“Perfectly Good Food” is an illustrated softcover that is less about rigid ingredient lists and more about strategies for smart shopping and kitchen set-up. With recipe names like Kitchen Scrap Stock, Eat-Your-Leftovers Pot Pie, Anything-You-Like Galette, Pick-Your-Protein Salad, and Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Vegetable Paella, you get the picture.
The chapters lean heaviest on maximizing produce, with a smaller section on stretching proteins and dairy. Within each are tips using up every last scrap: sauteing leek tops for a pasta topping, frying up leftover rice into fritters, turning half a carrot into an instant pickle, pureeing wilted lettuce into soup, mixing up mushy berries into sangria. Freezing and storage tips abound, as does advice on how to tell if an onion with green sprouts is still safe to eat, and whether a cucumber that’s gone limp is salvageable (Stir-Fried Pork with Cucumber and Zucchini is your answer.)
To the Li sisters, devising a fridge cleanout meal is more than an exercise in virtue. It’s also a fun game of puzzle-solving — “and then we get to eat it! Much tastier than the Sunday crossword.”
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.
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