Happy Monday, everyone!
This week, Kim O'Donnel, the food blogger at the Washington Post, is hosting an "Eating Down the Fridge" challenge, with the idea being that we eat what's in the house, and, if something's missing, improvise. This is a real challenge for me; I am definitely a follow-the-recipe kind of girl. But since I need to improve in this area and work down my embarrassingly overstocked pantry and freezer, this is the kind of challenge built for me!
It started with the happy arrival of The Best Babysitter in the World, to rescue me while my husband was away. She took no time at all to hop in the kitchen and make another batch of Nikki's Healthy Cookies, using the esoteric (for me) ingredients we had on hand. She also made a lasagne (which always makes my husband weep with joy), for which we only needed the noodles. So we feel like we've started already a little bit.
From here on out, we're doing the challenge. I stocked up on a few perishable staples: orange juice, milk (which I will replenish as need be of course), ham for the sandwich for my son at Lunch Bunch, since it's a peanut-free school and so ham and cheese it is. I'm hoping to only buy milk and berries this week, which should be interesting. Otherwise, I'm working down what I have.
And embarrassingly, due to busy weeks, or unexpected nights out or other strange developments, this week's menu will look remarkably similar to other weeks. Last week, we ended up with takeout or going out on two nights, so I still have most of what we were planning for then. In an unusual-for-me move, I realized we might not get to it and froze it...but that was a good reminder of just how full my freezer is. Hence, my excitement at the challenge, which may not be much of a challenge this week at all.
As a note, from last week, the Splendid Table recipe for leek and potato soup rocked. I ate it in 24 hours. I had help from my husband, but yum.
So, for this week:
Monday: Lasagne, of course, with salad from a bag.
Tuesday: Ground pork and spinach recipe with sweet potatoes (as suggested) and maybe rice to be traditional.
Wednesday: Leftover lasagne and/or pork, depending on who in my family you are.
Thursday: Stuffed cabbage, kasha, beets.
Friday: Back to How to Eat Supper for the Hollow Pasta with Greek Cinnamon-Tomato Sauce.
Other efforts I'll be making this week: I have stuff in my freezer to try the Vegan Lunchbox Smoothie. I couldn't mentally justify the hemp milk, but I have everything else and that would help empty the fridge. I'm thinking I'll make (at least) one box of my Trader Joe's impulse buys (usually hors d'oeuvres) for snacks for my moms' group meeting. (Though that will depend on timing.) For my own lunches, since I'm working at home this week, I will try to branch out in to some of the freezer things (Dr. Praeger's, TJ's pizzas/flatbreads) instead of my default lunches. And I could make hummus for the multitudes with the number of chick peas I have. What is with that?! And I love chick peas and eat them frequently! And I still have a ton of them on the shelf. To really feel this at all, I might have to go two weeks. Tune in and I'll let you know.
If you want to join in, go here to read about it.