Going Away? Tips and Recipes for Clearing Out Your Fridge

Does your crisper drawer look like ours (above)? A few fresh ingredients you hate to waste but don't know how to use before you leave for a long weekend? We've rounded up some of our favorite cupboard challenges and fridge-clearing tips to help you turn 1/2 cup of sour cream and some wilting cilantro into dinner.

First of all, that candied ginger is outta here. It's old, and it doesn't exactly marry well with avocado. The corn is being used tonight (for this), and the scallions and cilantro could easily jazz up some brown rice with an egg on top.

But your fridge probably doesn't look like ours. What do you have on hand that you'd like to use before you leave town? The tips below surely don't cover it all (although you should know by now that we think an egg can solve almost any dilemma). Give us some good ideas about how you're clearing out your fridge in the comments.

The challenge: Beans and sour cream.
The result: Creamy Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Cumin and Thyme

The challenge: Lemons, couscous, sun-dried tomatoes, and parsley.
The result: Sautéed Shrimp and Tomatoes with Lemon Couscous

The challenge: Avocado, lettuce, and beans.
The result: Mixed Bean and Avocado Salad

The challenge: Brown rice, ginger, parsley, and scallions.
The result: Fried Brown Rice with Ginger and Scallions

More tips and recipes:
Cupboard Challenge with Sheila Lukins: Beans, Pasta, Grains, and Spotted Dick
Recipe: Fridge-Clearing Avocado Soup
Recipe: Fridge-Clearing Lentil Soup
"Things I Find in the Refrigerator" Soup

Related: 5 Things to Do in Your Kitchen Before You Leave for Vacation

(Image: Elizabeth Passarella)

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