Inspiration from Meghan

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Fridge Bits Pasta


Easy vegetarian pasta salad

Here in Toronto, we are on day 17 of a garbage strike. I know what you are thinking and you are right. Peeeeee-eeeeew. Thankfully our summer has been remarkably chilly so it is not as bad as it could have been.

Now, not picking up garbage, really doesn’t bother me so much. I fill one grocery bag size of of garbage in about two months. The problem I am having is two-fold. The first is that greenbin (city compost) and recycling both fall under the duty of the garbage collectors. The second is that my one hour bike ride along the bike path at the lake and up the Humber River takes me past THREE temporary dump sites. These dump sites are in parks. I simply can not bring myself to create garbage that will be left in a park to fester and breed maggots, rats, flies, and feed rabid raccoons (okay maybe not rabies ridden but I hate raccoons).

So in an attempt to not create any garbage whatsoever, I am getting super-powered creative. Hence my Fridge Bits Pasta. I made this surprisingly delicious dinner with things I found in my cupboards and fridge. The waste from my meal looked like this:


Your garbage collectors don’t have to be on strike for you to make an effort to create a healthy, garbage-free meal. Make it a game. Games are fun!

Here is my recipe for this deliciously simple, minimal prep time, minimal cook time, maximum delicious pasta.

Fridge Bits Pasta
What’s in your fridge.
What’s in your cupboard.
Pasta (or grain of choice).


Fridge Bits Pasta

by Meghan Telpner

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Keywords: boil saute entree dinner lunch dairy-free gluten-free sugar-free vegetarian broccoli tomatoes zucchini whole food


Ingredients (Serves 1-2)

  • 1 cup brown rice pasta
  • 1 cup leftover steamed broccoli
  • 1/2 cup leftover steamed green beans
  • 1 cup leftover grilled zucchini
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 fresh bell pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Handful of windowsill herbs that included Basil, Lemon Balm, Sage, Oregano
  • Salt to taste


Put pasta or grain of choice in a pot to cook.

In a separate sauce pan, add olive oil, tomatoes, red pepper (or any other raw veggie you are using) garlic, sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs and sunflower seeds.

Allow to cook until garlic becomes aromatic and tomatoes are hot (very technical I know).

Add in other already steamed/grilled veggies and cook just until all are warm.

Add water as needed to pan to keep from sticking.

Once pasta is ready (about 15-20 mins) drain and rinse and return to the pot.

Stir in the veggie/sauce mix.

Serve hot or refrigerate to enjoy the next day as a pasta salad.

Important Note: Do not put more on your plate than you will eat. Silly to go through the effort of making a garbage free meal only to create garbage (and waste food) by having eyes that are bigger than your stomach.

10 responses to “Fridge Bits Pasta”

  1. Laurie says:

    Ooooh. Great minds. I did the same thing yesterday. My smoothie and my lunch were both the result of trying to use up the odds and ends in my fridge. Both were delicious, and they were fun to prepare. A good feeling, as the weather and my schedule have left me in a bit of a rut when it comes to food prep. I like the idea of adding sunflower seeds. I would have never thought of that, but now that you mention it, it seems obvious. Thanks.

  2. mariposagirl says:


    for the whole month of JUNE I made it a point to use up thin out the pantry and use up anything about to hit it’s “date” or close or just anything I no longer use in my daily staple.

    Instead of chucking less quality foods we just ate the last of it, and cleaned it out. I loved making dishes with creative ing.

    JUICING also helps me use up the produce that is nearing it’s end. ZIP gone! LOVE IT

    Eating cleaner just encourages one to clean up other areas of your life. Right now I am hitting my closets!


  3. canadianfoodiegirl says:

    As I posted on Facebook last week, I think that the strike should be an exercise in the three Rs. I feel guilty throwing any garbage out in public. My condo building seems to have its own pick up because they’re letting us throw out garbage, recycling and organic waste as usual. I’ve brought (my own) trash home from places.

    I made a fridge and freezer clearing stir fry on Monday. I decided to build a meal around the sliced red cabbage from the freezer right after I poured it into a new – empty – bag in the green bin. I added bits of greens, shallots, leeks and the last of my frozen fake meatballs (I see you cringe!). I mixed in some coriander, cumin and curry powder with a bit of coconut milk, topped it with feta cheese and hoped for the best. It tasted surprisingly good, although I partly expected to have to dump it.

    Oh, and the maggots, rats, flies, rats and raccoons are being kept at bay by the spraying of pesticides which the City alleges are safe for humans.

  4. Meghan at Making Love In The Kitchen says:

    Eeew. I didn’t know they were spraying. Though I guess I should have expected it. And by kept at bay- you mean poisoned. Just ’cause I am not a fan of rats and raccoons doesn’t mean they need to be sickened due to a strike.

    And was just at the Farmer’s Market at City Hall… would have been very nice if those people hand’t been marching in a circle shouting. Suspiciously, all garbage bins on City Hall property were empty.

  5. naturallyfrugal says:

    I love making “fridge bits” meals, it makes me way more creative and I feel a lot less wasteful. It’s amazing what you can make when you’re either too lazy to go to the store, or don’t have the means to.

    My favorite is to make “fridge bit” lunches for work the next day. It saves me money and is a lot healthier!

  6. canadianfoodiegirl says:

    The spraying was an additional contentious issue for the Christie Pits area residents.

    I’ve noticed that other garbage bins have been emptied recently and wonder by whom.

  7. stacy says:

    i think i might make it tonight!

    it will be the perfect side to a little grilled fish.

  8. Jes says:

    I love the title, so cute! And ick about the garbage strike. Although I can’t believe you’re garbage service picks up compost, I’d kill for that!

  9. BitterSweet says:

    Great use of leftovers- This looks so simple and tasty. :)

  10. Katrina (gluten free gidget) says:

    Love those kind of meals! They are so much fun to create!

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