It’s finally starting to look like we’ve made a small dent in our stockpile of food that needs to be used up. Emphasis on the word ‘small’, but we’re slowly starting to get somewhere with it (see how much of the original list has gone) – and I’m still enjoying thinking up plenty of new ideas for using up all of those stored ingredients.
Having a kitchen garden has helped a lot too, because I’ve been able to throw some of last year’s frozen fruits and veggies into the dishes, and make fresh side salads and so on. This all helps to keep it healthy and it also keeps the final costs down.
Last week I cooked BBQ veggie kebabs, a saffron and borlotti bean risotto, a couscous and beetroot salad, and a mushroom and smoked salmon pasta bake. We ate well!
The BBQ kebabs (pictured above) used up half a packet of barbecue marinade, and I added some slices of halloumi cheese, button mushrooms, red pepper and courgettes. I was going to make flatbreads but was a bit short on time so we ended up having them in flour tortillas with chipotle ketchup and Greek yoghurt. Healthy, easy, tasty.
Next, we had a saffron risotto (see above) that used up some risotto rice and another sachet of paella seasoning. I added home grown borlotti beans and garlic, plus leeks, broccoli and some fresh tomato and cheese stirred in at the end. A great way to use up whatever was lurking at the bottom of the fridge.
We also had a cous cous salad (above left), which used up some more of the old cous cous, and I added some longlife beetroot that was also nearing the end of its long life, plus old cucumber, an orange, olive oil, homemade tarragon vinegar and garden lettuce. The remaining halloumi from another recipe was cubed and served on top.
Finally, I used up another two portions of spinach pasta in mushroom sauce to make a salmon pasta bake. I added some smoked salmon scraps, extra mushrooms, some old green beans, milk and lots of black pepper. It maybe didn’t look as good as the other dishes, but it was delicious.
A good week, but maybe a bit heavy on the cheese. Still, it has meant lower food bills all round.
This week’s two meals
I’m going to be a bit busy this week, so I’m only committing to a couple of storecupboard challenge meals. Here’s the quick Storecupboard Menu:
1. Shepherd’s pie with barbecue beans. This should use up another sachet of veggie ‘chicken’ mix, and the last of the BBQ marinade and instant mash / dried potato flakes. I’ll add tinned tomatoes, beans and onions.
2. Macaroni cheese with extra veggies. It will help us get though another two portions of macaroni with cheese sauce, and I’ll add milk, leeks and peas to make it less stodgy. There will be leftovers for lunches too.
What are you cooking up?
Are you trying to prevent waste in your food stores too? Please let me know how you’re using up things from your own cupboards!
I also want to hear about the weirdest, long-forgotten things that you’re finding at the back of those shelves. Leave a comment below or tweet me using the #EmptyTheSc hashtag.
Can’t wait to find out what you’ve been up to…