Recipes for when fridge is looking lean

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
With Netflix showing The Home Edit, home organisation has become trendier and more enjoyable. There are many ways to declutter and improve your home to make it more functional. A good place to start is with your fridge, writes Deanna Copland.

Deanna Copland
Deanna Copland

Instead of just a spring clean around the home each year, a seasonal clean every 12 weeks can be worthwhile and the fridge is a great place to start.

There are three things to focus on when cleaning out your fridge and pantry:

• Minimalism and decluttering

• Throwing out (or giving away) the unhealthy things

• Using up those ingredients that have been stored in your kitchen for too long

You may like to stock up on some new or recycled glass jars, storage shelves, spice racks, baskets and containers so everything has a place before you start. Labels can be useful and look smart, for example "short dated items to use up first". Try to use glass containers for food storage, if you can.

Remove everything and thoroughly clean the fridge. Vanilla extract or lemon essential oil in water is great to freshen up inside your fridge. Most shelves and baskets are detachable so can be washed, dried and put back in.

Decide if you will keep the food and jars, throw them or give them away. Check the use-by dates. You may like to check ingredients in bottles and jars - dressings often contain emulsifiers, additives and sugar so making your own can be a better alternative. Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, seeded mustard and a chopped garlic clove make an easy dressing, full of nutrients, without the nasties.

Plan how you will organise your fridge and pantry so things are easy to find and get to and put everything back into place.

When the fridge has been decluttered, the night before shopping day can look like slim pickings. Here are some easy, nutritious meal ideas which can usually be made with remaining staples.

Nutritious meal ideas

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Breakfast banana pancakes

Serves 1-2

1 banana

1 egg

1 Tbsp nut butter (optional)

coconut oil for cooking


1. Mash the banana.

2. Stir in the egg and nut butter.

3. Heat a frying pan and melt a little coconut oil.

4. Pour in a heaped tablespoon of the banana mixture per pancake

5. Wait for bubbles to form and then flip over.

6. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

7. Serve as they are or top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, some natural yoghurt/coconut yoghurt and berries.

Green eggs and sourdough

Serves 1

2 free range eggs

1 slice sour dough bread (store in the pantry or freezer)

handful of baby spinach, finely chopped

big pinch of fresh parsley, chopped

pinch of sea salt

butter, to serve


1. Scramble eggs in a cup and cook in a pan over medium heat.

2. Add spinach and salt.

3. Toast the sour dough and spread with butter.

4. Serve scrambled eggs on toast and sprinkle over fresh parsley.

Bottom-of-the-fridge fried rice

Serves 2-3

3 cups cold cooked brown rice (about 1œ cups uncooked)

1-2 red onions, finely chopped

3-4 sticks of celery, finely chopped

2-3 carrots, finely chopped

Πred cabbage, finely chopped

handful of green beans, chopped

handful of snow peas, chopped

2 eggs, lightly whisked

3 Tbsp tamari/salt-reduced soy sauce

thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated finely (store in freezer)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

4 spring onions, chopped

chilli flakes (optional)


1. Stir fry the vegetables in olive or coconut oil for a few minutes.

2. Add ginger, garlic and tamari and cook until fragrant.

3. Add cooked rice and more tamari, if needed.

4. Make a well in the middle and pour in the egg. Wait until cooked and break up and stir through the rice.

5. Serve in bowls and top with spring onions and chilli flakes, if desired.


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