This dish really did begin with a clear-out-the-frig mission, and it wound up tasting so good, I just decided to include it on the blog. It resembles a previous breakfast recipe that also uses quinoa called Quinoa Breakfast Bowls, but the current version is meant to be more versatile… and more green, helping you clear out the frig and avoid end-of-the-week-waste.

A couple of weeks ago when my farmers market had just gotten into full swing, I ended up with the following leftovers at week’s end: a half-cup plain cooked quinoa, one carrot that was barely starting to get “flexible”, a quarter of a yellow onion, two big leaves of kale that were beginning to show a tinge of yellow at the edges, about two tablespoons of raw walnuts (sitting in the bottom of a jar in my pantry) and about a quarter-cup homemade vegetable stock. Instead of throwing out these meager ingredients, I got creative and brave, and you can, too. Check out the recipe below, taking note of all the many options. Just because my version is vegan, doesn’t mean yours has to be—leftover diced chicken? You bet! Cold salmon from dinner last night? Toss it in! “Thank goodness it’s Friday” will suddenly take on a whole new tasty, healthy and green meaning!

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Not bad for using up the produce at the bottom of the frig with leftover proteins and grains, eh? I really want to stress that this is not a hard-and-fast recipe. It can really include anything you want that falls under the categories of vegetables, nuts and seeds, grains, and proteins. Got an egg sitting around? Crack it open and toss it on top near the end; cover the skillet with a lid and let it cook until sunny-side up perfect. There are other nice qualities about this dish besides its efficient use of leftovers: simple preparation with very low sugar and very high nutrition. If you can heat food in a skillet, you can make this dish.

There is no reason to keep this strictly vegan, either, unless you want to. I do choose vegan meals many times because they make me feel so good. Vegan dishes seem to digest well for me personally, and I am always happy to keep my carbon footprint low while in the kitchen, which vegan cooking affords.

If you are thinking about adding more vegan meals to your diet, recipes like this one will help you adjust ingredients and still maintain quality protein—and that’s important because people who eat strictly vegan must be mindful of adequate sources of complete protein and make sure they include enough of them in their daily diets. Sound hard? Actually, it’s not, but it is essential. Take a look at this article from Positive Health Wellness. They have provided some handy information on how to get complete protein in a vegan diet.

So, what’s at the bottom of your frig this week? Whip it up into a scramble and let us know how it goes.