Can it really be Week Four of the Empty the Storecupboard challenge already? Time flies when you’re having dinner… If you want to prevent food waste in your own cupboards too, please join in with me – the rules are very simple.
Last week I cooked up pasta and no-meat meatballs, a giant cous cous and halloumi salad (pictured above), and a kashmiri curry with Quorn pieces.
The pasta and veggie ‘meatballs’ with tomato sauce got the top vote. This used up two sachets of the chicken style roast mix, and 100g of penne pasta. I added a large shredded and cooked leek to the veggie mixture, left it to set, then made meatballs and baked them. The simple tomato sauce was made with a can of chopped tomatoes, a little olive oil, garlic and dried herbs. It was served with a little fresh basil from the garden.
There was enough for a lunch of leftovers too, with some cheese melted on the top.
Next up, the giant cous cous and halloumi salad, using up 100g of the big cous cous grains. This was served warm because it was raining outside, and was both easy to make and easy to eat. It used up a lot of things from the salad drawer, including tomatoes and lettuce, and some fresh lemon juice, olive oil, grilled halloumi and a handful of home grown oregano. That made two hearty portions plus one decent-sized leftovers lunch.
Kashmiri curry with Quorn pieces, spinach and rice was the final main course, and it used up 1/3 jar of curry paste plus about 100g of brown basmati rice, and 1/3 of a pack of coconut milk powder. The added ingredients were half a bag of Quorn pieces, a good handful of chopped frozen spinach and a couple of thickly sliced onions. As the paste has quite a lot of chilli heat in it, I also made some mint raita with thick plain yogurt and dried mint to serve on the side.
There was about a tablespoon of the curry left, so I used it as a filling for a baked potato the next day. Not a very authentic way to eat it, but it was lovely comfort food. That brought the portion count up to nine dishes for the weekly total.
The fig jam is also slowly getting used up. Another third of the jar is gone now, with some being used on toast and muffins, and the rest being stirred into porridge with fresh fruit. I’d better get a move on to finish it in the next three or four days, as it doesn’t keep well.
We also had some baked bananas with chocolate chips (some more leftovers from the baking box, which I haven’t listed or included in the main challenge) and thick coconut milk sauce. This used up another third of a packet of coconut milk powder, as well as some bananas that were going a bit too brown for snacking. Simple, but delicious.
This week’s four meals
Yes, that’s right, I’m aiming for four meals this week, plus a couple of desserts.
1. Macaroni cheese bake with chargrilled red peppers. This will use up a two-portion ‘box meal’ of macaroni and cheese sauce. I’ll use extra milk in the sauce so it doesn’t dry out when it bakes, and add some chargrilled peppers for colour and flavour, plus some extra cheese on top, and peas on the side.
2. Mini toad-in-the-holes / sausage popovers. This should use up about a quarter of a tub of batter mix, plus a little sunflower oil and some veggie sausages. I’ll also add gravy and two portions of vegetables.
3. Tortilla wraps with warm bean salad and hot sauce. A simple meal to use up the cannellini beans, plus flour tortillas, thick yogurt, hot sauce, grated cheese and salad veggies.
4. Prawn curry with garden vegetables and brown rice. Another outing for the original recipe idea to use up the last of the open jar of curry paste, plus some brown rice and coconut milk powder. I’ll add onions, frozen prawns and chard from the garden. Nicer than our local takeaway, and probably a fair bit healthier too.
It’s also time to use up that Christmas pudding and the last of the custard before the weather starts to warm up.
Over to you now…
Are you feeling inspired to use up some of your older stored foods before they go past their safe use-by dates? Please share what you’re finding at the back of your cupboards – the weirder the better!
The hashtag to see what other people are finding and cooking is #EmptyTheSC.