A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What to do with your empty condiment bottles...

Mustard is awesome.  I've posted about it before, and for good reason....it's low calorie, minimal ingredients, and intense flavor can spruce up dull dishes.

If you are a fan of mustard and go through a bottle pretty fast, don't toss it once you are done.  The mustard on the sides and bottom that just won't come out can add flavor to another dish.  Simply fill the empty container with water, broth (chicken, fish, beef, or vegetable) and shake to get everything off the bottom and sides.  Now you have a flavorful liquid to use next time you cook a grain, soup, or anything requiring liquid.

I do this every week and find that it cuts down on having to purchase more chicken stock at the store.  Remember, when using the empty bottles for the liquid in cooking, you don't need to add any or as much salt since most condiments have enough already.

This simple trick can be used for any of your other favorite condiments too; tabasco, salad dressing, ketchup, salsa, etc.  Kelley has a very tasty smoked tomato salad dressing that I fill with water or broth after she is done and use it for cooking one of our meals for the week.  I use salsa for salad dressing and do the same with empty salsa jars too.

Next time you come to the end of a condiment bottle like mustard, add water or chicken broth if you have it, and cook brown rice, quinoa (our favorite), beans, or a combination.  Adding some extra spices is always good too; cumin, turmeric, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, and black pepper are several spices that pair well with mustard and most other condiments.

Here's an example of what I do:

After Kelley finishes her bottle of Drew's Smoked Tomato salad dressing, I fill it with water and some broth then shake really well.  I put a sauce pan on medium high heat, sweat chopped garlic and onions for a few minutes, then add quinoa to let it get lightly toasted.  After a minute or two, I'll add the filled bottled of salad dressing to the pot.  Oops, not enough liquid!  What else is there?!  Oh, empty salsa works....add water to salsa jar, shake, and pour into sauce pan.  Phew, close call, now there's enough liquid.

I then follow up with tossing a few frozen veggie mixes in the pot, add meat or beans, toss in herbs and spices then bring to a boil.  Once everything is boiling, I lower the heat, cover and let simmer for 15 to 30 minutes.  Once finished (quinoa turns translucent once cooked), I remove from heat, stir, and transfer to our glass Pyrex dishes for a tasty lunch at work.

Look around your fridge and pantry and plan ahead on what to do when that bottle runs out.  What will you make with your leftover bottle?

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