Empty the Freezer Challenge 2017: Week 4

Empty The Freezer Challenge 2017 Week 4 EmptyTheFC Penny Golightly

It’s Week Four of the 2017 Empty the Freezer Challenge (here’s the full list and the rules if you want to join in yourself). I was determined to use up the last of our old frozen foods this week, so I made a big effort when I planned our weekly meals.

On Monday we had some roasted vegetables (see below) with pasta & veggie ham, which used up the frozen carrots and some red onion along with the latest glut of courgettes from the kitchen garden. It was a lovely, tasty meal and there were a few leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day. We also had two more mince pies for dessert.

Empty the Freezer Challenge 2017 EmptyTheFC week four 4 roasted vegetables with frozen carrots by Penny Golightly

The next meal was to use up the remaining sesame seed burger buns. I fancied a bit of a change so I served them with homemade falafel burgers, tzatziki, some sweet potato wedges and a salad. They were delicious (see picture below), and I’ll definitely be making this recipe again.

If you want to make this yourself it’s a drained can of chickpeas, a clove of garlic, a chopped onion, salt and pepper, a teaspoon of ground cumin and a teaspoon of ground coriander. All you need to do is put about two thirds of the mix in a food processor, maybe with a small splash of water or veg stock, and mix it up to make a paste, then add in the rest of the chickpeas and onion for texture. Shape into four large burgers, chill for an hour, then bake on a greased baking tray for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees C.

Empty the Freezer Challenge EmptyTheFC 2017 week 4 falafel burger tzatziki topping by Penny Golightly

Then we made quick veggie burritos to use up last bit of Quorn fillet. I’m heartily sick of eating Quorn this month, it’s okay for convenience but it’s not my favourite thing and it will be nice to have a rest from it for a while. The burritos were fine, and it was a healthy meal, but I’ve never been so happy to have lots of hot sauce in the cupboard to make it more interesting!

We had the last of the old stewed rhubarb for dessert the following evening, served with ginger syrup from a jar of stem ginger. Didn’t look that appetising in the bowl, I confess, but the flavour was beautiful. There were also a few breakfast smoothies during the week that used up all the frozen banana slices, raspberries and mixed berries.

Finally, we had the remaining mince pies with coffees at the weekend. Very unseasonal, but a nice snack that kept us going through yet another round of DIY. And that was it, everything on that long list was used up at last!

We now have some room in the freezer to stock up more of our home grown veggies and fruits for the winter, so that’s perfect timing. There’s already a stash of 2017 rhubarb and cherries put by, and a load of new raspberries, and they’ll soon be joined by a load of roasted courgettes and peppers, and some blanched green beans too. That’s before I even start stocking up for Christmas.

It’s been a great challenge, and it’s definitely brought the food bills down for the last four weeks too. It originally felt like we’d overstocked on a few things, although that was mainly because they’d been bought on special offer, and it’s kind of nice to see the back of some of it.

Do you need to clear some space in your freezer? Is there anything in there you’ve forgotten about, or can’t face eating?


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  1. We’ve done pretty well this month working through the freezer contents, so much so that pitta, pizza bases and general dough could be made and frozen at the weekend.

    We’ve eaten some old chilli, lots of part cartons of passata and half-tins of tomatoes, roast vegetables, and grains that had been in the freezer for a while. The one thing I’m not looking forward to eating is some celeriac soup I made who knows when. Maybe I’ll just defrost it today and have it for lunch tomorrow – how bad can it be?

  2. Hi thrift deluxe! Sounds like you’ve made plenty of progress in the last few weeks. It’s amazing what can start building up in the freezer over time, all those little bits and bobs, so easy to forget it’s there and then never get around to eating it.

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