Week 3 Plan- “Eating From the Pantry and Freezer”
**The Tuesday edition! 🙂
We're into our third week of the challenge now, and I'm amazed at how easy this has been!
I did go produce shopping again yesterday, and would have spent less than $30 except that I was a softie and picked up a treat for my daughter and some discounted (but gorgeous!) Easter Lilies for myself. 🙂 Even still, it was just under $34, and I intend to not go shopping again until May 1.
One thing that has been particularly sweet about this challenge is that I have actually had to do a fair bit of entertaining and hosting guests in our home, providing snacks for different events, etc. and with the exception of one time (I needed to provide a punch for a shower and we don't normally buy juice or most other beverages), I've been able to figure something out from what I had. It's been a good lesson for me that more often than I think, I can pull together something suitable to serve to guests, without having to go out and spend the extra money.
In the past two weeks, we've served stromboli and broccoli, pancakes and blueberry syrup, nachos and cheese, smoothies, popcorn, coffee cake, cheesy chicken tortilla wraps, breakfast wraps, spinach dip with organic tortilla chips, fresh veggies and orange slices, a large roast beef dinner (with most of the trimmings), and even a peach/blackberry/raspberry buckle!
Here's what we're eating this week:
Eggs and toast
Baked Oatmeal (x2)
Yogurt, peaches and homemade raw granola
Lots of smoothies!
Mostly leftovers, sandwiches, frresh fruits and veggies, smoothies, cleaning out odds and ends
Annie's Shells and Noodles with Sauteed Mushrooms (this was the treat I bought my daughter, since it was on discount at the produce store. We had a crazy day, so I switched my menu plan around and went simple)
Beef Stroganoff and fresh, sauteed asparagus (I'm using leftover beef from the roast we ate for Easter)
Lentil-Rice Casserole, baked spaghetti squash and steamed cauliflower
Millet Vegetable Cobbler with added chicken
Either Samosas (bumped from last week) or Butter Chickpea Curry over rice (depends on my mood and energy level 🙂
Minestrone soup with homemade biscuits
Find more great menu plans at Menu Plan Monday!
What types of things have you served to guests when you thought you didn't really have anything to serve? Have you been amazed, as I have, at how a little creativity can work wonders and your guests would never have known the difference? How are your own challenges going, for those are keeping their shopping minimal along with me?
Oh, I tried a samosa for the first time when we were traveling last weekend and stopped at a farmers market. They were good but I was a bit intimidated at my husband’s remark – “I bet you could make these at home.” Do you have a recipe you could share?
MacKenzie, the recipe I use is the one from Nourishing Traditions. They do take a bit of work to make, but the hardest part is really just the shaping and then filling them. Making the actual dough and filling is quite simple. I like to double the recipe so that I can freeze a bunch and then it feels more worthwhile for the time and effort. 🙂
For me, this has been harder than I thought it would be. But then again, I haven’t been able to keep a very large array of things in my pantry (due to money constraints, I have mainly just gotten things week by week so didn’t have much stocked up really) I mainly have my freezer stuff to use up, but I have been eating things slowly over the winter that I could, so therefore I have large amounts of a few things, like peppers, squash and pumpkin, which I could not stomach any time during my pregnancy. And some turkey, chicken and a bit of beef. It still costs SO much for fresh produce, milk, eggs, and grains/potatoes. I’ve basically been trying really, really hard but only saving about $10 a week. I’ve even been going a few times to just check the discount area (and not buy anything else) but there hasn’t been much good there. On the good side, I have found lots of uses for those frozen things I did have, so that is great! Its a good lesson in planning meals with as much as I have already as possible (checking the freezer and pantry first).
… I’m getting a bit desperate with our freezer contents, at least in regard to fruits… I’m down to frozen persimmon puree (really, WHAT WAS I THINKING?! 20+ cups??) and about 8 quarts of frozen pumpkin. Yeah… in case we need that beta carotene…!!! 🙂 I’m “saving” the lovely brisket that’s in there for when I really can’t think of ANYTHING else to cook… Which just might be next week – with pumpkin pie for dessert! 🙂