Dishes and recipes come into our kitchens for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes we see a recipe that just catches our eye, or we’re looking recreate something from a restaurant, a memory, or from a loved one. And sometimes, the less glamorous but equally as valid option: there’s an excess of something in fridge and it’s time to get creative as what to do with it before it goes bad.
Food waste has become more and more important to me over the years for a variety of reasons. I don’t like throwing away money, which is what you do when you don’t use the food you buy. I’ve got a pretty strict budget I stick to for food, and when anything I buy goes to waste I can just see money being dumped in the trash. I’ve been getting super clear on where my money goes in the past few years, which has also helped me cut down on the impulse food buys to reduce the potential for a lot of food waste.
I also don’t like food waste because who gets to eat that food, enjoy it or get nourished by it? No one! And that’s something I can’t stand. The trash can has no feelings. Or intestines. Feeding it your moldy or old food doesn’t do a damn thing for it.
So, when I open the fridge and see a big excess of something that I didn’t plan a meal for or my plans change, it’s time to get creative. Earlier this summer I bought way too many tortillas. I bought them to make wraps, but it turns out the kind I got just crumbled when you tried to roll them. Because I really needed wraps, I bought another brand of tortillas. Leaving N and I with 2-3 packages of tortillas which is 2-3 times more tortillas than we usually have in our fridge in one time.
The challenge became how do we use up these tortillas in an easy, healthful way? I was searching around on the internet (a lot of people have suggestions on how to use up excess tortillas, so if you ever have this problem, the internet’s got you covered) and found a recipe for tortilla pie. This was the perfect way to use up tortillas, add in a bunch of vegetables, and keep it healthy.
I’ve made a few versions of this tortilla pie over the summer since this tortilla challenge arose, and this is best one to get your feet wet. I may post the other variation of the tortilla pie I made later in the fall, with some fall vegetables rather than the last bit of summer I can get my hands on.
As always, make this your own. If you can’t find fresh corn, use frozen, or switch it out for another vegetable, maybe one you’ve got excess of in your fridge. Same goes for the kale or zucchini. If you’ve got black beans instead of pintos, feel free to use those as well. Adjust the heat to the enchilada sauce or filling to your spice preference.
Have there been times when you’ve bought too much of a certain ingredient? Did you figure out what to do with it? If you run into this challenge every once in a while, try finding and creating a dish that can use up as much of it as possible so it can be enjoyed rather than going bad in your trash can. The more you face this challenge, the more creative dishes you can try and bring to your table.