We’ve now had four weeks since the start of the 2018 Empty the Freezer Challenge. The UK heatwave continues, which is making it difficult to use the oven so I’ve had to find even more inventive ways to create salads and quick cook meals.
Meal 1 was taco salad bowls made with the last of the frozen Quorn fillets, with added chilli rice, beans, sweetcorn, homemade salsa, avocado, salad and grated cheese. The fillets are under the cheese and other toppings in this picture so unfortunately you can’t see them, but it looks pretty good apart from that.
For Meal 2 we had prawn salad with homegrown herbs, cucumber and mangetout peas, fresh chopped herbs, a quinoa and wild rice base and lemon dressing. It was easy, tasty, healthy and refreshing which is all you can ask for on a hot, sunny evening. That’s the last of the frozen prawns gone now.
Meal 3 was more salad bowls (see above), this time Beau had one of his prehistoric frozen packets of streaky bacon dry-fried, drained on kitchen paper and served on the top. He said it was tasty, although I think the presentation could have done with just a smidge more work. Also included brown rice and sunflower seeds, chopped avocado, sweetcorn, lime wedges and homegrown coriander, lettuce and tomatoes. I don’t eat bacon so just I had cheese on mine.
My Meal 4 used up four of the frozen fish fingers and 100g of the frozen peas, plus a big plate of mixed fresh vegetables from the garden. It was simple and healthy, but it didn’t look all that interesting so I felt there was no point in taking a photo.
Meal 5 was ‘snag pizza’ with sliced veggie sausages on one side and the last of the pork sausages on the other, using up the last frozen dough. With added olives, onion and red pepper. The word you’re looking for is ‘rustic’, yeah? Okay, it was a right old mess because we made it as fast as possible to get out of the hot kitchen, but I promise it tasted delicious and that has to count for something…
Other snacks and meals: More fish finger sandwiches at the weekend, the last raspberry muffin for a snack, the last cinnamon buns for a weekend breakfast, overnight oats with the last blueberries and raspberries, the last cherries on top of breakfast cereal, a BLT sandwich (pictured above) for Beau to use up the remaining pack of bacon, and a dessert of frozen rhubarb mixed with fresh strawberries.
I did two trips to the supermarket this week, spending £13.90 the first time, then £6.05, totalling £19.95. We are definitely running out of more ingredients and other groceries, including cereals, cleaning products and toiletries, but at the same time we’re getting more food out of the garden after the sunny weather. The garden veggies and fruit are now in partial surplus so it’s starting to fill up the space created by the freezer challenge, which is perfect timing.
Are you trying to cut your grocery bills by using up frozen or storecupboard foods? Let me know if you have any clever ideas for meals that don’t involve long cooking or using the oven!