Weeknight Dinners That Help You Spring Clean Your Kitchen

Waste not, want not. Right?

Related To:

FN.com Off the Menu, St. Patrick's and Bacon/ CC Healthy

Photo by: Kate Mathis ©(C) 2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Kate Mathis, (C) 2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

You’ve swung open the windows and started the spring cleaning process, but there’s one place you may have skipped over – the kitchen. Even if you organize regularly there’s probably some big batch meals hiding in the freezer or partially finished bags of grain cluttering up the pantry. Those little odds and ends that you couldn’t bring yourself to throw out because they’re still good, but also don’t have a true purpose for. That’s where we come in. Give your kitchen and pantry a deep spring cleaning treatment without letting anything go to waste and with minimal effort, meaning these meals are ready to eat in less than an hour. Score.

Of course, the queen of cooking would have a delicious answer to your spring cleaning question. Ina uses fusilli and bow ties for this pasta salad (pictured above), but you can use any shapes that are about the same size, like penne and cavatappi.

CHICKEN_SALAD_ORANGE_POPPY_13.tif

CHICKEN_SALAD_ORANGE_POPPY_13.tif

Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

Mix that leftover yogurt with mayo for a fresh take on chicken salad. One orange is all you need for a double dose of bright, citrusy flavor: use part of the zest to flavor the chicken poaching liquid and add the juice and the remaining zest to the dressing.

BroccoliChickenRIceBake_128.tif

BroccoliChickenRIceBake_128.tif

Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks

Photo by: Christopher Testani

Christopher Testani

Realistically this casserole is perfect for using up almost everything. Toss in the rogue tomato on the counter and any other veggies that you have on hand, leftover sour cream from last week’s chili and even the remains of a cheese board – the recipe calls for dill Havarti, but you can with other mild cheese that melt nicely, like gouda or mild cheddar.

POTATO_SALAD_011.tif

POTATO_SALAD_011.tif

Food stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

Photo by: Antonis Achilleos

Antonis Achilleos

Is it a side? Is it a meal? Is it breakfast? The truth is, only you can decide how and when you want to eat this lighter take on egg and/or potato salad. FWIW, it's delicious.

Weeknight Cooking

Weeknight Cooking

Photo by: Ryan Dausch

Ryan Dausch

Stretch a little bit of leftover protein, like steak, chicken or tofu, into a full meal – fast! – with frozen veggies, rice and eggs in this quick and easy fried rice.

Lemon Rice Pudding

Lemon Rice Pudding

Lemon Rice Pudding

Make a bright and sunshiny rice pudding that’s equal parts springy and comforting. You can even use up that can of sweetened condensed milk that you bought when you thought you were going to make no-churn ice cream last summer.

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