Monday, January 23, 2017

Pantry Challenge Week 2

Last week's plan worked pretty well.  We only made one change - we had leftovers on Thursday night and soup was moved to Friday. On Saturday, we laid low and I tried a new recipe for roasted balsamic chicken and vegetables.  I had all the ingredients on hand, so I made it, but we didn't love it.  We ate it, but I'm not sure what I'll do with the leftovers.

On Sunday, Hubs had a planning meeting with a colleague for a joint field trip coming up, and that involved dinner.  It wasn't planned, but it was okay. I used a coupon and took ds#3 to his fave spot, Moe's.

The rest of the week will be pretty fluid.  My sister is moving on Tuesday, and we are all enlisted to help.  There's carpet to be removed, and tile to be busted, and painting to be done.  Oh my!  Here's the plan, but it is definitely subject to change.

Monday~ roast in the crockpot. Hubs has been fighting some sort of stomach bug all weekend, so we went with random leftovers: ds#3 ate his leftovers from Moe's; Hubs had rice; I had a baked potato with leftover balsamic chicken & veggies.

Tuesday~ moving day for my sis!!!  I will pick up ds#3 from tennis practice and head out to the new place.  She will probably text me to pick up dinner on the way (with funds from my grandmother).

Wednesday~ The roast that we didn't eat on Monday, along with the veggies, and perhaps some rice.

Thursday~ Hubs has a professor friend coming in town for the aforementioned field trip, so he will be out to dinner.  This has been planned for several months, so I don't count it against our challenge.

Friday~ Hubs may have dinner duty with his professor and friend, but if he does not, we will have a quiet dinner at home of spaghetti with gluten-free noodles.

Saturday~ Hubs will be with his professor all day so ds#3 & I will be on our own.  Depending on what my sister needs for move-in help, we may be there.

I did go to the grocery store on Sunday for items for lunches during the week.  I spent more than I wanted to, but some of that was food I didn't have on hand for Hubs' sensitive stomach and medicine as well.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Wow - six months later....

Holy moly.
I guess you could say life has been busy!!

So now it's January, and we are beginning our annual Pantry Challenge.  Don't know what a pantry challenge is?  Get the details here.

Every January, I try to tighten our belts a little and use the food we have, as much as possible, for our meals.  Sometimes this forces me to get pretty creative.  Every January, I also go out of town for work for a few days.  For years, I tried to have my guys continue the Pantry Challenge while I was gone, but my husband hates to cook, so it never worked.  This year, I just decided to begin it after said trip.  So here we go!

For breakfast, Hubby almost always has eggs.  He loves eggs.  Ds#3 drinks a protein chocolate milk shake and sometimes some solid food.  I am not a normal fan of breakfast foods, so I have a cup of chai tea, and a protein bar or leftovers.

For lunches, I pack lunch boxes for everyone.  This week, Hubs will take chili, ds will take chicken & rice, both in their thermoses.  I have a microwave in my classroom, so I usually take whatever leftovers we have that need to be eaten.  This week, we've got some turkey that needs to be used, so I will make lettuce wraps until the turkey is gone.

Sunday~ Burgers on the grill, french fries in the oven.  I returned from my trip late Saturday night.  The leftovers were still in the fridge, as the guys chose to eat out for dinner while I was away.  I took stock, and we had patties in the freezer as well as frozen french fries.  I don't eat bread, but I made some gluten-free buns for my husband and son.  Quite satisfactory.

Monday~ Shepherds pie, an experiment.  I have seen a ton of recipes for shepherds pie, and have planned to try it many times, but it never materialized.  In light of the pantry challenge, I diced leftover short ribs (which were so tender and delicious!!), added the gravy from the first cooking/meal, kale from our garden, diced mushrooms, half a zucchini on its last leg, and some diced carrots.  I made mashed potatoes with some potatoes growing eyes, layered them on the beef and vegetables, then sprinkled a little cheddar cheese on top to convince any skeptics.  They liked it so well, that they agreed to have leftovers on Tuesday!

Tuesday~ leftover Shepherds pie!

Wednesday~ Hawaiian chicken with bell peppers and pineapple over rice.  I discovered this dish a couple of years ago on a pantry challenge when I needed to use up some chicken.  Hubs loved it, so it has become a regular on our rotation.  I've got everything I need!

Thursday~ Beef vegetable soup.  A hearty soup - almost like a chili - made with carrots, celery, kale, cabbage, diced tomatoes, and pretty much whatever veg you want to throw in.  Makes excellent leftovers too.

Friday~ Breakfast for dinner.  This is a comfort meal.  Eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries (with some diced peppers and mushrooms thrown in), and maybe grits.

Saturday~ I will assess where we are for the week and plan from there!

Check out Menu Plan Monday for menu inspiration.
Try your own Pantry Challenge and get ideas at Good Cheap Eats!