Mei making dumplings

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We're Mei & Irene.

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Irene making dumplings
Roast Any Vegetable To Keep It Longer!

Roast Any Vegetable To Keep It Longer!

 Wrinkly raw tomatoes turned into delicious jammy roasted tomatoes

Wrinkly raw tomatoes turned into delicious jammy roasted tomatoes

Whenever you've got a full fridge and a bit of time, consider doing a big veggie roast. It's the perfect way to use up nearly any kind of vegetable and have a ton of good building blocks to make upcoming meals quickly and easily. Oh and psst: you can roast fruits too

I like to go through my refrigerator every Sunday, paying special attention to the Eat Me First box. If any vegetables don't look like they'll last much longer, they go into the oven - basically every veggie except lettuce leaves or other delicate greens. I prep them according to type:

  • slice broccoli and cauliflower into florets with the stems peeled and sliced into chunks
  • trim asparagus and celery and cut into chunks or leave whole
  • cut root vegetables into chunks or fries (I like to boil potatoes until tender first to get a nice fluffy interior but this is totally not necessary)
  • cut squashes into chunks, removing the skin of tougher winter squash
  • prick cherry tomatoes with a fork so they don't explode
  • slice bok choy in half lengthwise, leave gai lan intact
  • cut large onions into wedges or quarters, cut shallots in half
  • leave garlic cloves intact, roast until a rich golden brown, then remove skins after cooling - if you have a whole garlic head, cut the top off to expose the tops of the cloves and wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil before roasting for 45-60 minutes, until the cloves are super soft and can be squeezed out easily
  • got an open can of chickpeas? Roast them with some spices! 

You can also toss the veggies in some spices like curry powder or cumin or cayenne for some more flavor. If you're doing this, either sprinkle and toss the veggies in the last 15 minutes of cooking, or lower the temperature a bit so they don't burn. 

Arrange the veggies on sheet pans (don't pack them too tightly or they won't have room to brown). I typically separate them roughly according to cooking time, meaning that the tougher root vegetables don't go on the same pan as the softer ones like bok choy. If you think they'll roughly cook at the same time you can pile them together though. Then I drizzle everything with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a good amount of kosher salt, then toss with my hands and slide the pans into a hot 400-degree oven. I set the timer for about 15 minutes, read the Sunday paper, and just keep an eye on the stove. I check every 5-10 minutes or so to see if the veggies need to be turned or pulled from the oven, and just wait. 

Once roasted, let them cool and eat right away or pop them into the fridge. Roasted veggies can be used in every Hero Recipe - the possibilities are endless. Use the roasted garlic in vinaigrettes, in Creamy Green Dip or Herby Green Sauce, or just spread onto warm bread or tucked into a backed potato....

Savory Bread Pudding with Whatever You Have

Savory Bread Pudding with Whatever You Have

Kitchen Scrap Vegetable Stock (or Meat Stock)

Kitchen Scrap Vegetable Stock (or Meat Stock)