a week or more, and your refrigerator is full of food. Most of the items in the ‘frig are partial servings; not enough to use as a full side or main entree. If you’re like me, you prefer to keep as little fresh food in the refrigerator as possible when you are away. After all, who wants to return home to vegetables you bought last week…a week or more later!?!

Okay, maybe this is just my quirk. Nonetheless….

I recently had such a circumstance. Because my days are rich and full (I like to avoid referring to my life as busy!), I hadn’t done a very good job of food planning prior to an upcoming trip. In my world, that means I hadn’t figured out those last few meals before leaving town, nor had I “eaten down” the refrigerator.

In the less-than-18 hours before departure, my husband and I had to eat, but I didn’t have anything that resembled a full meal. Here’s what I had to work with:

Items in the refrigerator:
– 3 kale leaves
– 2 green onions
– 1/3 of a yellow squash
– 1/3 of a red pepper
– 1/4 head of green cabbage
– 2 handfuls of green beans
– 1 chicken breast, cooked
– Vegetable broth
– Sunflower seeds

On the counter:
– 1 close-to-ripe plantain
– 2 fresh peaches

Here’s what I created:


I chopped the leftover vegetables (except the green beans) and placed them in a large skillet. I added 1/3 C vegetable broth and sautéed the vegetables over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, until they were tender. I added the chicken (chopped into bite-size pieces) along with a handful of sunflower seeds. Heated through with salt, pepper and a few other spices to taste, it was a quick, last-minute entree.

For sides, I steamed the green beans and dry-fried the plantain.


For dessert (because my husband likes dessert!) dry-fried peaches.


In the end, this made more than the two of us could eat for dinner. The remainder was breakfast the next morning over a small serving of rice.


So the next time you need to “eat down” your refrigerator, or it appears there is nothing that will make a full meal, combine those small amounts of remaining vegetables with some leftover protein (chicken, beef, tofu, beans, etc) for a nutrient-dense meal that takes little time to prepare. Then enjoy your time away.

Here’s to your health and vitality!

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I believe good health is as close as your kitchen. My nutrition practice is based on nutrient-dense, whole food and lifestyle choices that support health and wellness, especially during times of high stress and transitions. My role is to educate, guide and support individuals who want to break the stress-induced cycle of depletion and regain control of their health. Having passed the HNCB exam, I am a Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® (Candidate). To learn more, contact me at 303-594-4401 or by email

3 thoughts on “A little goes a long way…

  1. Hi Julie. You made me laugh. Every time we leave NY for Vt or leave Vt to go back to NY…..we end up throwing out soooo much:(. You are better than me!!! Hope all is well.


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