Monday, January 11, 2010

My Pantry Challenge Update: I've got to go shopping...

The easiest part of the pantry challenge for me thus far has been the meal planning. We've stuck to the menu and had some nice meals, and we've used some items that needed to be used up. There's now a decent amount of space available in the pantry and fridge (the freezer has nothing useful in it, but it's still full! I need to investigate this.) Unfortunately, we are running out of things to eat, so I am off to the store tomorrow for a big shop. This means that I will only have made it 12 days into the challenge before having to stock up again.

I've also had a Challenge Violation: I was at a store that I only shop at infrequently (to pick up kale and other produce), and I couldn't stop myself from stocking up on a few pantry items we were out of, mostly things that I can't buy anywhere else (organic refried beans, whole wheat pasta that the kids LOVE, canola oil, and lentils). My system is to replace our favorite staples as I use them up so that I have them on hand when the perishable items in the same recipe are ready to be used. What I've learned about myself is that I really don't like running out of things! I'm hoping that my Declutter Motivation Plan will help me to free up space so that I can have a larger stockpile.

I want to continue to find uses for the stray items I've found in our meal plan for this upcoming week. I think I am going to try to make cookies using a recipe on the side of some 5 grain cereal that I found, and I also have the following planned:

  • Tonight: Salt and Pepper Chicken (value pack in freezer not needed for holiday dinner) with Kasha pilaf (one of the random items from the pantry!!!) and a veggie.
  • Tuesday: Soup of the Week night: Tortilla Soup (w/leftover chicken from previous night) we were supposed to have this with pita chips, but they're gone so instead I have some frozen french baguette we can use.
  • Wednesday: Leftovers from the Holidays: Mini Beef Wellingtons with Gorgonzola (a special treat made only once a year!) with a green vegetable/salad
  • Thursday: Homemade Lasagna: I have 3 different types of lasagna noodles to use up, some to boil, some no boil. I'll be making this with a friend; we get together to make dinner or cook ahead each week. Stay tuned for a post about the recipe later this week!
  • Friday: Chicken Fingers (from the freezer--left over from a holiday function) and other leftovers
  • Saturday: Bouchons au Thon (literally means 'tuna corks'--this will use up the stray tuna in my pantry, but usually I prefer this recipe with salmon, and I usually double it. It will also utilize some Gruyere cheese I found in the freezer. My 3 year old really likes these made in the mini muffin pan!) with baked potatoes.
  • Sunday: Chicken with Mango Something or Other, possibly in the crock pot (I'm still researching recipes; need to use up that frozen mango somehow...)
  • Monday: Creamy Enchilada Casserole (easy, vegetarian, and the kids like it)
  • Tuesday: Soup of the Week: Mushroom Barley (to use up the barley from the pantry and some shallots and carrots in the fridge)
You can read my previous Pantry Challenge posts here and here.

1 comment:

Tracey said...

Sounds like a good menu!! I'm trying to do better at staying out of the store this week! :)