Leaving Home Leftovers, or Fridge Foraging

2 May

So…tomorrow we move from house renovation Number 2 into our little second home by the sea. It’s been a long 9 months on and off between England and Spain and in other ways it’s flown by. What an experience, we’re lucky to have had it!

The plan is to head back to Spain in about 2 weeks and take a very long rest until we head back to England late autumn and do it all over again. Of course, now it’s become a joint enterprise/job for us and we plan to continue this way for another year or two. Who would have thought this City Slicka turned Chica Andaluza would now become a Lady Builder (as one of my neighbours calls me)?!

I was a sad Chica becuase all the windows and doors were rotten and had to come out

I was a sad Chica because all the windows and doors were rotten and had to come out

Moving on from one home to another, even if it was only a temporary one, still involves packing up belongings that have accumulated (mostly in the kitchen, I confess) and the little flat is starting to look like home as the furniture goes in.

Coming to terms with the new French Doors

Coming to terms with the new French Doors

And in the same way as a major move, or before the start of a holiday you have to clean the fridge out. Well, you have to eat the contents first before you clean and for people like Chgo John who makes Frittata, this is a challenge which is risen to with pleasure. As we have no chickies here to feed, there were vegetable delights to be made.  Here are a few ideas, not exactly recipes, for those days when you need to go shopping but still have a few things to finish off, or you’re eating the contents of your fridge before a holiday or a house move!

Finally...loving the light in our new kitchen!

Finally…loving the light in our new kitchen!

First up was a salad using up cold boiled potatoes, an avocado which wouldn’t last another day, a bag of spinach and a handful of mushrooms. The potatoes were lightly sautéed then the sliced mushrooms added until they were cooked. The spinach was chopped then added and a lid put over the pan until it wilted. Chopped avocado was stirred in and the whole things was dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Spinach & Mushrooms (2)

The next day leftover cooked green beans were stir fried with mushrooms and dressed with olive oil and lemon juice while still warm and the zest of a lemon grated over for extra “oomph”.


Finally, a few rashers of grilled bacon made a light supper salad dish with rocket, raw spinach, avocado, baby plum tomatoes and chunks of fresh parmesan and a dressing made with mustard. On the side we ate grilled ciabatta rubbed with a clove of garlic and then drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with rock salt.


I suspect tomorrow may well have to be a take away…well, the fridge is empty!


63 Responses to “Leaving Home Leftovers, or Fridge Foraging”

  1. bitsandbreadcrumbs May 2, 2013 at 18:05 #

    What great ideas for using up leftovers, Tanya. I particularly like the first one, using avocado with the sauteed potato and mushrooms, then wilting the spinach and making a warm salad…but all of these look yummy! 🙂 Thanks for the new take and inspiration for leftovers. Love the view through the new French doors.

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:51 #

      Thanks Betsy, I have a particular fondness for warm salads!

  2. Mad Dog May 2, 2013 at 18:10 #

    You must really be missing Spain by now, but your time here has been fruitful.
    Give me a call if you come to London before you go back 😉

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:51 #

      Hi MD, probably won’t get to London before we leave but I am hoping for a little London jaunt in the summer so would love to catch up!

  3. PendleStitches May 2, 2013 at 18:23 #

    Not only am I in awe of your skill with delicious salads, but that you ever have leftover cooked green beans. They never last in this house…they are my favourite green veg. I would have wept at losing those windows and doors.

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:50 #

      I did weep at losing them (before, during and after) but I’ve accepted it and now am just focusing on the light and lower heating bills!

  4. cookinginsens May 2, 2013 at 18:27 #

    Everything looks delicious.

  5. cecilia May 2, 2013 at 18:59 #

    YUM! all gorgeous, and i LOVE the little view out of your french doors, if i were visiting that is where i would be, working in the new garden, speaking of which!.. must fly.. lovely to see you, these were great shots too.. and as we both know sometimes we just can’t always get what we want!.. c

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:49 #

      Even though the garden has not been touched apart from clearing it, we’ve enjoyed sitting and enjoying the sunshine and the birds!

      • cecilia May 7, 2013 at 23:06 #

        sunshine and birds… lovely.. c

  6. 76sanfermo May 2, 2013 at 19:14 #

    Immagino l’emozione per la nuova casa!
    Le finestre sono molto belle ! Manda altre foto , mi raccomando!….
    Grazie per le ricette , sono sempre molto gradite!

