Leaving Home Leftovers, or Fridge Foraging

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 thoughts on “Leaving Home Leftovers, or Fridge Foraging

  1. 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.

  2. Delicious!
    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 😉

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

    1. 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 🙂

  7. 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 🙂

    1. 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…

  8. ¡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 🙂

  9. 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 🙂 !

  10. 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. 🙂

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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. 😉

  14. 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!

  15. 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 🙂

  16. 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.

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

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