Hello again, it’s time for another progress report for the Empty the Storecupboard Challenge which is now in Week Five. It’s been a busy week once again, with four meals and two desserts made from the stored foods.
If you’d like a quick refresher of the simple rules and a list of everything that needs using up, you can pay the original post a visit.
Last week’s meals were a prawn and vegetable curry and rice, mini toad in the holes, tortilla wraps with warm bean salad, and a macaroni cheese with red peppers. We also had Christmas pudding for dessert, and a coconut and lemongrass sorbet.
The prawn and vegetable curry (main picture above) used up a third of a box of coconut milk, a third of a jar of curry paste, and 100g of brown rice. Onions, green beans and economy prawns were added to complete this storecupboard meal. It was delicious and I’ll definitely be cooking the same recipe again at some point.
The mini toad in the holes (see above) were quick, easy and very moreish, and used up 1/4 of a tub of batter mix. This needed four sausages, a tiny amount of vegetable oil, gravy, sweetcorn and broad beans to make it into a meal. I’d happily make this again too, if the weather’s bad and I want some comfort food.
I have to confess that the tortillas with warm bean salad were eaten so quickly that no pictures were taken. Sorry about that. It used up the remaining can of beans, and we added some red pepper, tomato, fajita seasoning, hot sauce and thick plain yogurt.
The final main meal used up a box of macaroni with cheese sauce (above left). Chargrilled red peppers, onions, milk and a sprinkle of extra cheddar were added to the basic mix to make a thrifty, filling meal, and there was enough left over for lunch the next day too with salad on the side.
We don’t have dessert very often at home, but when the weather was really cold the other night we broke out the Morrisons bejewelled Christmas pudding and had that with the last of the custard. It’s lighter and fruitier than ordinary Xmas pud, and we both really enjoyed it. There were two more portions for the following night too.
I also messed about with some more of the coconut milk powder to make a very simple coconut and lemongrass sorbet, and added frozen homegrown raspberries on the top to make it a bit more healthy.
This week’s four meals
There’s still so much left in the cupboard to cook our way through. I’m trying to keep the recipe planning varied and mostly healthy.
1. Lentil curry with aubergine and brown rice. This should use up a couple of the packets of lentil curry mix and some more brown rice, with added vegetables. There might be quite a lot of leftovers, as each packet makes up four portions.
2. Pasta salad with artichoke hearts. It’ll be nice to get rid of some more of the overstock of penne pasta, and we have some leftover ‘essential’ artichoke hearts and olives to use up from another recipe. I’ll add olive oil, herbs, vinegar, cheap mozzarella, and salad from the garden.
3. No-chicken nuggets in crispy crumbs. This is an experiment – possibly foolhardy – to try to use up some more of the veggie ‘chicken’ and some of the breadcrumbs. This will get potato wedges, ketchup and a side salad added for a homemade take on – yeah, let’s admit it – some dirty, dirty junk food. But baked in the oven to be less greasy.
4. Paella with prawns and Quorn pieces. This is to get rid of a sachet of paella spices and some more rice. I’ll be adding leftover prawns and Quorn bits, plus onion and frozen peas, and hopefully it won’t be too far off a basic paella in content and flavour.
I’m also going to have to find a way to use up the remaining quarter of a jar of fig jam. Possibly with some orange or pear, and maybe some chocolate mouse.
Over to you once more!
Are you feeling inspired to use up some of your own weird and wonderful storecupboard ingredients before they go past their use-by dates?
The hashtag to see what other people are finding and cooking is #EmptyTheSC – send me some pictures please, I’d love to see what you’re getting up to.