  7. thecompletecookbook May 2, 2013 at 21:01 #

    9 months – well they flew by from my side!
    Ooo, ooo, ooo, eating like kings to clean the fridge out – SCRUMITY!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  8. {Main St. Cuisine} May 2, 2013 at 21:11 #

    What a beautiful job you did on planning your meals directly from your refrigerator. The last “recipe” is exactly what I would love for my supper this evening, I love old homes and especially their patina and history. Your new French doors look lovely and practical, with easy access to your outdoor space. I hope you’ll share your plans for that space sometime down the road.

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:48 #

      Thanks Allison. The garden is going to have to be something low maintenance but we’re thinking a mixture of decking, paving and raised beds!

  9. gardenfreshtomatoes May 2, 2013 at 21:12 #

    Has it really been 9 months? Wow…
    Love all your ideas for the leftovers – did you oil the bread before or after you grilled it in the third one?

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:47 #

      Yes, 9 mnths, can hardly believe it! I griddled the bread in my grill pan then rubbed it with a clove of garlic cut in half then drizzled oil over and sprinkled on some sea salt. Easy 🙂

  10. Marianne May 2, 2013 at 21:34 #

    What a great way of eating, anyway 🙂

    Good luck with the move tomorrow, Tanya!

  11. narf77 May 2, 2013 at 21:42 #

    WHEW! After just tackling a recipe in Polish from a Polish blog that I subscribe to in my RSS Feed Reader and finding the title translated into English read “Pooh Cake” I am making sure to check out anything in a language that I don’t understand using my trusty mate “Google Translate”. I just saw “El Huerto” in your title (never noticed it before…observant little vegemite aren’t I? 😉 ) and my brain started conjuring and conjugating and ended up with something sinister! I was MUCH relieved, I can tell you, when the translation spat out “El Huerto” = The Orchard :). All this BEFORE I have even read the post! What an education social media is and all before 5.30am on a Friday :). Mr Chgo is a maestro of the leftover and I bow to his magnificence in this department. I, sadly, am one of those awful people who discover red bowls of alarming red and green fuzzy stuff that was once gorgeous grilled capsicum and mushrooms but got shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten…sigh…what a waste? Imagine the frittata they would have made!
    That spuddy salad would have me huddled over the bowl growling like a feral cat over a fishhead! “GET BACK…ALL…MINE!” what gorgeousness Tanya! I am covetting it and it wasn’t even mine! ;). I might let someone else have a teeny tiny scoop of the green beans but ONLY after I got the serving spoon back to lick after sharing…Even the bacon studded final leftovers dish is a triumph! The Big Man is a lucky bugger isn’t he?!! Enjoy some final fish and chip meals and a bit of local beef before you head back to España (Cheers Google Translate 😉 ) and your extended stay for a bit. Can’t wait to read about your adventures settling back home for a bit and then more renovations…you guys really know how to live life don’t you :). Hugs from Tassie 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:45 #

      Hi there and apologies for the delay I responding. We’re in now and recovering from the move and lots of (for that read “too many”) welcome drinks with the new neighbours! Glad you got the translation thing to work – I’m impressed, I wouldn’t have tacked the pooh cake 😉 I am so looking forward to working on our huerto when we get back to Spain 🙂 Will be catching up with your blog very soon…

      • narf77 May 7, 2013 at 20:54 #

        See you then and safe journeys 🙂

  12. chaiselongue1 May 2, 2013 at 22:32 #

    Wonderful leftovers! Hope the move goes well!

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:42 #

      Thanks, all fairly smooth, we’re just recovering now!

  13. DianeT May 2, 2013 at 23:17 #

    Aaaah. My kind of food. I think I subconsciously cook an amount of food so that I DO have left-overs.

  14. Bluejellybeans May 3, 2013 at 01:24 #

    ¡Qué Buena pinta tiene todo Tanya! Ya me gustaría a mi que mis comidas con restos tuvieran esta pinta! Rico, rico!! 😉
    Que os sea leve la mudanza 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:41 #

      Gracias Giovanna – estamos en la casa ahora, cansados pero muy contentos!

  15. Eha May 3, 2013 at 05:44 #

    The house is finished, the fridge is empty, the tummy is full [and it cost naught anew 🙂 !] and the road to Spain is clear: you must feel pretty chuffed with yourselves – meanwhile we have some new ideas to go with our fridge overflow 🙂 !

