Monday, January 04, 2010

Eat From the Pantry/Freezer Challenge

Starting back to work today after two weeks off does NOT make being creative with menu items sound like fun. However, my GroceryGame membership has lapsed so instead of paying right away, I figure it's a good time to get to work on "rotating" my stockpile (I have a bit of a hard time distinguishing that from "reducing", but I'll do what I can).
Anyway, tonight's menu item is Barley-Lentil Stew served with rolls. I've made this before (this time last year, when cold weather screamed soup) and it was a success. I still have barley leftover (tightly sealed, of course), and have some celery sticks leftover from a New Year's Eve party. My hubby and I have serious aversions to celery, unless it's buried in something else and hardly noticeable - soup is a great choice!
Tonight I tried it with Split Green Peas instead of lentils, because that's what I had on hand. I can't recall to compare with last year, but it was yummy anyway! After some research, I chose to add them in when the other ingredients had already reached simmer stage so they didn't get overdone... but then they were not quite soft enough, so if I were to do it again, I'd add them in right with the barley and they'd probably be perfect.
I used all water, 3 tomato bouillon cubes and 1 chicken (what I had on hand).
I also left out the rosemary (personal preference).

Since I about froze my hands off in the freezer/fridge, I thought I'd go ahead and share some initial findings of items that are available to work into menus for as long as I can handle this!
Freezer findings:
  • 4 c. diced ham
  • London Broil (from a once-a-month cooking day a while back... may already be freezer burned, so I'll have to do it on a day with an easy back-up plan)
  • 6 burgers
  • 4 waffles
  • 1 pkg each salsa/guacamole
  • 2 servings stuffed salmon
  • 2 servings sole
  • 2 pouches pepperoni
  • 2 individual broccoli/cheese portions
  • 2 bags grn. beans
  • 1 bag broccoli
  • 1 bag/1 box corn
  • 1 bag mixed veggies w/ cheese sauce
  • 1 chicken & pasta steam meal
  • 1 bag seasoned rice
  • 2 servings salmon
  • various mini-loaf sweet breads
  • 1 lasagna
  • 3 lbs. ground beef
  • 3 x 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 box coconut shrimp
  • various shredded cheeses
  • 14 rolls
Fridge findings:
  • 1/2 pepperoni pizza (from Costco)
  • 2 tubs sour cream dips
  • 1 tub salmon spread
  • turkey gravy
  • 3 burger buns
  • 2 pancakes
  • celery sticks
  • carrot sticks
  • cucumber
  • 2 tubes buttermilk biscuits
  • 3 Pillsbury pizza crusts
  • 3.5 x 8oz cream cheese
  • 2.5 x 16oz sour cream
  • 8 eggs
I'll finish this post at a later time... now I've got to go to bed!

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