We’re right at the beginning of the latest Empty the Freezer Challenge for 2018, and while it’s been a hectic few days on the work and social front I’ve been around enough to make a few meals from my big list of freezer ingredients. The main focus of the challenge is to identify old or overstocked frozen foods, move them to the top / front of the drawers in the freezer, then make at least three meals a week from them.
When the weather heats up, I usually reach for easy, simple ingredients and make plenty of salads. However, freezers and salads don’t tend to mix that well so I’ve had to compromise and get creative to make the challenge work at this time of year. I think I’ll make the next challenge easier for myself buy holding it in early spring or late autumn, but for now let’s carry on and put some effort into it, eh?
Meal one was very plain, so I didn’t take a picture. It was cod and parsley fishcakes, a squeeze of lemon, boiled new potatoes, and steamed broccoli and sweetcorn. Perfectly tasty and a balanced meal for a midweek evening, but it was never going to set the world on fire.
Meal two was different: prawn and avocado salad wraps (pic above) to use up 100g of frozen prawns and four of the flour tortillas. This was served up with a lime and chilli dressing, and a salad of shredded home grown lettuce, cucumber, carrot, spring onion, hot sauce and home grown coriander leaves. It was delicious, and I would make it again in a heartbeat.
Meal three (above) came after several nights out on the trot, some of it work related. We were going to make a mini roast with chicken for Beau and Quorn for me but decided the weather was too warm. We had a big Caesar-style salad instead with home grown radishes, salad leaves, potato croutons and mayonnaise, and cooked up some extra chicken and Quorn to use as leftovers.
Extra meals and snacks included: 200g of frozen exotic fruits thawed out to have with breakfast at the weekend, two raspberry muffins for snacks, one portion of rhubarb with yogurt for a dessert, and a couple of lazy fish finger sandwiches. We’re definitely starting to make a dent on the frozen food already.
On the money front, this has meant that we didn’t need to do a supermarket shop this week, just a pint of milk and a loaf of bread here and there instead. It’d be handy if you wanted to spend less in the run up to going away on holiday, I think – or maybe you could challenge yourself to use up the contents of your fridge instead. It’s been a good way to cut back, although we’ll probably need to buy a few more fresh things this week, and maybe some toiletries and cleaning products. My hope is to avoid a big shop this coming week too, but we’ll have to see.
Meanwhile I’m trying to work out how to use up some of the remaining frozen food in salads, or at least spend the minimum amount of time with the oven on. Tricky. Not that I’m complaining about the sunshine, of course, that’s been beautiful!
What do you have in your freezer that needs to be used up? Are you joining in with the Empty the Freezer Challenge this time around?
If you are, remember to use the #EmptyTheFC tag on social media so you can show off your culinary skills and see what other people are making.