  16. ChgoJohn May 3, 2013 at 08:19 #

    Gee, Tanya. If I had your creativity, I’d be eating far fewer frittate and pastas and more salads. These dishes look delicious and I’m amazed you managed them all from your refrigerator’s contents. I need to borrow a page from your book. So glad to hear that you’r so close to completion. That view into the garden, through the French doors, is really something. How you’ll enjoy it come Summer.
    Thank you for the shout-out and good luck with the move. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:40 #

      Thanks John for your kind words! We’re in now and are enjoying the view of the (as yet) unfinished garden each time we sit and eat 🙂

  17. Food,Photography & France May 3, 2013 at 09:39 #

    Inventive and delicious dishes. I’m so impressed with the work you’ve done on those houses. Totally beyond my ken, but congratulations.

  18. Charles May 3, 2013 at 12:56 #

    Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 9 months already… that’s older than my son, which means you must have just started this a few weeks before he was born. That’s crazy… and suddenly makes me think how fast time is moving!

  19. Tandy May 3, 2013 at 15:21 #

    I love the new doors! Safe moving Tanya 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:26 #

      Thanks Tandy. We’re in now, just unpacking so I’ll be back blogging soon 🙂

  20. TheDorsetFinca May 5, 2013 at 08:37 #

    What an adventure… and you’re doing it again! I think you definitely deserve that rest. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:22 #

      We are so looking forward to a long lazy (ish) summer!

  21. Michelle May 6, 2013 at 15:42 #

    Oh, how I’ve missed your blog! And news of all this renovation – good for you, that’s amazing! I’ll admit I occasionally entertain myself by browsing through pictures old Spanish homes on Idealista.com, hidden in the mountains and hills (particularly Asturias), and in need of a little love and renovation. Especially the stones ones, oooh. I hope you’ll post some before & after pictures!

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:22 #

      Pictures coming up soon…we’re still unpacking and I want it to look pretty for you all 🙂

  22. kathryningrid May 6, 2013 at 21:43 #

    As I’ve not had breakfast or lunch today I am realizing it was unwise to look at your blog (always a salivary danger zone) at all! However, your recipes will serve perfectly as inspiration for feeding our visiting friends at dinnertime, so your food-fabulousness is entirely forgiven. 😉

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:20 #

      Ah, thanks so much…made me smile even though I am exhausted 😉

  23. theglobalgarnishgeek May 7, 2013 at 00:12 #

    Lovely door 🙂

  24. Calico Stretch May 7, 2013 at 04:30 #

    Ah fridge foraging. I know those days oh so well … they come around from time to time when I haven’t been out grocery shopping for a while.

    How very exciting to be heading home to Spain for a rest and that you are going to be renovating English houses too. Gosh that’s hard work but you have such an eye for it. Perfect combination, as long as there are plenty of good ingredients to be had nearby, of course!

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:20 #

      I thinkw e all have to forage in our fridges from time to time…it does make us inventive 🙂

  25. dedy oktavianus pardede May 7, 2013 at 16:23 #

    There wouldn’t be a leftover if i were ther..hehehe
    btw, i like to make over leftover food too, such a callenging!

    • Chica Andaluza May 7, 2013 at 20:21 #

      I always make sure to cook plenty so that we can be sure of leftovers!

  26. Promenade Claire May 8, 2013 at 19:40 #

    Fantastic to read and see the changes, you guys really have worked hard. And I’ll have some lemon for extra oomph too
    About the lady builder …… I think I may have to call you BOB 🙂

  27. Karen May 12, 2013 at 00:22 #

    I’m happy that the move is behind you. I know you will enjoy a rest in Spain…but knowing you and Big Man, I wonder how much resting you will be doing. 🙂 Your meals look delicious. I’m very familiar with cleaning out the fridge as we will be heading up to our cottage in Maine in the next week or so. As we have to empty out the cottage every fall and totally restock it every summer, it is like moving twice a year.

    • Chica Andaluza May 14, 2013 at 20:01 #

      We’re just packing uo now to head back to Spain…phew it’s hard work isn’t it?!

      • Karen May 14, 2013 at 20:09 #

        I feel for you, I’m packing for Maine. Taking a whole truck load and then heading back for more. Safe travels!

      • Chica Andaluza May 14, 2013 at 20:10 #

        You too 🙂

  28. Rachel May 12, 2013 at 01:39 #

    You know, I always *think* I’m busy until I read *your* blog! Wow… breathe… and mmmmm!

  29. TBM May 14, 2013 at 13:21 #

    I wish I was creative when I had to deal with leftovers. I hope all is well.

  30. 76sanfermo May 18, 2013 at 16:50 #

    Ciao, Tanya,auguri per tutto!
    Vedi come tutti ti aspettano?

  31. Rak Sepatu Gantung August 14, 2016 at 05:23 #

    Info yang sangat bermanfaat, thanks sist…
    Jual Rak Gantung Susun Aneka Karakter Murah | http://raksepatugantung.com

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