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Got food sitting around?

Written By Dr. Summer on October 14, 2020

Hello everyone, Dr. Summer here!

Today I am writing about how to use leftover ingredients or foods around the house! I personally go food shopping every Monday before work, and I try to cook what is in my fridge freezer first. Because I go and buy a bunch of fresh food per week, I tend to scramble to figure out what to do with it all. Today, we’re exploring what can be made with leftover brown bananas, cilantro, lemon, lime, zucchini, and yellow squash!

I am going to start with my very brown bananas. Now you may like brown bananas; I personally love my bananas to be bright yellow, with maybe a few brown freckles. So today, I have 3 overripe bananas. What do I do with them? I make banana bread, which is such a simple recipe, I seem to make it every week! 

I think I’ll bring some to the office and see what their verdict is! When I do, I’ll post an update here!

Update: The office loved it, at least those who got a piece!

Banana bread recipe:

This banana recipe is a crowd favorite, and I try to make it often for friends and family! 


2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour

¾ cup sugar (You can decrease to ½ cup for less sweetness)

1 tsp baking soda

½ salt

3 ripe bananas* (You can use more or less, depending on how many you have!)

½ cup of unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs*

½ cup of plain yogurt (I use sour cream* because that is what I had. You can also use milk with 1 tbsp of lemon juice, buttermilk, or Greek yogurt!)

1tsp vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts or chocolate chips (optional)

*ingredients I need to use up


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Get your bread loaf pan, and I like to use parchment paper to easily remove the bread once it is cooled.  You can also butter and dust with flour (tapping out the excess) if you do not have parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add melted butter, eggs, yogurt (sour cream in my case) and vanilla.
  4. Gradually add flour, sugar, baking soda, salt.
  5. Add walnuts, if you have them.
  6. Place mixture in the loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour. Check with a toothpick or fork when you think it’s ready! The toothpick or fork will be clean if it is completely baked!
  7. Cool for 10-20 mins, remove from pan.
  8. Enjoy!


Cilantro Lime Chicken:

I always have chicken in my fridge, since it is such a versatile protein! And this is such an easy recipe to make at home! I prepared the ingredients in no time, let it sit all day, and grilled it at night. The lime makes it perfect for summer!



Fresh lime* (zested and juiced)

Chicken breast*

2 tbsp Olive oil



Cumin (optional)

Red pepper flakes (optional)

Chili powder (optional)

Use whatever spices you have on hand

*ingredients I need to use up


  1. Place chicken in a bowl or zip lock baggie.
  2. Finely chop cilantro, leaves and stems. Zest lime, and juice it.
  3. Salt and pepper the chicken breast.
  4. Add olive oil, cilantro, lime zest and juice and other spices to chicken.
  5. Marinade for at least 30 mins.
  6. If you have a grill or grill pan, heat it up and oil it.
  7. Once your chicken has marinated, grill it until done (this will depend on the size of chicken).
  8. Once cooked, let chicken rest for about 5 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!


Citrus water

What is a better way to beat this Florida heat than with some refreshing water? And the sky is the limit with all the different flavors you can create! I decided to use up the rest of my lime from my cilantro lime chicken for this. I also had half of a lemon at home, so I used that another time to make lemon water. Use whatever fruits and fresh herbs you have at home. Hydration is important!



Ice (optional)

Lime* or lemon* (or both)

*ingredients I need to use up


  1. Fill a cup with ice and water.
  2. Add lemon or lime (or both).
  3. Drink right away or let it sit for 20 mins for more intense flavor.

Other flavors:







Be creative!

Freezing zucchini and yellow squash

This last one isn’t a recipe, but it will keep your zucchini and yellow squash from spoiling before you’re ready to use it in a future meal! I plan to make minestrone soup with these veggies once it cools down outside! I am hopeful you can all make good use of your veggies!



Yellow squash*



*ingredients I need to use up


  1. Boil a pot of water.
  2. Cut zucchini and yellow squash to bite size pieces.
  3. Fill a separate bowl with ice and water.
  4. Once water is boiling, place veggies in for about 1 min.
  5. Strain the veggies and place in the ice water.
  6. Strain the veggies again, pat dry with a towel.
  7. You can now place the veggies in a bag to freeze or place as a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze overnight.
  8. If you did the cookie sheet freeze, take frozen veggies and place in a bag for future use.

I hope this post was helpful or inspiring to use leftover ingredients around your home.  I look forward to seeing you in the office!

Dr. Summer