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!

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